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December 09, 1973 - Image 4

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Page Four

THE MAl(-H1(-AK1 r')Al V

C-----j- n I m-r7

I_____--1_____I~ Sunday, ecember , 197/3



Heroin: How the U.S. created an epidemic


8-10 p.m.
West Conference
Room, 4th Floor

Globe Interior Rentals
3426 WASHTENAW 971-9220

McCoy. New York: Harper &
Row. 472 pages. $2.95 (paper).
THERE IS a new phase emerg-
ing in American Cold War poli-
cy. Today, we are engaged in a
war of contrition. As a nation,
we have spent 25 years quixotic-
ally attacking leftists (both at
home and abroad), throwing our
economic might behind some of
the more ruthless dictators of
the post-war era, and standing
with our hands in our pockets
while an alliance between indus-
try and the military has steered
foreign policy.
Now we are apologetic about
the Cold War. We are sorry about

Vietnam and the Bay of Pigs.
We are sorry about snubbing
Mao-tse-tung, and for listening
to Joe McCarthy. Perhaps we
are even sorry we provoked
Khruschev into banging his shoe
on the table at the U.N.
But we have more to be re-
pentant about. As Alfred McCoy
has very ably documented, it was
largely our Cold War policies
which have led to the epidemic of
heroin that has ripped at the
core of American cities. His
message is clear: The heroin
problem was not perpetrated up-
on the U. S. by organized crime
and unscrupulous foreign gov-
ernments. Rather, it is a prob-
lem of our own making.
McCOY, A 27-year-old Yale grad-
uate, spent 18 months inter-

viewing customs agents, intel-
ligence officers, ARVN generals,
Laotian farmers, American GIs,
and others,who had knowledge of
drug trafficking. His findings
implicate American diplomats of
entanglement in the international
drug trade on two levels.
First, there are those who be-
came involved in narcotics by
forming political alliances with
drug traders. This often result-
ed in U. S. officials providing
aid to traffickers, or covering up
for their actions. Of a potential-
ly more scandalous nature, how-
ever, are McCoy's allegations
that some American agents and
diplomats have been engaged in
the actual transport of narcotic
McCoy's portrayal of American

A Christmas 'gift': No bargain

involvement in the heroin trade
begins shortly after World War
II. At that time, heroin no longer
seemed a serious problem. War-
time shipping restrictions had
forced an estimated 180,000 ad-
dicts to undergo involuntary
withdrawal, leaving less than
20,000 addicts in America.
BUT SOON, the United States
began exercising what Sen.
J. William Fulbright has called
"the arrogance of power". Still
flexing its muscles after the re-
cent liberation of Europe, the U.
S. launched a global crusade
against "international Commu-
nism". Buoyed by bi-partisan
support, it became unofficial
U. S. policy to embrace any poli-
tician who espoused an anti-Com-
munist line.
In Asia, we fought nationalism
by bolstering sagging right wing
dictatorships in Taiwan ("Free
China" we called it) and in South
Vietnam ("Free Vietnam"). In
Europe, our government attempt-
ed to thwart socialist labor move-
ments by joining forces with the
Sicilian and Corsican mobs.
The OSS literally breathed new
life into the mobs, which had
been powerless since the end of
the war, McCoy says. In ex-
change for American weapons,
money and guidance, these gang-
sters beat workers at political
rallies, bombed labor headquar-
ters, and suppplied intelligence
information - while carefully re-
building their power base.
The pay-off came soon. In Mar-
seilles, a U. S. group helped Cor-
sican gangsters wrest control of
the harbor from leftist workers
- ostensibly for the purpose of
facilitating Marshall Plan ship-
ments to central Europe. Almost
immediately, however, the mob
was using its new asset to run
heroin to the United States.
OSS officials ignored the set-up,
while the mobsters laid the
groundwork for dominating the



