have been doing during diose six yearsnwas helping defend the people “fromnthese American flunky thugs that runnthings here.” Her fiery idealism seemsnlargely a product of a frustrated personalnlife. Her only happiness comes from assistingnthe revolutionaries, and she isncontent to die for that cause.nThe center of the second set of charactersnis a violent, amphetamine-fuelednsociopath who goes AWOL from thenCoast Guard to become a soldier of fortunenin Central America. Little morenthan an animal, he experiences mdimentarynand superstitious yearnings to discovernself-worth. His dream is of power tonget back at a world that keeps “turningnhim around.”nAt the center of the third set, and perhapsnthe central consciousness of thennovel, is a near-alcoholic professor of anthropology.nHe specializes in the study ofnthe family, yet is alienated from and disloyalnto his own wife and children andnsees the family as “an instrument ofngrief.” If not a Vietnam burn-out, he isnat least “badly seared.” He sees himselfnas “really without beliefs, without hopen. . . Alone.” Human life for him is anpurposeless whirl: “The things people dondon’t add up to an edifying story. Therenaren’t any morals to this confusion we’renliving in. I mean you can make yourselfnbelieve any sort of fable about it. They’renall bullshit.”nHe comes to Central America to presentna paper. Before leaving he is approachednby a friend in the CIA whomnhe had helped with some simple intelligencenwork in Vietnam. This friendnwants him to visit Tecan and discovernwhether the priest and the nun are involvednin revolutionary intrigue. Henrefiises, but nevertheless, in a purposelessnway, ends up at the mission. Onnevery hand in Central America he seesnparallels with Vietnam and is constandynaware of what he views as the intrusive,nexploitative and corrupting Americannpresence.nJTrom the standpoint of craft, thennovel is masterfully done. The conver­ngence of the main characters seems inevitable.nThe events, though often unsetdingnor appalling, are powerfully fascinating.nA pattern of reef imagery effectivelynsuggests a sinister, shark-infestednunderwater realm in human consciousness.nThe characters are symbolicallynresonant. The title comes from thesenlines of Emily Dickinson: “A Wife—atnDaybreak I shall be—/Sunrise—Hastnthou a Flag for me?” The nun quotes thenlines, but the motif of sunrise functionsnfor the others as well. The writing isnskillful, at times to the point of exhibitionism.nThe New York TimesBookKeview^zclaimednA Flag for Sunrise as one of thenten best books of the year. Dog Soldiersnwon the National Book Award in 1975.nA Hall of Mirrors was also honored,nthough in a less significant way. IsnStone’s fiction really that good? Itndepends on what standards are applied.nDenis Donoghue has pointed out thatn”in modern literature consciousness isnthe secular form of virtue.” Stone vividlynaeates a kind of consciousness: self-indulgent,nself-destructive, paranoid,nalienated. He ranks high if describingnconsciousness is viewed as an end innitself. But if the quality of that conscious:nness is evaluated according to whether itncorresponds with human experience accuratelynand comprehensively viewed, ornwhether it is life-affirming, his fictionndeserves no awards.nA he Vietnam War obviously has hadnan important impact on our nation innways we are still discovering. But to despisenAmerica and lose faith in man’snmoral possibilities is a dangerous andnnarrow-viewed overreaction. Human beingsnremain much the same, Vietnamnnotwithstanding. They are capable ofngood as well as evil, wisdom as well as folly.nThat a talented writer like RobertnStone should be so demoralized by thenVietnam War is to be lamented alongnwith the other blunders of that war, fornsuch despair simply compounds thosenerrors. •nAntimodernism as Cultural HegemonynT.J. Jackson Lears: No Place of Grace:nAntimodernism and the Transformationnof American Culture, 1890-1920;nPantheon Books; New York.nby J. David Hoeveler, Jr.nVan Wyck Brooks made an arrestingncomment when he reviewed the classicnnames in American literature in his 1915nbook, America’s Coming-of-Age: “Ifnmy soul were set on the accumulation ofndollars, not one of [these writers] wouldnhave the power to move me from it.”nBrooks articulated here a problem inncriticism that has been the bane of thenleft in America ever since. Critics andnhistorians of this persuasion have discoverednthat American culture has beennZ>. Hoeveler is professor of history at thenUniversity of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.nnnin bed with American capitalism. Howevernreluctantly, however unknowingly,nby design or by seduction, Americannthinkers, even those who place themselvesnin a dissenting posture, have beennthe vehicles for the cultural andneconomic dominance of the “rulingnclasses.” Capitalist society, this theorynsays, is powerfully integrative, neutralizingnand amalgamating the forces ofntension and opposition within itself.nAlienation, dissent and the counterculturenare easily absorbed and become thennew vehicles of our happy unfrecdom.nWe have here the latest variation onnthis theme. T.J.Jackson Lears has writtenna thought-provoking and conceptuallynflawed book. The subject of antimodernismnis indeed an intriguing one, and wenhave it presented here in its manifoldnfacets. Despite its diversity, antimodernismnunited writers, intellectuals and art-n^ H M W HnJ«ily/Aiigttstl98Sn