one sense what is at issue is the questionnof professional competence. Educatorsnhave carved out their own turf of expertisenand tried to make the public insecurenregarding matters of teaching and learning,nyet because they are so involved innvalue transmission, they can never reallynset themselves beyond the nexus of thenimmediate meaning systems of the community.nArons ties this conflict to a deepernAmerican dilemma:nThe family that seeks permission toneducate its children at home has unearthedna longstanding contradictionnin American society. A history of individualnautonomy and independent actionnhas been all but buried by the inevitableninstitutionalization of lifenfiinctions; yet individualism remains ancentral part of American consciousness.nThe more the expectation of individualneifectiveness and the ideologynof individual dignity are touted,nthe less they are observed in socialnstructure. The more the individual insistsnupon recognition, the morentense and uncomfortable institutionalnmanagers become about their inabilitynto respond to that individual. Thenhome-schooling family makes us consciousnof this painfiil contradictionnbetween ideology and practice.nArons’s revelations could certainlynsend a shock wave through many cozynschool arrangements. Yet there will be noneasy solutions to this contradiction at thencenter of all American experience. Whatnmatters is that we share in educational decisionsnand learn to base these decisionsnon what actually happens in school, notnon some idealized notion of the natiu-e ofneducation. Arons provides a clear statementnof that responsibility:nThe burden on dissent, which resultsnfrom failure to make educational libertynavailable to all families, becomesnheavier and more painliil at a time innwhich cultural explanations are losingnpower, and people are more innneed of open communication and thenfreedom to develop fiinctional worldn^wm^m^^^mmmnChronicles of Cttlturenviews than they are of repressive enforcementnof bureaucratic order ornoutworn orthodoxy. The question ofneducational choice is transformed bynthe times into the question of whatnstructure of schooling is most likely tonsurvive a cultural crisis, and least likelynto undermine freedom of intellectnand spirit.nIn one sense we keep returning to thensame issue: how can Americans assertntheir rightful voices without tearingnOf Patriots & PatsiesnJohn Chamberlain: A Life tvitb thenPrinted Word; Regnery/Gateway;nChicago.nWilliam Slyron: Tljis Quiet Dustnand Other Writings; Random House;nNew York.nby Clyde WilsonnWe have here two autobiographiesnof 20th-century men of letters. JohnnChamberlain looks back on 80 years,nmuch of it spent near the piimacle ofnnational journalism. William Styron produces,nthrough the collection of his nonfictionnwritings (essays, articles, reviews,nintroductions, speeches), what he acknowledgesnto be “a partial record ofnpart of a life.”nChamberlain’s recollections can benapproached in several ways. First, as anrecord of the life and times of a majornfigure in American journalism. Chamberlainnwas a daily book reviewer for thenNew York Times, an editor of Life andnFortune, a columnist for the Wall Streetnfoumal, a founding editor oi Freeman,nand the author of such significant booksnas A Farewell to Reform, The AmericannStakes, and The Enterprising Americans.nChamberlain’s long career broughtnhim into acquaintance with a vast crossnDr. Wilson is editor of The Papers ofnJohn C. Calhoun.nnnapart the shared social fabric altogether?nToday the danger lies in the direction ofnoverly defined institutional control,nwhether in our language or our schools.nDiscussions of grammar and educationnhave hardly ever been known for calmnand deliberative reason. Yet in each areanit is important to remember how easilynlegitimate authority can be abused, hownwe need to be vigilant in maintainingnour share in the possibilities ofnownership. Dnsection of American leadership. Therenwere few major reporters, publishers,nwriters, activists, politicians, businessngiants, and celebrities that he did notnknow, and he has provided numerousnmemorable vignettes, particularly valuablenfor being turned out with a journalist’sncandid, knowing perspectivenand a gentleman’s reserve and charity.nOn another level, his memoirs are a picturenof the iimer workings of the mediacracy,nwith which, as the before-mentionednresume indicates. Chamberlainnwas very femiUar. Though he does notnmake a great deal out of it, merely calmlynrecalling his own experiences, his accountnwill be invaluable to future historiansnof this vast 20th-century strongholdnof obscene wealth and irresponsiblenpower.nStill another way A Life with thenPrinted Word can be taken is as onenman’s history of America fi-om the 1920’snto the 1980’s, that one man being an observernwho was strategically placed andnwho is reflective without being ideological.nHis judgments are poised, temperednby charity for the human iaUibiUty ofnleaders, yet unabashed in their unfashionablenconclusions. Chamberlain doesnnot draw back firom affirming that entrepreneurshipnand not government planningnor leftist “reform” is responsible fornAmerican prosperity, nor from observingnthat communist manipulation ofnfellow travelers has repeatedly aborted an