American Power and the New Mandarine. PI
A questioning and analysis of the modes of ,
operation of American Society.' Chomsky I
examines the post-war rise to power of a r
new elite: the liberal intellectual, or "new
At War With Asia. Noam Chomsky draws
on his visit to North Viet Nam and Laos for I
a discussion of the historical, political, and'
economc reasons behind our first involve-
ment in an Asian land war.
For Reasons of State. Analyzes the theore-
tical and practical development of the Am-
erican state while discussing some ways in
which individuals can respond to its grow-
ing power: civil disobedience, the role of
the university, the philosophy of anarchism. J


THE GIFT by Pete Hamill.
New York: Random House, 83
pages, $4.95.
PETE HAMILL reminds me of
Reno Bertoria. Who? Reno
Bertoria was an infielder for the
Detroit Tigers back when it was
important to know who played
third basetfor a fourth place
team. Bertoria never became a
great player, but he was a mem-
ber of the team and he played
every day. He batted after the
Kuehns and the Kalines.
When manager Tom Wolfe pro-
claimed the New Journalists the
best team on the block, he gave
Pete Hamill recognition for in-
venting the nickname and an
honorary place in the starting
line-up. Hamill bats after the
Breslins and the Taleses.
The Gift is an autobiographical
novel of the days when Hamill
was a 17 year old sailor on leave
for the Christmas holiday.
On the verge of manhood, Pete
returns to Brooklyn and a reunion
with the girl he has left behind
and w i t h his noncommittal
The girl, whose face he con-
jures in the lonely nights "stand-
ing guard over garbage cans,"
h a s terminated their corres-
pondence with a "Dear John"
letter. Pete meets her coming out
of school and =tries to convince
Need Something
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her that his return means a re-
incarnation of old emotions.
Holden Caulfied dream of run-
ning away with a girl he has
already lost, h e a d i n g West,
changing his name, getting mar-
ried and eventually finding bliss.
Of course, she rejects him.
lIe turns his attention instead
to solving the mystery of the min
with the magic leg, long ag
amputated after a soccer game;
the man who hides out in Rat-
tigan's with its steamed windows
protecting his past.
The boys of the neighborhood
solicit other bars, but Rattigan's
is "the club of the older men,
my father's people ... the hard
drinkers, the brawlers."' T dis-
cover his father it becomes man-
datory that he enter this secret
"I wanted to see him in t.t
place where he truly lived, in
the place where his personal
historynbeat aroundehim, where
everyone had a record of iis
small wins and his unmentioned
losses, the place where he bast-
ed and lied and laughed and was
forgiven everything. I knew now
what saloons were for and why
men went there late at night."
songs of the old country and
the ceremony is intensified as
they brawl with two outsiders try-
ing to discourage their ritual.
Father and son meet; the gift is
This neatly balanced plot of
boy - loses - girl - and - finds -
father may be too sentimental,
but a writing style accurate in
barroom dialogue and sharp .le-
tails of physical surroundings al-
most makes it succeed.
Most of the problems with The

Gift are caused by its brevity
(83 pages). It is not tight enough
to be a good short story and not
developed enough to work as a
novel. There is barely enough
room to fit in the simple plot,
leaving a minimum space for
explanation of the characters. All
the bodies are there; Ham'll just
failed to paint in their scars.
At best, it is a piece of quick
fiction, giving the impressioa
that it was finished in a flurry--
in time for the approaching and
appropriate season. After all,
how many books with a Christ-
mas setting can you hope to sell
in July?
/E'RE DESTINED to see a
plethora of novels from the
gymnastic typewriters of New
Journalists. Pete Hamill wears
the same uniform, but on the
basis of The Gift, he still bats
toward the bottom of the .rder.

