Tribute to Michael Harrington  

Michael Harrington had two qualities of the greatly good—patience, and an almost total freedom from vanity. A political worker by calling, he was also, irrepressibly, a quick-witted man, who could startle himself (in the middle of some careful analysis of …



The Future of Tradition  

Two distinct topics have been involved in the recent debate about the future of the humanities, and the worst failure of the debate is that it hardly seems to notice the distinction. The topics in question are the traditional study …



Canon Bashing  

This academic year, the New York Times Magazine observed the end of spring term with an article (“The Battle of the Books,” June 5) on the current anticanonical fashion in teaching literature. The Magazine has taken a noticeable interest in …



About the Election  

A clever and capable man, Michael Dukakis is the kind of politician the Democrats once could produce with ease from year to year. He happens to be the first of his kind whom they have found to run for president …



Contragate: The Swill of Empire  

Over the past twenty-two months, almost since the day of President Reagan’s second inauguration, the foreign policy of the United States has been controlled by a handful of military officers and their pals: freelance spies, itinerant jobbers from think tanks, …







Mr. Kristol Enlightens the Europeans  

The March 1985 Encounter features an address to Western Europe by Irving Kristol. A warning in three parts, with the logical structure of a syllogism backed by a gun, Kristol’s article is entitled “A Transatlantic ‘Misunderstanding’: The Case of Central …



Reagan’s Contempt for History  

Bitburg, Germany, 1945; Managua, Nicaragua, 1985. The two appear to be so far apart that no occurrence could possibly bring them together. But in March and April, 1985, Ronald Reagan asked himself a question, Whom shall I honor? And his …



Our Outrages in Nicaragua  

Smuggle a thousand rifles, submachine guns, and grenade launchers into the 20 largest American cities, distribute them among known criminals, excops, the hard core of left- and right-wing lunatic sects, and assure a continuous supply of ammunition and tactical intelligence, leaving …



Literary Radicalism in America  

Left-wing literary people talk more these days about criticism than about fiction or poetry or plays. The statement sounds too flat to be true, and it is fair to ask what “left-wing” signifies in the context. I am using it …



Nuclear War Gossip  

On October 21, 1981 much of the world outside Washington was dismayed by two statements, from leading U.S. policy-makers, which revealed that in inner government circles the prospect of nuclear war with Russia is looked on with increasing equanimity. The …