An ArsenalnStockpilednwith ArgumentsnPaul Johnson: Enemies of Society;nAtheneum; New York, 1977.nBy Robert NisbetnSociety, for Paul Johnson, is capitalist,nmiddle class society, the only possiblensociety, he emphasizes, that can, in ournera, make possible political freedom andna genuinely civilized culture. This societyncame into being roughly in the sixteenthncentury, and, with only occasional setbacks,nprospered, developed, and spreadnuntil the twentieth century. Despite thenfact that capitalism has, on the record,ngiven freedom and security to morenpeople than any economic system in allnhistory, and despite the fact that in ourncentury wherever capitalism has brokenndown or been destroyed, despotism andnpoverty have followed, this economicnsystem has nevertheless been under attacknfor well over a century. .nJohnson’s chosen “Enemies of Society”ndo him and our middle class societynhonor. They include ecological fanaticsnand doom-sayers, philosophers whosenlogic-chopping has virtually destroyed anonce great tradition, social scientistsnwhose left-wing ideologies are maskednin pseudo-science, professors who havenabandoned true scholarship in favor ofnclass room political militancy, teachersnin the schools who have substituted papnDr. Nisbet is Albert Schweitzer Professornof Humanities at Columbia.n181nChronicles of CulturenCOMMENDABLESnfor curriculum, indulgence for discipline,nand artists and writers whose hatred ofncapitalism has taken the forms of adulationnof everything evil from schizophrenianto permanent terror. All in all,nthis is a powerful and necessary bookneven though I find occasional lapses ofncritical judgment or interpretation andnsigns of haste (such as misspellings ofnproper names) in the book’s preparation.n•n”Mr. Johnson is immensely entertaining, butnthe reader may not share his sense of urgency —nhis feeling that Western culture may be doomednby these trends”—T^e New Yorker.nBerger’snGood SensenPeter L. Berger: Facing Up to Modernity;nBasic Books; New York, 1977.nPeter Berger takes on the widespreadnmyths of the technological age. He arguesnthat by tearing down our old belief structuresnand replacing them with overdosesnof “freedom” and “liberation,” we breednbogus relationships, loneliness and selfdoubt.nHe goes on to give horrifyingnexamples of what happens when thencurrent value-neutral attitude is takennto its logical conclusion. He analyzesnmodern culture’s aberrant search for annew basis of values. He concludes thatnthe authority of traditional religion stillnremains the supreme source of insightsnand explanations. He’ll be hated by liberalnpundits and thanked by anyone who hasnstill preserved a modicum of goodnsense. •nnnTrilling’s AppealnDiana Trilling: We Must March MynDarlings: A Critical Decade;nHarcourt Bruce Jovanovich; New York, 1977.nA collection of lucid, thoughtful essaysnwritten in beautiful English prose, andelight difficult to find amidst the contemporarynracket and shrillness of thenreviewers—pushy journalists feigning tonbe critics. Mrs. Trilling’s concern isncriticism. She expresses a worry:n”We are accustomed, of course, tonthe reluctance of our critics to submitnto rigorous examination any politicalnor social idea which is presented tonthem under the aspect of enlightenedndissidence.”nThis is not an easy book to read fornthose unaccustomed to the form of thenliterary essay. However, in its finelynchiseled phrases and elaborate reasoningnthere is a multitude of clean-cut, accessible-to-anyonenexplanations and conclusions.nAnyone who has given a thoughtnto what has happened to the ideas whichnonce successfully governed our dailynlives, will find in this book his ownnthoughts, feelings, anxieties and presentimentsnformulated in a way thatnmakes them clearly understandable innspite of the refined language. •n