The Illusion of Disengagement

Dean Acheson sworn into office as Secretary of State by Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson, January 21, 1949.

THE other day I was re-reading Clarence Day's wise and delightful book, "This Simian World," and came across the paragraph remarking on what unpromising entrants in the struggle for supremacy on this planet the lemurs might have seemed many millions of years ago. "Those frowzy, unlovely hordes of apes and monkeys," he wrote, "were so completely lacking in signs of kingship; they were so flighty, too, in their ways, and had so little purpose, and so much love for absurd and idle chatter, that they would have struck us . . . as unlikely material. Such traits, we should have reminded ourselves, persist. They are not easily left behind, even after long stages; and they form a terrible obstacle to all high advancement."

It does seem to be true that, in our day, only in a sort of cyclical way do free societies retain an understanding of their own experience, and hold to

Loading, please wait...

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.