Winter 1948 • Vol. X No. 1 A Comunication |

Radin on Toynbee

Sirs, The attack of one section of the liberal left upon Toynbee could be discerned even before it was launched. The first such attack I saw was a review by Paul M. Sweezy in the Nation; the second was Mr. Paul Radin's review in the last Kenyon. Both reviews seemed to me to make plain some of those points at which the contemporary liberal mind becomes incapable of dealing with great intellect and passion. I have considerable respect for Mr. Radin's anthropology books; compared with his unimaginative colleagues, he has often displayed intellectual daring and a sensitive understanding of, for example, the plight of the individual in primitive society, or the use of power by the priestly castes. Compared with more academic anthropologists, he seems a complex, suffering, and venturesome man. But writing about Toynbee, he becomes a very different man. Anthropological scholarship engages all of Mr. Radin's faculties; morals and polemics engage only some of them. I agree with m

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Richard Chase (1914-1962) was a literary critic and a Professor of English at Columbia University. He is known for his work The American Novel and Its Tradition.

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