"Have you seen our copy of Ghosts on the Roof by Whittaker Chambers?"
"Isn't it in that bookcase that you are looking at?"
"Perhaps in another bookcase... or your office... or Laura Tyson's office over which you have taken seisin... or in one of the boxes of books in the trunk of the blue car?"
Books will never replace the internet until they come with RFID tags so that their location can be pinged...
I am having a hard time understanding this. Sam Tanenhaus writes:
Conservatism Is Dead: The realist [Whittaker] Chambers... clung to the Beaconsfield position. He supported the Eisenhower administration's negotiations with the Soviets, defended civil liberties, praised the writings of John Kenneth Galbraith...
And I have no idea what he is talking about.
On page 506 of Tanenhaus's Whittaker Chambers, he writes that:
Chambers was stimulated by the Keynesian heresies of John Kenneth Galbraith's The Affluent Society...
But "stimulation" is not praise. And the only note Tanenhaus gives to support "stimulation" is a reference to Chambers's 1959 National Review article "Foot in the Door" (reprinted in Ghosts on the Roof). In that article Chambers attacks the the claims of the education lobby that:
Willie... is fated to go forever un-higher-educated. For--a Delphic voice warns us--by 1984... secondary school graduates will be besieging the gates of campuses, quite futilely, since college facilities will be totally inadequate.... It takes no great wits to guess what we are supposed to do next: shake out what is left of our lank wallets while we pressure our legislators... to syphon federal taxes into higher education... tax-ravaged and inflated dollars fed into academic tills by other-directed and coercive means...
Besides, Chambers goes on to say, publicly-supported higher education is the vanguard of totalitarianism itelf:
[L]et us not delude ourselves.... [T]his is the Total State that is dawning... under various softening and dissembling names and forms, on various impressive pretexts or necessities...
And then comes the only reference to Galbraith:
Perhaps, of necessity the State must soon be into the Business of Education, as the witty and bracingly arrogant Professor J.K. Galbraith assured us, only the other day, that it must. But must it?..."
After that passage, Chambers is off and running with his argument that TV will come to dominate higher education. Three pages later Chambers pauses to summarize:
I am not suggesting... televised education can replace... Harvard.... I am not suggesting... televised education is... a cure-all.... I am only saying that the need is great... television [is] a means to meet the need... that it is comparatively inexpensive and need not involve the State.... One of the beneficent side-effects of the crisis of the twentieth century... is a dawning realization, not so much that the mass of mankind is degradingly poor, as that there will be no peace for the islands of prosperity until the continents of proliferating poverty have been lifted to something like the general material level of the islanders.... Unless the general level of mind is raised at the same time as the level of material well-being... we shall all risk resembling those savages... [with] top hats and tight shoes... leaving unredeemed the loin-cloth of their middle zones...
And Tanenhaus parses this in his "Galbraith" paragraph so:
Chambers was stimulated by the Keynesian heresies of John Kenneth Galbraith's The Affluent Society. "There will be no peace for the islands of relative plenty," Chambers wrote in NR, "until the continents of proliferating poverty have been lifted to something like the general material level of the islanders." This, though Chambers did not say it, had been the summary objective of the New Deal...
In context, Chambers's hopes that TV can educate the degradingly poor mass of mankind in the continents of Asia, Africa, and Latin America sounds nothing at all like "the summary objective of the New Deal."
In his Whittaker Chambers Tanenhaus had merely taken Chambers's description of Galbraith as "witty and bracingly arrogant" and turned it into "Chambers was stimulated by the Keynesian heresies of John Kenneth Galbraith's The Affluent Society..."
But by 2007, Tanenhaus's "stimulated by... heresies of JKG" has become "refashioned himself into a liberal... a defender of... the Keynesian policies promoted by JKG".
And we are still there today, with Tanenhaus claiming that Chambers "praised the writings of JKG..." with no support that I see other than an article in which Chambers says that the "witty and bracingly arrogant" JKG's arguments for federal aid to education are "the Total State... under various softening and dissembling names and forms, on various impressive pretexts or necessities..."
Is Tanenhaus referring to something other than "Foot in the Door" when he talks of Chambers praising the writings of JKG? If so, I cannot imagine what.
And National Review's archives have disappeared, or been disappeared: