While he's recuperating, the rest of us have been sneaking breaks to come and sniff the wonderful gloss and glue that binds this book together. The theme of the book is bigger is better: the text and photographs are best enjoyed if you place the open book on your neighbor's veranda (make damned sure it's a cloudy day) and sit with a remote control page-turner on your own porch. We assume that the price tag for this book will be mailed to us in an equally large mailer.
Texas is second in the United States in sheer numbers held in its prisons. The fact that the prisoners run the prisons should come as no surprise to those with a mild interest in the system. What is surprising is that there was such a vigorous defense of the status quo. Not the least interesting part of Texas Prisons is the preface of Henry M. Whittington, the first Republican appointed to the Board of Texas Department of Corrections describing the way the good-ol'-boy system worked --- or didn't work --- in the DOC administration.
Adam Smith apparently looms large on the plains and in the hearts and minds of Oklahomans: chapters on finding a mate are titled Market Politics, False Advertising, Intimate Bargains and Paying the Market Price. (This latter isn't what you may think: it has to do with mates who are workaholics.) In all, we think we'll stick with Dear Abby who wouldn't, god knows, advise us to Improve Your Market Potential or announce, baldly, "Orgasms, like people, are not created equal."
As we say --- if there were a true muckraking book on this Mother Teresa of the Mustang, we'd be first in line to buy it. But The Unknown Iacocca has to be counted as just another snow job in the disguise of coup de plume. The best that Wyden can come up with is the fact that Iacocca suffers from The Shivers and nervous stomach, that he says "shit" a lot, that he got a divorce a few years ago because his new wife, for some strange reason, didn't want to live in Detroit.
Lee isn't the most fascinating character here. Rather, it's his father Nick, or Charlie Beacham (his mentor --- the one who equated closing a car sale to the consolamentum of John The Baptist), or Henry Ford II, who relished
"fooling around with the broads;" this coltish admission covered such habits as his fondling, when drunk, freshly accosted female acquaintances very fully, persistently, front and rear, up and down, and very much in public ...
You also might be subjected to sexual harassment: 12.5 percent of 4,000 psychologists questioned by the California State Psychological Association reported having sex with their clients. The Troubled People Book is a stolid enough work, but equally interesting is the subconscious self-portrait the author gives us from statements made as casual asides.
For example, when discussing the fact that a therapist's own problems might taint the therapy, he says,
In my own experience, there's nothing more unsettling than to have an argument with my wife for breakfast and then trot off to the office to work with couples who want to learn how to avoid fighting at breakfast. On those mornings when I lose one of those arguments (I much prefer winning), I have to redouble my efforts not to be judgmental...
A therapist who thinks in terms of "winning" or "losing" an argument, at breakfast or no, may not, we would guess, be the most equitable or sensible person to work out one's problems with.
The change came with the change in medical care: with the coming of safe operating room techniques and, more broadly, the change of medical practice to a scientific pursuit. Within the last fifty years, the hospital "has become a national institution, no longer a refuge for the urban poor alone." Rosenberg, who teaches history at the University of Pennsylvania, has written a credible treatise of the drastic change in our view of hospitals --- and what that change means for rich and poor alike.
Upon completion, most students began apprenticeships with merchants, where they learned the rigors of workplace accounting. If the graduate was at the top of his class, he could become a maestro d'abbaco and found his own bottega. If he was the best in the land, he could perform his calculations at the court. The bored courtiers and ladies loved nothing better than to watch a contest between an abacist and a practitioner of the algorithm method (think of the abacist as a sprinter, and the algorist as an endurance athlete). If computations were quiIIed out, they took the form of elegant tables, diagrams and charts --- quite different from a nine number LCD blip on today's Mickey Mouse calculator/Iunchbox.
One of the points of the books is that these pernicious little fines are
a form of taxation in which we, as taxpayers, have little awareness or voice. Traffic courts are ... in the business of making money, although no law states that as an objective ... the revenue which is collected by the courts by means of fines and forfeited bails is divided up by the cities and counties in which the tickets are written with a sum left over for the state.
Glass has specific advice about all forms of traffic arrest and citations:
After a stint at Harvard, Hung determined to set up a sister institute in China --- and that school --- the Harvard-Yenching Institute, lasted from 1928 until its dissolution by the Communists in 1952. Hung was always somewhat of a troublemaker. When he passed through Hawaii briefly in 1930 with his family, on the form of his six-year-old daughter, he responded "yes" to the questions "Are you a Communist?" and "Are you an anarchist?" The reasons:
. . . the baby was an anarchist because she did not recognize any form of government, and she was a Communist because she did not respect other people's rights to their property...
With the invasion of Peking by the Japanese, Hung was incarcerated --- and indeed, some of the most readable parts of A Latterday Confucian tell of Hung and his colleagues in confinement:
...before long, they had developed two sets of code for spelling out messages in English. The first code consisted of a series of scratching movements. The Adam's apple stood for A, the brow for B, the cheek for C, and so on. Out of the corners of their eyes, they could observe these signals; and they were amused when their guards, being suggestible, were soon scratching themselves wildly, too.
When Hung was taken in for questioning, he was asked by his captor why he was intent on resisting the Japanese. He said:
I am a historian. When I was young, I studied the history of China; then I went abroad and studied world history, which includes the history of Japan and Korea. I have come to an important conclusion, which is that the use of military force to conquer other countries, to enslave other people, to make other people submit against their will, can only succeed temporarily. There is bound to be a reaction, and in the end, retribution. When the end finally comes, the oppressors suffer as much as the victims, sometimes worse.