gain and everything to lose by innovating.”nDuring the course of his thoroughndemolition of Chomsky’s position,nSampson reinterprets a number of issuesnthrough his liberal lens. The war innVietnam, for example, is colored differentlynwhen the authoritarian naturenof the opposing government is takenninto consideration. Similarly, Britain’snmembership in the European EconomicnCommunity becomes a regressive actnand the whole Jensen I.Q. controversynan unnecessary occurrence—all becausencollectivism and predetermined regulationsnwon out over ongoing individualnrisk and responsibility. Yet liberal andnempiricist that he is, Sampson is quicknto separate himself from behavioristnquacks such as B. F. Skinner who, henshows, have created a theory of mindnout of empiricism when properly empiricismnshould be no more than a methodnwhich holds that our theories of thenworld must be based on “observation,”nThe Thin (Liberal) MannRichard Harris: Enemies, A Novel;nRichard Marek Publishers; NewnYork.nby Otto J. ScottnJohn Flood, a heavy-drinking, smalltownnnewspaper columnist, was pickednup outside a bar one night by an attractivenwoman. He awoke the next morningnin an alley, to discover her nearbyncorpse. She had been raped and murdered.nIn a novel, that introductionnwould lead the reader toward the realisticnconclusion that Flood had committednan atrocious crime. The flat,npolice-blotter description of what Floodnsaw—and did not feel—however, makesnit clear at the outset that Enemies,nOtto Scott’s latest book is The SecretnSix: John Brown and the AbolitionistnMovement.nnot introspection.nSampson’s sketch does not, of course,naddress all the possible objections tonthe liberal position. There is, for instance,nno attempt to consider the verynreal underlying tension in our lives betweennrisk and security. We may wishnto take chances, but simultaneously wenyearn for control and predictability.nFurthermore, economic machinery isncontinually created that seeks to extortnjustification for its ongoing existencenthrough the manipulation of taste andnthe manufacture of needs long after itsnoriginal purposes have been served. Still,nthese are complications for anotherntreatise. At the moment we must benthankful to Professor Sampson for havingndemonstrated convincingly the seriousnerror of Chomsky’s connectionnbetween linguistic theory and politicalnpractice, and for having offered a descriptionnof liberalism that just mightngain some new converts among thosenwho can be persuaded to read it. Dndespite its subtitle, is not a novel, butna mystery.nThe distinction is well known; bookstoresnput up separate shelves. Readersnhave grown to know and expect the difference,nas both publishers and authorsnwell know. Mystery buffs, reading ofnFlood’s awakening, will not be deceivednfor a second. They will know that thenhero has been set up; that is a conventionalnopening gambit in a comfortinglynfamiliar genre. They will be unsurprisednwhen, with remarkable sang-froid. Floodndiscovers the murdered woman’s bikininpanties in his pocket—and uses them tonwipe off the handle of the knife protrudingnfrom her cadaver. He then removesna small billfold from under hernshoulder, starts to walk away—andnreturns. One hand is clenched; Floodndecided that was significant. Kneeling,nhe pried that hand open and saw severalntiny strands of his own prematurelynnnwhite hair. He removed these, and thenn”searched around the body, his facenclose to the ground …” Thinking ofnthis bloodhound act, he straightenednup, and his keen eyes saw a small bottlenin the gutter. Although alley guttersnare usually cluttered. Flood sensed significancenin this vial, and searched tillnhe found its screw top, which was—ntypical of the genre—imbedded in a poolnof dried vomit. Pocketing both the bottlenand the cap, this presumably normal,nmiddle-class New Englander then, atnlast, took his leave of the grisly scene,nhaving miraculously escaped notice bynthe early morning crowds.nThis is only the opening scene. It isnplain the reader will be asked to acceptna series of incredibilities, and is notnexpected to know much about the world.nThe hero gets back to his apartment—nunseen, of course—and settles down tonpound out his regular column. It consistsnof a recollected episode from hisntime as a correspondent in the U.S.S.R.nin which he befriended a waif, defied anSoviet court and comported himselfnlike a journalistic John Wayne. Cluesnas large as horses are paraded past thenreader, to underline the point that thenhero is a Good Guy.nMystery fans, whose ranks includeneveryone ever trapped in an airplanenseat next to a computer expert who lovesnhis work, will immediately recognizenall these moves, from the opening line.nMr. Flood is going to solve the mysterynof the murder in the alley before thenpolice make the mistake of arrestingnand blaming him.nWhile writing his remarkable newspaperncolumn. Flood, by a prodigiousnexercise of will power, forces his memorynto disgorge the details of thenpreceding night. This feat, which maynastonish physicians acquainted with alcoholicnamnesiacs and persons who havenbeen drugged, reveals to the readernthat Flood went to bed with his pickup,nwho was—before pausing for this encounter—leavingntown. She gave him anletter to give her sister, whom she wasnleaving behind. The sister is a balletnMarch April 1980n