- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 4, 2000

Hollywood icon

"That face indelible as a kabuki mask we are in the presence of a pop icon a blowzy, blonde, dime-store harvest goddess, ripe and overflowing with American chutzpah vulgar, brash, vulnerable, slinky, salacious, innocent spilling out of a sheath dress… .

"Marilyn once objected to being thought of as a sex object 'because a sex object is a thing and I don't want to be a thing.' But stars and things are inseparable in American life, the fabricated self of the star and the manufactured object fusing into a single unit… .

"Her fantasy creature 'Marilyn Monroe' was not only blindingly gorgeous, it had the one indispensable quality of the star: it was an icon, a telegraphic personality that was instantly recognizable… . The platinum blonde wave of hair, the full blood-red lips, the arched eyebrows the universal hieroglyph for her teen-age waif eroticism, innocence and Hollywood glamour."

David Dalton, writing on "Saint Marilyn," in the March-April issue of Gadfly

Missing the bus

" 'You can't reconcile choice with diversity, and that's the tragedy,' says Samuel Issacharoff of Columbia Law School, a leading scholar of desegregation. 'Fifty years after Brown versus Board of Education, there is still no non-coercive mechanism for racial integration that has evolved in this country.'

"That unanimous 1954 Supreme Court decision became famous for the phrase, 'Separate education facilities are inherently unequal.' …

"In the court's view, educating children of different races together was key to the crucial project of creating a society less divided by race. But the era when courts were willing to force integration through mandatory busing ended in the mid-1990s."

Jeffrey Rosen, writing on "The Lost Promise of School Integration," in Sunday's New York Times

Marxist reference

"Published last year in 24 volumes, the American National Biography has been justifiably praised by reviewers… .

"A reference work like the ANB is expected to offer reliable information and reflect the consensus of the best scholarly thinking … .

"What, then, possessed the editors of the ANB to print a bizarre, even absurd, entry on Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union and executed in 1953? …

"For example, it has been common knowledge for years that both Rosenbergs were Communists and that Julius was an active figure among student Communists at [City College of New York]. The ANB entry camouflages this information behind euphemisms (Julius was 'active in left-wing student circles') … .

"Those who have concluded that the Rosenbergs committed espionage are denounced as 'conservative writers' and 'conservatives and anti-Communist or Cold War liberals' for whom their 'unquestioning belief in the Rosenbergs' guilt' was 'a kind of loyalty oath.'

"In contrast, upholding the innocence of the Rosenbergs was 'the most significant expression of resistance to the spread of the domestic Cold War in the United States' by 'radicals and anti-Cold War liberals.'

"The author of this tendentious essay is Norman Markowitz, a tenured professor at Rutgers University … who writes for the People's Weekly World the newspaper of the Communist Party of the United States… .

"It is no surprise, of course, that some of the last Marxist-Leninists in the world reside in American universities. But ideological zealots with axes to grind are not usually picked to write entries on controversial political figures for a standard reference work."

Harvey Klehr and John E. Haynes, writing on "Fellow Traveling is Alive and Well," in the April 10 issue of the Weekly Standard

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