nett, who was then director of the National Humanities Centerrnin Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. After a campaignrnthat included egregious misrepresentations of Bradford’s characterrnand views, the Bennett forces emerged victorious, andrntheir candidate went on to become a major figure in Americanrnpolitics. More than any other single confrontation, that battlernhelped to embitter relations between neoeonservatives and thernOld Right.rnDespite his distinction in a variety of fields, Mel Bradfordrnwas first and foremost a literary critic. As one might expect, hernwrote often and well about the literature of the AmericanrnSouth. He was probably the world’s foremost authority onrnEiulkner’s short fiction, and, at the time of his death, he wasrnwriting a biography of his old mentor Donald Davidson. ButrnBradford’s Agrarian vision had more than a mere regional application,rnhi fact, as a native of Texas and a graduate of the Uni-rncrsit’ of Oklahoma, he was Western as well as Southern. Underrnhis trademark Stetson hat, Bradford’s Agrarian vision ofrnsocial order was leavened by the libertarian spirit of the cowboy.rnI le stressed the cultural importance of art precisely because herndistrusted the concept of a telcocratic government. To the extentrnpossible, civic virtue should be the product of customs,rnmores, and traditions, rather than the police power of the state.rnBv encouraging cultural institutions to serve this vital function,rnthe critic helps remove from government a burden that governmentrnis ontologically unsuitcd to carry.rnhi his essay “Artists at Home: Frost and Faulkner,” Bradfordrndirectly challenges the Northeastern literary establishment tornwhich most neoeonscrvative critics belong. Speaking of thernManhattan provincials, he writes: “Bv and large, they addressrnonly one another, Concerning the rest of the republic, theyrnlia’c oiih’ conventional responses proceeding not from reflectionrnbut from fear, ignorance, and animosity. That this otherrnAmerica, in all its antique multiplicity, should foster or possessrnserious literature is for them a contradiction in terms.” AlthoughrnBradford’s primary target here is Lionel Trilling, particularlyrnin his attempt to turn Frost into a poet of Sophoclcaii terror,rnhe also mentions the critiques of Faulkner bv Irving Howe,rnAlfred Kazin, and Norman Podhoretz. Without mentioningrnneoconservatism by name, Bradford tars all the New York intellectualsrnwith the same brush. Against the image of the alienatedrnrebel, Bradford offers “an alternate model of the poet: asrnvates or iiiciiiory-keepcr, craftsman and vessel of prescription;rnas bard or scop who in the operation of his imagination assumesrnthe fundamental legitimacy of his society.”rnAs firm as Bradford was in his principles, he did not see literaryrncriticism as a ychicle for settling personal scores. His essayrn”The Vocation of Norman Podhoretz”—actually an extendedrnreview of The Bloody Crossroads—pays generous tribute to arnneoconservative adversary, whom Bradford considered a brilliantrncritic and fellow warrior against totalitarianism, hi fact, afterrnreading Bradford on Podhoretz, one might conclude thatrnthe differences between paleoconservatives and neoeonservativesrnhave been greatly exaggerated. (Bradford even dislikesrnI Icnry Adams.) 1 lowcver, in two places Bradford establishes arncrucial distance between himself and Podhoretz.rnFirst, he calls Podhoretz’s essay on The God That Failedrnanachronistic. Bradford argues that this book’s account of disillusionmentrnwith eonimunism holds little interest for “those ofrnus whose eady education was not shaped by a passionate andrnmonolithic eommitment to the Left, whose friends, teachersrnand families never succumbed to the eliarms of an alien ideologyrnor followed Stephen Dedalus in rejecting nation, kindred,rnand church.” Bradford reminds us that, in addition to studyingrnunder Lionel Trilling at Columbia and F.R. Leavis at Cambridge,rnPodhoretz had once been a student at the Jewish TheologicalrnSeminary. One can detect in his anticommunism arntransferred sense of religious fervor and vocation.rnLater in his essay, Bradford contends that “there is some myopiarnimplicit in the neoconservative critique of the counterculturern—myopia with respect to literary and cultural history.” AlthoughrnPodhoretz sometimes seems to suggest that oppositionrnto the adversary culture comes only from “bourgeois” sources,rnBradford reminds us that “the most devastating critique ofrnalienation qua crusade issues… from pre-capitalist roots.” Afterrnall, “most of our forefathers sought out the New World notrnto start a business but to acquire land and the status of freeholder:rnfrom pieties which are recognized even in New York asrndifferent.” It is for attitudes such as these that Norman Podhoretzrnfinds Mel Bradford and Russell Kirk indistinguishablernfrom the flower children of Haight-Ashburv’.rnWhat binds the neoconservative and palcoconservative criticsrntogether is a sensible collection of shared antipathies. Unfortunately,rnreaders of Commentary and the New Criterionrnmight conclude that the neoeonservatives often have little tornoffer but antipathy (what Sanford Pinsker once called “revisionismrnwith rancor”). At times, it seems that the neoeonservativesrnare guilty of an urbane parochialism that results in the endlessrntrashing of a fashionable canon of writers, who arc taken tornrepresent the entirety of contemporary literature. Because thernpaleoeonscryatives tend to be more aware of culture in thernprovinces (especially below the Mason-Dixon Line), they arernmore apt to detect signs of health in our life and literature.rnMoreover, thev realize that it is not enough to leac the FinlandrnStation if one docs not also seek the Heavenly Cit’. crnD V E R T I S I N G P O L I C YrnChronicles magazine acceptsrnadvertising from reputable bookrnpublishers and distributors andrnfrom companies sellingrneducational and ‘^-rncultural productsrncompatible with thernmagazine’srnpurpose and standards.rnAlthough we try to verifyrnclaims made by advertisers,rnpublication of an ad doesrnnot in any way constituternan endorsement.rnChroniclesrnADVERTISING DEPT.rn934 N. MAIN ST.rnROCKFORDjL 61103rn815-964-5813rnAPRIL 1997/21rnrnrn