page, can’t everyone in the world be likenme? “I’m apparently alone …” shenbegins, as she expresses her disapprovalnof allowing high school classes to view thenpreliminary hearings. Trilling lets it benknown that “a week’s suspension andnfirm warning” would have been the propernpunishment for the drug violatorsnthat Mrs. Harris expelled. Turning to thentrial, she scolds the defense attorney fornhis emotional defense, for failing to introducenpsychiatric testimony and fornputting his client on the stand. Thentwelve members of the jury, according tonTrilling, blew it entirely. “I don’t thinknthat Mrs. Harris was properly found guiltynof murder in the second degree,” thenauthor reprimands. Can no one do anythingnright? On the surface. Judge Leggettnseems to fare a little better whennMrs. Trilling says, “Taken in all, he’snsurely the best of middle America.” Butnthose of us from the Midwest recognizenthe remark as the ultimate put-down.nSince Diana Trilling is essentially annuninspiring writer, perhaps her insightsnare sparkling. But no, she has given us annincoherent, messy account of the alreadyoverpublicizednmurder. On page 76,nTarnower is 5′ 10″; nine pages later henhas grown an inch. Nor is legwork hernlong suit. She can only speculate aboutnJean Harris’s relationship with her parentsnbecause, despite the presence inncourt of several of the defendant’s kin,nshe is too lazy to meander over and inquire.nTrilling has decided that Jean Harris’sninsecurities stem from her havingnbeen snubbed in Grosse Pointe, a theorynfor which there isn’t a shred of evidence.nFinally, Mrs. Trilling commends herselfnfor having risen from a sickbed to observenthe defendant’s testimony, as if shencould have written her book from thentranscript alone.nOddly, for all the condescending remarksnabout the moral bankruptcy apparentnin Tarnower’s house, his book, hisnclubs, his trips and his live-in help, Mrs.nTrilling seems to be in competition withnhim. She feels compelled to state nonfewer than three times that she has hadnthe same cleaning woman (“servant”) forn27 years. She also wants us to know thatnno one is her match intellectually. “Ohndear, I laugh, Dr. Ackerman mustn’tncite Brecht to me—Brecht was the greatestnmoral opportunist of our intellectualncentury! Really?” she blurts out at onenpoint.nWhat seems to get Mrs. Trilling’s goatnthe most is that society concerns itselfnwith obvious, mundane breaches of itsnmoral code, such as murder, and practicallynignores what she sees as the realsymbolsnof a society’s moral health: handsomenfeatures, classical educations, oldnmoney. By these criteria, the “reptilian”nTarnower committed numerous capitalncrimes, which may explain Mrs. Trilling’snreflexive partisanship toward her subject.nAfter all, the defendant merely performedna duty that any morally sensitivensociety would have authorized yearsnbefore. When the day comes thatnWestern justice drops its morbid preoccupationnwith violence and searches fornjudges to enforce a moral code based onnesthetic ideals, well, Diana TriUing isnavailable.nW ilfrid Sheed inaugurates his lovensong to Clare Boothe Luce inauspiciously:n”What follows is not a biography. Innfact, I’m not dead sure what it is.”nWhatever it might be, it is not very good.nIn fact, the quoted statement is typical—ntoo much forced cleverness and notnenough information.nCertainly his subject is not at fault.nBorn to a poor but socially ambitiousnmother and a largely absent father, Clarenwas pushed toward any wealthy, prom-nalong in 1935, by which time Clare hadnfinished a stint as editor of Vanity Fairnand was becoming a successful Broadwaynplaywright. Her careers as a war correspondent,na Congresswoman, and annambassador would follow. It was a life ofnadventure and professional glamor, butnthere was tragedy too. Daughter Ann,nthe only child Clare could have, died atnage 19 in a freak car accident. Clare temporarilynconsoled herself with work. Innthe late 1940’s, she retired temporarilynand converted to Catholicism. A widownsince 1967, Clare now lives in Hawaiinunder tight security. Half blind from cataracts,nshe writes speeches, works onncommittees concerned with foreign policy,nand fights boredom.nA good novel leaves a reader hungrynfor more; nonfiction should sate. Sheednprovides the barest skeleton of biographicalninformation, devoid of motivation ornemotion, but fails to analyze his subj ect’ snimpact—all he says is that she made one.nA reader interested in the bills Clarensponsored in Congress, the reviews of hernplays or the story behind her unsuccessfulnSenate bid will have to do independentnresearch. George Brokaw comes and goesnitl a few paragraphs. Clare’s relationshipnwith the Luce clan is described as icy atnfirst and then fine, without an explanationnof the transition. One unenlighteningnletter from Clare to Ann is supposednto give us insight into Clare’s attitudentoward motherhood. Even Mrs. Luce’snconversion to Catholicism is slighted:nSheed sees it as, in part, a reaction to hernphysical estrangement from husbandnHarry, which makes her faith sound liken”Mrs. Luce as filtered through Mr. Sheed may be even more interesting than thenwoman herself.”n—New York Times Book Reviewninent bachelor who could walk andnbreathe at the same time. GeorgenBrokaw, husband number one, couldnalso drink. Six years of abuse and onendaughter later, Clare divorced him, receivedna comfortable settlement andnspent the Depression years in luxury.nHarry Luce, the Time-Life mogul, camennna substitute for cold showers. As fornHarry Luce, can the Time-Life giant reallynhave been the goofy, semisenile clownndiat Sheed portrays?nFor Sheed, Clare Booth Luce existed inna vacuum apart from mortals, issues andnevents. He spent the summer of 1949 atnthe Luce home in Connecticut afternil5nSeptember 198Sn