much as did his liberal critics. The causenof Ivan Karamazov’s damnation, afternall, is that he, like the revolutionaries,nhated this imperfect world and thosenwho inhabit it.nIn any event, Besangon proceeds tonargue that the intelligentsia needed anpolitical party to elevate it to power. Thenturning point came in 1898 with thenorganization of the Russian Social DemocraticnParty, soon to be split into Bolshevikn(majority) and.Menshevik (minority)nfactions. Besangon lavishes a good bit ofnpraise on the “father of Russian Marxism”—GeorginPlekhanov—and thenMensheviks who remained faithful to hisnmoderate, essentially Western strategy.nWilling to wait for the “bourgeois democratic”nrevolution, the moderate SocialnDemocrats, we are assured, would havenbeen co-opted by a maturing Russiannliberalism that “had at its disposal a politicalnreservoir which enabled it tonaeate, between I90O and 1905, a truenparty [the Cadets, or ConstitutionalnDemocrats] in the Western sense of thenterm.” To support this claim he instancesnthe able Social Democratic theorist PetrnStruve, who “declared himself to benmuch more interested in liberty than innsocialism. …” Professor Besancon is sonoptimistic about the possibilities fornmoderation that he believes fate to havenbeen “on the side of the liberal (or socialdemocratnliberal) parties which representedncivil society.”nConcerning Struve, Professor Besangonnis quite right and, certainly, one cannotnsay with any assurance what turnsnhistory might have taken had there notnbeen a World War. But it is well to remembernthat men such as Struve andnCadet leader Paul Miliukov were uncommonnin Russia and had no followingnamong the peasant masses. Moreover,neven Professor Besancon concedes that innRussia, the civil society had always beenncrushed beneath a despotic state. Thus,nwhile a liberal evolution along Westernnlines cannot be ruled out, it can scarcelynbe presupposed.nWhatever its prospects, however,nthere is no question that liberalism wasndealt a staggering blow by Lenin’s increasingninfluence. Like Rakhmetov, thisnresolute man had so completely absorbedn(Marxist) ideology (as it was catechizednby Engels) that he no longer possessednan independent self. Given an opportunitynby the Great War, he seizednpower in 1917 from the decent but ineptnand unpopular Kerenski government;nthen, seeing that Utopia could not bencreated at a stroke, he settled for ann”ideological reconstitution of reality.”nHenceforth, he would allow no empiricalnevidence to controvert the claim that thenBolshevik government was building socialism.nIn this way he transformed thenideology from a doctrine to be believedninto the sign and emblem of power. Thenpoint, then, is not whether or not thenSoviet people or the Soviet leaders believenthe doctrine; both the rulers and thenruled recognize the/’OM’^r that the ideologynpossesses to compel formal assent tonthe super or the surreality. For that reasonnTerminally NaivenHelen Garner: Monkey Grip; SeaviewnBooks; New York.nJoyce Carol Gates: Angel of Light; E.P.nButton; New York.nHelen Weinzweig: Basic Black withnPearls; William Morrow & Co.; NewnYork.nby Robert C. Steensmanliarly in her story, the feminist newspaperwomannof Helen Garner’s MonkeynGrip admits: “Terminal naivety was myndisease.” Oddly enough, it is also the ailmentnthat afflicts the major characters innJoyce Carol Gates’s Angel of Light andnHelen Weinzweig’s Basic Black withnPearls—that is, a hopelessly and disastrouslynsimplistic view of themselves,nDr. Steensma is professor of English atnthe University of Utah.nnnit is cmcial to the regime’s long-term survival.nAs Aron observed recendy, “oncenideology and the sanctioning of thensuper-reality is eliminated … all that isnleft is a bizarre, irrational, expensive industrialnstructure (which has nothing tondo with building socialism).” {InnDefense of Decadent Europe, p. 39)nFollowing Solzhenitsyn and Aron,nProfessor Besangon has skillfully demonstratednthe pivotal importance of ideologynin the history of the Soviet Utiion.nHe has not, however, dispelled the suspicionnthat Russia was uniquely vulnerablento the ideological bacillus. Nor hasnhe made a very convincing case with respectnto liberalism’s future during thenlast years of Tsarist rule. Nevertheless,nthis book deserves a wide audiencenbecause of its author’s insights and hisncommitment to those liberal traditionsnthat have thus far prevented the UnitednStates and Western Europe from becomingnideology’ s captives. Dntheir world and their experiences. Obsessednwith sex, violence and alienation,nthese people are almost continuouslynpicking lint from their psychologicalnnavels while complaining about the badndeal they’ve gotten from life. Consequently,nall three books have beenngreeted with the customary banalitiesnfrom reviewers in the popular press. Thenincessant repetition of phrases such asn”brilliant performance,” “compellinglynreadable,” “shatteringly beautiful,”n”deliberately laconic,” “utterly honest”nindicates that some reviewers are morenadept at thumbing a thesaurus than atnreading a book.nOf the three writers, Joyce Carol Gatesnis by far the best known. Angel ofLighthnher thirteenth novel, and she has alsonpublished eleven volumes of short storiesn—all since 1964, when her first novel.nWith Shuddering Fall, appeared. Havingnwon the National Book Award inn1969 for them, she continues to produce,ni33nJttly/Attgustl98Sn