families. In their eflfotts to copenwith these challenges, they werennot always successful, sometimesncontracting into myopic hatrednand narrow bitterness. But oftennthey rose above themselves, articulatingnwith clarity, intelligence,nand courage the perceptions andnvisions of a frustrated people. Wencan still leam much about blacknhistory and hopes from theirnlives and words. We will learnnlittle about them from AllisonnDavis, however. Indulging in wildlynspeculative psychobiography,nsmug historical pronouncements,nshameless biography, and lobotomizednideology. Dr. Davisnfrequently finds himself withoutna shred of evidence for his sweepingnpoints. So he puts an impassionednphrase or sentence innitalics and considers the casenproved. Even if the reader triednto swallow every enormity Dr.nDavis offers (e.g. Lincoln sufferednfrom “irrational anger” derivingnfrom a compulsive desire to benloved by everyone), the internalncontradictions would make thenstew difficult to digest. How, forninstance, can we simultaneouslynpraise King for seeing that somenthings are more important thannliving and the no-nukes forcesnfor asserting that nothing is? Ornhow can we lament the passingnof Judeo-Christian values andnpathologize the effects of “puritanicnmorality” on blacks’ marvelousn”sexual vitality” (as if femilyndisintegration, illegitimacy,nand VD were not exacting a terriblentoll in the black community)?nPerhaps after his death, someonenwill write a book on Dr. Davis’snschizophrenia. •nOf Peter Pan andnPig HeadsnWilhelm Reich: Children ofntbe Future: On the Preventionnof Sexual Pathology; Famr,nStraus & Giroux; New York.nLittie children are wonderful.nEveryone loves them. Wordsworthnenvied thefr spontaneitynand sense of wonder in the presencenof nature. Dostoevski believednthey were like angels sentnto soften our hearts. Jesus taughtnHis disciples to seek Heaven bynemulating their trusting feith andnguileless humility. But as muchnas adults may leam from children,nchildren must nonetheless grownup and to do so must be trainednin mature modes of thinking andnactir^ To remain diildlike, stressednthe Aposde Paul, docs not precludenthe laying aside of the childish.nThe hope of remaining forevernin the nursery is a vain one,nharmless enough in a whimsynlike J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, butnterribly destructive when takennseriously in works like WilhelmnReich’s Children of the Future.nPhysiologically, the dividingnline between childhood and adulthoodnis the maturation of thensexual functions during puberty.nSince the sex drive unleashesnpowerful emotions and producesnchildren requiring adult care, societynhas traditionally stabilizednthe emotions and provided childncare by sanctioning sexual expressionnonly between marriednadults. Reich will have none ofnthis. The glorious inborn instinctsnof children should be trusted asnthe only guide to sexual behavior.nAdults just mess things up by imposingntheir religious and moralnvalues, especially Jews who circumcise.nParents and teachersnshould simply provide Actual informationnand then get out of thenway—unless, of course, a littlenone needs a bit of help gettingnstarted. A 5-year-old boy not yetnmaking genital advances to girls,nfor instance, is in need of Reich’sn”orgonomic” treatment.nBecause they deny children’sn”right” to genital gratification,nReich loathes religion, governmentsnon the right and on thenleft, and the “rotten institution ofnmarriage.” Posing as an objectivenscientist interested only in promotingnthe good of the child,nReich ignores the studies showingnthat nothing ensures thenemotional well-being of childrennas much as stability in theirnparents’ marriage and that highschoolnachievement is closelyncorrelated to religious upbringing,nnot fornication and mastiu”bation.nBut then Reich especiallynabhors the Church, “the main institutionnthat continues the sexualnsuppression.” What he wants insteadnis a “true religion” permittingnchildren to “grow up as naturenor ‘God’ has prescribed.” Indeed,nReich is sure that if menncould get rid of cultural “armoring”nand live by our instinctivenimpulses, as animals do, we wouldnbe as blissfully in harmony withnnature as they are. Eternal childrennwould romp in a peacefiilnparadise, freed from war, guilt,nand confusion. But what kind ofnparadise is Reich actually offering,nespecially since he does notnshare the orthodox view that allnof nature fell with man? Whatnwould Reich have said about then”good of the child” had he seennthe recent studies on how chimpanzeesn(usually considered ournclosest biolc^cal relatives) oftennkiU their young and each other innthe wild? Before his death Reichnshould have read William Golding’sninsightful novel about what adolescentsnlikely would do if leftnalone on a tropical island with allnof the advant^es of nature andnnone of the impediments of civilizationnor religion. Golding’sncharacters behaved rather likenchimpanzees, killing one anothernas they worshiCT>ed a fly-coverednpig head. Adults like Reich whonwUl not teach their children thennn”thou Shalt nots” of the Lord ofnHosts can only abandon them tonthe murderously natural “truenreligion” of the Lord of the Flies.n(BC) DnConspiracies andnOther CankersnJack Lynn: Tbe Factory; Harpern& Row; New York.nAmericans ate conspiracy crazy,nespecially when it comes to mattersnconcerning the Kennedys.nBoth nonfiction (or so the publishingninformation claims) andnfictfon books have ^jpeared—andncontinue to appear—that proventhat Jack and/or Bobby were thenvictims of a conspiracy. The naturenof these described theoriesntends to be such that the newsnmedia are under the thrall of thenconspirators (the governmentncan’t even keep classified informationnout of print or off the air,nso those malefactors really mustnbe tough guys), so the authorsncan be very selective about whatnreporting is said to be true ornfraudulent. The message theynconvey is: “Nobody fewows—butn/ do.” It is unsettling to realizenthat the people who inflict suchnbooks upon the reading publicnare able to drive automobiles, tonconsume liquor, to vote, and tonperform other acts that are limitednto those who have passed,npresumably successfully, the agenof reason.nJack Lynn was associated withnBobby Keimedy’s political campaigns;nhe produced and distributednTV programs for the senator.nIt comes as no surprise that ThenFactory is a would-be thrillernabout the conspiracy behindnRFK’s assassination. The wholenthing is so badly executed that itneven makes the script for an inanenTV detective show—or Quincy—nseem to have similarities with “ThenMystery of Marie Roget.” DnM»vemberl983n