Coughlin expressed sympathy (albeitnqualified and ambiguous) for socialism.nIndeed, in a fascinating analysis of theirnsupporters, Brinkley discovers that thenpeople who followed Long and Coughlinnwere the same sort of people who foundnprogressive and socialist politics appealing.nLeftist politicians who denouncednLong and Coughlin as fascists, believingnthat both they and their followers werenintellectually superior to such demagogues,nmade the same discovery—tontheir horror. Many of these leftists, consequently,nfound hypocritical ways to accommodatenthemselves to the popularitynof these “fascists.” However, the left didnnot long have to accommodate themselvesnto that popularity. Long wasnassassinated before he could mount anserious challenge to FDR, and Coughlinndegenerated into embittered anti-nSemitism after unsuccessfully challengingnFDR through the Union Partyncandidacy of William Lemke.nA he years have not been kind to thenmemory of either man, for the “fascistndemagogues” label has stuck. Brinkleynattempts to remove the label demagoguenfrom both men by arguing that as populistndissenters Long and Coughlin addressedngenuine economic problems andnrepresented some of “the oldest andndeepest impulses in American politicalnlife.” But quacks likewise represent oldnand deep impulses in American historynand they likewise treat real illnesses;nnevertheless, because their treatmentsnare deceitful, they are still quacks.nBrinkley’s defense against the charge ofnfascism is more convincing, since it is truenthat Long seldom appealed to religiousnor racial hatred and that Coughlin did sononly in his decline. Moreover, neithernever seriously attempted to suppress individualndissent, control the press, or circumventnfree elections. Still the egotisticnimperiousness of both men is troublinglynlike that of the fascist dictators. It is evennmore unsettling that many avowedlynfascist intellectuals believed that bothnmen were on the road to fascism. If theynwere traveling on this dead-end road.nwhat are we to make of their popularitynamong leftist constituencies or of theirnprivate sympathy for socialism? Brinkleyndoes not, unfortunately, pose the question,nbut his book makes it necessary:nCould it be that the relationship betweennsocialism and fascism is actually muchnWhat’s News?nRichard Kostelanetz: The Avant-nGarde Tradition in Literature; PrometheusnBooks; Buffalo, New York.nby Gary S. VasilashnJKichard Kostelanetz is the author orneditor of a number of books. Amongnthem is one about which few have heard:nThe End of Intelligent Writing: literarynPolitics in America (Sheed and Ward,n1973). It looks as if the reason why thisnbook’s appearance generated morensilence than acclaim may be that in itnKostelanetz takes on what he terms “ThenNew York Literary Mob,” many ofnwhom make up the staffs of what Chroniclesnof Culture calls the house organs ofnthe Liberal Culture. Although we’re certainlynnot in total agreement with him,nKostelanetz does make many validnpoints about the literary mafiosi innAmerica; he scores a number of hits innwhat should be a shooting gallery of sittingnducks but what is, thanks to thendomination of publishing by the targets,na duck blind beneath a starless night. Tonexemplify what Kostelanetz aims at, itnwould be appropriate to begin with hisndescription of the you-scratch-my-backrU-scratch-yoursnsituation that existednwhen Jason Epstein founded the NewnYork Review of Books in 1963. At thentime, Epstein was a Random House executive.nAs it wouldn’t exactly be becomingnfor a publishing-house vice presidentnto be operating a book review, Epsteinndidn’t become the de jure editor. HisnMr. Vasilash is associate editor of thenChronicles.nnncloser than is commonly imagined? It isnan especially pertinent question fornAmerican liberals who smugly denouncenthe capitalist right as fascist, nevernsuspecting for a moment that fascismnmay actually be creeping up from thensocialist left. Dnwife did. Barbara Epstein became coeditornwith Robert B. Silvers, positionsnwhich both retain today. Through an examinationnof early numbers of the NewnYork Review of Books, Kostelanetznshows how numerous Random Houseimprintednbooks were reviewed in thenjournal, often by people who had theirntitles published by the same house. Coincidence?nOccam’s Razor, I think,nwould slice in the direction of conspiracy,nsomething which the New York Reviewncrew knows all about, due to their adulationnof the Chicago Eight.nIt must be noted that The End of IntelligentnWriting has been and should bencriticized on a number of counts. Whilenthe book presents a great deal of presumablynfactual material, Kostelanetz isnrather sloppy with his data (e.g., StevennMarcus’s given name appears asn”Stephen” in one place; Commentary’sndebut is dated both in 1944 and 1945).nIn some cases, Kostelanetz quotes someonenbecause that quote supports hisnthesis, an approach that doesn’t worknprimarily because he has already denigratednthe speaker in an earlier section.nMore damning is the fact that the book isnmore than a little self-serving. In thenpreface, the then 33-year-old Kostelanetzndiscusses how he had talked with annumber of American writers of all ages,nthen says, “Especially if they were equallynyoung, I noticed that their sense of thenwriting world, as well as professionalnobstacles, resembled my own; if theynwere similarly experimental, in theirnsense of either writing style or personalnactivity, then our accounts were oftennidentical. For that reason, most of myn9nDecember 198Sn