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Vizinczey, Stephen.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, c1986. 339pp, cloth, $22.95, ISBN 0-7710-8762-4.CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Alan Thomas

Volume 14 Number 6
1986 November

The author made his literary reputation with In Praise of Older Women, a novel, incidentally, first published in Canada in 1965. Since then he has occupied himself as a literary journalist in England and this book is essentially a collection of short pieces written for newspapers and magazines between 1968 and 1986. It is, accordingly, a kind of cultural history of the period. We see figures from the past rise again as when first encountered: Ivan lllich, Robert Kennedy, the Black Panthers. Naturally, literary figures, or those who made themselves known through books, predominate, and so we have Kate Millett's Sexual Politics, reviewed for The Times in 1971, and the appearance of Solzhenitsyn's first books in the West.

Perhaps because of Vizinczey's experience with political tyranny in Hungary, he was evidently a favoured choice as reviewer of books on war and holocaust in Europe. These are matters of enduring interest and Vizinczey's own tough, unillusioned brand of liberal humanism also lends durability to the discussion. Consequently, these essays from the past have something to say about modern hislory (and it is most unfortunate that the publisher did not equip the book with an index). The prose is as firm and clear as the ideas and this is an ideal book for senior high school students who are hungry for models of style and who are likely to become excited about literature and history.

Alan Thomas, Scarborough College. University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.
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