32 / CHRONICLESn’Timing Is thenThing’nby Buddy MatthewsnThinking in Time: The Uses of Historynfor Decision-Makers by RichardnE. Neustadt and Ernest R. May,nNew York: The Free Press; $19.95.nWhich is more important: to knownhistory well or to use what history younknow in making important decisions?nWith some hesitation (since one is antrained historian), the authors ofnThinking in Time decide for the latter.nIn a comparison between Harry Truman’snand George Marshall’s ability tonlearn from history, the authors sidenwith Marshall, even though they considernTruman better read.n”To contrast Truman with Marshallnis not to make a case against thenusefulness of knowledge. Far from it.nBut knowledge as such, we do suggest,nthe knowledge of historical specifics,ncannot substitute for (even though itnsupplements) the kind of mental qualitynthat readily connects discrete phenomenanover time and repeatedlynchecks connections. That is a specialnstyle of approaching choices, more thenplanner’s or the long-term programnmanager’s than the lawyer’s or judge’snor consultant’s or trouble shooter’s—nand surely more Marshall’s than Truman’s.”nSubtitled The Uses of History fornDecision-Makers, Thinking in Time isnan attempt to instruct people whonmust “manage” in the way to usenhistory properly. “This book is addressednto those who govern—or hopento do so. It is for men and womennelected or appointed to public office. Itnis also for those who assist them, asnaides of ‘bureaucrats,’ and those whonreport to them or study them or try toninfluence them.”nOrdinary people are constantly innthe position of having to draw onnhistory, whether it is on a professionalnscale or simply a personal incident inntheir own past. In drawing on the past,nwe attempt to learn from it, oftennmaking comparisons with the presentnor perhaps even making predictions fornthe future. Government officials andnbusinessmen have an obvious need fornhistorical understanding, but so does anperson trying to speculate on the fu­nture of his favorite team.nThere are certain patterns and proceduresnwe use in thinking about thenpast, but if we are pressed to articulatenthose procedures, most of us wouldnhave some difficulty. The authors’nbasic recommendations are clear andnrepeated often. First, they tell us to listnin three columns those things Known,nUnclear, and Presumed.nSince history sometimes seems tonrepeat itself—as the great influenzanepidemic of 1918 looked like a modelnfor the swine flu scare of 1976—it isnimportant to separate the Likenessesnand Differences. If the Ford Administrationnhad done that, we might havenbeen spared a cosfly boondoggle. Innaddition, objectives have to be definedn(the authors offer a set of helpful questions),nand the options must be arrangednand screened for feasibility.nThe decision-maker must next asknhimself and his advisors, “What arenthe odds of success?” or “What wouldnhave to happen in order for me tonchange my opinion about the possibilitynof success?” Finally, a decisionmakernmust exercise placement, thenattempt to grasp the ideologies andnbackgrounds of one’s advisors in ordernto determine how their past may benaffecting their advice.nThe majority oi Thinking in Time isndevoted to case-analysis of recentnevents like the Bay of Pigs. Not surprisingly,nit is the detail-obsessed JimmynCarter who takes the roughest beating.nFor all his mistakes, poor Jimmynshould have graduated summa cumnlaude from the school of experience.nFortunately, he flunked out at the endnof his first term.nBuddy Matthews is a journalist basednin Dallas.nGod’s Foolnby WiUiam Isley Jr.nBrideshead Benighted by AuberonnWaugh, Boston: Little, Brown;n$16.95.nAuberon Waugh’s finely sharpenednpen cuts through the mist of illusionsnthat prevent Americans from seeingnBritain as it is. In these articles fromnthe Spectator, he exposes a societynnnnearly gone mad. Royalty and commoner,nyoung and old, liberal andnconservative are routed by Waugh’snscathing satire. He writes of the folliesnof socialism in which the Nanny Statendoles out its precious candies to itsnmost bothersome brats. The absurdnlengths to which the Nanny State seeksnto regulate the lives of its little darlingsnshould serve us as a warning againstnall would-be save-America-by-governmentnfanatics, whether of thenleft or the right. I mean, what can younsay of a country where householdersnare forbidden by law to drive tut,ntouch, or destroy bats which haveninvaded their homes, or where a man^nis prosecuted and fined $60 for failingnto kill his goldfish when it was suffering?nWaugh’s response to the foolishnessnof modern Britain is mockery. Lowermiddle-classnparents are accused ofnshowing hatred toward their childrennby stuffing “their mouths with sweetsnuntil their teeth blacken and fall out tonlie like rabbit droppings all over thenfitted carpet in the television lounge.”nWaugh was disappointed in Parliamentnbecause he “had hoped to findnthe House of Commons like a cornricknwhere every sheaf lifted will reveal anfamily of rats fighting, eating and copulatingnwith each other and dashingnfor cover when exposed to the light ofnday. Instead, I found an assembly ofndirty-minded but torpid and inadequatendrunks.”nStill there is a problem withnWaugh’s satire. While stopping thenmouths of the wicked and bashingntheir heads seems to me to be a perfectlynproper response, there ought tonbe something more positive for us tondo than carp.nMr. Waugh may be shy about hisnown vision because it is rooted in hisnreligious faith. The key to his theologynis to be found in two articles. “Selfabasement”nargues that modernistnChristianity “by perverting the NewnTestament notion of humility into anmessage of self-abasement and selfimmolationnwithin the ‘Community,’nis actively assisting the triumph of evil,nhere identified with the power urge innman.” This new humility teaches thatnman is just a tiny cog in the muchnmore significant wheel of society, history,nor the ecosystem. The communitynis therefore the main driving force inn