cratic society rested has givennway to a bogus “pluralism” andna frivolous “freedom” withoutnany foundation for values or law.nSurveying the chaos wrought bynthe liberal mindset, Dr. Schaefferntells his fellow Evangelicalsn”that we are at war, and therenare no neutral parties in thenstruggle.” With a heavy heart,nhe urges them to prepare for civilndisobedience in the face of anthreatened liberal-humanisticnreign of terror.nA regrettable aspect of AnChristian Manifesto is its Protestantnexclusivism. Dr. Schaefferncarefully limits his positive assessmentnof the religious foundationsnof a free society to thenWASTE OF MONEYnIn Search of the DivinenTony Schwartz: Media: The SecondnGod; Random House; New York.nby James WarrennMr. Schwartz wastes no timeninvoking the rather coarse metaphornof his title: “Like God,”nwe’re told in the first chapter,n”radio and television are alwaysnwith us . . . The media are allknowing.nThey supply a communitynof knowledge and feelings,nand a common morality.”nMr. Schwartz is disturbinglyncomfortable with this state of affairs.nHe seems to wonder whynwe pretend that we are stillnbound by the drab communicativenprocesses associated withnreading and writing. InnSchwartz’s view, it is time wenpaid homage to the technologicalnwizardry of the modern agenMr. Warren is on the editorialnstaff of Facts on File, Inc. in NewnYork City.n”Reformation countries” ofnNorthern Europe and NorthnAmerica. While his defense ofnProtestant history is refreshinglynforthright, such lingering sectariannjealousies seem in an agenof impending persecution to bena luxury that believers can ill afford.nIn fact. Dr. Schaeffer’snManifesto bears closest resemblancento the antihumanist essaysnof C.S. Lewis, MalcolmnMuggeridge, T.S. Eliot andnother modern Catholic writers.nCertainly for the coliseum lionsnwhich may reappear in thenpagan era ahead, religious martyrsnwill all taste the same,nwhether Catholic, Protestant,nMormon or Jew. Dnand accept its presence gracefUlly.nMedia: The Second God isnprovoking—both for its slicklynpresented half-truths and distortionsnand for its occasionalnglimmering insights into the effectsnof the communications revolutionnon our society and ournpolitics. Undoubtedly, Schwartznis a very bright fellow. Thus it isnsurprising that he hasn’t morenthoroughly considered his arguments.nThere is not much precisionnin his claim that “Electricitynand its speed have all butneliminated distance and time asnfactors in communication.”nWhat Schwartz means to say isnthat electricity has made it possiblenfor a single image to be projectednto millions of peoplensimultaneously, and he wants usnto believe this is a great leap forward,nwhich is debatable, to saynthe least.nMr. Schwartz is reluctant tonface the larger ramifications ofnthe electronic media. He resuictsnhimself to persuading us to embracenour television sets. Henwrites: “Electroriic replay can benfar more effective than thenprinted word in preventing thendistortion of history,” as if tonsuggest we could get at thenessence of the human experiencenif only we had enough camerasnto get everything on tape. Butnwhat good is the miracle of television—thatnis, the instant dispersalnof information—if televisionnerodes and distorts ournability to interpret the world?nSchwartz is not blind to thesenvery real, serious problems. Henchooses to pay scant attention tonthem. It can be said that in hisninterpretation of the electronicnmedia, Schwartz has adoptednthe flashy, superficial style thatncharacterizes the object of his inquiry.nThe fluff and the gimickryntake precedence over thensubstantive issues, and marketabihtynis more important thanndepth. Let’s hope that the FirstnGod will still hold us in Hisncare. DnRampantnIndecenq^nColleen McCuIlough: An IndecentnObsession; Harper & Row;nNew York.nby Susan TunneynThe time is the end of WorldnWar II and the place is a mentalnward at a military hospital in thenSouth Pacific. The plot is centerednon a nurse who falls in lovenwith a patient. This sounds suspiciouslynlike a nursing-adventurenstory for girls. Basically, it is,nexcept for the generous servingsnof sex, violence and other amenitiesnof modern fiction.nMs. Tunney is a free-lance writernliving in Washington, D. C.nnnThis superfluous nonsense isnentided An Indecent Obsession.nThe title comes from the gushingnobservation “that duty, thenmost indecent of all obsessions,nis only another name for love.”nIn a nursing-adventure storynthat line would read: “She lovednnursing.” What’s so indecentnabout that? Nothing, but itndoesn’t sound particularlynsalacious.nThe novel was written by ColleennMcCuIlough, who alsonpenned the best-selling andnequally sophisticated The ThornnBirds. Ms. McCuIlough is—afterna fashion—capable of sustainingna narrative. However, she’s incapablenof providing somethingnto think about, as she has virtuallynnothing to say.nHowever, judging by the salesnof her previous work and thenqualities of most books found onnthe best-seller list, it’s obviousnthat Ms. McCuIlough has masterednthe formula for success.nThat formula—consisting ofnnothing more than drivel tincturednwith purple prose—isnsomething to think about withndismay.nOne comes away from An IndecentnObsession with the oddnimpression of having read notnthe work of an author, but ofnsomeone imitating an author.nHow is it that this facet of hernwriting and career has not beennnoticed by the “critics,”nreviewers and observers of thenliterary mass market in thisncountry? How could that respectablendisseminator of obligatorynopinion-forming slogans. Publisher’snWeekly, say in its entry:n”McCuIlough shows genuine insightninto the plight of her verynhuman and believable charactersnand her story is very touching”?nIsn’t the multiple interactionnbetween Ms. McCuIlough,nthe American publishers,nreviewers-promoters and thenreading public a grand themenfor an oeuvre entitled An IndecentnObsession? nnm^mmimi^^nSeptember 198Sn