THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Saturday, May 25, 1968
Gaibraith s Triumph ':A hollow victory
A Jewish problem-for Jews
By WALTER SHAPIRO
The Triumph, by John Ken-
neth Galbraith. Houghton-
Mifflin, $4.95. :
John Kenneth Galbraith, re-
garded by Time as America's
reigning intellectual, has made
a bold attempt to join such
quasi-political figures as Ben-
jamin Disraeli and Gore Vidal
as best-selling novelists.
The transition can be con-
sidered highly successful in the
sense that the Galbraith of fic-
tion mirrors Galbraith of real
life - engaging and yet to-
Using a style _ alternately
reminiscent of Anthony Trol-
lope and Eugene Burdick, Gal-
braith slowly unfolds the slight-
ly disguised and revised, fic-
tionalized tale of Juan Bosch's
adventures in thee Dominican
The Triumph tells how the
built-in mediocrity and the
stale anti-Communism of the
State Department destroy the
efforts of Miro, a progressive
social reformer, to bring prog-
ress to Puerto Santos after the
30-year reign of the slightly
comic-opera President Mar-
It is difficult to 'be critical
of an author who laces his fic-
tion with such a hefty supply
of erudite one-liners and politi-
cal epigrams.hAnd while one
could fault the awkwardness
and implausibilitw of Gal-
braith's conclusion - Juan
Martinez, the dictator's son, re-
turns with State Department
encouragement to usher in the
triumph of Communism in
Puerto Santos - It is difficult
to deny its impishness.
Yet despite his wit and not
inconsiderable literary talent,,
the current chairman of Ameri-
cans for Democratic Action,
Melanie meets the..
that growingly irrelevant bas-
tion of unsullied liberalism, is
in the end damned exasperat-
ing. Not because of the shock-
ing boldness of his ideas, but
rather on account of the gall-
ing timidity of his vision.
The fictional format of The
Triumph presents, a public fig-
ure like Galbraith with a cer-
tain freedom of scope and ut-
erance not found at the lectern,
where his every inflection is
subject to analysis from the
perspective of ADA Chairman,
K e n n e d y intellectual, and
Book-of-the-Month Club econ-
Galbraith could have used
this liberty of media to explore
the wilds beyond the foothills
of pragmatism, or to add some
much needed leavening to con-
temporary political thinking by
indulging in a little imagina-
tive utopianism. Instead, he
has chosen to assail that neme-
sis of the New Frontiersman,
the State Department Estab-
The copious memoirs of Sor-
ensen and Schlesinger long ago
made the retrograde nature of
the State Department all but
public domain. As accurate as
his picture may still be today,
Foggy Bottom provides Gal-
braith with little more than a
hastily conceived straight man
with which he can grapple
The thesis behind Galbraith's
analysis is that the State De-
partment as a rigidly hierar-
chical institution places greater
weight on position and senior-
ity than it does on Intellect.
Unfortunately for Galbraith.
the whole point was far more
effectively made, using the
Army as the subject pool, by
Joseph Heller in Caten 22.
The other prong of Gal-
braith's attack on the State De-
partment is the contraproduc-
tive stranglehold which anti-
Communism has on the Ameri-
can political intellect. While
such a contention would have
been refreshingly new in the
mid-fifties, today it is at best
a standard weapon in the ar-
senal of even moderate critics
of the Johnson Administration.
Yet Galbraith doesn't even
bother to make the State De-
partment's villainous opponent
of the Miro regime a subtle
anti-Communist. Rather, As-
sistant Secretary of State for
Inter-American Affairs Worth
Campbell still believes "that
whatever the disagreements be-
tween Communists, they are
united in their intention to de-
stroy the free world."
Galbraith's real enemy in
The Triumph is stupidity. And
often his wit in ferreting out
inanity is arresting, such as
when he mentions the invita-
tion to "Professor Daniel Es-
cobedo to spend a year in Puer-
to Santos making a study of
the criminal code" because
"somewhere he got the impres-
sion that Escobedo was Dean
of Harvard Law School."
But underlying all this wit
is a reassuring, yet highly dan-
gerous, simplicity of analysis.
