In This Issue
Explore the December 1969 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.
You are barely past thirty and have just received from Stockholm the telegram that says you have won a Nobel Prize for Science. How do you feel?
Twelve brief book reviews
“Wherever the American writer goes, be finds before him the temptation to try to “make it’,” and his fear of doing so can he compulsive and crippling. The wages of ambition and success may be deplorable, according to the author of this essay, but the same can be true of “tyrannies of virtue,” whether they emanate from literary critics, or from George Wallace on the right or Herbert Marcuse on the left.
The man who confers with President Nixon more often and more intensively than any other in Washington is a Harvard Professor who is said to admire Metternich but in fact finds in the thinking of Otto von Bismarck the guidelines to America’s role in the world today.
This missive from the other side of the gap allows one to ask, Who’s calling whom materialistic?
A nonverbal art requires a nonverbal comment. Did Marshall McLuhan say that? No, it was Wyndham Lewis, the rambunctious Englishman of arts and letters in whose observations and eccentricities McLuhan found impulse for his own ventures into the Gutenberg Galaxy, The Medium is the Message, and the rest of what has come to be called McLuhanism. This memoir is perhaps untypical, verbal comment.