it has colored this account.nThere is very little in our literaturenabout labor organizing. Many historyntextbooks give the impression that labornunions come into being spontaneouslynbecause of worker grievances. SidneynLens provides a partial correction to thisnin his description of the difficult job ofnorganizing and maintaining a union.nHe provides considerable information,ntoo, on the socialist backgrounds ofnmany labor leaders. Beyond that, hisnaccount provides insights into whatnunions might be used for if more radicalnleaders had their way.nTo confound them, I have sometimesnOn Men & MarinesnEdwin McDowell: To Keep OurnHonor Clean; Vanguard Press; NewnYork.nby Otto J. ScottnrLdwin McDowell has set his novelnat the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depotnat Parris Island, South Carolina, duringnthe Korean War. That was nearly angeneration ago, and seems, today, to benretroactively regarded as a relatively unimportantninterlude. No judgment couldnbe more mistaken, and McDowell’s selectionnof this particular time framenseems, as does almost every other aspectnof this remarkable novel, to be tintednwith extra values. The Korean challengento our ability to defend a remotenally was shrewdly chosen. PresidentnTruman, whom the newspapers thennnearly uniformly portrayed as a buffoon,nwas shrewd enough to grasp the significancenof the challenge immediately. Unfortunately,nhe chose to blend his responsenwith the Wilsonian-Rooseveltiannperfect-world machinery, thenUnited Nations—and that tribunal con-nMr. Scott’s latest book is The SecretnSix: John Brown and the AbolitionistnMovement.nM)nChronicles of Cultarenasked for a show of hands from a beginningnhistory class in order to find outnhow many have heard the saying, “Experiencenis the best teacher.” Usually, allnprofess to have heard it. Then I pointnout that if they have, they have heard ancorruption of the original, which went,n”Experience is a dear teacher,” or, asnBenjamin Franklin said: “Experiencenkeeps a dear school; the fool will learnnin no other.” Some apparently will notnlearn even from experience. After fivendecades, Sidney Lens is still an UnrepentantnRadical. Or, as I would like tonhave entitled the book, he is Still innBondage. Dntained, at its highest level, the very forcenwhich set the challenge to a new worldnorder into motion.nThe result was a bloody comedy stillnonly faintly understood by the Americannpeople and largely denied in officialnhistories. Pentagon orders to field commandernMacArthur were sent in duplicatento the U.N., which kept the NorthnKoreans and later the Chinese informednof MacArthur’s directives and responses.nThe general, never one to suffernWashington’s follies in silence, complainednboth privately and publicly,nthough in veiled language. He also begannto keep his own counsel about hisnnext moves, which led to reprimands.nThe MacArthur persona was, with itsnribbons, antique dignity and rodomontade,nantithetical to Truman’s taste.nSome newspapers floated a MacArthurfor-presidentnboomlet, and the presidentnhimself exploded and dismissed the general.nThe charge was insubordination;nit might as well have been obsolete patriotism.nThe resulting presidentialncampaign led to the election of an undisgracedngeneral, who capped a host ofnironies by agreeing to the first full-scalenstrategic retreat in American history.nThe entire three-year period, therefore,nmarked a turn in the road of Americannnnfortunes on the world stage that fewnseemed able to appreciate—then ornsince. Twenty-five thousand Americansndied, over 100,000 were wounded, andna war’s meaning was lost amid a flurrynof electioneering, confetti and ignorance,nwhile a media-created legend ofnmilitary insubordination covered thenreality of betrayal and the loss of honornin high places. These events created ancascade of psychic dislocations throughnthe land. The word ‘honor,’ still usablenin the early 50’s, grew dark and tarnished.nThe profile of American masculinity,nclear at the end of World Warn11, began to blur with prison-camp defectionsnin Korea and to alter towardnthe decadence we know so well today.nThese off-stage realities hang over TonKeep Our Honor Clean much as thenbloody anarchy of World War 1 hungnover late-20’s plays like Journey’s End.nYet the reader is only subliminally awarenof these realities, for McDowell’s novelnis not political but psychological. Hisnmajor theme is the meaning and purposenof military obedience; his minornmotif is manhood. Adolescents of allnages have difficulties with obedience andnare apt to confuse it with subservience.nThe military, of course, is rooted innobedience; a soldier who will not unquestioninglynobey orders can be neithernsent into battle nor kept from assassinatingnhis officers.nL he question posed by McDowell,nan ex-marine, deals with the limits ofncommand and obedience His choice ofna Marine boot camp as an illustration isnremarkably apt; there are few, if any,narenas in our society that better delineatenthe painful passage from adolescentnto warrior. For purposes of dramaticnconfrontation, the author has exaggeratednhis points, but he has done so wellnwithin tne limits of plausibility. Thenessence of his novel, and the experiencenof boot camp, is psychologically truthfulnand stretches the perceptions of thenreader. The angle of perception is classical,ntaken from Homer—that best of allnmilitary writers. In other words, then