According to Galbraith, all that
is necessary is to end the reign
of stupidity and bureaucraUc,
ineptitude at the State Depart-
ment which enables a Worth
Campbell to thwart a well-
meaning President. Then,
American foreign policy will
rest secure in the expert hands
of the Schlesingers - and the
As the massive folly of Viet-
nam is playing havoc with the
prevailing notions of America's
place in the world, Galbraith,
by carefully restricting his fire
to the easy-to-tackle Yahoos in
the State Department, hlas
managed to pull off a master-
piece of evasion. He has writ-
ten a political novel about for-
eign affairs that scrupulously
avoids every major sector of
American foreign policy.
For example: Conveniently,
"foreign investment has been
negligible" in Puerto Santos
and one can easily sidestep the
.intriguing question of the de-,
gree to which American busi-
ness interests and pressures
dictate American policy in the
By focusing on the damage
that the Colossus to the North
can do by withholding its rec-
ognition and minimal economic
and military aid, the novel
also avoids any discussion Hof
what further constructive role
America can possibly play in
Galbraith's novel slights all,
major foreign policy issues ini
an attempt to illustrate the
massive gulf between the cal-
lous and ignorant, and thd in-
telligent and sensitive in to-
day's hardnosed political world.
Take away the wit and the edi-
One cannot avoid noting that
The Triumph exudes local cul-
or. Fortuitously for his educa-
tion, Juan Martinez "was stu-
dying recondite subjects of so-
cial consequence at the Univer-
sity of Michigan on a bribe,
more or less adequately dis-
guised as a scholarship from a,
large American oil firm of u.-
While not being called upon
to conjure. up any more of Ann
Arbor than Mike Nichols used
of Berkeley in "The Graduate,"
Galbraith 'avoids major errors
of fact. His minor errors are
of the marginal variety, like
assuming from his Harvard ex- .
perience that the University
also has a plethora of endowed
Galbraith rings most untrue
when he tries to capture col-
lege life, '68. He describes one
Sunday morning in Juan Mar-
tinez's Ann Arbor apartment
long after "both occupants of
the bed had discarded their
night attire, if indeed, any had
It is at this stirring moment
that Galbraith's i n s a t i a b l e
craving for the bon mot gets
the better of him. His nubile
goed says to Juan, apropos of
almost nothing, "It must have
been only a rumor that John
Lindsay was born in Bethle-
So that's what they say iny
swinging Ann Arbor on Sun-
day mornings. I never would
By NEIL SHISTER
The Passionatp People, by Roger Kahn.
To be a Jew in America, or at least to be con-
scious of being a Jew' in America, is to live in a ,--
curious, self-imposed limbo. By and large, the al-
most 6 million Jews in this country have arrived,
possessing collectively much wealth and some
power in a society where blatant and even discreet
anti--Semitism appear genuinely on the wane. Yet
if they have arrived, it is doubtful if they are ful-
They are privately confronted and secretly
haunted by the problem of whether they are morej
Jew or American, and their irreconcilable dilemma j
is that they want to be equal parts of both, yet
they understand that such a blend is impossible.l
To become too secular is to abandon the faith 7
and the sense of pride which the heritage instills
in its believers, yet to be too faithful to tradition
is to deny the reality and opportunity of the j
American context and invite social isolation and
Roger Kahn, an editor-at-large with the Sat-+
urday Evening Post, undertook the gargantuan
project of trying to describe what it is like to a
Jew in America. His book, The Passionate People,
is an attempt to reduce the abstract questions1
which trouble American Jewry into a collection
of unusually compellings and interesting portraitsa
of fictitious character drawn from four years of
research and interviews.
If especially readable, however, one' hesitates
to call it important with the same relish as doesc
its publisher on the front flap. The book suffersa
from its own ambition, and in the end must be
reluctantly called a success at first-rate feature
writing (or pseudo-fiction), but a failure at telling
us something substantive about American Jews
other than that they are very diverse, subject
to many different influences, and unified ,only
in their opposition to anti-Semitism. Although, on
second thought, maybe this, is all there is to tell.
Quite obviously, -this is a mixed review. As a
writer I can appreciate and pay praise to the
skill Kahn has with words, and above all his
extraordinary talent for bringing his people alive.
Indeed, he writes brilliantly with a delicate sense
of nuance and detail. He has also experimented,
quite successfully, with the new form of- non-
fiction-fiction, impressionistically telling his story
in bits and pieces, cutting away. from one scene
to introduce some history, then returning to the
present to continue his examination of a partic-
ular moment, much like in documentary film.
