wulf,'” he recalls telling her. “‘Boy, Inam your English teacher, and I’ventaught you better than this. How darenyou talk to me with ‘I ain’t’ this and ‘Inain’t’ that. . . . You know what reallyntakes guts? Refusing to lower yournstandards to those of the dumbncrowd.'”nHe did refuse, and so advanced to ansegregated college, where he excelled.nWith the arrival of war in 1941, thenNavy set out to recruit its first blacknofficers, and Mr. Rowan was the verynfirst selected. These successes, henwrites, left him with “an air of haughtinessnthat would antagonize [whites],”nthough it’s not clear whether he camento regard this trait as a hard-won virtuenor, like haughtiness in “some whitenmale,” a defect to be reformed.nThere followed the usual stupid insults,nslights, and cruelties by whites,nunaccustomed, circa 1941, to beingnaround blacks,’ much less saluting anblack officer. But there were also somennicer moments, as when Mr. Rowan’snsuperior introduced himself and dispensednorders to the new officer withnno comment whatever about race or an”guess-who’s-coming-aboard” talk tonprepare the men. Mr. Rowan appreciatednthat, “for without any do-goodernlectures, the skipper had shown annacute understanding of what I — andnother Negroes — wanted: no specialnrestrictions and no special favors; justnthe right to rise and fall on merit.”nThereafter the book traces the author’snown rise, on merit, to “award-winningnreporter,” State Department spokesman,nambassador to Finland undernPresident Kennedy, USIA Directornunder Johnson, and columnist right upnto the present.nAbout those awards, though: herenwe encounter the flaw that dooms thisnentire book, the one “barrier” Mr.nRowan has not quite broken. Everynaward, every citation or certificate ofnmerit, every medal, every commendationnor honorable mention, and justnabout every bit of public praise thenman has ever received, found its wayninto this book. “The Sidney HillmannFoundation gave me an award for ‘thenbest newspaper reporting in the nationnin 1951,'” we learn. “The curators ofnLincoln University . . . cited me forn’high purpose, high achievement, andnexemplary practice in the field of journalism.’nAnd then the almost totallyn30/CHRONICLESnwhite Minneapolis Junior Chamber ofnCommerce named me Minneapolis’snOutstanding Young Man of 1951!”nSoon afterward, “my peers in thenjournalism fraternity, Sigma DeltanChi, voted to give me the prizednmedallion for the best general reportingnin the nation in 1953″; this for anseries in the Minneapolis Tribune,n”Jim Crow’s Last Stand.” “But beforenI could accept plaudits [from SigmanDelta Chi] I had another honor tonaccept. On January 2, 1954, the UnitednStates Junior Chamber of Commercenannounced that I was one ofnAmerica’s Ten Outstanding YoungnMen of 1953!”nGoodness gracious, and as if allnthose prestigious honors weren’tnenough Mr. Rowan then garnered —nMay 18, 1955 — “the coveted SigmanDelta Chi prize for foreign correspondence,”nand on that historic occasionnheard this said of himself:nCarl T. Rowan’s series [“This isnIndia”] combines masterfulninvestigative reporting withnpungent writing and objectivitynin the best journalistic tradition.nHere are fact finding, initiative,nclarity, and organization innproportions no newspapernreader, however indifferent, cannignore and no journalist,nhowever high his standards, cannfail to recognize as a model ofninspired craftsmanship.n”A year later, on May 15, 1956,1 was atnthe Sheraton Hotel in Chicago beingncited for ‘best foreign correspondencenof 1955’ for my articles on SoutheastnAsia and my coverage of the BandungnConference. I had now won a covetednSigma Delta Chi medallion three yearsnin succession, something no journalistnhad ever done.” His children, Mr. Rowannnotes, were right there in the audiencento witness dad’s triumph — thenfirst and neariy only reference to his kidsnat all.nNot for us to belittle these plaquesnand medallions, recalling that thenrecipient was only 15 years earliernfending off the rats. Whether or not anynof the hardware with which so manynjournalists and politicians like to adornntheir offices, reminders of their selflessn”public service,” are really to be “coveted,”nsurely this particular reporter wasnnnentitled to covet them. No doubt eachnhonor seemed to carry him further fromnMcMinnville. The only problem is thatnhis recollections of these ceremoniesnand presentations are not followed,never, by any serious reflection on thenevents he was so “masterfully” covering.nThat Bandung Conference, for instance.nHere he was, a young blacknreporter, assigned to the Afro-AsiannConference held in April 1955 in Bandung—namong liberals, regarded nostalgicallynas a milestone in Third Worldnself-assertion. But we get not a word, 36nyears later, on the fate of all those blackn”liberators” and leaders assembled atnthe historic conference; no wistful reflectionsnon the dictatorships, invasions,ncivil wars, and massacres so many ofnthem would inflict on their countries.nThat more than a few of the Africannstatesmen young Mr. Rowan observednand interviewed would go on to perpetratenatrocities against fellow blacks, horrorsnbeyond the imagination of theirncolonial predecessors or even the crueltynof Jim Crow, seems not to havenregistered on the memoirist. We learnnonly that he was thrilled to witness suchn”international high drama,” wrote anmasterful series on the conference, andncleaned up at a subsequent awardsnbanquet. Oh, yes, and we’re told hisnbook about Bandung “was selected bynthe American Library Association asnone of the best of the year, an honor itnalso bestowed on my South of Freedom.”nThis leaves the unfortunate, and nondoubt unjust, impression that the OutstandingnYouiig Man of America wasnthen, and remains, more interested innpersonal recognition than causes, evennthose about which he’s so passionate.nAnd, too, it leaves a gnawing doubtnabout other of his recollections, particularlynthose extensive conversations henquotes verbatim — exchanges in whichnMr. Rowan invariably gets the best ofnsome powerful white male.nFor instance, after some principledndifference of opinion with then-VicenPresident Johnson, LBJ is supposed tonhave owned up, to his error, concedingngruffly that his aide, young Mr. Rowan,nhad after all been in the right.n”‘Listen,’ Johnson said as he poked anfinger into my chest. ‘You just go onnstanding up for what you believen. . . ‘” “‘Thank you, sir,'” Mr.n