never had a chance to use them, he is notnmerely indulging in autobiographicalndetail but is showing how Churchill,neven at 79, seized the initiative to speaknrather than waiting for an invitation.n(Observes Nixon wryly: “The remarks Inhad so painstakingly prepared werennever delivered, but neither did theynseem to be missed.”) Consequently,nthose Nixon desaibes most satisfactorilynare those with whom he had the mostnpersonal experience: the tender fathernwho consciously created the imperiousnde Gaulle mask; the witty and capablenShigeru Yoshida who smoked his cigarsnand cracked his jokes in the shadow ofnMacArthur; the earthy, brutal, and insecurenKhrushchev who made buffooneryna political weapon at the U.N. and atnthe banquet table; the sophisticated butnruthless Chou En-lai who hid the hardnessnof a killer behind the appealingnmanners of a Confucian gentleman. Innthese and other representations, thenvitality of lived experience animatesnNixon’s work: we y^^/Khrushchev’snthumb being jammed into the chest; wensee the retired MacArthur nervously pacingnhis apartment and we hear hisnboastful plan to “straighten out the Pentagonnin a month” if only Eisenhowernwill make him Secretary of Defense. It isnthis kind of immediate detail from personalnexperience that makes the peoplenin Nixon’s book once again livingnpeople, not dusty museum pieces.nTo be sure, Nixon has read extensivelynin the writings by and about hisnsubjects, but when forced (as in thenchapter on Churchill) to rely heavily onnthe observations of others, his focus atntimes becomes fuzzy and his analysis lessnthan fully convincing. Not surprisingly,ntherefore, though the general commentsnhe makes in his introductory and concludingnchapters are usually sensible andnare often buttressed by quotes fromnShakespeare, Sophocles, Carlyle, ornJohnson, they never coalesce into a rigorousnor consistent philosophical worldnview of the sort Bacon developed in hisnessays. For Nixon, “the crucial moralnquestions are . . . those of the bottomnline,” that is, oidoing; hence, he providesnno rational basis for admiring noblenbut futile political ventures, and henleaves many important issues shroudednin the leader’s unexplored “instinct.”nOn a range of important issues, Nixon’snown instincts do seem quite healthy:nwithout apparent cognitive reason, henadmires Adenauer for his bootless oppositionnto the nazis, and—of greater contemporarynimportance—he shares withnAdenauer, Churchill, de Gaulle, andnMacArthur a visceral hostility to communism,nboth as an ideology and as anhistorical reality. For that reason, his successfulnresurrection of his subjects—communistnand anticommunist—is criticallynmore important than Bacon’s resuscitationnof Henry Tudor was in 1622.nWhile they lived, the Western giantsnSoul SearchingnThe Literary Essays of Thomas Merton;nEdited by Brother Patrick Hart; NewnDirections; New York.nby Edward J. Walshnxhe legacy of Thomas Merton, Trappistnmonk, is not primarily that of anliterary critic. In addition to his powerfulnautobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain,nMerton published dozens of meditations,nmany in the idiom of the poet,nbut which arc still primarily religious. Innhis last years he spoke out on politicalnthemes and was branded a radical. He isnnot known today as a man of strong, developednviews on secular literature. Thisnaspect of the generally held wisdomnabout Merton is reaffirmed by the 56nessays and critical pieces contained in thisnanthology. Most anthologies are not impartialncollections, each selection annequal part of a larger whole, but rathernshowcases in which the author’s bestnMr. Walsh is with the U.S. IndustrialnCouncil in Nashville.nnnNixon depicts kept in plain view the uglyntruth about communism and aboutncommunists like En-lai and Khrushchev.nNow that they are dead, liberal pygmiesnare busily promoting the lie that there isnnot now and never was any good reasonnfor vigorous anticommunism in West ornEast since En-lai was actually the saviorn(not the murderer) of his people andnKhmshchev was merely an ionocuouslynamusing clown whose joke about “burying”nAmerica should not be takennseriously. Knowledgeable Americansnwill sincerely hope that, speaking in theirnown revivified voices, the figures innNixon’s Leaders can explode this newnand mendacious view of our recent past.nFor as Bacon observed, “It is not the lienthat passeth through the mind, but thenlie that sinkcth in and settleth in it thatndoth hurt.” Dnwork is set off by the lesser pieces. NewnDirections’ Merton Essays is no different,nWe see in them a truth about Mertonnthat has never been seriously challenged:nthat he was, first and last, a contemplative,na man of God.nThis is a significant undertaking for anpublishing house today, and New Directions,nwhich produced nine of Merton’snbooks including his Collected Poems, isnto be commended. The marketing strategynon Merton, one might think, perhapsncynically, would be to build up annimage of a radical priest who disobeyednhis superiors in order to speak his mindnon what is now called the “social agenda”nof the Church. Such a view of Merton,nhowever, is wishful thinking—by bothnhis contemporary leftist admirers and thenpublishing-house press agents who seendissident priests as hot literary propertyn—that does not apply to Thomas Merton.nThomas Merton never metamorphosednfrom a simple man of God to anfiery church radical, although one cannpluck many sweeping statements onn”social justice” from his work. Despiten115nMarch 1983n