December 1980

Readers Write

Best Friends

The last I heard of Jean she and her husband were heading for the beach where he would finally open up his medical practice. The last I saw of her — we met in a card shop one afternoon — she was having an affair. “It’s taking Ben so long to grow up,” she complained, distressed, wanting to love only him. “He’s always out on the basketball court when he’s not studying some disease.” That was five years ago. They are still hanging in there, I hear.

By Our Readers


The contrast between that bright blue and white Christmas-tree ornament and the black sky, that infinite universe, and the size and significance of it really comes through. It is so small and so fragile, such a precious little spot in that universe, that you can block it out with your thumb. You realize that everything that means anything to you — all of history and art and death and birth and love, tears and joys, all of it, is on that little blue and white spot out there which you can cover with your thumb. And you realize from that perspective that you have changed, that there is something new, that the relationship is no longer what it was.

Astronaut Russell Schewickart

The Sun Interview

The New Nuclear Tyranny

An Interview With Dr. Rosalie Bertell

It sounds sensational to suggest that there’s a vicious, quasi-official campaign against anti-nuclear dissent, involving everything from physical and electronic surveillance to assassination. But it’s hard to ignore the evidence.

By Robin Flynn
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories


I hold her with my voice, the way she once held me, tell her that her life is worth living, that she can’t escape it, not even through death.

By Elizabeth Rose Campbell
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

And Endless Sorrow

Book Review

Endless Love is a novel that seems to leave unsaid as much as it says; one has the feeling that its narrator, David Axelrod, could have told a story twice as long, or could write another novel made up just of the events he has left out. What seems to me most brilliant about this novel that is brilliant on every page is the place where it chooses to begin, on the warm summer Chicago night when David sets fire to the house of the girl, and the family, that he loves. He had been banned from the house for thirty days, apparently because his relationship with Jade Butterfield had grown so intense as to be almost dangerous, and he had hoped just to set a small fire, on the porch, so that the Butterfields would have to come out and he could see them (or was that all he intended? We soon realize in this novel that we are in the hands of a first person narrator, and have only his word concerning his motivations;  others see things differently). The fire, however, has consequences he had never imagined. Scott Spencer seems to be taking up his narrative at the end, the end of a fabulous love story in which a boy falls hopelessly in love with a girl and, by extension, with her family, but really his story is not of that adolescent love, but of its consequences. The consequences are endless.

By David Guy
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

To Move The Stars

That matter and energy are interchangeable and dependent upon one another has been obvious and common knowledge for many thousand years. That they are the same thing — that they are built of the same things — is also an ancient idea; but, over the past several centuries, this concept has fallen from popular acceptance. It has degenerated into what has come to be called superstition — into what has come to be called religion. And then, within this century, we have seen it borning again; we have attempted to prove it mathematically; we have called the effort physics.

By Roxy Gordon
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

No Safety

Excerpts From Cover-Up: What You Are Not Supposed To Know About Nuclear Power

I’ve known Karl Grossman for 15 years. We were reporters together at The Long Island Press in the late 60’s, and he’s continued to personify for me crusading journalism at its best.

By Karl Grossman

People Of Plains, Ga.

People of Plains, Ga. is an intimate portrait of President Jimmy Carter’s hometown, seen through the camera of Steven Borns and told in the words of the people who live there.

By Steven Borns