ALLAS: Public and Private by Warren Leslie

ALLAS: Public and Private

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The ""Private"" in the subtitle could easily be disqualified; there's very little in this cityscape of either an intimate or actually unfamiliar nature considering the wide feature coverage Dallas has had all over the world. Leslie, a novelist, also a local newspaperman, has profiled it here in temperate terms indicated from the first chapter; Dallas was a ""logical"" place for something unpleasant to happen, but not ""inevitable."" ""The best northern city in the South,"" Dallas is actually the examplar of the bigger and better American dream; business oriented, it has gotten rich quick and paid a price -- it is intellectually and culturally philistine; it is politically rightist; it has a clean but unenlightened government. Its extreme ability has led to a certain emotional insecurity; its wealthy women don't know quite what to buy in Neiman Marcus. Bored at home, they become hostile and join the organized radical right. Culturally, Dallas' position is limited; Plato and Picasso as well as Henry Miller have been subjected to crank censorship. Leslie surveys most of its attitudes and activities with reasonable fairness and considerable regret for the shame of a city which is only part of a collective guilt. Even if the natives are as touchy as he says they are, they probably will find they are getting a fairer deal here than elsewhere.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1964
Publisher: Grossman