Navy is not immune to outside socialrnmores; as an old cliche states, an armedrnservice is a reflection of the society inrnwhich it is embedded. Finally, all sensernof justice seems to have been lost on thernpart of the DOD civilian leadership.rnThose who knew better were concernedrnwith protecting their own personalrninterests while inquisitors ran amok.rnIt is sad but true that the entire Tailhookrnincident is a reflection of the generalrndecay of American society. Lying,rncheating, and “witch-hunting”—allrnhave become acceptable, especially ifrnthey are done for a “good cause.”rnRobert C. Whitten is a commander,rnU.S. Naval Reserve-Retired, a nationalrndirector of the Navy League of thernUnited States, and a retired researchrnscientist for NASA.rnThe Crusade tornNowherernby George WatsonrnRemembering E.P. ThompsonrnMy last conversation with EdwardrnThompson, the Marxist historian,rnwas at the gates of Durham Castle.rnThat, on reflection, was how it shouldrnhave been. There was alwavs somethingrnslightly grand about him, as if a casde, orrnat least a country mansion, might be arnnatural place for him. Durham Castle isrnnow a college, and there had been a conferencernthere, so we found ourselvesrnbreakfasting together in its great hall.rnThompson’s consternation at seeing mernis not to be forgotten. He greeted mernwith a grunt and opened a newspaper tornblock off the view; and when I foundrnhim half an hour later outside the castlernwith his luggage, he looked even morernbeleaguered. “I’m just waiting to bernpicked up,” he said in embarrassment.rnImagining he meant that his wife wasrnabout to drive him home, I waved goodbyernand walked to the station, bag inrnhand. A few minutes later he appearedrnon the platform, looked at me in a persecutedrnway, and rushed to the counterrnto buy another newspaper to hide behind.rnHe had taken a taxi.rnBut then it was not in his nature torntravel light or in less than due style, andrnhis socialism was gentlemanly. That wasrnhis distinction, flis aspirations were notrnmiddle-class, like those of his friend andrnrival Raymond Williams, but touchedrnwith grandeur, and his country homernin Worcestershire is rumored to havernembraced a deer-park. My Cambridgerncolleague Williams, who died five yearsrnbefore Thompson and whose valuesrn(by contrast) were those of a middleclassrnfamily man, often spoke withrnamusement of Thompson’s love of thernhigh life, and his success with womenrnwas remarkable. No wonder the wordrn”charisma” figured large in his obituaries.rnHe was to the British left what EvelynrnWaugh, a generation earlier, had been tornthe right: an aberrant symbol in tweedsrnand country boots who profoundlv regrettedrnthat he had not inherited a titlernand a family seat.rnHis parents, who had been Methodistrnmissionaries in India, were radical. I lisrnolder brother Erank was executed by thernNazis in Bulgaria while working for SpecialrnOperations, fresh from Winchesterrnand Oxford; he died at 21, full of thernpromise of youth. Edward and hisrnmother edited Erank’s literary remainsrnas There is a Spirit in Europe (1947), thernspirit being a high-minded Stalinismrnthat inspired Edward, a communist byrnconviction from the age of 16, to join thernBritish Communist Party and to workrnon a railway in Yugoslavia before Tito’srnbreak with Stalin. Three years after Stalin’srndeath in 1953, Edward broke withrnthe party over its support of the Sovietrninvasion of Hungary and with John Savillernstarted The Reasoner, a journal that,rnafter more than one change of name,rnbecame the New Left Review. In 1957rnhe became a founder-member of thernCampaign for Nuclear Disarmament.rnHis academic career was little morernthan transient, his six ‘ears as Reader inrnSocial History at the new university inrnWarwick ending without a chair; he wasrnnever one to be comfortable with secondrnplace, or with silent withdrawal. In fact,rnhis resignation was made in noisy protest,rnand in Warwick University Ltd. (1970) hernpublicly accused this academic establishmentrnof venality in fostering connectionsrnwith big business. The routine ofrnteaching, in any case, meant nothing tornhim, and for the last 20 vears of his lifernand more he lived b’ choice the life ofrnan itinerant sage—a sort of British Jean-rnPaul Sartre—organizing round-tablernconferences for the Maison des Sciencesrnde I’Homme in Paris and, in the 1980’s,rnplaying a starring role in European NuclearrnDisarmament (END).rnThe books, meanwhile, poured forth,rnand by the 1980’s, according to the Artsrnand Humanities Citations Index, he wasrnthe most quoted 20th-century historianrnon earth. He began with a study ofrnWilliam Morris in 1955, achieved a climaxrnwith The Making of the EnglishrnWorking Class in 1963, and entered thernworld of active affairs with the New LeftrnMay Day Manifesto in 1967, of which hernwas coeditor. These were all manifestlyrnworks of polemical intent. The historianrnshowed through more clearly in Whigsrnand Hunters (1975), on the 1723 gamernacts against poaching. But detachmentrndid not interest him, and three years laterrnhis most controversial book appeared.rnThe Poverty of Theory (1978), a collectionrnof papers in which he chided thernPolish exile Leszek Kolakowski for hisrnapostasy from Marxism and LouisrnAlthusser, the Parisian philosopher, andrnfor an excess of intellectual rigor andrnaridit’: he aspired toward a middle wayrnin which humanity and socialism mightrnsome day be reconciled. The stream ofrnarticles and pamphlets, meanwhile, wasrnunending, and before his long last illnessrnhe completed a study of WilliamrnBlake, published posthumously as WitnessrnAgainst the Beast (1993).rnB then he had supplanted BertrandrnRussell, who died in 1970, at what mightrnbe called the Rolls Royce end of thernBritish left; and with his sunburnt looksrnand aureole of greying cuds, delightingrnabove all in the adoration of the young.rn46/CHRONICLESrnrnrn