American heroin market for
nearly 20 years.
MEANWHILE, in Southeast
Asia, the U. S. was ensuring
that the mob would have new
supplies of opium poppies when
things were to get "hot" in Eur-
ope and the Middle East in the
late '60s.
We began in 1951 by supporting
Nationalist Chinese Army incur-
sions into Burma. Largely due
to its American benefactors, that
army today controls about one-
third of the world's supply of
opium poppies.
McCoy's research has not
gone unnoticed. In August 1972,
the CIA learned of the book's im-
minent publication, and asked
Harper & Row to provide them
an advance copy so they might
correct any of McCoy's "errors".
Harper and Row agreed (despite
McCoy's protests of censorship)
but publication began one month
later after an H&R executive de-
scribed theCIA case for scrap-
ping the book as being "under-
, CCORDING TO the New York
Times, several CIA sources
have said that McCoy's account
is an extremely accurate one.
And if that is not convincing,
McCoy's 100 pages of appendices
and footnotes are a challenge to
anyone who disputes his find-

A look o contemporary writing

by T h e o d o r e Solotaroff. New
York: Bantam Books. 244 pages,
unique sort of beast: a mag-
azine masquerading under the
format of a paperbound book. It
has been around for a while (this
is No. 18), and has had not only,
a slightly different title (New
American R e v i e w), but has
switched publishers (this is the
third issue put out under the
Bantam cover).
AR 18 is a mixed-bag of fiction,

poetry and essays by "knowns,"
"half-knowns," and "unknowns."
Yet, a reading of this issue gives
the impression that it is a care-
fully mixed bag. Although AR
bills itself as "the magazine of
new writing," it is by no means
avant-garde. A new young writer
such as Ian McEwan, who has
had only two pieces published
previously (one of them in an
earlier NAR), lead off the issue
with a short story, "Disguises."
But it is a big-name author, Phi-
lip Roth, who ends this one. It
is a return to the womb of the

Noam Chomsky, Ferrari Ward Professor of Linguis-
tics at MIT, came to national attention with two ar-
ticles, "The Responsibility of Intellectuals" and "On
Resistance," both originally published in The New
York R e v i e w of Books, and is acknowledged
throughout the world as one of Americo's leading
social critics.
Centicore Bookshops
1229 S. University 336 Maynard '

A high school football odyssey

"One of the most surprising masterpieces of
French art' this beautiful Book of Hours was
designed in the fifteenth century by one of the
greatest masters in France at that time, and
executed by him for a royal patron. But not
until 1 904 did this relatively unknown master-
piece, now in the collection of the Bibliotheque
Nationale in Paris, emerge from its artistic
obscurity to widespread acclaim and critical
appreciation. With introductions by Milard
Meiss and Marcel Thomas, who has written the
commentaries on the plates. Printed by Draegerr
Freres of Paris in four colors plus gold, and
handsomely slipcased,
248 pages, 127 plates in four colors plus gold
Before Christmas $40.00 u
Thereafter $45.00
. S
Other titles in our library of illuminated manuscripts:
.THE MASTER OF MARY OF BURGUNDY ................ $25.00
THE HOURS OF ETIENNE CHEVALIER ..................... $20.00;

T E A M by Richard Woodley.
New York: Holt, Rinehart, and
Winston, 323 pages, $7.95.
T REMEMBER the good old
days of high school football-
the off-key marching bands, the
Saturday afternoon clashes, and
the adolescent enthusiasm for
the games.
Those were the days when,
naively, one believed that foot-
ball was merely a sport to be
enjoyed and nothing more. Big
games were not to decide any
post-season money-making excur-
sion but were more a matter of
civic pride in your school.
Now I've graduated into the
corporate monster of the colleg-
iate and professional ranks-for-
getting just how innocent those
schoolboy days actually were. I
forgot, that is, until I read Rich-
ard Woodley's Team.
Woodley spent the entire fall
of 1971 with a high school team
in one of the suburbs of West-
chester County, New York, re-
cording and documenting their

every move, emotion, and draw
pl y. When the fall campaign of
the L a k e t o w n Harvesters (a
mythical name for the team) end-
ed, Woodley sat down, and wrote
his memoirs in diary form-the
result of which is this interesting
though often superficial book.
WOODLEY GOES into great
detail in Team to describe
things like workouts and plays.
All this elaboration gets to be
boring after a while-but that is
what high school football has be-
come: bogged down in detail.
High school coaches envision
themselves as small town Vince
Lombardis, their sole purpose in
life "to build character, to make
men out of boys."
Woodley fails, however, to get
into the lives of the individual
participants. A report on his
dinner with the Harvester's 145-
pound guard does not suffice as
meaningful character analysis.
Since the book is fact and not
fiction, Woodley can't create
the storybook glamour team -
an undermanned, undersized
group of youngsters who, under

