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October 20, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1974-10-20

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Poge Four


Sunday, October 20, 1974



Complex tales from
a popular novelist
THE EBONY TOWER by he meets Breasley's strange
John Fowles. Boston: Little, harem, the Freak and the
Brown & Co., 312 pp., $7.95. Mouse: two women who take
care of the old man and pro-
By BETSY AMSTER vide him with "the little bit of
ONE OF JOHN FOWLES' sex life that he can still man-
earliest books, The Aristos, age."
is not a novel but a neatly num- At first David spends a lot of
bered, fastidiously categorized time thinking about "predict-
list of over 1400 ideas that able old Beth," his wife, "and
shape his writing. These ideas, the kids at home." Much
in various combinations, find against his better judgment, he
their way into all of his fiction becomes entranced by the
(which includes The Magus and Mouse. He has the opportunity
The French Lieutenant's Wo- , to develop a more intense rela-
man, both bestsellers). It is tionship with this sensitive wo-
not essential to arm yourself man, but he passes it up be-
with The Aristos if you decide# cause he is 'crippled by com-
to tackle Fowles' new collec- mon sense" and fears possible
tion of five stories, but it helps. repercussions in his married
The Ebony Tower, although fas- life. The "ebony tower" of the
cinating, is not easy reading. title is the phrase Breasley uses
to condemn abstractar;b
Fowles' favorite theme is that the end of the story it has come
life is a series of hazards that to symbolize David's cowardly
must be exploited courageously fear of destroying what he has
rather than feared. David Wil- "so carefully built."
Hams, a young abstract painter, E"
learns this lesson in "The Eb- ' E EBONY TOWER" is
ony Tower," the first and most spellbinding. Fowles creates
powerful story in the collection. a magical setting and fully-rea-
In order to write the introduc- lized characters. He uses a sim-
tion to a book of paintings by ilar pastoral setting with equal
Henry Breasley, an eccentric success in "The Cloud." Here
old painter of the representa- a woman's despair over the
tional school, David spends two death of her husband contrasts
days interviewing Breasley in with the gay frivolity of her
his lush forest retreat. There picnic companions. Once again,
-oeby the end of this story an
Edenic setting has belied its
Monday 7 p m appearance and proved to be
1 * more disturbing than idyllic.
W CBN-FM 89.5 The "peaceful and windless af-
77 ternoon sunshine" becomes "the
claws of a brilliantly disguised
The innumerable footnotes
SN S and epigraphs in The French
W O M EN Lieutenant's Woman testify to
how precise and academic
'Fowles can be at times. True
to form, he is careful to credit
f his source for "The Ebony
Power" in another selection.
"A a u'mU.-

The men who fell
with the President
THE PALACE GUARD by why Nixon may have shifted the
Dan Rather and Gary Paul focus of his presidency about a
Gates. New York: Harper & year after his inauguration. A
Row, 326 pages, $8.95. _tstrident move to the right was
made more politically feasible
By TONY SCHWARTZ when Ted Kennedy had the ac-
THEY Ythe dark- cident at Chappaquiddick and
esie facmTiae left the Democrats in disarray.
man, the "palace guard" which Nixon's paranoia and resent-
grew inexorably around Rich- ment surely increased when his
ard Nixon. His term began with two Supreme Court nominees,
a strong though insubstantial Carsweynesue emd
dream of "making a difference" roldas elts Ard in 97-
and with lofty visions of a grand rassing rejections. And in 1970,
T~ - -A-- 1with the invasion of Cambodia,

The Palace Guard

place in history. In an admin-
istration as much characterized
by ironies as by corruption, he
nightmarishly achieved both
aims. For it wasn't long before
a series of events in 1969 and
1970 stirred Richard Nixon's
deepest insecurities and brought
his survival instincts to the
surface. And when that began
to happen, H. R. HaldemanI
(and later John Ehrlichman and


"Eliduc" is Fowles' own trans-
lation of a Celtic tale about a
married knight who falls in
love with a foreign princess.r
Unlike David Williams, though,
Eliduc has the courage to ad-
mit his love: he brings his lov-
er home. The translation reads'
well and sheds voluable light on
'The Ebony Tower," its con-
temporary counterpart.
"OOR KOKO," an elderly
writer's first - person ac-
count of his encounter with a
young thief, also treats the
problem of overcoming inertia.
While staying at a friend's
country home to finish his biog-
raphy of an obscure novelist, the
narrator (who never identifiesr
himself) hears a prowler down-
stairs. He rationalizes that any
action on his part would be
"futile." The thief ultimately
burns his precious notes, and
after a lengthy analysis the!
narrator attributes this action
to envy. Fowles adopts a pe-
dantic style in this story ("I
thought I was in for another:
bout of his pseudo - Marcusian
-if that is not a tautology -
naiveties") in order to alert us,
to the unreliability of the nar-
rator's appraisal of the situa-
tion. We realize that it is the !
narrator's complacency that the
young man seeks to destroy.
Most novelists try to disguise
the fact that what thev describe
is not Reality itself but a con-
struct of their own imagination.
Not Fowles - he likes to re-
mind readers that he's had a
hand in creating the fiction they
are reading. In The French
Lieutenant's WVoman he offered
readers the choice of two end-
ings; he uses this same device,
slightly modified, in "The Enig-