But if an author intends to write impres-
sionistically, especially if he is not dealing with
an actual event that occurred and has innate
structure in its linear unfolding, (e.g. Mailer,
Armies of the Night), he must have a clear sense
of his overall purpose. It is here that Kahn fails.
He has tackled an immense -project, but has not
really defined it. In other - words, too often it
seems that while the vignettes are fascinating,
they are not realy contributing to a total work nor
illustrating more general points. Rather, the book
reads like a collection of individual pieces.
It might have been a great book, too. It isn't,
mostly because of its structural deficiences. But
it Is important in the respect that it shows the
capabilities and potential of impressionistic re-
porting coupled with serious purpose, if not grand
By MARCIA ABRAMSON
The Magic Toyshop, by Angela Carter. Simon & Schuster,
An overabundance of melodrama and imagery nearly stifles
the -15-year-old heroine of The Magic Toyshop, a second novel by
The Magic Toyshop begins with the stock situation of litera-
ture designed for the impressionable adolescent girl, in the Ann
of Green Gables tradition, modernized and grown up by adding
sex and eliminating any moralistic leaning. Daydreaming, spoiled,
naive-Melanie is orphaned (of course) at 15 and forced to leave
her English countryside home for a flat above a toyshop in a
decaying section of London.
She is at once confronted with tyranny, attacks on her inno-
cence, attempted murder, incest. Her uncle is a threatening despot;
his wife lost her voice on the day she Inarried the monster; and
the aunt's two wild Irish brothers drink, fight, and never wash.
By the book's end Melanie has graphically discovered her
aunt's lifelong love with the oldest brother along with her own
undeniable linking to Finn, the younger of the pair. When the
terrible uncle finds his wife and her brother together, the entire
house literally explodes, leaving only the still 15-year-old Melanie
and her Irishman.
Yet Miss Carter has still managed to catch the young girl
with many patterns of insight. Melanie's imagination is the 15-
year-old. "I wish I was 40 and it was all over and I knew what was
going to happen to me . . ." she thinks. She wonders constantly
about the mysterious realm of sex; she constructs an imaginary
lover and wonders if her parents had pre-marital sex. She is
totally immersed in her world of Melanie, until the horrifying
events draw her out.
Often Miss Carter is incisive as she relates Melanie's reac-
tions to realities she has never imagined: "She remembered the
lover she made up out of books and poems she had dreamed of all
summer; he crumpled like the paper he was made of before this
insilent, offhand, terrifying maleness that filled the room . .
But the failing of the book, aside from the incredible plot,
lies in the continuing, often unnecessary stream of metaphor:
"Since she was thirteen, when her periods began, she had felt
she was pregnant with herself, bearing the slowly ripening embryo
of Melanie-grown-up within herself for a gestation period the
length of which she was not precisely aware . . ."
In addition, most of the other characters are very flat. Alto-
gether The Magic Toyshop fails to transcend the over-pervasive
imagery and melodrama. Melanie herself, though, is very much
what she should be.
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leave from H illel at 12 noon for Silver lake.
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$1 members $1.25 others
State and William-on the Campus
Terry N. Smith, Minister
Family Service-8:15 a.m.
Regular Service--9:15 and 1 1:00 a.m.
HURON HILLS BAPTIST CHURCH
Presently meeting at the YM-YWCA
Affiliated with the Baptist General Conf.
Rev. Charles Johnson
9:45 a.m.-U. Fellowship Bible Discussion.
11:00 a.m.-"The Expression of Genuine
7:00 p.m.-Worship with New Hope Baptist
8:30 p.m.-College and Careers Fellowship.
UNIVERSITY LUTHERAN CHAPEL
(The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod)
'dfred T. Scheips, Pastor
Sunday at 9:45 a.m.-Service.
Sunday at 11:00 a.m.-Bible Study.
Sunday at 3:15 p.m.-Outing.
Wednesday at 8:30 - World Council of
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Wednesday at 10:00 pm.-Midweek Devo-
ST. ANDREW'S EPSICOPAL CHURCH
306 N. Division
8:00 a.m.-Holy Communion.
9:00 o m..-Holy Communion and Sermon.
11:00 a.m.-Morning Proyer and Sermon.
7:00 p.m.-Evening Proyer.
