mance. Judges have now had 42 years tornengineer a better world, and are not donernyet, as many school districts are still underrncourt supervision,rnhi Forced Justice: School Desegregationrnand the Law, David ]. Armor sheds lightrnon the results of this experiment. Armorrnexamines numerous studies involvingrnkey topics such as black self-esteem,rnhousing preferences, academic performance,rnand white flight. The conclusionsrnhe draws cast serious doubts onrnthe desegregation policy of the past 40rnyears.rnTo begin with, Armor assembles resultsrnfrom studies that question the influentialrnwork of Kenneth and MamiernClark. The Clarks’ doll studies, conductedrnin the 1930’s, concluded that blackrnchildren’s preferences for white dolls wasrnevidence of low self-esteem. The resultsrnof the study were frequently cited inrnthe appeals process leading to Brown,rnwhich clcarlv built on the belief thatrnlow black self-esteem led to lower blackrnacademic performance. Armor cites researchrnfrom the immediate post-Brownrnera—a time before any real desegregationrntook place—showing that segregationrndoes not appear to harm thernself-esteem of blacks, and that “desegregationrnnot only fails to improve blackrnself-esteem but may in fact lower it.”rnArmor goes on to tackle myths surroundingrnhousing segregation and itsrncauses. The standard belief is that blacksrndesire to move into predominately whiternneighborhoods but are prevented fromrndoing so because of discrimination. Accordingrnto studies cited by Armor, however,rnblack and white preferences—notrndiscrimination—^Icad to most housingrnsegregation. Black respondents preferredrnneighborhoods that were half black andrnhalf white and tended to avoid neighborhoodsrnthat were predominately white,rnwhereas two-thirds of the white respondentsrnsaid they would try to leave anyrnneighborhood that became 50 percentrnblack. Simple arithmetic dictates that itrnis impossible for most blacks (making uprnless than 13 percent of the population)rnto live in 50-50 neighborhoods. Moreover,rnneighborhoods that are truly integratedrn(predominately white) are unacceptablernto blacks. This Catch-22 makesrnhousing integration, and consequentlyrnneighborhood school integration, impossible.rnFinally, Armor looks at black academicrnperformance and desegregation. Segregatedrnschools, according to Brown,rnwere “inherently unequal” and responsiblernfor poor academic performance byrnblacks. The statistical evidence showsrnthat scholastic gains have been as largernfor segregated blacks as for desegregatedrnblacks. After examining the data. Armorrnconcludes that “Enhanced academicrnachievement is probably the last reasonrnwhy any agency or individual should endorserndesegregation policies.”rnThe evidence he presents makesrnthe case that the desegregated utopiarnpromised by the left is but a specter.rnThere is, however, a major flaw in thisrnimportant work since, his own researchrnto the contrary. Armor refuses to questionrnthe wisdom behind desegregationrnitself. He proposes “equity choice”—entailingrnever more extensive governmentalrninterference in the form of vouchers, increasedrnspending on magnet schools inrnurban areas, and affirmative action-likerncriteria for student transfers—to replacerncurrent desegregation policies. Neverrndoes it occur to him that communitiesrnought to be free from all schemes of socialrnengineering. Though political correctnessrnkeeps the blinders in place overrnthe author’s eves. Forced Justice shouldrnspark discussion of the desegregationrndilemma in other less enlightened circles.rnWilUam ]. Watkins, ]r., is the assistantrneditor of The Freeman.rnThe End of Timernby Loxley F. NicholsrnIn the Tennessee Countryrnby Peter TaylorrnNew York. Alfred A. Knopf Press;rn226 pp.,%2] .00rnIn his last novel. In the Tennessee Country,rnpublished the summer before PeterrnTaylor’s death on November 2, 1994,rna man, the narrator’s cousin, “chucks”rnhis family, his home, and his identitv,rnand disappears. What is importantrnabout Cousin Aubrey, however, is not sornmuch his mysterious absence from thernnarrator’s life as his lingering presence inrnthe narrator’s imagination.rnThe narrator, Nathan Tucker Longfort,rnbegins his story with a journey herntook as a six-year-old child from Washington,rnD.C., to Tennessee aboard a funeralrntrain carrying the body of hisrngrandfather, a late United States senatorrnand former governor of Tennessee. Itrnwas during this trip that Nathan’s interestrnin Aubrey was aroused, and it wasrnupon completion of it that Aubrey disappeared.rnThroughout his early years,rnNathan Longfort attends a succession ofrnfamily funerals which occasion the phantomlikernappearances and disappearancesrnof Aubrey Bradshaw, the “outside” (illegitimate)rncousin who had been Nathan’srnmother’s first love, and each time his interestrnin this mysterious cousin is intensified.rnThis interest in Cousin Aubreyrncomes to represent not only a romanticrnfascination with the past, but an escapernfrom the responsibilit)’ of the present. Asrna young man, Nathan pursues art historyrnrather than painting. In so doing, herncompromises both his talent and his integrit)’.rnHis subsequent political maneuveringsrnin academia arc surpassed onlyrnby his ability to publish books that arernmere rewrites of each other.rnRepetition in and of itself is not necessarilyrna bad thing, however. In fact, inrnthis novel Taylor uses repetition as arnmeans of incantation. Anecdotes arerntold and retold, and their sheer weightrngives the narrative a lethargic quality, arndreamy “atmosphere” (to use the author’srnown word) that is characteristic ofrnmuch of Taylor’s fiction. Expectationrnand tedium are beautifully counterpoisedrnhere. The plot develops in suchrnsmall increments and in such waves ofrnrepetition that the reader ultimately feelsrnstalled in time. The sweep of memory isrna tide that builds steadily but almost imperceptiblyrnuntil there is no distinctionrnbetween past and present—or future,rnfor that matter. According to the Chinesernproverb quoted by the narrator:rn”Time is nothing . . , character and experiencernand precious memory is all.”rnPeter Taylor’s Tennessee country is arnstate of mind, a way of thinking that la’srnclaim to both one’s conscious and subconscious,rnone’s waking and dreaming.rnIt is the juncture at which time and placerncohere with the infinite and indehble.rnIt is a comfortable place to be, a securernplace to come to, but it is also an impedimentrnto growth and development. ThernTennessee country is also the South, andrnNathan’s obsession with Aubrey is thernSoutherner’s obsession with his past,rnwith the War, with history. This obsessionrnstifles him, yet paradoxically givesrnhim substance as memory attempts tornDECEMBER 1995/35rnrnrn