with calumny there will be found reviewers to calumniate,”nhe wrote in Biographia Literaria. Many of these attacks hadna political basis. One of the reasons for the EdinburghnReview’s critiques of Wordsworth and Coleridge and evennits friend and contributor Walter Scott was political; thenReview was Whig, and they were Tories. When the TorynBlackwood’s Magazine awarded Keats a diploma fromnLeigh Hunt’s “Cockney school” of poetry, it may have hadnsomething to do with the fact that Keats was the son of anstable keeper; on the other hand, when Jeffrey championednKeats in the Edinburgh Review it was more because of thatnsame association with Hunt, than because of the poetry.nIam not suggesting that we return to the days when thenLondon Times’ editor Thomas Barnes ordered an attacknon The Oration of Demosthenes Upon the Crown, by hisnformer friend Henry Lord Brougham (who’d begun hisnliterary career at the Edinburgh Review), which ran over fivenseparate days and 20,000 words—longer than the booknitself But there is something to the argument that a reviewnthat is against nothing can’t be for much. As Edgar AllannPoe put it (in a magazine piece), “As far as I can understandnthe ‘loving our enemies,’ it implies the hating our friends.”nToday you can tell a paper that is willing to take a standnnot from its willingness to praise, but from its willingness tonblame. In America the only publications that will take anstand on a book are the ones that acknowledge theirnpartisanship. The Wall Street Journal’s arts page editornRaymond Sokolov wrote a harsh review of Tama Janowitz’snSlaves of New York, a book that received more than thenThe Fourth Annual Erasmus LecturenBIBLICAL INTERPRETATIONnIN CRISISnOn the Question of the Foundations andnApproaches of Exegesis TodaynbynJoseph Cardinal RatzingernPrefect of the Congregation for thenDoctrine of the Taith.nPresident of the InternationalnTheological Commission and PontificalnBiblical Commission.nTo order your copy of BIBLICAL INTERPRETATIONnIN CRISIS send $2.50 (includes postage andnhandling) with the coupon below to: The RockfordnInstitute / 934 North Main Street / Rockford,nIllinois 61103.nn Please send my copy of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’sn”BIBLICAL IPITERPRETATIOM IM CRISIS.”nD Enclosed is my check or money order for $2.50nnamenAddressnCity . – state- .Zip.nMail to: TiieRockord Institute/934 n. Main St. / Rockford, IL 61103nL “Jn22/CHRONICLESnnnusual hype in 1987. The Village Voice ran a similar piecenreviewing Janowitz’s next book (along with Bret “Less ThannZero” Ellis’s second novel). But the Journal and the Voicenhave the advantage of being openly partisan papers. No onenexpects a Journal or Voice editorial to be “objective”—bothnpapers will make the best case they can for their respectivenconservative or lefty-New York City Democrat points ofnview. And that freedom to be partisan spills over into the artsnpages.nThe same holds for The New York Review of Books. Thenleft-wing New York Review is freer to love and hate than thenTimes, and runs longer reviews and takes longer to writenthem, which means an occasional article is more in-depth.nIn the case of the Woodward book, in the New York ReviewnThomas Powers pointed out, as Martin in the Times did not,nthat this famous final scene with Casey, even as Woodwardnreported it, was at best inconclusive. Powers also took anharder look at Woodward’s sources. Nonetheless, Powersnpraised the book in general, which would be expected from anmagazine of the same ideological bent as Woodward, andnhappy to take his credentials at their face value, as sufficientnproof of his uprightness.nThe final, essential problem with reviewing is not thatnThe New York Times is partial in its less-than-thorough way,nor that it gives books to review to people who are competitors,nor that its reviewers occasionally out-and-out admit (asnone did of a biography about the Bingham family ofnLouisville) that they have no way of checking the book’snpremise or historical accuracy. The problem, especially withnthe Times, is that it has no equal as a tastemaker. Martin’snreview of Veil was the single review that mattered most.n”[T]here is a prevalent feeling that if your star book has notnbeen reviewed in either the daily or Sunday Times, it has notnbeen reviewed, period,” wrote Richard Kluger, president ofnthe small trade house Charterhouse, back in 1973. That isnjust as true, if not more so, today.nForget cronyism, reviews by interested parties, brownnosing,nand even laziness. Next to this monopoly on taste allnother problems are nothing. And what is strangest about thenTimes is that this is institutional clout; people remembernSmith and Jeffrey because they made the EdinburghnReview, but Christopher Lehman-Haupt and AnatolenBroyard because the Times made them.nWhich brings me back, one last time, to Martin’s reviewnof Veil. He concludes with a piece of advice to Mrs. Casey:nCasey’s widow claims the deathbed scene neverntook place and that her late husband was too muchna patriot to reveal secrets to a journalist or speak illnof the President. She is a poignant figure, blindsidednin her mourning by a hard-nosed reporter, butnSophia Casey has been too quick to denounce whatnis largely a sympathetic portrait . . .nMartin is saying, isn’t he? that even if Mrs. Casey isnconvinced that Woodward is lying, she should be glad thatnher husband is “sympathetically” drawn. This whole businessnof Woodward’s book and its surrounding hoopla is notnabout “ethics” — not to Martin. This is Washington, afternall, where (he chides Mrs. Casey) “ethics” are extraneous.nWhat’s a bit of misrepresentation when you get top billing innBob Woodward’s first draft of history? n