facts, it was clear that the war had beennbegun deliberately; no one could pretendnthat the communists representednany “legitimate” nationalist or anticolonialnmovement. Few people in the Westndoubted that Korea was a just war.nVietnam—it is typical of the confusionnsurrounding that war that it was notneven called by its right name, the SecondnIndochina War—is probably the paradigmnof war for our time. It is unnecessarynto recount the paradigm of Vietnam,nfor it has been dunned into ournheads by the liberal media establishmentnfor a decade and a half. Its version is simplenenough: the war was stupid and unnecessary—anwar of aggression against anlegitimate nationalist regime, a disastrousnmilitary failure.nRecently there has been a growing dispositionnto question the validity of thenpopular opinion of Vietnam, but the daynof its reversal is still far off. The Vietnamnparadigm is still very much alive, andnthere have even been attempts to revisenthe paradigm of World War II to make itnresemble that of Vietnam. This “Vietnamization”nof World War II has beennnoted by Norman Podhoretz, and examplesnof it have been contaminating thenbook racks, TV and films for years. Butnthe strength of this tendency—contemptiblenand dangerous as it is—shouldnnot be exaggerated. In fact an opposite,nand perhaps stronger, tendency also existsnto paint a simplified, romanticizednpicture of World War II as a pure crusadenwhich won universal support amongnright-thinking people. Unfortunately,nthis sort of “positive” paradigm can benmisleading—and morally paralyzing. Innthe real world, alas, things are a bit morencomplicated.nWhatever shouldhme been the case,nmany Americans, right up until PearlnHarbor, were unable to recognize thenissues involved in World War II, andnmeasures to defend the Western worldnhad to be taken in the teeth of their bitternresistance. Nor was World War II a neatnline-up of good guys and bad guys,nwhich is perhaps best exemplified by thenaUiance of the Soviet Union with thenUnited States and Britain. Needless tonsay, this should not affect one’s assessmentnof the morality of the war. Thenpoint is that moral choices require mentalneffort backed by the determination toncarry through a correct course of action.nGood and evil do exist, and it is possiblento choose between them—but they donnot always wear clear, easy-to-read labels.nEven in World War II, one of history’snclearest issues, it was necessary to thinknA Syndicated Historiannby Denison Holland BournenFar from exerting himself to masternhis own partisan passions, [he] hasndug up an obscure sentence fromnCoolidge, has refused to tell hisnreaders where he got it, has used it tonprove something that it does notnprove either by itself or in its originalncontext, and has ignored an explicitnassertion by Coolidge.nThis passage sounds as if it has beennlifted from a professor’s critique of thenslipshod work of a lazy and deceitfulngraduate student. But no, it comes fromnan article in the Autumn 1981 issue ofnThe American Scholar entitled “Coolidgenand the Historians” and written bynone Thomas B. Silver. Mr. Silver’s barbsnfly at none other than Arthur M. Schlesinger,nJr., one of America’s most honorednhistorians. In a perfect world of dispassionatenand gentlemanly scholars.nSilver’s trenchant dissection of Schlesinger’sntreatment of Calvin Coolidge innThe Crisis of the Old Order {oum^ onenof The Age of Roosevelt) would have andevastating effect on Professor Schlesinger’snreputation. But Schlesinger neednlose no sleep over this. The liberal ideologuesnwill not allow one small article bynan obscure historian to underminenSchlesinger’s authority.nMr. Bourne is an observer of contemporaryntrends in American scholarship.nnnand choose; romanticized versions ofnthat war do us a disservice by obscuringnthis fact. And it was the oversimplifiednparadigm of World War I, blindly projectednonto a different situation, thatnhelped to pave the way for World War II.nThe paradigms of war may be inevitable,nbut they can also be dangerous. Perhapsnwe cannot entirely avoid thinking aboutnthe future in terms of paradigms derivednfrom the past, but it is important tonrealize that we are doing so. DnAll historians overreach themselves atntimes, and in the long and tedious processnof writing a book they occasionallynmisuse a source or allow their prejudicesnto creep into their rendering of the past.nSchlesinger cannot be acquitted on thesengrounds; his entire career evidences anproclivity for twisting and distorting thenhistorical record to advance his ideology.nSchlesinger is really not an historian; henis, rather, a talented myth-maker whonhas devoted his skills to promoting thenliberals’ visiort of society. Wishful thinking,ndeftly processed into scientific inquirynand not the pursuit of truth, hasnguided Professor Schlesinger’s search forna usable past.nSchlesinger took the historical professionnby storm when at twenty-eight—annage at which most historians have yet tonshepherd their first precious and pedanticnlittle article into print—he won thenPulitzer Prize with The Age of Jackson.nOne does not expect much from thenPulitzer Committee, as its selections frequentlynreflect the standards touted bynthe king of yellow journalism, JosephnPuHtzer; that the committee should recentlynhave bestowed its imprimaturnupon Miss Janet Cooke seems eminentlynreasonable. But the historians whonhailed Schlesinger’s book should havenknown better. The Andrew Jackson whonemerges from Schlesinger’s pages bearsnscant resemblance to the Tennesseannwho dominated American politics in then•43nMay/June 1982n