ma." This story concerns the others) were there to catalyze
disappearance of a Conserva- the process. Sensing that Nix-
tive politician, a case that has on's increasing need was f o r
the local police stymied. A re- absolute loyalty and isolation,
sourceful y o usng woman Haldeman boldly parlayed his,
(Fowles' heroines tend to be;insight ito an unprecedented
young, seductive, and aware) position of power. It was Rich-
decides to view the case as a ard Nixon's obsession with
mystery novel and comes up avoiding more humiliation in his
with two shrewd solutions. The already crisis-scarred career,
reader must decide for himself particularly a 1972 reelection de-
wvhich solution, if either, is feat, which gave Haldeman's
correct. Unfortunately "The group its opening. That preoc-
Enigma" ends on a facile note cupation meant a shift away
- conveniently enough, the po- ;from early ideals and the often
- cnveienly nouh, he o-ruthless purge of Cabinet of-
liceman assigned to thewcase fiilsandaies who wouldn'
and the clever young womanfladetheoeoulUt
fall in love, play by the new rules. IUlti-
matah1 L 1LPe UCnn~inOUS ml~di

the horror at Kent State, and as aware as Ehrlichman h a d Efficiency was a quality that
the barricading of the White once been himself, that the job Haldeman prized and demanded.
House, Nixon must have feared far outclassed the man. x Consider: One morning ne re-
opposition more than ever. It F NIXON truly had hopes fr ceived amessage thata Repu
isn't clear from this book just Ehrlichman, they were .;o lican Senator was mortally ill.
how the confluence of tlese dashed.rWith the exception of Deciding that the Senator was
tuents precipitanethe cnanve toenue sharing and some en- probably too weak to talk to the
ture historians will have to con- ronmental legislation, the Nix- President anyway, Haldeman
ture historins will have to con- on administration will be re chose to hold off and have Nix-
tend with. What the book does membered almost solely for its on place a call to the widow-
say is that when events pont setbacks: school busing, t 1 e later. Save an extra cail. So
ed toward hunkering down be- SST, national health insurance he sent the memo back with the
hind public relations and staying and toelfare reform. And that is astonishing message: "W a i t
constantly on the attack, Halde- fitting, for as Rather and G es until he dies".
man and his "Beaver Patrol" put it: "The problem was iat N\IXON, in turn, appreciated
were there. while he (and Haldeman) nad the isolation and prized
NO ONE better symbolizes the'a clear understanding of what both the loyalty and efficiency.
sor tsigten ay n e the Nixon White House was Haldeman's group could 'PR
shortsightedness and even- against, they were never quite it through' (most of them, after
Haldeman's chief protege and sure what it should be for." all, were ad men) and Nixon
closest friend, John Ehrlichman. Nor is it surprising that Ehr- could avoid the public arena ex-
Like so many of those who later! lichman this week should re- cent in the most carefully or-
got close to the President, Ehr- turn to the role of attacker, chestrated international events
lichman was a man essentially even if it is against the boss such as the trip to China.
withoat ideology, and totally he once so loyally served. Ac The result of all this is well
without political experience. iy cording to his lawyer, he was known. Haldeman's group gain-
claim to fame in hometown! "deceived, misled, lied to and ed power precisely because they
Seattle was that he was the best used" by Richard Nixon. werewilling to work in a motal
zoning lawyer around, arguing Haldeman, of course, was the ath ical vacuum. They were
there to efficiently market and
as vociferously for commercial kingpin. His strong suit was his sell Richard Nixon and whe or-
developers as for private pro- unswerving personal loyalty and d a in
perty owners. He dabbled in his recognition that N i x o n e msw make o vtrt 7,e alg
early Nixon campaigns, doing valued it so greatly, Haldeman enemies, make cover tes
minor undercover work and or- became the moving force be- and break into buildings, t h e
ganizing. He didn't join Nixon's hind the removal of nearly ev- Beaver Patrol smiled. This was
1968 campaign full-time until erv cabinet member and White themean to Nixn .q re-eq Aftn,
i and. to their own ascentsJ After


I have only a few reserva-
tions about The Ebony Tower.
This reader, at least, wishes
Fowles would not use the ba-
nal word "delicious" quite so
frequently in describing women.
More importantly, readers fa-
miliar with Fowles may find
the themes that were startling
in his two earlier bestsellers
are less so this time around.
And though his inclination now
and then to use his characters
as mere vehicles for philoso-

mateiy those decisions meant'
that Richard Nixon c o u I d
focus toward the end only on
an ill-fated, ill-engineered battle
for survival. "Bring Us Togeth-
er" became "Leave Me Alone".
Fnra White Hnm C'rre

H U11101
In Sports"
Ypsilanti girl who
cently fought to p
Little League.


