with a feeling for the whole. What hasnbeen, is, and will be “has a simultaneousnexistenee and composes a simultaneousnorder.” Further, and perhapsnmost important, the historical sense isnthe perception of “the timeless and ofnthe temporal together,” Without thisnsensibility, how could we dare to confrontnhistory? Only, I suggest, in anspirit of willful ignorance. The pastndoes not bury its dead. They are anlively presence among us with thenright to be fully engaged in our discourse.nTo patronize their living in thenliving they did is to profane memory.n]oseph Schwartz is professor of Englishnat Marquette University.nPrairie Dognby Jane GreernPrairie Women: Images in Americannand Canadian Fiction by Carol Fairbanks,nNew Haven, CT: Yale UniversitynPress; $19.95.nFairbanks has an interesting hypothesis:nthat early prairie women loved thenplains and their adventurous lives herenas much as pioneer men did. I havennever believed in the myth that everynpioneer woman was long-suffering, silentlynhating the prairie and the mannwho brought her here. I was pleased tonthink that I’d found here some justilicationnfor my belief Unfortunately,nFairbanks’ book reads like the dissertationnthat spawned it. It might make angood reference text for a women’s literaturenclass, but as for being literaturen. . . One of Fairbanks’ problemsnis overkill: Her idea would make andecent article, but in a 300-page hardcovernbook she smothers the subject.nIn her introduction, the authornwrites, “The present study is committednto this act of revisioning the lives ofnprairie women in Canada and thenUnited States—looking back, seeingnwith new eyes, and entering old textsnfrom a feminist critical perspective. Inhope to discover new ways womennwriters have described the experiencesnof pioneer prairie women and hownthey have named the ‘new’ land—thenland that was new to the pioneers butnold and familiar to native peoples.”nTry to overlook the coyness of thensecond sentence (the introduction wasnobviously written after the rest of thenbook). Disregard the question of whynwe should care how prairie womenn”named” their land and the scarcelynrevolutionary information that thenland was new to pioneers but old to thenIndians. Try to ignore Fairbanks’ literarynsloth: “revisioning,” a ridiculousnsubstitute for “reassessing,” and thenlethargic “looking back, seeing withnnew eyes.” Try to forget all this, becausenit is just one paragraph, andnmany of her others are better. Concentrateninstead on the real meat of thenpassage, where Fairbanks is candidnabout her motivation for all this: Shenhas a “feminist critical perspective.”nShe may or may not love literature andnthe prairie, but they both get bulldozednaside in her political zeal tonbuild up a dry pile of evidence.nThis, then, is the most disappointingnthing about Prairie Women: that itsntide is accurate. Far from inviting us tondiscover some obscure but talentednwriters, or to think of the prairie morenkindly, the author combines fragmentsnof original writing with truckloads ofnher own somnolent prose to prove hernpoint: that pioneer women were toughnand loved it here. Why did this dissertationnneed to become a book?nTHE UNCEINISCKED GRACE COMMISSION STUDVnNOW AVAILABLE!ntien ttie Grace CommissionnW on government waste issuednits final report on membersnof Congress who block attemptsnto cut spending, it succumbed tonintense political pressure andnpublished the volume with allnthe names deleted. Now thencomplete unexpurgated reportnis available in this volumecontainingnevery name from thenoriginal report along with a newnintroduction by the authors,nand a foreword by EugenenMcCarthy.nONLY $7.95 fromn^ISSEZFAIRE BOOKSn”Porhbarrel is must reading!”n— Tom DiaznWashington TimesnThenUnexpurgatednGrace CommissionnStory ofnCongressionalnProfligacynby RANDALL FITZGERALD ANDnGERALD LIPSONnOrder CU1529 (paper) for $7.95 plus $1.00 postage & handling ($2.00 foreign orders)nORDER TOLL-FREE 1-800-238-2200 ext. 500nand charge your VISA or MasterCardn”Porhbarrel vividly describes how theoreticalncommitments to economy are overwhelmednby parochial concerns.” _^^^^^^ ^^,^^^^nHouston PostnPlease send me _ _ copies of Porkbarrelnlor only $7.95 each, plus SI.00 postage &nhandling ($2.00 foreign orders).nSend me your 32-page catalog of books onnliberty. My check or money order isnenclosed for $ .nName _nAddrcss__nCiivnSlale/ZipnOrder from: LAISSEZ FAIRE BOOKS, Dept. CADn532 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 (212) 925-8992nMONEY BACK GUARANTEEnIf for any reason you are unhappynwith your order, just return it withinn30 davs for a refund.nContinental U.S. * 24 hours a day * 7 days a weeknor send your order to LAISSEZ FAIRE BOOKS, Dept. CAE, 532 Broadway, New York, NY 10012nnnJUNE 1987/35n