THE PSEUDO ETHIC by Margaret Halsey
Kirkus Star


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What happens when the author opens her mouth or picks up her pen is -- dissent, especially from the bland evasion of any critical stance or the shying away from value judgments by the mass media reporters of our society. Refreshingly, sometimes persuasively, the lady is quite likely to disinter a dead statesman (Taft is one) and call him dishonorable (for his advice to McCarthy to ""Keep talking""); she'll hop on to Whittaker Chambers' mound and call him a liar by the clock; she'll liken Eisenhower to a collie dog and (whether you agree with her at any point or not) she'll put you in the grave position of stopping to think. It's the sheer size of the public monuments that she holds up to a strong light that get her labeled a ""Dirty Communist"" and eased off the woman's club lecture circuit as too ""controversial"" to speak on fashions and supermarkets. This very short book discusses the ""slipshod morality at the top of the news""; the too-ready acceptance of ""lying and chiseling"" at all levels; and the blurring of a strongly defined Judeo-Christian ethic. Her villains are big business, the public relations mentality where image is all, and political fence sitters. Her Sunday Punch is reserved for the ""Ritual Lies"" that explain away in justices resulting from an ends-justify-the-means approach to present problems. Perhaps if she weren't so quotable, her life would be easier and her audience wider -- you can say just about anything about anything if you're solemnly, sincerely dull about it -- and she's never that.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 1963
Publisher: Simon & Schuster