posal) when he made himself the mostnimportant miHtary commander ofnWorld War II, and there is no reasonnwhy Trump could not do him onenbetter, indispensable as his leadershipnwas in the Franco-Prussian, the Russo-nJapanese, and the Boer wars, not tonmention the Korean action and thenVietnam conflict. A war museum,ncrammed with Trump memorabilia,ncould be erected on the site, with PaulnNitze as custodian, Henry Kissinger asnarchivist, and Larry Speakes as tournguide. . . .n. . . That banging again! I mustnhave dozed off. This is what happensnwhen a vodka drinker not content withnRyabinovka (rowanberry) goes on tonAdmiralteiskaya (Siberian cranberry).n.. . What a nightmare.nAndrei Navrozov is poetry editor fornChronicles.nLetter From thenBoardroomnby Thomas MammosernExcellence RevisitednA flyer plugging yet another “excellencenbook” hit my “in box” recently—nanother reminder of the infatuation ofnAmerican business with the “pursuit ofnexcellence.” We passionately love success,njust hate second place, and trulyndisdain failure.nThe drive to excel provides rewardsnboth psychic and material — no question.nBut I believe it also harbors angerminal ideal that — with fullerndevelopment — might help toughennour national ethos and flagging moralnfiber.nABC Nightline host Ted Koppelnsaid it well in a commencement addressnat Duke University: “We havenspent 5,000 years as a race of rationalnhuman beings, trying to drag ourselvesnout of the primeval slime by searchingnfor truth and moral absolutes. In itsnpurest form, truth is not a polite tap onnthe shoulder. It is a howling reproach.nWhat Moses brought down fromnMount Sinai were not the Ten Suggestions.”nA higher personal and professionalnethic would be well-served by a richerninterior culture of what constitutes success.nWe’re quick to put quantitativenyardsticks to this powerful energizer ofnbusiness. But let’s tread carefully;n”quantitative” success generally deliversnephemeral goods, leaving us stillnstruggling mightily in search of fulfillment.nRealistically, there’s always morento be had. A friend of mine, privy tonprevailing attitudes in the sports world,ncalls it the “what’s next” syndrome.nAfter the $800,000 salary, thenMercedes, the adulation of millions,n”what’s next”?nMoney’s perhaps the most obvious,nand noxious, illusion. But even lessnmundane allurements — power, clout,nhonors, headlines, etc. — can forevernbe exceeded. As Andre Gide was wontnto say, “The terrible thing is that wencan never make ourselves drunknenough.”nThe “pursuit of excellence” books,nthe bookstore’s newest bonanza, hardlynhave the full answer. Yet the apotheosizingnof the search — it may well bencalled America’s “natural religion” —nat least gives its own measure of hopenand light.nI believe it gives hope that Americannbusiness people can respond to an idealnricher than mere self-expression, selfinterest,nand acquisitiveness. And perhapsnit can help restore a deeply needednand potentially transcendent idealnfor modern man — the sanctification ofnhis work, the first and indispensablenstep in restoring his character.nExcellence is a clarion. It tweaks ournnobility … it says, “be the best wencan be.” Virtue is its own reward,nAristotle taught—excellence in behaviornbrings happiness. Perhaps the noblenGreek deserves a second chance; ournbeleaguered national ethos could certainlynuse him.nVictor Frankel claimed it’s not sonmuch what we do that’s important tonus, but what we do it for. Ecclesiastesntells us we are made to work, as the birdnto fly. We crave useful activity. Thenpsyche cannot avoid testing itself, seekingnmeaning and results. But morenthan ever, it seems, it cries out for anframe of reference, a grand ideal tonguide and inspire our daily tasks.nThe dream of excellence might justnbe that ideal, with a potential far beyondngenerating mere lucre or betternwork. Properly perceived, it can servento enhance the very worker himself.nBeyond challenging him to excellencenas worker, it can challenge him also —nand more importantly — as person.nWhich is to say it can properly guidenand challenge his moral actions. Thenimpact of his deeds upon others and —nlest we miss the message of prevailingnsexual aberrations — upon himselfnSocial and personal forces can easilynconfuse us, and the pressures and allurementsnthese days seem to extendnad infinitum, if not ad nauseum. Yetnhowever benumbed the soul, our deepestnaspirations reveal a compellingnneed not just for having or producingnmore but for being more. They exposenour eternalness, our search for ideals,nour need to reach beyond self to avoidnsuffocating in it. Hell is not “othernpeople,” as Sartre mistakenly claimed.nHell is self, with no exit. The realnfailure in today’s frenetic pursuit ofnexcellence would be failing to perceivenits enormous potential to ennoble notnjust the work, but—in the fullest measurenof his personality — the worker.nThomas L. Mammoser is director ofncorporate communications fornWalgreens.nLetter From Praguenby Thomas MolnarnGolden City BlightednnnIt’s a tale of two cities. There is thenPrague that travelers meet as they enter:nan endless succession of socialist concretenapartment houses, socialistnsportsfields, socialist parks with socialistncement statues. The hotel we inquirednabout was unknown to most socialistnpassersby, and when we finally reachednit, we found a modern concrete block,ngeared to earning foreign currencyn(some through the services of socialistncall girls). The socialist clerk behind thendesk was morose and offered the minimumnof German or English for information.n(Quite different from the onenor two people I had stopped on thenstreet, who had a nostalgic spark in theirneyes when I addressed them in French.nAh, the Paris connection!)nIt was late afternoon, and all wencould do was to stare from our 10thstorynwindow in the direction of realnPrague, the second of the two cities.nSEPTEMBER 19BB/39n