"Call Me Ishmael"

Cranston, Maurice
June 1956
New Republic;6/4/56, Vol. 134 Issue 23, p18
This article focuses on the book "In Search of Heresy," by John W. Aldridge. For the most part, Aldridge is concerned to argue that the intellectual must be free in order that he can learn "how to hold two opposing ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." Nowhere is Aldridge more provocative than in what he says of the effect of the American academic featherbed on the writers who enjoy its equivocal ease. The conclusion of Aldridge's book is indeed a pessimistic one. For it suggests that even if the American writer were to be persuaded to quit his cosy billet, and take the old rough road of independence, freedom and dissent people would not listen to him any more.


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