Posters Cards
Posters Cards
Posters Cards
Posters Books
Posters Books
Posters Books
1205 S. University-761-7177
Open 9 o.m. to 10:30 p:m.


r vrer wHiterxaue aws- June that same year and fallow-
pondent Dan Rather and his ing the election he strongly con-
CBS News associate Gary PaUl ir hedin he to con-
Gates have written this book as sidered heading back to Seattle.
a crisp, anecdotal account of According to Rather and Gates,
shifting power during the Nixon he took a job as Nixon's coun-
yes.This s artcuarly Nig- sel largely because it had a
years. This is particularly signi- narrow jurisdiction. His plan to
ficant because perhaps never be-
-C.. ft for n+thc

phical debate can be informa- fore have individual presidential ieave te by a e ma emonrns- wdd VVu
tive, it is more often annoying. aides weilded so much influence aborted by Hal emerg- weeded
PUT FO LE' NSI HT itoon a Presidnt and his policies. ng influence; and by 1970 Ehr- ers wi
UT FOWLES' INSIGHTS into Tu alhus ere is muh irs. lichman had replaced e a r 1 y GeorgeI
complex characters and the h , in thebo a h washouts Arthur Burns and David K
beautiful images in this collec- roots of Watergate and about Daniel Moynihan as the domes- in.
tion of stories override its de- tic equivalent of Henry Kis- In a n
fects. While occasionally coin the multi-faceted Nixon person- ger. What this shows is sim- like that
fusing, The Ebony Tower is al- lity, the best parts are descrip- ply how distant Nixon had be- bert Fi
so a continuously challenging tions of the style and action of come from real concerns about was to 1
and moving work. the men he gathered around and the degree to which!House,
j him. policy adtedge owihHue
Be/sy A mster is a senior ma- his own needs had come to pre- and the
poring inb English. jThere are a variety of reasons dominate. For surely Nixon was ficiency.

House ai
ball, rou
like Wal
the admi

de who didn't play team w
:otal all, efficiency is efficiency. As
ence to his wishes. Men Jeb Magruder has said, "Some-
[y Hickel, the maverick where between my ambitior.s
Secretary who criticized and my ideals, I lost my moral
ministration in 1970 for compass.
usly trying to alienate rPHAT THESE men all finally
ag people" were quickly proved so inefficient is an
out. Other cabinet rmem- affirmation of the degree to
ent more quietly -- 1which they were out of their
Romney, John Voloe, league. And that's precisely
ennedy and Cliff Hard- what this compeling book is
abot: how a mean small-mind-
more sensitive situa'ion, 3 ed clige played on similar in-
of old Nixon friend Ro- stincts in a man with great pow-
nch, Haldeman's tactic er. And how they all went down
bring him to the W'ize together.
give him a lofty title,
n freeze him out. Ef- Tony Schwartz is a freelance
writer living in Ann Arbor.

U ~AI ________ ______

The University of Michigan School of Music
tenor mezzo soprano
violin violin
viola cello
double bass clarinet
horn bassoon
piano "Mozart" piano
ASSOCIATES: Gretchen Fogel, Cecelia Guerra,
Laura Holland, Three Women's Voices
4:00 P.M.
WEBa Wtkoni
The Adlar Trio Gadi lon Tk. Sobr
DATE: Monday, October 28, 1974
TIME: 8:00 P.M.

An inside view of American political life

Olur Prices
Are Not
Sale Prices,
"The Whole.
Earth Epilog":
The New (Vol 2,
in effect) Whole
Earth Cataloque
529 E. Liberty
9 a.m.-midnight 7 days

