Intellectuals and Russsia

Intellectuals and Russsia

Dear Irving:

No doubt there are others, but I have seen only three “negative” U. S. reviews of my essay, The Causes of World War Three. In the Wall Street Journal, William H. Chamberlain wrote—as expected; in the N. Y. Post, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. wrote—as expected; and in DISSENT, you wrote—unexpectedly. I had thought that you had abandoned the foot-dragging mood of the Cold War and were trying to make a new beginning. I had thought that an editor of DISSENT would have taken due note of differences, and then gone on to build a new left, taking into account the changed state of the world and the sorry condition of U. S. foreign policy. But no. Why waste time with lib-lab apologists and fanatical anti-Communists? But you are supposed to be in some way or another “left.” So I feel the need to make a few points and to ask you a few questions.

The major questions with which your review leaves me are: Just how does your basic view of the world confrontation today differ from the line expressed by the work of Dulles-Adenauer? I suppose there are differences, but just how far do they extend? What do you want the United States government to do, tomorrow, next week, next year? In my essay I have tried to answer such questions, positively. Moreover, I have tried to do so in terms open to intellectuals. What, if anything, do you propose that leftward intellectuals in the USA now do? Just how do your proposals differ from those that I have offered?