the watchful and loving eye of
their coach, rise from total ob-
scurity to achieve that ultimate
THE STATE. Instead Woodley
must report on Laketown's medio-
cre 5-3 season.
The book is effective, however,
in one way - at least for me.
I played high school football for
the North Farmington (Mich.)
High Raiders. I played, but not
very often; I practiced, but not
very well.
AS I READ this, I reminisced
about the same events re-
counted in the book. I remem-
bered the pit drill - an all-ot'
demoralizing exercise in instan-
taneous violence between t w o
teammates. My mind wandered
back to the pre-game psych-ups
employed by coaches and captains
to life a bunch of 16 and 17-
year olds to the point of em.)-
tional frenzy.
I thought about the "family"
concept stressed throughout th
book and how my high-school
"family" was often racist, anti-
Semetic, and never that close-
I identified with the players
on the Laketown team - t n e
happy-go-lucky, f r e e - s p i rited
quarterback who would rather
sit in the corner and strum a
guitar than throw a 10-yard slant-
in. I saw myself in the person
of a 270-pound second strig
tackle who's big and that's
about all.
As a reporter, Woodley is oniv
average, and so too as a novelist.
He is best when he uses °3 docu-
mentary writing style. 1l, cap-
tures the world of the Ii g h
school athlete well tow id the

Concoction by this method, I
guess, is forgivable: it aims to
sell books as well as to intro-
duce new talent. There is not too
much that will put off the oiyer
in terms of who and what he
doesn't know; the "name" peo-
ple bring security.
THE CURRENT issue did have
an unusual angle, however. I
don't know whether this is sup-
posed to signal a trend, but most
of the issue was non-fictional
prose; even the fictional prose
read like non-fiction.
Gunter Grass wrote an essay,
"On Stasis in Progress," which
begins with a concept (melan-
choly) borrowed from an etching
by Albrecht Durer (which, by the
way, is on the inside cover of
the book), and leads into cul-
tural and political observat :unc.
Susan Sontag, in "Debriefing,"
relates the stories of friends o'
hers in New York City. (The fIc-
tional side of the piece is that
just about everybody in the story
is named Doris). Typically, Son-
tag is abstruse and rambles on
about (her) contemporary ex-
And then there is Michael Ross-
man, who tells us how he leara-
to play the flute in "Music Les-
sons," while Philip Roth nxplains
how he "got it on" with an older
woman when he was a young
man. The most fictional aspect
of Roth's piece is his character's
name: Peter Tarnopol.
GRASS' ESSAY c o m e s right
out as a philosophical-politi-
cal tract. The rest of the prose in
the book, though, hovers between
fiction and plain old "what-hap-
pened-to-me" narration. There is
very little distance here between
the character in the story and the
After going through this new
issue, I must turn back to the
new writer, McEwan, and see his
creativity as more appealing than
the literary renown of the Grass-
Sontag-Roth triumvirate.
McEwan's story is arresting.
It is about a young boy's strug-
gle for manhood against a bi-
zarre aunt, who tries to dress
him in female clothing and her-
self dons male outfits. She asks
that he pretend he is a girl and
that she is a man. The child,
Henry, can only escape by dis-
covering that he truly is a male,
whic hoccurs after he befriends
and visits a girl classmate. lIe
experiences his maleness and
only then is able to understand
why he doesn't want to change
roles as his aunt directs.
McEwan's story is the bst
niece in the honk and. lnna

In the
Contemporary to Classic Christmas & Holiday Designs
Nature Cards, Recycled Cards Specially Designed ;
Old Fashioned Cards Holiday Wreaths
Many Languages Rings and Holders
Imported from Europe

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