NO FINAL VICTORIES By is involved with presidential'
Lawrence F. O'Brien. New politics that his story is at its
York: Doubleday and Com- best. And so, his narrative
pany, 394 pp., $12.50. gains momentum as he sketches
out the beginning of his asso-
By JAMES HIPPS ciation with Jack Kennedy.
LARRY O'BRIEN BECAME a Kennedy, a member of the,
man of great political sta- House of Representatives since
ture in this nation without ever 1946, was planning a state-wide
being elected to office. He was campaign in Massachusetts for
an aide to President John F. either the Senate or the gover-
Kennedy, a member of Lyn- norship for 1952. O'Brien had
don Johnson's Cabinet, and managed two successful con-
twice chairman of the Democra- gressional campaigns for Fos-
tic National Committee. All of ter Furcolo, and Kennedy be-
this came as a result of his lieved he was the man who
tireless and often brilliant work could organize MassachusettsI
making men into Presidents. for him. O'Brien did just that,
No Final Victories, then, is the only to find himself organizing
story of Larry O'Brien and a an entire country for Kennedy
quarter-century of American po- less than a decade later.
litical life. It was a sample of Kennedy's
But all of these years are not deep respect for O'Brien's abili-
fascinating. It is when O'Brien ties, then, when Kennedy nam-
_ "-"" ed him as Special Assistant to
the President for Congressional
IlIOWVSE Relations. It was an even great-
The Best Selection of er compliment to O'Brien's tal-'
PAPERBACK ents that Lyndon Johnson kept
BOOKS O'Brien as his legislative liai-,
IN TOWN! son after Kennedy's death.
F OLLETIsFwar in Vietnam forced
M Johnson's withdrawal from a
MEZZANINE race for re-election. O'Brien
State St. End of Diaq left the Administration to or-
ganie ioooyi~eneays o i'

Humphrey's defeat at the would have us believe that in
hands of Richard Nixon in 1968 the course of his entire political
was to be the last campaign 'career he has suffered no set-
effort Larry O'Brien would backs, no personal discourage-
personally head. In 1970, when ! ments. Even the assassination
he first became chairman of of John F. Kennedy, which
the Democratic National Com- must have emotionally battered
mittee, it was clear that O'Brien, is treated as just an-
O'Brien's political allegiance other turn of events.
would never again be given In the area of congressional
solely to one man. After Jack liaison there is never described
Kennedy's death he had re- a legislative defeat or a mo-
placed personal loyalty to Ken- ment of frustration. O'Brien
nedy with a loyalty to Kenne- even deals with Johnson's han-
dy's legislative ideals. His only dling of the war in Vietnam in
remaining loyalty in 1970 would a detached manner. He says in
be to the Democratic Party and 1967, "While I remained un-I
the American political system. certain as to whether the war{
IT IS HERE, as Democratic was right militarily or diplo-
National Committee chair- matically, I became increas-I
man, that we discover Larry ingly aware that it was a dis-
O'Brien as an aggressive figure I aster politically." Thus O'Brien
in his own right, ot of the described to Johnson "the dam-
shadow of past Presidents. It 'age the war was doing to us
was O'Brien that forcefully in political terms" and watched
countered Spiro Agnew's attacks dispassionately as the issue
as Nixon's hatchet man. It was tore both the country and John-'
O'Brien again calling for an son apart.
investigation of an ITT merger O'BRIEN, TOO, HAS much
that was approved after a to say about the mecha-
$400,000 pledge had been made nism of campaigning. Yet what
to underwrite the Republican comes through is his own
Convention if held in San Diego. mechanism; his attention to de-
As a final stroke, it was Larry tail, his endless judgements andF
O'Brien in June of 1972 whoa decisions. But somewhere in
asked then-President Nixon to this process, the emotions of
appoint a Special Prosecutor to Larry O'Brien never surface.
investigate that "third-rate" O'Brien's feelings never seem
burglary of O'Brien's office we to vary past the quiet intensity
have come to know as Water- of the loyalty he demonstrated
gate. to Jack Kennedy.
But a curious aspect of:| It appears that O'Brien has
O'Brien's story is the manner I reduced the complexities of his
in which it is told. O'Brien i personality to present the Lar-

ry O'Brien he would like us to
see. For somewhere in him is
the political genius, the man
Jack Kennedy called "the best
election man in the business"
and the man LBJ entrusted with
'the passage of his congressional
But in removing the dough
edges of his story and the
rough edges of hisrown person-
ality, O'Brien has removed any
glint of genius we might hope
to glimpse. What we see is a
certain onesidedness which
renders O'Brien one-dimen-
sional. We are deprived the
potentially brilliant, insightful
examination of American poli-
tics which O'Brien could have
supplied and instead are treat-
ed to an often insipid view of
daily events.
this book to be a tribute to
his career, he has failed; if he
meant it to be an insider's
view of American politics, he
has at least partially succeed-
ed. The book is aptly titled
then, for in No Final Victories,
Larry O'Brien reaches out for
success and just falls short.
i ja"es !iPsis a junior ma-
joring in Economics.


ganize Bobby Kennedy's bid for
the Democratic nomination. But
the second Kennedy tragedy
brought another life to a close.
Hubert Humphrey then pursued
O'Brien; he was given full au-
thority over all aspects of
Humphrey's campaign.



Fc,% I Ue U





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