Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Times Slam

Nearly 20 years ago, the NYTimes actually published a positive review by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt of the Closing of the American Mind.

You could have safely bet the kids' college money that the Times wasn't going to make that mistake again, especially for the Sunday review. So what was bound to be a certain slam of Harvey Mansfield's Manliness fell to Walter Kirn, apparently a sensitive man, though not when dealing with Harvey Mansfield and arguments about manliness. Kirn writes more in a snippy than a manly tone, though, accusing Mansfield of stuffiness and of living in a different galaxey. Of course, there's no argument in Kirn's piece. Not that Harvey Mansfield is simply a proxy for Allan Bloom, but it's likely that the Times views them as interchangeable.

Given how big the book is likely to be with the Oprah cover, it could get another review in the Times during the week. Someone (perhaps Michiko Kakutani) will have to hold their nose and do it. Let's see if the Times goes outside of their stable of liberals for the weekly review. I'd love to see Tom Wolfe review it.


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