nominations for the award from EnriconFermi and Albert Einstein. Nuclearnmagnetic resonance (NMR) notnonly clarified the structure of thenatom, but it also opened a promisingnnew technology for medicine, chemistry,nand biology.nDespite his refusal of the positionnwith the Manhattan Project, Rabinmade a significant contribution to thenAmerican war effort during the 1940’s.nHe directed research on radar thatnhelped in the fight against GermannU-boats, that guided night bombings,nand that coordinated carrier task forces.nAfter the war, Rabi helped to establishnthe Brookhaven National Laboratory,nwhile training a new generationnof physicists at Columbia. Thrust intonthe national limelight by his NobelnImperial ArtnNative American peoples in NorthnAmerica displayed little talent fornpolitics. Unlike the Aztecs, Mayas,nand Incas of Central and SouthnAmerica, North American Indiansnconstructed no states and built nonempires. Even under the able andnpatriotic leadership displayed bynSitting Bull and Crazy Horse, thenplains tribes were unable to mountna sustained resistance to the whitenmen who were turning their huntingngrounds into farms and pastures.nThe greatest exception to thisnoverstated generalization is the socallednIroquois Confederacy, whichnwas in practice an empire on thenRoman model. After the chiefs ofnthe principal Iroquois tribes in thenNortheast decided to join forces,nthey began making a very simplenoffer to the various tribes and villagesnwith whom they came in contact:nJoin us as allies or be subjugated.nAny imperial nation must have ancommitment to itself and a willingnessnto make certain sacrifices. Thenclosest European parallel to the Iroquoisnare the Spartans. Both nationsnelevated war and hunting asnthe preeminent pursuits; both despisednall domestic matters, includingnmuch of what we would callnpolitics; both were compelled tonPrize, Rabi helped to shape the nationalnawareness of the political andnsocial significance of modern science.nHe served as chairman of the ScientificnCommittee that advised Eisenhowernon appropriate responses to the Sputniknlaunching, advocating the 1957nreformation of the committee as thenPresident’s Advisory Committeen(PSAC) which gave the scientific communityna stronger voice in the WhitenHouse. Even today, 20 years after hisnretirement, Rabi speaks out on scientificnissues affecting the nation.nYet for all the admiration the readernfeels for this accomplished man,ndoubts linger. In particular, the readernmay wonder about how Rabi reachednthe conclusion as a boy that rationalnscience made religion superfluous.nREVISIONSnturn over much of their domesticnmanagement to women—the mennsimply didn’t have time for suchnthings as farming or haggling. Innone respect, the Iroquois went evennfurther than the Spartans. Whilenthe women of Sparta were treatednwith honor and respect, the Iroquoisntended to denigrate theirnwives and to equate the femininenprinciple with all things cowardlynand base. (They even used the femininengender in referring to subjugatedntribes.) The low status ofnwomen in Iroquois society puzzlednthe pioneering ethnographer LewisnH. Morgan, whose theory of socialnevolution lies behind Friedrich Engels’nhalf-witted treatise on the originsnof the family and society. EvennMorgan, who observed the Iroquoisn150 years ago and who believed innmatriarchy, was appalled by whatnwe should now call the “sexism” ofnthe Iroquois. Feminists, of course,nknow better and often point to thenIroquois as an example of a womandominatednsociety.nFor nearly 50 years, William N.nFenton has been the leading authoritynon the Iroquois peoples.nGrowing up in upstate New Yorknafter World War I, Fenton becamenacquainted with Seneca neighbors.nHis grandfather was already collectingnthe “false faces” that were tonnn”It’s all very simple,” declared a 10year-oldnRabi, “who needs God?” Rabinhimself admits that his youthful turnnto atheism gave his Orthodox Jewishnfamily “a lot of pain,” though he wasn”rather insensitive” to their feelings. Innhis mature years, Rabi did find a placenin his thinking for Deity—but not fornthe God of Abraham, Isaac, andnJacob. Rather, Rabi worshiped thenGod of Galileo, Newton, and Einstein.n”When I discovered physics,”nRabi told Rigden, “I realized it transcendednreligion. It was the higherntruth. . . . Physics brought me closernto God. . . . Whenever one of mynstudents came to me with a scientificnproject, I asked only one question,n’Will it bring you nearer to God?'”nAbsent from Rabi’s scientistic reli-noccupy so much of Fenton’s attentionnthroughout his career. At last,nin The False Faces of the Iroquoisn(Norman, OK: University of OklahomanPress; $75.00), this professornemeritus of SUNY at Albany hasnput together a comprehensive monographnon Iroquois religious masks.nIt is a rare work of scholarship,nintelligence, and affection. It is alsona beautifully printed book, fillednwith striking photographs in colornand black and white.nThe false faces were used in anvariety of religious ceremonies designednto purify the community ornheal specific diseases. They arenmost prominent, perhaps, in thenmidwinter festival that resemblesnthe European carnival in many respects.nWhile the Iroquois have experiencednmany changes in the pastn100 years, there is some evidencenthat they have not entirely lost thensense of their own traditions. OnnNew York reservations, as much asna third of the inhabitants associatenthemselves with the longhouse,ntheir traditional center of social,ncultural, and religious life. There isneven something of a traditionalistnrevival underway. It may be that fornIndians to become fully American,nthey will first have to recover ansense of who they are as Indians.n(TF)nNOVEMBER 1987 I 39n