worker has the highest standard ofnliving yet experienced in the globe.nAffluence and contentment seem tonhave paralyzed its survival sense.”nA general mood of “antiestablishmentarianism,”noceans of vague rhetoricnabout liberation and neo-Marxist ideologynsubmerged parts of the Americannacademic community. Few had the nervento ask, as one teacher at Columbia did,n”Liberation? Liberation from what?”nAn overemphasis on the end of the wavenof violent disruption that occurred onna relatively few campuses between 1968-n1970 should not obscure the fact thatnmany of the attitudes engendered innthe late ’60s have not disappeared; innfact they have percolated into Americannculture as a whole, in a dilutednform. Innocents of the West is of considerableninterest to anyone reviewingnthe development of this situation.nCommenting on the first anniversarynof President Kennedy’s assassination.nMiss Colebrook recognized it as “thatnevent from which seems to date a certainnAmerican failure of nerve.” So itnproved to be, though for psychologicalnreasons rather than objective ones.nThe intensification of the Vietnam Warnand its rise as a hyperemotional politicalnissue paved the way for the radicalizationnof the intellectual atmosphere.nAs Colebrook wrote in 1967, “the attemptnto publicize America’s bunglingneffort in Vietnam as hideously malevolentnis of definitive importance becausenit shapes the emotions of citizens herenwho will decide whether or not thenCommunists are to be given their way.”nBut the effects of this sort of campaignnwere not limited to influencing thenoutcome of the Indochina war.nThough ignorance was an essentialnfactor in the development of the destructivenattitudes Colebrook describes,none may doubt that it is really an expressionnof “innocence,” or, as she describesnit on one occasion, as a “refusalnto fear.” Elsewhere, she suggests thatn”perhaps it is a compliment to the Westnto say that its open societies have managednto produce citizens hopelessly in­nexperienced in certain kinds of politicalnevil.” But stupidity and an inability tonlearn from experience are not adornmentsnat all. Also, as Miss Colebrooknherself sometimes perceives, there wasna real element of perversity in the outlooknof these “innocents”; a hatred ofnone’s own society and civilization (notnjust “capitalism”) and obscure guiltnfeelings, often expressed as an invertednracism. She quotes one radical’s claimnthat “Ninety percent of those going intonChinese studies are basically alienatednfrom Western culture . . . any valuensystem looks more appealing than yournown . . .” and L F. Stone’s claim thatnwhite Americans were secretly pleasednby Martin Luther King’s murder. Perhapsnthe classic anecdote of this mentalitynwas reported by Diana Trilling:nwhen she asked a student if she knewnmuch about the Spanish Civil War, shenwas told “No, but I know enough tonknow that it was our fault!”nM iss Colebrook’s reflections on thenpolitical radicalization of part of then”lumpenproletariat” and the Americannblack population are of more mixednvalue. Her journal does provide a usefulnreminder of the frightening racial tensionnand urban riots of 1965-1968, annaspect of the 1960s which seems tonhave been quite forgotten by manyncommentators on the events of thosenyears, though at the time it probablyncaused more anxiety than the Indochinanwar. But her account brings back thenexaggerated fears they evoked. Thenriots and the growth of black nationalistnsentiment were indeed disturbing, particularlynsince they came after unprecedentednprogress for blacks. But it is nownclear, and should have been clear at thentime, that these things did not reflectnthe attitudes of the vast majority ofnblacks. They were not organized, asnMiss Colebrook seems to think, nor donthey seem to have been significantlynstimulated by political fanatics likenStokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown.nAnother fear of the ’60s which alsonhas not been confirmed by the passagennnof time was that the Chinese Communists,nplaying the racist theme, wouldnunite Asia and Africa against the West,nwith Cuba perhaps playing a similarnrole in Latin America. But the so-calledn”third world” is not such a revolutionaryntinderbox as is often supposed. BothnChina and Cuba managed to causentrouble in their respective spheres, butnboth made a mess of their internal affairs.nCuba now plays a very differentnaggressive role, as a Soviet pawn, whilenthe Soviets have pushed China out ofnany significant role in the affairs ofnother Communist Parties and put hernon the defensive in a war of nerves.nAfrican hatred of the “white-redoubt”nin southern Africa is being manipulatednby the Soviets, not the Chinese.nINeedless to say, there is no causenfor satisfaction in our present situation.nIn her epilogue, Miss Colebrook eloquentlyndiscusses the end results of then”disintegrations of the ’60s” as seennfrom 1979. A general “yielding” tonCommunist power by the Western countriesnhas taken place. Within the West,nthough the sectarian left has disintegratednin most countries, opinion hasnsharply polarized, and terrorism is rampantnin some countries. “The socialnfabric has been weakened and frayed.”n”The cult of drugs had spread. Normalndefense mechanisms were put to sleep.”nMeanwhile, “our spokesmen seem curiouslyntentative.” They are apt to emitnwhat she generously describes as “unsuitablenstatements,” e.g. PresidentnFord’s amazing discovery that the SovietnUnion does not control Eastern Europe,nand Andrew Young’s hypothesis thatnthe Cubans are “stabilizing” Angola.nJoan Colebrook’s journal tells a bleakntale of a period of folly and defeat—na period in which we are still living. DnPersuasion At Work—oL II,nNo. 9, September 1979:n”LEGALIZED GAMBLING-nA FOOLISH BET”niS5nSeptember/October 1979n