review of The
Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics
June/02) inadvertently proves a fact as interesting as the book's
premise: the moral blindness of those who criticize "left"
intellectuals. The review's examples are taken entirely from the
list of official enemies of the United States and leave out any
reference to crimes committed by the United States or states acting
with U.S. approval.
example, where is the outrage over the intellectuals who supported
the Vietnam War, a war that resulted in 2 million Indochinese
deaths; or those who supported brutal fascist dictatorships that
freely engaged in torture and murder (e.g. Chile, the Philippines,
Guatemala, etc.); or Israel's brutal treatment of the Palestinians?
It seems that some victims are more useful than others.
is indeed true that intellectuals can support "bad politics"
and this review proves it, although not in the sense intended.
E Archer, SM'69
of the reviews of Lilla's book, including yours, has encouraged
me to read it. I think of all the minds of lesser accomplishment
who stand better accused than those selected by Lilla. It makes
me wonder if his problem is with original thinkers, since his
account of them is at such variance with my understanding of what
they taught/teach. Rather he seems to just offer another excuse
to avoid close reading.
J. Styzens, MB'59
Long Beach, California