(which Pells does not mention) did notnlive to see the day when professionalnintellectuals such as Kissinger ornBrzezinski or Mrs. Kirkpatrick werenrunning in and out of the Oval Officento explain the world to Presidents ofnthe Republic.nIn The Affluent Society JohnnKenneth Galbraith, as Pells writes,n”placed his greatest hopes” in the “furthernand rapid expansion of a NewnClass,” whose expansion “wouldnbe . . . the major social goal” ofnAmerica; and since the continuingndevelopment of this New Class dependednon the quality of the nation’snschools, a substantial “investment inneducation could replace the productionnof goods as the new and basicn’index of social progress’ for the UnitednStates.” Soon after the successful publicationnoiThe Affluent Society (1958),nAmerican education got all the investmentsnit wanted, with results that arenas dreadful as they are obvious. Somenindex. Some progress.nProfessor Pells read all of the issuesnof Partisan Review and Commentary,nand some of Dissent. There is little ornnothing in his work about periodicalsnsuch as The New Leader or The NewnYorker or The Atlantic—after all, thesenreflected as well as contributed to thenintellectual climate of those decades.nHe spends little space on the idiociesnof T/ze New Republic before 1949 andnon those of The Nation even later. Hisnbook is also full of factual errors.nWorld War I “appears in retrospect anmere skirmish compared to WorldnWar II.” Some skirmish! Picasso’snGuernica is “the most famous paintingnof the 20th century”—which is likensaying that Mao Tse-tung’s Little RednBook is its most important revolutionaryndocument. “The intellectual communitynmarched to war in 1940 imbuednwith a desperate sense ofnsolidarity and purpose.” Not at all:nmany American intellectuals remainednpacifists. (As Irving Kristol,nrather stupidly and self-contentedly,nwrote but a few years ago, “the war ofnthe worlds in 1940”—his words—wasnfought by “young giants” between Alcovesn1 and 2 of the New York CitynCollege cafeteria, between Stalinistsnand Trotskyists, of which Kristol wasnone of the latter. I would have thoughtnthat in September 1940 the war of thenworld was fought by the Luftwaffe andnthe RAF in the skies over England: butnthat, too, is another story.) Pells writesnof “pressure groups like the MoralnMajority” in the 1950’s when thenMoral Majority did not exist. (Whatnwe have needed for a long time is anmoral minority.) The New York intellectuals,ndisillusioned with Communism,n”found themselves supplyingnthe philosophical ammunition for thenCold War.” Not at all: that was thenself-appointed job of people such asnJohn Foster Dulles. “Kennan seemed anclassic example of the intellectual asninsider. , . . He argued that Moscow’sncompulsion was to conquer thenworld.” Kennan argued nothing of thensort; and in 1947 he was light-yearsnremoved from intellectuals. For thenNew York intellectuals “WesternnEurope . . . London, Amsterdam,nParis, Rome, Vienna, Copenhagenn[why Copenhagen?], Berlin were theirnsecond homes—filled with neighborhoods,nshops, people, and experiencesnthey could visualize in minute andnpassionate detail regardless of hownlong it had been since they last visited.”nNo: most New York intellectualsnwere neither interested nor very comfortablenin Western Europe. Their originsnwere Eastern European: if therenwas one “European” country in whosenculture they remained interested it wasnRussia. In 1956 the Eisenhower Administrationn”confessed its helplessnessnto intervene” in the HungariannRevolution. Eisenhower confessednBOOKS IN BRIEFnnothing; he merely explained the selfservingntactics of his Administrahonnaway.nAccording to Pells, the “years betweenn1947 and 1955 were fearsome,”nand the firing of Communistic professorsnwas “a carnage.” This kind ofnrhetorical exaggeration is an examplenof the often poor quality of his writing,nwhich is also full of words such asn”emblematic” and phrases such asn”rites of passage.” On occasion therenappears a good irreverent phrase (“afternlistening to [Paul] Goodman on thensubject of children, one longed for W.nC. Fields”) and an insightful remarkn(“Truman may well have triumphedn[in 1948] because the electorate perceivednhim as the most conservative ofnthe candidates”). He is properly respectfulnof Dwight MacDonald, a solitarynfigure, whom many of the NewnYork intellectuals refused to take seriously.n”If anything, he took politicsntoo seriously in the sense that he carednwhat effect governments actually hadnon their citizens. . . . MacDonaldnwas by nature an empiricist rather thannan ideologue; he could not retrain hisnskepticism about grand designs, particularlynwhen they wound up corruptingnindividuals, culture, and elementarynstandards of moral conduct.” This isnvery true; I wish that Professor Pellsnwould write more about MacDonald;nbut I am afraid that, unlike MacDonald,nhe is too much of an ideologuenand not enough of an empiricist, ccnA Vanished Present: The Memoirs of Alexander Pasternak; edited and translated by AnnnPasternak Slater; Wolff/Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; San Diego; $17.95. Boris’s youngernbrother recreates the world of Tolstoy, Nicholas II, and Rachmaninoff.nThe Phoenix Phenomenon by Fred Holden; Phoenix; Arvada, CO; $3.50. A daringnplan—complete with charts, statistics, and graphs—for improving the quality of Americannlife by reducing the size of our Federal government and debt.nOn the Shoulders of Giants: A Shandean Postscript by Robert K. Merton; Harcourt BracenJovanovich; San Diego; $14.95. Newton’s famous aphorism traced to Fuller, traced to Ross,ntraced to Burton. … A delightful melding of scholarship and parody.nGod, Country, and the Supreme Courthy James K. Fitzpatrick; Regnery; Chicago; $18.95.nA vigorous indictment of Supreme Court justices who seem to have read the Constitutionneven less than they permit schoolchildren to read Scripture.nLouisa May Alcott by Madeleine B. Stern; University of Oklahoma Press; Norman, OK.nReprint of a standard biography of a lady whose gentle fiction continues to enchant millions.nThe Soft Machine: Cybernetic Fiction by David Porush; Methuen; New York. A look atn”the metaphor of the machine” as found in the works of Barthelme, Pynchon, Vonnegut, etnal. Even if mechanization does reduce life to “noise, static, [and] random phrases in whichnentropy is high,” do we really need fiction that simply mirrors this chaos?nnnOCTOBER 1985/9n