was not inevitable and that the UnitednStates bears the majority of the blamenfor its occurrence.nHughes at least has been consistent.nHe objected to all of the Truman ColdnWar initiatives, the Marshall Plan included.nIn 1948 he did join the Wallacencampaign, only to jump ship whennthe captain refused to jettison his communistnsupport. Nonetheless, Hughesnstill insists that Wallace was correct tonhold out for a “sphere of influence”napproach to Soviet-American differences.nHad each power only stayed outnof the other’s backyard, then eachnpower would have been able to toleraten”substantial dissent” within its ownnsphere. (Guess which power Hughesnaccuses of violating his guidelines.) Butnin effect the United States did concedenCentral and Eastern Europe to thenSoviets, without a noticeable rise in thenlevel of tolerable dissent.nIn the world according to H. StuartnHughes, all of Europe could have beennliberated in 1946. That it was not, wasnprimarily the fault of the United States.nAnd when liberation finally did arrivenin 1989, Washington, happily, “playednno role.” The long sustained Americanndecision to help preserve freedomnin Western Europe apparently hadnnothing to do with the ultimate Revolutionnof 1989. No doubt the whole ofnthe Cold War was an insanity to one sonSANE. As of the publication of thisnmemoir, the world still awaits the liber­n42/CHRONICLESnLIBERAL ARTSnABORTION ASnLEGALIZED EXECUTIONnation of H. Stuart Hughes from shibbolethsnoutworn at the birth of thenCold War in the late 1940’s and believablenonly to the likes of Hughesnhimself—including the now seniornsenator from Massachusetts whom henso ineffectually challenged nearly thirtynyears ago.nJohn C. Chalberg teaches Americannhistory at Normandale CommunitynCollege in Bloomington, Minnesota.nFeminist Fatalenbyf.O. TatenGood Boys and Dead Girls:nAnd Other Essaysnby Mary GordonnNew York: Viking; 253 pp., $19.95nBecause I well remember readingnsome of the pieces Mary Gordonnhas assembled here, I had no reason tonwish to reread them and no cause tonwant to read the ones I’d been lucky tonmiss the first time around. What I thinknabout Mary Gordon’s writing remindsnme of a favorite malapropism: “Do Inhave to spell it out for you in four-letternwords?”nThe first thing that disgusts me aboutnMary Gordon’s literary screeds is theirnphony tone. Her “voice” — because’nA Morristown, New Jersey, municipal judge ruled last Junenthat a Queens man interfered in a “legal execution” when henstormed a doctor’s office last year to prevent his formernfiancee from having an abortion. In a highly unusual ruling,nJudge Michael Noonan upheld 27-year-old Alex Loce’snclaim that the fetus the woman was carrying was a humannbeing.nLoce was found guilty of trespassing when he and 14nothers stormed the clinic in September 1990 in an unsuccessfulnattempt to prevent the abortion. As Judge Noonanntold a packed courtroom, “I find that the 8-week-old fetus innthis case was a living human being that was legally executednpursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court.” Therefore, “therenwas no justifiable excuse to trespass and attempt to prevent anlegal act of abortion.”nnnshe hasn’t really got one — is a chalksqueaknof false notes. She sounds like anfeminist drug addict who overdosed onnVirginia Woolf, with the result thatneverything annoying in the arch breathlessnessnof Bloomsburian preciosity isnmagnified. Reading Mary Gordon isnexhausting, because of all the cringesnshe provokes. The repeated use ofn”one,” to cite an example — the thirdnperson substituting for the first andnsecond — isn’t American usage, but thenartsy-craftsy hoity-toitiness makes for an”literary” air, does it not? “If only onenhad the Ford of A Man Could StandnUp at one’s side to tell one, in the mostnbeautiful sentences imaginable, whynmen need women and women neednmen!” Oh yeah? If only one had thenBenny Hill of the syndicated TV shownto demonstrate to one, in the rudestnway conceivable, why one doesn’t neednMary Gordon for anything, then one’snfeelings (those litde dears) would benever so gratified! And perhaps thennone would not so often feel, as, readingnthese pages, one often does, that onenwas watching a Girl Scout try to walknin her first pair of high heels.nThe load of tea-and-crumpets-with-n- Virginia-Woolf codswallop takes manynforms, but I think is only a symptom ofna more fundamental imposture. She isnalways carrying on about being ann”artist,” a “writer,” a “writer-artist,”nand a “novelist.” When one considersnher latest novel. The Other Side, suchnhauteur seems preposterous. Trying tonsound like Henry James writing hisnprefaces is, after all, not recommendednto anyone who is not Henry James.nQuod licet Jovi, non licet bovi.nMary Gordon’s vindictive, even nastynessay, ” ‘I Can’t Stand Your Books’:nA Writer Goes Home,” • is a highlynrevealing and instructive document.nShe has insisted here on an attempt tonembarrass various relatives for having,nat a family funeral, intimated to herntheir dislike of her writing. Even thendeceased, her uncle — a supporter ofnthe ERA! — had not approved of hernwork. But there is noble Mary — “Inheld my baby son in my arms andnwept … I walked with my infantnson . . .” — who survives this episodento publish her contempt for her family,nand to reveal what has long beennobvious; she despises the Irish-AmericannCatholics whom she affects tonwrite about. She doesn’t understandn