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Document Creation Date: 
November 17, 2016
Document Release Date: 
June 6, 2000
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Publication Date: 
June 27, 1971
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PDF icon CIA-RDP75-00001R000100020050-0.pdf113.02 KB
Approved For Release 2000/06113 : 8i li&+5-OOOO1ROOO1OOc2a THE NE 'W YORK T'I [ S BOOK RhVTT,,'W p CPYRGHT- 0 C, V (Z' IM 0 D- C By Pierre Salinger. 408 pp. New York: CPYRGHT Doubleday &,Co. $0.95. Pierre Salinger-who, as press sec- .retary to President Kennedy played all inside observer's role in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis--Iras written a tense, inside-outside novel about a similar confrontation of great powers over an Installation of missile launch- fag pads in the symbolic year 1976. This time, America's foe is Com- munist China, which tries to -sneak ICBM's into a small South American nation aboard, two whaling ships. This time, the Soviet Union emerges as our wary ally. This time, the pawn is fictional Santa Clara, an impov- e0shecl copper country that appears to lie near or within Peru or Chile. Fletcher I nebel's- books include "Vanished," and "Night of Camp P. downhill country. Its rivers, fiches and revolutions all ran from he mountains to the sea." The world, f course, goes to the brink. Whether t plunges over-or pulls up short in he twilight of holocaust should re- ain a question sealed in the coven- tilt between reviewer and writer. If mu like novels whose characters play, ut noble or repugnant public roles vithout. such common joys and trihu- ations, as copulation, impacted wis- om teeth, children, parents, dead gniition switches or those spells of rooding over the infinite immensity f the universe and its specks of umain energy-you'll salivate over is crib. I The prose races, taut and lean, oned on journalism and critical dI- ernmas in high places. Suspense beck- ns as the clock strikes midnight and he plot deftly rounds sharp corners. imost all systems go. Salinger's one eaky system involves a clutch of elf-exited Mafia godfathers, who be- gears and who can be extricated only by last-second slayings. Salinger is at his best when he takes us inside his outside novel. We may never see one of the heroes in bed with his wife's sister or fumbling for tranquilizers: , we do see hint Ihunched over the hot line to Moscow, clattering to crucial meetings in heli- copters, grimly attentive to the elec- trorric maps in the White House situ- ation room, reacting to still more bad news oil the security telephone- scramblers. The good, rich air of au- thenticity is unpolluted. Fleets sail on. precise orders. Diplomats double-talk. Official statements thunder. Press sec- retaries lie by omission. Jumbo jets hurtle presidential candidates through the heavens. Politicians connive, ca- bles and wires carry top secret traf- fie, and Latin guerrillas stalk-stony mountain trails. Salinger also has a worthy mes- sage: our policy in Latin America abets rather than thwarts Communist take-overs, because eve sped our tax money to arm local oppressors in- stead of striving to ameliorate mass poverty in a climate of social justice. As examples of his thesis, we have Cuba and Guatemala. In Cuba, we supported a cynical, plundering I3a- tista--and got a Comnn.unist Castro. As for Guatemala, the late Allen Dulles boas nianaged a successful revolution there in 1954, unhorsing a leftist president and installing one amenable to the United States; later our puppet can- celed the land reforms of his toppled predecessor and 1.5 million acres of newly distributed land were taken back from the peasants. Now gunmen of the right and left Ere Murdering one another in Latin America's most -terrifying political slaughter. Some success, C.I.A. Salinger's novel has two counts against it. First, it seems largely a replay of the 1962 crisis, thus muting the element of surprise. Second is a matter;Af timing. Salinger gives us a death-lock encounter with Coninnu?- nist China at the very time we're ex- periencing a thaw. The book, of course, was written months before Mao Tse-tung mailed out his ping pong invitations. For that, perhaps, his friends can murmur only, "Un- lucky Pierre."- - A footnote on conflict of interest. Since I also commit political novels, my views on a rival should be weighed with caution, not to say suspicion. Blame it on the editors. If they ask General Motors to assess the new product line of Chrysler, ,should G.M. decline? Not if they offer G.M. $125. Times are tough all over. tome ?enmeshe4hl4Prd0td' ? Ye+e 2000/06/13 : CIA-RDP75-00001 ROOO1 OOO2OO5O-0