have absolutely no respeet for thernevidence of reason. Young peoplernwho have been taught to distrustrnall authority as a deception recenth’rnexposed—who have experiencedrntoo much change to believernin permanence—agree easily thatrnnothing can be taught or learned.rnThey gravitate naturally toward responsesrnto reading and informationrnthat search only after relevancern—often an anachronistic orrnfar-fetched connection to the tendentiousrnand/or topical concernsrnof a political subculture. For themrnreading and interpretation arernmerely private acts about whichrnalmost nothing can be communicatedrn—a communion in rejectionrnof their culture as it has been andrnof its would-be preservers, a rejectionrnof legitimate authority. Thernnature, meaning, and purpose ofrneducation in the humanities cannotrnbe understood on the basis ofrnthese presuppositions.rnBradford’s words about reading and interpretation,rnhis corporate and transgenerationalrnsense of the construction ofrnmeaning, are I think best exemplified inrnthis volume by some of his most instructivernpages on Faulkner.rnBradford shows us that though FaulknerrnfamousK- used modernist techniques,rnhe was no modernist. The imperialrnself in Faulkner is hedged by contrast,rnqualification, the family, the socialrnorder, tradition, and community. YetrnFaulkner’s works have been interpretedrnas symphonies of alienation and despair.rnWhen Bradford points to Faulkner’srnchivalric themes and to his novels as conductrnbooks, he has indicated somethingrnmore than a truth about Faulkner, hisrnbooks, or even a broader cultural value.rnHe has also shown or deiuonstratedrnsomething of his own generosity, his amplitudernof vision, his magnanimity. Hernhas not projected upon Faulkner somethingrnof himself; rather, he has respondedrnto texts and to values that were woenrnfrom elements which he knew profoundly,rnand which he was born to articulate.rnSo when M.E. Bradford writes of thernman on horseback, the chevalier, therngentleman, the thought of his own demeanorrnand deportment and being as arnChristian gentleman must come tornmind. In his many sallies, sometimes asrna Chevalier Bayard sans peur et sans reprochernand sometimes as a Don Quixote,rnthough never with a rueful countenance,rnhe always fought nobly against variousrnopponents. His good cheer and sustainingrnhumor well became him. The writingsrnhe has left us—such as the evi-rn^KrnBeautiful Losers %rnEssays on the Failure ofrnAmerican ConservatismrnSamuel FrancisrnThe changes of the last decade have led to a virtual disappearancernof the political Right. Beautiful Losers is arntimely look at a crucial moment in the history ofrnAmerican conservatism, when, for the first time sincernthe New Deal, the nation faces the prospect ofrnpolitical democracy without an oppositionalrnforce to liberalism. 256 pages, $37.50rnUniversity of IVIissouri Pressrn291 0 LeMone BoulevardrnColumbia, MO 65201 Wy,Wy///yyyyArn1-800-828-1894rndeuces of mind and spirit collected inrnAgainst the Barbarians—remain an education,rnbut also a reminder of a loss of internationalrnimpact. Yet Bradford himself,rnalways taking the long view, wouldrnhave been the first to see een that loss asrna mvstery rather than a conclusion.rn/.O. Tate is a professor of English atrnDowling College on Long Island.rnBeautiful Excessrnby Fred ChappellrnThe Hard to Catch Mercyrnby William BaldwinrnChapel Hill, North Carolina: AlgonquinrnBooks; 451 pp., $19.95rnThe Hard to Catch Mercy, WilliamrnBaldwin’s entrancing first novel, isrnbound to remind some readers of MarkrnTwain, especially of some of the bleakerrnpages of moral fables like The MysteriousrnStranger and The Man That CorruptedrnHadleyburg. But Baldwin’s purpose isrnnot to piggyback a Crand Master. Herndesires t:o remind us of Twain because hernwants us to know “where he is comingrnfrom,” as the current slang phrase puts it.rnGeographically speaking, he comesrnfrom NlcClellanville, South Carolina, arnlow-country village on the outskirts ofrnHell Hole Swamp, a place that in 1916rnmust have resembled quite closely hisrnfictional locale, “Cedar Point.” His narrator,rnWillie Alison, describes this villagernas a “closed-in, pri’ate place” thatrndiffers entirely from the “wide-open universe”rnwe all now inhabit. Literarilyrnspeaking, he comes from that brightdarkrnhomeplace of the Southern spiritrnthat Mark ‘Twain and William Faulknerrnand Allen Tate (in his novel Ihe Fathers)rnhave so resonantly rendered for us.rnThese writers are Baldwin’s forebears andrnhe is not ashamed of them and not timorousrnabout standing before or amongrnthem.rnNor should he be. The Hard to CatchrnMercy justifies all its author’s confidence.rnIt is a gripping tale and beautifully complicatedrnas all three sides of the plentifulrnAlison family work out a single destiny.rnThe family patriarch—100 years old andrnstill going strong as the book opens—isrn38/CHRONICLESrnrnrn