ty,” which have brought Christendomnto its current advanced state of decadence.nThe liberal ideology of progressnthat, by Johnson’s account, conferrednso many benefits on mankind, alsonconferred a smug self-reliance and anterrible alienation from the Creator,nthe frightening consequences of whichnwere not played out until our ownnunhappy century. The belief in theninevitability of progress, with its attendantnfaith in science as a panacea fornevery ill, is at the root of our moral andnsocial decay. One wishes Mr. Johnsonnshowed a bit more ambivalence aboutnit.nBrian Robertson is a freelance writernliving in Princeton, New Jersey.nMoi, le Delugenby Florence KingnMarion Barry: The Politics of Racenby Jonathan I.Z. AgronskynLatham, New York: British AmericannPublishing; 380 pp., $21.95nHniine was just five years old whennMattie Barry, seeking a freshnstart in life, moved north with her sonnand two older daughters to Memphis.n. . . Her husband had been killed a yearnearlier in Itta Bena. Neither MarionnBarry, Jr., nor his mother, who nownlives in Memphis, will talk about thenfather or his untimely death, which, halfna century later, still hangs like a dark,nmysterious cloud over the family’snpast.”nWas Marion Barry’s father lynchednin 1940? If so, why has the opportunisticnBarry kept so uncharacteristicallynquiet about it? A lynching in the familynwould be pure gold for such a master ofnthe politics of racial victimization. Whynhas no reporter, including the author ofnthis book, unearthed the facts surroundingnthe elder Barry’s death? True,nlynchings are never recorded as such,nnot even in the Mississippi Delta of fiftynyears ago, but somebody ought to benable to find out something. And if somenmembers of the media know what happenednbut won’t say, why won’t they?nThis is just one intriguing point in anriveting book that reads like a blacknversion of Suetonius’ The Twelve Cae­nsars, starring Marion Barry as Tiberiusnin a baseball cap and a blue velournjogging suit, lolling on beds on tropicalnafternoons, smacking his lips overndusky Caribbean beauties while hisnmodern Rome on the Potomac goes tonrack and ruin.nMarion Barry is disgusting beyondnbelief, but he didn’t start out that way.nAfter the move to Memphis he crackednthe books and became the kind of kidnwho recites memorized poetry at familyngatherings — his piece de resistancenwas “The House By the Side of thenRoad.” Yet even at this tender age henhad another side to him. He sold thensandwiches his mother packed for hisnschool lunch because his body couldnstand hunger better than his ego couldnstand empty pockets: he needed tonhear the jingle of change. He alsonpersuaded his sisters to sing on thenstreet while he, in disturbingly pimplikenfashion, collected donations fromnpassersby.nIn high school he worked part-timenas a waiter at the American LegionnPost, where he got even with whites bynspitting in their soup. He made thenNational Honor Society and won anscholarship to black LeMoyne Collegenin Memphis, majoring in chemistry —nperhaps because it interested him, perhapsnbecause he was driven to standnout from the crowd: “I looked aroundnme, and I saw everybody was going tonbe a teacher in a black school or a socialnworker, and I didn’t want to be eithernof them.”nWhile at LeMoyne he adopted anmiddle name, “Shepilov,” which henhappened to see in a newspaper.nDmitri Shepilov was a high-rankingnmember of the Soviet Communist Partynin 1956-57. Around this time henbecame a local celebrity when he challengedna white member of LeMoyne’snboard of trustees for saying: “ThenNegro is our brother, but he should bentreated as a younger brother, and not asnan adult.” He proceeded to Fisk University,nNashville’s famed black school,nfor a master’s in chemistry and a minornin sit-ins at the local Woolworth’snlunch counter; and on to a teachingnassistantship at the University of Kansas,nwhere white parents complainednwhen their daughters were assigned tonchemistry classes taught by him. Inn1962 he returned to Tennessee and anjob on the faculty of all-black KnoxvillennnCollege, a period in which court recordsnshow he was arrested for allegedlynpassing bad checks (the charges werenlater dropped). This was also the yearnhe married Blanhe Evans, his first wife,nwho divorced him two years later becausenshe could not compete with hisntrue love — the civil rights movementn— which gave him the attention andnadulation he craved and took him tonWashington, D.C., as a SNCC organizer.nWhat Agronsky calls Barry’s “darknside” of rage and resentment surfacedneariy in his Washington period. As anleader of the Free D.C. movement fornhome rule, he made white reportersnpay him for interviews. Arrested fornjaywalking, he punched a white copnand kicked out the door of the paddynwagon, but was acquitted by a jury ofnten blacks and two whites. Wearingnnative African costumes and packing an.32, he started the notorious YouthnPride Economic Enterprise (YPEE), anfederally funded circus that turnednWashington into a less well-disciplinednversion of Al Capone’s Chicago.nThe “disadvantaged youth” workingnBEYONDnROMANTICISMnTuckerman’s Life and PoetrynEugene EnglandnThis biography revealsnFrederick Tuckerman’s uniquencombination of Anglican rationalism,nlegal training, and skill innnatural observation—traits thatncaused him to depart from orthodoxnEmersonian Romanticism innunusual and instructive ways.nIt examines Tuckerman’snchallenging resolution to basicnaesthetic and epistemological dilemmasnposed by Romanticism,nand demonstrates that his poemsnare a first-rate artistic achievementnof continuing value.n3 M pages • $39.50 hardcovernISBN0-79H-0791-8nState University of New York Pressnc/o CUP Servic«>nPO BcK 6525 • Ithaca, NY, 14851n1-800-688-2877 (FAX orders)nVISA/MQAMEXnOCTOBER 1991/35n