resented grew quite conservative as timenpassed, the original liberal sensibility remainednthe most powerful force onnwhatever legacy he may have left us.nHence, it is important to understandnsomething about his anti-Marxist socialism.n”I caught it from my wife,” he toldnMalcolm Cowley. He was an old-fashionednsocialist who could not make classnwarfare the tyrannizing principle of hisnsocial philosophy. He was also the kindnof socialist who could build a mansion inna rich man’s suburb with the proceedsnfrom his later affluerice. He tmsted, ornthought he did, in the fundamental decencynand intelligence of people. He believednin social justice and to that end favorednthe elimination of economic competition.nSocialism was pretty muchnwhat he wanted it to be: at one time itnwas Jefifersonian democracy and at anotherntime it was “pure Christianity.”nBohemian poverty was literary, makingnhim delight in holes in his trousers andnshoes, “wearing at the same time a flowernin my buttonhole.” His conscience was atnpeace when he connected himself “withnthe venerable cult of shabbiness, povertynand failure.” Brooks flirted with a socialnphilosophy which he would never reallynput in practice. He best illustrates thentype of intellectual Lionel Trilling describednas never testing his ideas in thenreal world. The communists were thenfirst, I believe, to find him tiresome.nAfter some initial resistance, he becamenassociated with the League of AmericannWriters, the successor to the John ReednClubs. It was not until after the Soviet invasionnof Finland that he broke from thenMarxist group. There was an unmistakablennaivete in his political side:n. . . though I believe in the humanitariannmission of socialism, my ownnangle of approach is not humanitariannbut personal. I considernindividualism the very worst enemynof personality.nGood was progressivism and the future;nevil, if not an illusion, was the barbarismnof the past. If antifascism led to pro-nMarxism, well, he would think aboutnthat tomorrow.nLike Waldo Frank, Anatole Francenand others of that stripe, Brooks was ambitiousnto develop a general system ofnculture, a theory that would account fornwhat the United States was and could become.nHe held the conventional hberalnposition that the great writer is or can benthe single greatest force for social change.n(One remembers how Waldo Frank almostndestroyed Hart Crane with that formula.)nHis study of Herbert Spencer lednhim to believe that the great writer wasnone who believed in social and spiritualnevolution: “The principle of inevitablenprogress.. . stirred his deepest imaginadon.”nHe was fond of the Spanish sayingnthat the left is on the side of the heart.nBut certainly no true social revolutionnwill ever be possible in America till anrace of artists, profound and sincere,nhas brought us face to face with ournown experience and set working innthat experience the leaven of thenhighest culture.nRevolutions are made valid by their exaltedndesires. Brooks was typical of a kindnof intellectual of that era: Newton Arvin,nIn the MailnLewis Mumford, Waldo Frank, ArchibaldnMacLeish, Clifford Odets, DonaldnOgden Stewart. They wanted a “literary”nwar and found it in Spain, but to theirnhorror the blood was real. What Brooksndid finally was to work up a usable pastnwhich found its mainspring in the Jefferson-Emerson-Whitmanntradition. Thenwhole hberal aesthetics since World WarnI has been built on that basis. This progressive,nUtopian hberalism affirmed lifenand believed in the future, maintainingnthat man was by nature trustworthy andngood. After Whitman came Lincoln, thenearly Melville, the early Twain and WilliamnDean Howells. The disastrous alternaten”antitradition” set against it wasnaristocratic, conservative and pessimistic,npreoccupied with sin and bound to thenpast. These “traitors to human hope”ngrew out of puritanism, the end resultnbeing the monster, T.S. Eliot. Brooks’snabomination of Eliot was not, I think, irrational,nalthough the depth of it may benproblematical: he hoped that Eliotnwould die in agony. He knew the enemynwhen he saw him; Eliot stood for everythingnthat Brooks despised. I suspect thatnThe Quest for Excellence: TheNeo- Conservative Critique of Educational Mediocrity by NormannR. Phillips; Philosophical Library; New York. A comprehensive analysis of the conservativeneducational philosophy by an educator who has taught at every level from kindergarten tongraduate school.nGSmto/zAfawe^/ioye edited by Raymond Dennehy; Ignatius Press; San Francisco. AcoUectionnof essays considering the ethical, Biblical and theological aspects of birth control within marriage.nAddicted to Mediocrity: 20th-century Christians and the Arts by Franky SchaefFer; CtosswaynBooks; Westchester, Illinois. In an illustrated paperback volume, Mr. Schaeffer provides a provocativenand unflinching critique of the current condition of the arts, expressed in the broadestnsense, from home decorating to the works of Michelangelo. With wit and humor he offers suggestionsnfor becoming “unaddicted” to the current mediocrity.nModem Social and Political Philosophies: Burkean Conservatism and Classical Liberalism bynDwight D. Murphey; University Press of America; Washington, D.C. The second in a seriesnwhich analyzes major competing systems for the interpretation of social reality in modern society.nThe Effect of Collective Bargaining on Teacher Salaries; Public Service Research Council; Vienna,nVirginia. An examination of the actual change in educational salaries during the last 15 yearsnand to what means those changes may be attributed.nC.S. Lewis and the Church of Rome by Christopher Derrick; Ignatius Press; San Francisco,nCalifornia. Possible explanations of C.S. Lewis’s writings and why he remained Anglicannrather than becoming Roman Catholic, written by a Roman Catholic.nnn••MH^MSInJuly^ugastl98Sn