81 CHRONICLESnand personally I don’t think much of it—the feministnposition on this practice seems at the least inconsistent. Ifnwomen are entitled by their right to body control to disposenof the babies they don’t want, why does that same right notnentitie them to have the babies they choose to bear? Maybenbecause all feminist reasoning is done with smoke andnmirrors.nAmerican feminism is a 20-year con. Today it combines ancontradictory program of complete equality and specialnentitlements with a hypocritical brand of activism: expedientnand self-righteous, high-minded and snotty. The finalnproduct is unnatural, exclusionary, oppressive — a guide tonpersonal and social conduct that includes directions only onnwhat to reject, protest, or undo. Life in the negative. Evennon their own terms, groups like NOW are a fraud. How donyou achieve a gender-blind society, if that is what you want,nwhen your first priority is to promote the separate status ofnFamily Traditionsn”History is bunk.” Henry Fordnmight have been thinking ahead tonall the social history written on women,nmarriage, and the family byndistortionists like Lawrence Stone,nPhilipe Aries, and the feminists whonfill up entire departments of history,nclassics, and modern languages. Obviouslynnot all social history is bad ornincompetent. Sir Geoffrey Elton isnan unquestionably great historian,nand John Demos’ work on thenAmerican family is as intelligent as itnis careful. Even feminists andnwomen’s studies specialists haventurned out important work, but wenhave to go to Australia to find ancredible symposium on the Romannfamily: The Family in AncientnRome: New Perspectives, edited bynBeryl Rawson (Ithaca, NY: Cornell).nRawson herself provides a sensiblenoverview of the Roman family asnwell as an article on the position ofnchildren. Solid contributions arenalso made by such distinguishednscholars as J.A. Crook (on familynlaw) and W.K. Lacey, and SuzannenDixon offers a fascinating interpretationnof Cicero’s marital complications.nHere and there one or anotherncontributor lapses into feministnrhetoric, but the volume as a wholendemonstrates that women’s studiesncan make a useful contribution tonany field.nREVISIONSnOne of the most fruitful approachesnto the Roman family is bynway of legal studies, a field to whichnJ.A. Crook and Alan Watson havenmade important contributions in recentnyears. Even the curious reader,nhowever, must some day bucklendown and look at the texts themselves,nand we are fortunate in havingna new translation of one of themnin print: The Institutes of Gaius,ntranslated by W.M. Gordon andnD.F. Robinson (London: Duckworth).nThe translation is lucid andnhighlights all the passages of Gaiusnthat were reproduced in Justinian.nEven more useful is the inclusion ofnthe Latin text (of Seckel andnKuebler) on the facing pages andnthe discussion of technical terms.nGaius is indispensable to our understandingnof Roman law and societynand an interesting writer on his ownnaccount, and it is very good to havenhim available now in so helpful anformat.nCloser to home in both time andngeography is Jean Bethke Elshtain’snWomen and War (New York: BasicnBooks). Elshtain is among the bestknownnleft-wing feminist scholars innthe U.S., although her independencenand intelligence have increasinglynserved to alienate her from thenfanatics. Her most recent book is anfascinating combination of historicalnanalysis and personal narrative. InnElshtain’s view, the modern mindnhas been dominated by traditionalnnnwomen as a special interest group? NOW’s agenda is anvariation of the old brain-teaser, “Don’t think about elephants.”nThe current line on the women’s movement is that it isntrying to maintain its radical roots while stressing policies itnhopes will be seen as more relevant and realistic than thosenof the past. While I have my doubts about any feministnperception of reality, it’s for sure that the movement’s rootsnare in great shape. Media coverage of the women’s movementnafter the NOW convention included a televisionninterview with Gloria Steinem and one of her feministncolleagues, in which Ms. Steinem babbled nonsensicallynabout mutual “victory” for the sexes. Her colleague,ncharming as a brick, offered the strong opinion that thensource of all conflict between men and women was “the actnof intercourse.”nStill crazy after all these years.nimages of the just warriors (men)nand the beautiful souls (women andnperhaps pacifists) who rise above thenmaterial level. Along the way shenmanages to discuss just-war theory,nthe ancient Greeks (on which topicna bit more research is in order),nClausewitz, and the Civil War, butnshe is at her best in attacking thenuniversalism of liberal political theorynand in attempting to reconstructna genuine patriotism that is somethingnquite separate from jingoisticnnationalism.nThe book would be worth readingnif only for Elshtain’s recollectionsnof her own family’s reaction tontwo world wars. Patriotic scoundrelsndid their best to make life miserablenfor German-Americans, especiallynin World War I, and it is interestingnto speculate on the damage done tonthe American commonwealth by allnthat anti-German hooliganism. Thenlargest and most civilized Europeannethnic population in the U.S. wasntold, in effect, that they had nothingnto contribute to the nation, and itnis hard to escape the feeling thatnthe level of American culture—nespecially our schools, philosophy,nand music—would be a good dealnhigher if we had not suppressed thenGerman element. Antifeminists willnbe making a similar mistake if theynignore Jean Elshtain’s contributionnto feminist political theory. (TF)n