Liberal Arts and Community: ThenFeeding of the Larger Bodynby Marion MontgomerynBaton Rouge: Louisiana StatenUniversity Press; 171 pp., $27.50nVirtue and Modern Shadows ofnTurning: Preliminary Agitationsnby Marion MontgomerynLanham, Maryland: ThenIntercollegiate Studies Institute, Inc.,nand University Press of America;n186 pp., $29.25 (hardcover),n$14.25 (paper)nPoet, critic, and teacher MarionnMontgomery is known to haventaken a fortnight’s break from a booknproject in order to write another booklnEver since coming out a few years agonwith the Prophetic Poet and the Spiritnof the Age, his landmark trilogy tracingnthe origin of our present malaisesnthrough literature, history, philosophy,ntheology, and ancillary fields, the pacenof this man’s work has only accelerated.nIt seems just yesterday that Montgomerynpublished The Trouble withnYou Innerleckchuls, which followednhard on the heels of Possum, andnOther Receits for the Recovery ofn”Sou^/iern”Bemg, which followed . . .nwell, you get the point. All the same, Invas startled to receive copies of thennew titles named above — in the samenweek.nOf course, though, it is Montgomery’snhabit of achieving bedrock penetration,nalong with stylistic finish, innone rapidly composed volume afternJames B. Graves, a former classicsnprofessor, edits Lookout, the nationalnpro-family newsletter.n26/CHRONICLESnOPINIONSnEducation and Communitynby James B. Gravesn”Truths would you teach, or save a sinking land?nAll fear, none aid you, and few understand.”n— Alexander Popen’^=i^nanother that sets him apart as such annimportant writer and critical thinker.nThat plus the good will, good humor,nand good principles characteristicallynshining through his pages. MarionnMontgomery leaves you with a feelingnof rightiy taken good cheer — evennafter explaining all you didn’t knownabout how bad things really are inn1990.nLiberal Arts and Community grewnout of talks Montgomery gave at ErskinenCollege, in upcountry South Carolina,nwhere he addressed, respectively,nstudents, faculty, and finally alumninand townspeople on the rescue ofn”community through a recovery ofnliberal arts as supportive of community.”nHere is the analysis of our contemporaryneducational ills that finallynreaches the perimeters and bottom ofnnnthis ever-so-big and growing problem.nBut since Liberal Arts and Communitynrepresents, among other things, anbold rhetorical achievement (in an agenthat despises rhetoric because materialismnhas led us to hate the necessarynconnection between form and substance),nwe should first consider thenconsciously rhetorical thrust this poetnhas given his eminently practical book.n(If this surprises you, just recall whatnmarvelous rhetoricians Vergil and Miltonnwere.) For though the text here isnconsiderably amplified, Montgomerynretains the oratorical features of hisnoriginal presentations.nNever mind that contemporarynspeeches are notoriously banal whennreduced to unforgiving type. Then”live” effect gained by putting thesenaddresses into print only underscoresnwhat Montgomery calls “the decisivenimportance of words rightly taken” andnhis repeated stress on individual responsibilitynfor bearing witness to truth.nHere the march of facts and analysisnis made to sparkle with sympatheticnasides, apt instances, and rich variationnof diction and tone, engaging andnrendering benevolent the speaker’s variousnaudiences, as is rhetoric’s initialnaim. With appropriate respect, Montgomeryntalks “up” to the students tonwhom he has been given this onenopportunity for providing right instructionnand exhortation. With colleagues,nhe is (in his self-effacing manner) morenblunt. And to the townsmen, who arenrightiy chary of professors, he speaks asna neighbor, with reassurance that hendefends the “Southern” (Montgomerynshorthand for “permanent and universal”)nverities they continue to hold asnideals.nAlso enhancing persuasion, then