On ‘Books andnBook Reviewing’nKatherine Dalton’s article in the Januaryn1989 Chronicles overstates bothnthe leftward bias of American booknreviewing and the authority of ThenI^ew York Times.nShe’ rests much of her case on thenhandling of Veil in The New YorknTimes Book Review and The New YorknReview of Books. No other books getnany extended treatment. But even innher chosen case, the truth is morencomplex than what she presents. Innaddition to its review by Thomas Powers,nThe New York Review of Books rannan extremely damning column on thenbook by Murray Kempton. “No legworknhere,” she says of David C.nMartin’s review. There was equallynlittle legwork in her review of thenreviewing.nAnd as for the authority of The NewnYork Times, it may count for sales, butnit was not sufficient to prevent thenjudges of the National Book Awardnfrom giving their fiction prize, twonyears in a row, to novelists who werennot only not from the East (one wasnfrom Chicago, the other from Sacramento)nbut had not even been reviewednin The New York Times BooknReview.n— Jack Miles, Book EditornLos Angeles TimesnLos Angeles, CAnMiss DaltonnReplies:nI did indeed read Murray Kempton’sncolumn in The New York Review ofnBooks, hoping that he would raise thenquestion about Bob Woodward’s Veilnthat seemed so obvious to me. Hendidn’t. Kempton’s argument is thatnCasey’s great CIA victory was his conquestnof this reporter from The WashingtonnPost. Kempton is critical ofnWoodward, yes, but his criticism stemsnfrom his giving full credit to Woodward’snstory. My point was quite different,nand much simpler: merely thatnthere was some question as to Woodward’snhaving met with Casey, andnwhy hasn’t anyone really looked into it?nThat point still stands. Mr. Miles isnperhaps right, however, to say that Inshould have at least mentioned thenKempton column, if only to show thatnThomas Powers’ mostly favorable reviewnof Veil was not the only coveragenThe New York Review gave Woodward’snbook.nAs for the National Book Awards,nmy point was not that The New YorknTimes controls every single last bit ofnliterary opinion, and that its “authority”ncould “prevent” the National BooknAward judges from awarding the prizento books the Times had not (yet) reviewed.nMy point was that—whatevernthe effects of The New York Review ornthe Chicago Tribune or the L.A.nTimes — The New York Times is farnand away the most powerful opinionmaker.nBy stating that the NYT “mayncount for sales” (not to mention cachet),nI think Mr. Miles is ceding mynpoint.nOn ‘AHnBooked Up’nI very much enjoyed Jane Creer’s articlenin your January 1989 issue, andn”The World of the Small Press” bynThomas McConigle was very informative.nBut I was irritated by his complaintsnabout the avalanche of submissionsnand lack of subscriptions. Whyndon’t more people subscribe to smallnpress magazines? Perhaps because ofnpublishers like McConigle. In his ownnwords, “Over the years Adrift was listednin the various guides to the small pressnworid. … I did three issues of Adriftnbefore I asked myself why. . ! . I amnstill collecting material for the nextnissue.” If I subscribed to a magazinenand it was published three times in anperiod of years, I certainly would notnrenew my subscription or recommendnit to others!nTwo years ago I sent for a samplencopy of a Canadian small press magazine.nAfter reading the back issue, Insubscribed. The next correspondence Inreceived from the editors was a noticenthat they had “temporarily suspendednpublication.” The only other piece ofnliterature I ever got from them was myncancelled check.nThe editors of another fledglingnsmall press magazine asked me tonsubmit a short story, based on an articlenof mine they had seen in a newsletter.nnnAmerica’snFirst SilvernDollarnReal legal tender of our 13nColonies — two centuries oldn’truck in New Spain from 1772 to 1825,nthese magnificent silver dollars werenpopularly used in the 13 Colonies, andnThomas Jefferson recommended that theynbecome official legal tender of the UnitednStates. Denominated 8 Reales, occasionallynsome were cut into quarter-dollar piecesn(hence the expression “two bits”). ThenU.S. dollar sign (S) is believed to derivenfrom the scroll-effect pillars of the reverse.nThese historic coins remained legal tendernin the U.S. until 1857 and were the mostnfavored trade silver dollars in the world.nThey’re real scarcities in the wellpreservednquality we offer Our supplyn• bears “chopmarks” of Chinese merchantsn— proof of their world travel.nEach silver dollar is a big 39mm inndiameter, contains 27 grams of .903 silver,nand comes with a Certificate of Authenticitynattesting to its Fine quality and genuinenstatus. While current supplies last, pricesnare as follows:n1 coin, $75; 2 coins, J150; 3ncoins, S215 (save SIO);n5 coins, S345 (save S30);n10 coins, S675 (save S75).nOrder #7l44A. Limit 10 coins perncustomer 100 % satisfaction guarantee: younmay return your order within 30 days ofnreceipt for a prompt no-questions-askednrefund.nTo order by credit card, call tollfreen1-800-451-4463 (24 hours anday, 7 days a week). Or send a checknor money order to: International Coins &nCurrency, Inc., 11 E. State St., Box 218,nDept. 850, Montpelier, Vermont 05602.nPostage and handling: add S5 on orders upnto $499; no charge on orders over $499-nSpecial presentation cases for individualncoins are also available at S2.50 each.nAPRIL 1989/5n