financial incapacities. In his rages, accordingnto Miss Wilson, her father wasn”like a person possessed in the oldfashionednsense. Elizabeth Waugh [anProvincetown friend] . . . had thoughtnmy father looked like Caligula. Liquornmay have brought it out sometimes, butnit was fundamental and had nothingnreally to do with drinking. … He wasnfascinated by monsters, loved movienones, referring to them affectionately:n’There’s the old monster.’ He dotednon a record I gave him a few yearsnbefore he died called ‘The MonsternRally.’ These creatures appealed to hisnterrible, lonely, isolated, evil side.”nWhen he wanted Rosalind with him, henwanted her; when not, then not. “Henhad known what he wanted to be at annearly age and never let anything divertnhim from his chosen path. He was andomestic tyrant who never presidednover a household in which the occupantsnwere comfortable. It seemed almostnas though if they were comfortable,nhe was not.” Yet, when Rosalindnhad a breakdown of her own, “he sawnme through gallantly”; and a valentinenthat he sent her in the final year of hisnlife, for her said it all: “Ours has been anstrange and wonderful relationship.”nPerhaps the best parts of the bookndeal with Miss Wilson’s childhoodnsummers spent with her father in Provincetownnon Cape Cod, in those faroffntimes when the population includednthe Eugene O’Neills, the John DosnPassoses, and an assortment of WhitenRussian emigres, and before it hadnbecome an annexed colony of NewnYork and Boston perverts. With hernfriends the Russians and others,nRosalind fished for pickerel that werentransformed into gourmet meals, dranknchampagne, and listened to fine pianonperformances, from which she fre-nFor Immediate ServicenChroniclesnSUBSCRIBERSnTOLL FREE NUMBERn1-800-435-0715nILLINOIS RESIDENTSn1-800-892-0753n38/CHRONICLESnquently arrived home in the earlynhours of the morning. One night,nencountering resistance behind thendoor,nI pushed a little farther, [and]nrecognized the leg of a rocker,non top of which was anHitchcock chair, and on top ofnthat a bread box, which camencrashing down as per mynfather’s plan. He hadnbooby-trapped the door.n”Rosalind!” he bellowed asnonly he could pronounce thatnname disapprovingly. “What arenyou doing?”n”Getting in from George’s.”n”What’s going on?”n”He played some music.”n”You woke me up.”n”Why did you put the chairsnin front of the door?”n”I don’t know what you’rentalking about.”nUnderneath the joking, the japing, thengaming, the champagne, and the generalngood feeling, however, there is anhectic quality—or perhaps, there isnsimply the quality of something missing,nof something left out. It is reasonable tonsuspect that her father’s procession ofnmarriages and amours has somethingnto do with this; if so. Miss Wilson hasnbeen a brick in her description of themnand of their dramatis personae, hernstepmothers in particular. Of MargaretnCanby, who died in California bynfalling off a stair as she left a dinnernparty, Rosalind says simply that shen”adored” her; of Elena Mumm Wilson,nEdmund’s last wife (in his mostnsuccessful marriage), that she was “angreat lady, a fighter, a terrific worker”;nand, while remarking of Mary McCarthyn(from whom she learned “twonpractical things . . . : how to make thenbest cucumber sandwiches and TomnCollinses in the world”) that “she wasnAnna Karenina without the warmth,”nshe magnanimously relates that, innrelation to herself at least, the novelistn”did the best she could with the situation.”nIn Near the Magician there is but ansingle sentence referring to Wilson’snlove of magic tricks.nIt was a funny dichotomy in hisncharacter, this love of illusionnand magic contrasting with hisnnncareer, which depended onnanalyzing and taking apartnliterary works and removing thenmagic.nFor Rosalind Wilson, I believe, hernfather was the master magician whonsucceeded in removing magic fromnliterature even as he created it there, asnhe removed love from romance bynmarrying it. For her, he was an alchemist,ncapable of transmuting a thingninto its opposite; and the emblem of hisngenius in doing this was the performancenof his magical tricks — in which,nby the way, he was not above stealing anplaying card and keeping it until thenspirit moved him to return it. “Whatncan you say about a man like that?” thencard’s owner, the popular novelist PhyllisnDuganne, had asked; and I suspectnthat the man’s daughter didn’t know thenanswer to that question. So she wrotenthis very interesting and valuable book,nto find out.nChilton Williamson, Jr. is seniorneditor for books at Chronicles.nThe IncrediblenLightness of BeingnLiberalnby William R. HawkinsnAmerican Power: The Rise andnDecline of U.S. Globalismnby John TaftnNew York: Harper & Row;n320 pp., $22.50nJohn Taft’s book is a history of Americannforeign policy from Wodd War Inthrough the Vietnam War, as exemplifiednby the careers of prominent “liberalninternationalists” who dominated thenpolicymaking process: William Bullit,nAverell Harriman, George Kennan,nChester Bowles, Henry Cabot Lodge,nJr., Dean Acheson, David Bruce, JohnnFoster Dulles, Herbert Hoover,nEllsworth Bunker, Henry Stimson, andnGyms Vance. These men represent anbipartisan group of public servants whonshared an intemational view. Unfortunately,nthese views were ideologically atnodds with the traditional practice ofnrealpolitik required to protect and ad-n