that he would have scornfully disownednfor all their sentimental socialist fervor.”nHook dissects the “existentialist,” Frankfurtn(Marcusian), and other schools ofn”Marxism” which base themselves notnon what Marx considered his lifework,nbut on his 1844 “Economic and PhilosophicalnManuscripts,” whose ideas henspecifically repudiated, or on even morenarcane sources. While Marx’s acmal viewsnhave been demolished by events andnthe march of social science, he remains,nabsurdly enough, important. As Hooknnotes sardonically, “The discovery of thensocial problem by phenomenologists,nneo-Thomists, positivists, and even linguisticnanalysts, usually results in an attemptednsynthesis between Marx andnsome outstanding philosophical figurenwiio has very litde in common with him.”nThe misinterpretations of Marx bynGeorge Lukacs, Robert Heilbroner, andnMichael Harrington are each shot down.nMost of these fancies surest that everyonenin Marx’s lifetime or immediatelynafter it misunderstood him; not untilnLenin, Lukacs, or someone else read Marxnwas the thought of the man truly understood.nThis line of thought has reached anculmination in Michael Harrington’snclaim that Marx misunderstood himself!nr erhaps of greater interest, and urgency,nare Hook’s chapters on communismnand the contemporary situa­n34inChronicles of Culturention. Hook, a veteran of the political warfarenamong American intellectuals fromnthe 1930’stothepresent,isabletomakenacute observations about Americanncommunism and its long-term effects.nAmong other things, he stresses to anhighly unfashionable degree the influencenof American communists on the intellectualnlife of the 30’s—^Americanncommunism was, he notes, primarily ansmall movement of lower- and middleclassnintellectuals and professionals. Yet,nit was able to “dominate the cultural lifenof the country” for a time in the 30’s.nHook, perhaps optimistically, stressesnthe “idealistic” appeals of communismnat that time; he discounts the views ofnthose who stress the greed for power,nthe hope of being a member of aprospectivenruling stratum, as a source of communistnappeal in that era. This fevorableninterpretation of their motives, however,ndoes not make him less condemnatorynof the “spiritual degradation and Byzantinenservility” of intellectual apologistsnfor the Soviets—or the eyewash recentlynproduced to apologize for them, notably,nMalcolm Cowley’s disingenuous memoirsnand David Caute’s slickly dishonest book,nThe Great Fear. Hook sadly concludesnhis analysis of the communist impact onnAmerican intellectual life by noting thatn”the disillusioned fellow-traveling intellectoalsnhave bequeathed anti-Americannintellectuals.” “Today, by and large,” hennnmaintains, “the mainstream of Americannintellectuals is either indifferent to thenchallenge of the Communist world tonthe relatively free world of the West ornhostile to the very conception of such anchallenge as a manifestation of Cold Warnsentiment.”nHook’s view of the world situation isnnot optimistic. Eschevraig an examinationnof the military balance, he remarksnthat “the morale of Western Europe andnits psychological readiness to resist aggressionnare at a very low ebb.” Notingnthe bravery displayed by the Berlinersnin 1948, he glumly comments, “there isnvery little of that spirit left.” With hisncharacteristic courage to look unpleasantnfacts in the face and to describe them, henbluntly views detente as appeasement.nWhile contemptuous of the folly of ournallies, he concludes that the United Statesnis most responsible for the current mess.nOur endorsement of detente was thensignal for the West’s abandonment ofnsensible Cold War policies—^though, hennotes, the change was welcomed by thenWestern Europeans. Unlike many neoconservativesnand conservatives, however.nHook is not afraid to see that “thencontainment policy has not been successfiil,”nthat there was always somethingnseriously wrong with the Western policiesnof the 40’s and 50’s. Hook’s sally “InnDefense of the Cold War” is a clear, briefndiscussion of the contemporary worldnsituation; only one point in his analysis isnhard to agree with. Hook offers thenstrange argument that Watergate hadnmore to do with America’s national demoralizationnand the decline of our militarynpower in the 1970’s than Vietnamndid. It is hard to accept this notion; ournmilitary decline began in the late 1960’snwhen die Johnson Administration underestimatednthe Soviets’ will and ability tonincrease their power, and gave Viemamnpriority over other military needs. Thendemoralizing impact of Watergate hasnbeen vastly exa^erated. Vietnam, ornthe prevalent image of that war, had alreadyndestroyed American morale. AndnWatergate, in any case, could have disillusionednpeople only if it had discreditedn