Letters to and From the Editor
I Personally —
In “Mob Justice and Television” (June Atlantic) Thurman Arnold concludes that, because some hearings become hippodromes when televised, no hearings at all should be televised. Such a conclusion is nonsense. The remedy is to require the presiding officer to enforce traditional, existing standards of comfort and fairness for witnesses, rather than to deprive all of us of matters of legitimate public interest. The prospect of a publicityhungry Senator becoming chairman of an investigating committee whose sessions are televised is as alarming to me as it is to Judge Arnold, but the solution is not to lock up the television cameras. It is, rather, for the Senate to require the members of its committees to behave.
DAVID M. SOLINGER
New York City
“Mob Justice and Television” echoed my convictions. But I object to Mr. Arnold’s insistent use of the “housewife” among the 20 million listeners as the ogress of the piece. Mr. Arnold is a gentleman who distinguishes well between black and white and also notes subtle shadings of gray. Let him, however, learn to apply some of his tolerance to housewives.
I am married to a housewife who objected to the Kefauver hearings for the same reasons that Mr. Arnold does. I am acquainted with other housewives who hold similar opinions.
On the other hand, some of my colleagues (males) at the office were so entranced by the TV spectacle that they spoke about nothing else for a week. When I mildly indicated a few of the dangers, they told me to peddle my papers down the block.
Long Beach, N.Y.
After a careful reading of Lovell Thompson’s scholarly article, “Progress and Decline” (June Atlantic), limned against the dark background etched by Adams, Spengler, and Toynbee, I recalled the incident of the little boy whistling in the dark to boost his courage, and the redoubtable Mrs. Partington with her broom attempting to sweep back the encroaching tide. The evidence of history, ancient and current, seems overwhelming. Unless the dire Communist threat to dominate the world is somehow stifled, the end of an era appears in sight, thanks to atomic — and perhaps hydrogen — bombs. Mr. Thompson may not be accused of sheer wishful thinking, but my conclusion is that few readers will affix to the article “Q.E.D.”
LABAN LACY RICE
Ware Neck, Va.
When something of extraordinary beauty is suddenly met with, like a perfect moon emerging suddenly from clouds, then one should make one’s appreciation and spontaneous emotion articulate, so that others can perhaps share it also. That is how I feel about Dorothy Thompson’s “Sinclair Lewis: A Postscript” (June Atlantic).
Deservedly famous are her political insights, as what she calls a “progressive conservative” and as one of the very first to warn America against the menace of Hitlerism in the 1930s and of Stalinism after World War II. Less widely known perhaps, her psychological and human insights are equally impressive, as her piece in the June Atlantic reveals. Its aching, smiling, gentle, and powerful humanity makes it a memorable literary and human document.
South Hadley, Mass.
As a reservist recalled to active duty with the “flying Navy,” I diligently read “The Balance of Military Power” (Anonymous, June Atlantic). I take exception to the statement that the B-36 is “the only bomber known to exist which is capable of two-way operation between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R.” The Navy long ago announced that its carrier air arm is capable of delivering the A-bomb. Carrier operations presuppose the return of all strike missions except for combat losses.
The advantages of the fast carrier task force to make a high-speed run in and attack our potential enemy are as great today as they were in World War II when such action brought devastation and chaos to Japan even before use of the bomb.
Sentimentally, we who today actively man a carrier and who number in excess of 3000, hailing from every nook and corner of the United States, like to think of ourselves as being an integral part of the nation though we are cruising the seas thousands of miles from our homeland.
J. A. MULLIGAN, JR., Lt. (jg), USNR
FPO, New York, N.Y.