SENTENCED TO LIFE: Reflections on Politics, Education and Law by John Roche

SENTENCED TO LIFE: Reflections on Politics, Education and Law

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Roche has served as the head of the Americans for Democratic Action and helped to make it hawkish before and during the Indochina war. There is no trimming of sails through this ten years' worth of essays; Roche smugly defends his view that John Foster Dulles didn't really fight the Reds, that the bombing in Vietnam was ""a cut-rate, airpower war"" whereas ""our free society"" should have been forced to accept ground combat. For a time Roche joined the entourage of LBJ on the basis of ""anti-isolationism,"" and he has continued to rail against ""West Side Jacobins"" and ""the young Manichees"" and any liberal who has compromised with ""totalitarianism"" by refusing to flay such devils. The book includes a cluster of essays on constitutional history to show Roche's own liberalism -- imagine, the late 19th century did not believe in pure laissez-faire but, in practice, gave state aid to corporations. Roche's sturdiness may have its appeal next to those careerists like Roger Hilsman whom he derides as trying to ""cover their tracks."" His own tracks, though, are pretty slick.

Pub Date: April 22nd, 1974
Publisher: Macmillan