other “invidious discrimination.” Confusingnthem is crucial to the judge’snargument. If it were true that men andnwomen were equally strong, then thenfailure of 100 percent of the womennwould occur by chance only oncenevery ten trillion sets of tests (on thenaverage) — indicating that this particu­nLetter From Parisnby Curtis CatenTwenty Years After the Invasion ofnCzechoslovakianT.S. Eliot notwithstanding, April is almostncertainly not the crudest month.nFor the tens of millions of urban dwellersnalong the Eastern Seaboard who hadnto sweat it out this summer in conditionsnof infernal heat, as for the millionsnof others who watched despairingly asntheir wheat stems and cornstalks wiltednacross the parched plains of the MiddlenWest, a more fitting candidate for thenprize would surely be August—thentorrid month which, already 2,000 yearsnago, was reducing Horace and his fellownRomans to a state of unairconditionednlimpness as they moppedntheir brows and cursed that balefulnDog-Star season — atrox hora caniculaen— from which we Anglo-Saxonsnand Latins have inherited the wordn”canicular,” and the Russians theirnword for holiday vacations, kanikuli.nThere are, however, many other,nless sun-blistered souls who have specialnreasons today for cursing the dogstarrednmonth. I am thinking of thenCzechs who, 20 years ago, watchednwith a numbed mixture of rage andndisbelief as Soviet tanks rumbled intontheir capital, wiping the timid smilenfrom that “socialism with a humannface” on which they had set theirnlar test was probably discriminatory.nBut of course, as the more sharp-eyednamong us have noticed, men andnwomen are not equal in strength. Withnthat as the given there is no argument.nIn other cases Levin exposes fallaciesnboth deeper and more subtle, andnin every case he merely begins withnCORRESPONDENCEnhopes, and who more recently celebratednthe 20th anniversary of thosengrim August (1968) days by gatheringnby the .thousands in Prague’s VaclavskenNamesti — the long, rectangularnsquare that bears the name ofnBohemia’s first Christian monarchn(Yes, the Good King Wenceslaus ofnour Christmas carols) — chanting,n”Freedom! Freedom! Freedom! . . .nRussians, go home! . . . You have thendogs, we have the truth! …” andnmost insistently of all, “Dubcek!nDubcek! Dubcek!”nIt is probably difficult for Americansnwho limit their excursions abroad tonAcapulco, the Caribbean, and thenstandard London-Amsterdam-Brussels-Paris-Romencircuit to get workednup over the continuing plight of thenCzechs. Vienna — with its Prater,nRingstrasse, and pastry shops;nBudapest—with its gypsy restaurantsnand surface veneer of prosperity; thesenhave long been rrjore tempting touristnattractions than Prague. Yet no one, Inthink, with the slightest ethnic sensibilityncan forget that first glimpse of thenMala Strana (literally, the “SmallnSide,” because hemmed in betweennhill and river), rising up almost magicallynabove Emperor Charles IV’s towerednbridge to the castle-crowned summit,nfrom which, like an upraisednsword, rises the single spire of SaintnVitus’ Cathedral. It is a sight as unforgettablenas that of the minarets andndomes of the Sulimaniye and of Sultannnnexposing the weakness of thought andnthen demonstrates how weak thoughtnhas become public policy. This is annexcellent book that will endure.nSteven Goldberg is chairman of thenDepartment of Sociology at CitynCollege in New York.nAhmed’s “Blue” Mosque rising softlynfrom the waters of the Sea of Marmoranas one approaches Istanbul by ship.nEmperor Charles IV (1316-1378),nwho made Prague the capital of thenHoly Roman Empire long before thenHabsburgs of Austria annexed thatnimperial title for themselves, was anpartly Czech, French-educated polyglot,nas well as the scion of a Germanicnfamily from Luxembourg, and his ascendancynoffers further proof of thenextent to which Prague was and hasnalways been a Central rather than annEastern European city. The Germans,nprecisely because they belong to thisnparticular middle ground, long agoncoined a word for it: Mitteleuropa —nthe European equivalent of our MiddlenWest.nThe Czech novelist Milan Kundera,nin a memorable interview given to thenParis newspaper Le Monde, once tooknus all to task for talking so loosely aboutnEastern and Western Europe, asnthough they represented definite geographicnentities. The continent, as wenknow well, is presently split down thenmiddle from the Baltic to the mountainsnof Yugoslavia by an Iron Curtainnerected by the Soviets; but, Kunderanpointed out, precisely because we gonon referring to the countries lying eastnof this curtain as part of Eastern Europe,nwe have unconsciously absorbednthe Soviets’ geopolitical viewpoint—nwhich is that all lands lying east of thenElbe and the mountains of the Sude-nDECEMBER 1988143n