In This Issue
Explore the November 1967 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.
"This book is not the work of a sensationalist or a traitor. It is wrung from an agonized conscience and a sickened heart."
The computer age is not to be stayed, as anyone knows who has been billed for another citizen’s charge account or has wondered what has happened to his paid-up magazine subscription. The computer science is already so advanced that experts envisage a huge National Data Center to speed and simplify the collection of pertinent information about Americans. Properly run, it could be a boon. But any person who has seen an FBI file or been party to a U.S. government “security check" has reason to know how the abuse or misuse of dossiers of unevaluated information can threaten an individual’s rights. A professor of law at the University of Michigan here discusses the precaulions necessary to protect citizens from “governmental snooping and bureaucratic spinelessness or perfidy.”Professor Miller has testified on the subject before the Senate Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedure. On page 58, Bob and Ray show what can happen if the safeguards fail.
The chroniclers of the life and times of Mary Backstayge, Noble Wife, of Steve Bosco the sportscaster, of the Piels brothers, and other almost fictional characters here prove that they can be as telling in print as on the air or the TV screen. Ashenfelter thought the computers would help him trap Y. Claude Garfunkel, but he was tripped up by his own shoe size.
In her ATLANTICarticle of September on the nature of the Israeli armed forces, Mrs. Tuchman wrote as a reporter, In this one she writes as historian,viewing the Middle East situation not in the context of events just passed or events shortly to come in such places as the United Nations, but in the long chain of history. Mrs. Tuchman’s first, book, less widely known than THE GUNS OF AUGUSTand THE PROUD TOWER,was BIBLE AND SWORD,a study of the relation of Britain to Palestine up to the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
In December of 1831 Charles Darwin sailed for Patagonia aboard the H.M.S. BEAGLE, a voyage he later described as “the most important event of my life.”The circumstances of that remarkable journey and Darwin’s lively encounters with the ship’s captain, Robert FitzRoy, are recounted by Stanley Edgar Hyman, the distinguished poet and critic.