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
1432 Washtenow Ave.
Ministers: Ernest T. Campbell, Malcolm G.
Brown, John W. Waser, Horold S. Horan
Worship at 9:00, 10:30 a.m., and 12:00 noon.
Presbyterian Campus Center located at the
FELLOWSHIP and THE ANN ARBOR
FREE METHODIST CHURCH
1700 Newport Road
David E. Jefford, Pastor
For transportation call 663-2869.
PACKARD ROAD BAPTIST CHURCH
Southern Baptist Convention
1131 Church St.
Rev. Tom Bloxam
9:45 a.m.-Sunday School.
11:00 a.m.-Morning Worship.
6:30 p.m.-Training Union.
7:30 p.m.-Evening Worship.
ST. AIDEN'S EPISCOPAL CHAPEL
1679 Broadway ,
9:00 a.m.-Morning Prayer and Holy Com-
1 1:00 a.m.-Coffee in the lounge.
THE CHURCH OF' CHRIST
W. Stadium at Edgewood
Across from Ann Arbor High
Roy V. Palmer, Minister,
10:00 a.m.-Bible School.
11:00 a.m.-Regular Worship.
6:00 p.m.-Evening Worship.
7:30 p.m.-Bible Study.
Transportation furnished for all
NO 2-2756. '
FIRST METHODIST CHURCH AND
At State and Huron Streets
Hoover Rupert, Minister
Eugene Ransom, Campus Minister -
Bartlett Beavin, Associate Campus Minister
9:00 and 11:15 a.m.-Worship Services. Dr.
Rupert: "The First Full Measure of Devo-
would you believe
Moscow, Peking, Hanoi
Donald S. Zagoria
Improving prospects for a negotiated settlement of the vietnam war
make all the more urgent a. clarification of the relationships of the
different Communist factions involved. VietmanTriangle is perhaps the
most thoroughly informed' and documented analysis available on this.
complex matter. "A plea for understanding that there are a variety of
plausible options open for peace in Vietnam. Few American experts are
more qualified to examine the alternatives to present United States
policy in Vietnam than Donald Zagoria, now -Director of the Modern
Asia Research Institute at Hunter College, and author of The Sino-
Soviet Conflict, a classic on the crack-up'of the Communist samp."
-The Washington Post
8 pages. $6.95, clothbound; $1.75, paperbound
In a Ghetto?
THE POLITICS OF POVERTY
John C. Donovan
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analysis of the conception, evaluation and eventual enfeeblement of
Lyndon Johnson's offensive leads one to believe that nothing is likely
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Labor Secretary Willard Wirtz from 1962-65 . .. he communicates
something of the sense of urgency and desperation that was shared by
so many of, theanti-povert .workers who enlisted for what they, thought
might be a glorious fight." --The Newo Leader
"Highly recommended. The flames of Detroit have shown dramatically
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4 -The Library Journal
160 pages. $5.75, clothbound; $1.45,'paperbound
SIn a Breadline?
YEARS OF PROTEST
A Collection of American Writings of the 1930's
Edited by Jack Salzman with Barry Wallenstein
The excitement, the anger and the anguish of the Depression Era, its
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"A brilliant anthology."-The Pittsburgh Press
448 pages. $7.50, clothbound; $2.50, paperbound
On a Peace March?
THE WAR MYTH
Donald A. Wells
"An incisive attack upon modern war-making, an attack aimed not so
much against the methods as the attitudes of the war-makers."
-The Los Angeles Times
"Equally at home with Dr. Strangelove and St. Thomas Aquinas, Wells
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UNIVERSITY REFORMED CHURCH~
1001 East Huron
Ministers: Calvin S. Malefyt, Paul Swets
10:30 a.m.-"Wholeness Through Suffering,"
7:00 p.m.-"Your Other Vocation."
CHURCH OF CHRIST
423 S. Fourth Ave.
Pastors: E. R. Klaudt,
W. C. Wright
FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, -
1833 Washtenaw Ave.
10:30 a.m.-Worship Services. Sunday School
LUTHERAN STUDENT CENTER
National Lutheran Council
Hill St. at S. Forest Ave.
Rev. Percival Lerseth, Pastor
10:30 a.m.-Worship Service.
9:30 and 10:45 o.m,-Worship Services,
9:30 and 10:45 a.m -Church School.
Armin C. Bizor,