systems have operated under a varietynof conditions. It is the record of experiencenand the only real laboratory available.nHowever, it often falls throughnthe crack between two disciplines.nEconomics and business majors considernhistory to be boring and historiansndo not have sufficient economicntraining to feel comfortable with it.nBut does this not also reveal a preferencenfor theory over practice amongnacademic economists?nDo economic theories have muchninfluence? In themselves, Stiglerndoubts it. Only if economic conditionsnor the political environment are ablento create a demand for a theory will itnprosper. There is a market for ideas tonwhich scholars respond.nIB I CHRONICLES OF CULTUREnIdeas without demands arensimply as hard to sell as othernproducts without demands. Ifnanyone . . . wishes to becomenan apostie of the single tax afternthe scripture of Henry George,nTales Out of SchoolnStorytelling is the oldest of humannarts—long before we were decoratingncaves with animated paintingsnof game, we were swapping liesnabout the buffalo that got away. Ifnour fugitive experiences ever seemnto make any sense, it is only whennwe have caught them for a momentnin a story. Aristotle knew that thenkey to serious literature was thenplot, the logos—a word that in andifferent context is used to explainnthe creation and redemption ofnmankind; and while “in the beginningnwas the story” may not be thenbest translation of John’s gospel, itndoes illuminate the second personnof the Trinity in one importantnaspect: creative intelligence.nMost poets and novelists knew allnthis until very recently. (EvennDylan Thomas thought every poemnshould be dramatic.) The greatest ofnmodern novelists have been abovenall narrators: Proust, Faulkner, andnConrad. So is Fred Ghappell. It isnnot that Chappell’s latest book, InAm One of You Forever (LouisiananREVISIONSnfor example, I recommend thatnhe or she acquire and cherish anwealthy, indulgent spouse.nA wealthy spouse or patron maynenable a scholar to pursue any idea (asnEngel’s fortune sustained Marx), but ifnthere are not wider communities ofninterest who believe that the policynimplications of the idea will benefitnthem, it will be impossible to convincenthem to adopt it purely on its intellectualnmerits. One reason Stigler suggestsnfor the popularity of central planningnand regulation among academicneconomists is the role of governmentnas both a patron and consumer of suchnideas.nKeynes responded to the Great Depressionnwith a theory which served tonjustify the kinds of policies most governmentsnwere already using to combatnmass unemployment. The GornnLaws were not repealed in 1846 merelynon the strength of Richard Cobden’snoratory (which had been resisted fornState University Press;^ BatonnRouge) resembles either A la Recherchende Temps Perdu or Nostromonin any material way (although therenare affinities with Faulkner’s ThenUnvanquished), but this novel, toldnin a series of tales, is a minornmasterpiece of the narrative art.nThe various stories, which centernaround a family in western NorthnCarolina, are lively, often verynfunny, and are imbued with a sensenof the tragic so offhand and sonunderstated that a reader mightnwonder if he is reading more intonthe book than the author intended.nGhappell never condescends to us,nnever moralizes, and — thankngoodness—almost never explains.nThe descriptive passages, worthy ofnso good a poet, are never overdone:nthey give just a sniff of the mountainsnwithout pretending to conveynevery last wearying mouthful ofnmeat-and-potatoes description.nTo say more would be an embarrassmentnto one of our contributors.nTo let such a book go unmentionednwould be a critical injustice. ccnnnquite some time) but because it wasnbecoming apparent that England’snfarms were incapable of feeding thennation. Free trade triumphed on thenissue of food imports out of necessitynbut has yet to win universal approvalnbecause it is still based more on theorynthan careful empirical work. Its opponentsncan more easily produce data onnplant closings, trade deficits, and unemploymentnto rally the public.nIt is impossible to give more than ansample of the topics covered by thenthree-dozen essays in the two Stiglerncollections. Thought-provoking is thenbest description as Stigler discusses thenuses of scientific biography, the obsessionnwith equality, the theories ofnRichard Kuhn and Thomas Mertonnon the progress of knowledge, or thendebate between the friends and enemiesnof the competitive economy. Heneven manages to make essays on thenkinked oligopoly demand curve and onnmarginal utility theory interesting, anneffort alone worthy of a Nobel Prize.nHis adherence to the essential correctnessnof the free-market economynnever wanes, nor does his wit.nProducers make profits byndiscovering more precisely whatnconsumers want and producingnit more cheaply. Some maynentertain a tinge of doubt aboutnthis proposition, thanks to thenenergy and skill of ProfessornGalbraith, but even his largentalents hardly raise a faintnthought that I live in a housenrather than a tent because ofnthe comparative advertisingnoutlays of the two industries.nBy the same token, readers should • ^_nof self-interest choose Stigler’s bo ‘9^nover those of the competition. T ‘Hinare the superior output of a very p ‘7nductive mind. ‘•*nNovember 14-17, 1985. OLEnSOUTHWEST/NEW SOUTHWESTnConference, Westward Look Resort,nTucson, Arizona. Open to the public, anconference of writers and scholars interestednin modern Southwestern literature,nhistory and film. Sponsored by thenTucson Public Library and the NationalnEndowment for the Humanities. Fornmore information, contact Judy Lensink,nTucson Public Library, P.O. Boxn27470, Tucson, AZ 85726-7470.n