AMERICANS IN AMERICA. Stanislav Kondrashov

3 April 2024

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С. KONDRASHOVAMERICANS IN AMERICAMOSCOW 1970IZVESTIA PUBLISHING HOUSE    This book is something like a report of a person who worked as a correspondent of Izvestia in New York from the end of 1961 to the middle of 1968 and who was used to reporting on newspaper pages. They are nooriously cramped, and I have accumulated a lot of impressions, as well as the desire to tell more about them. Now the newspaper gives me the opportunity to enclose my report in a hardcover book, supplementing it with more extensive material ("Near New York," "King's Death," "Furious California"). The essays and reports I have selected are arranged chronologically, and through this chronology the events and phenomena of America in the "explosive 60s" rumble, sometimes dramatically and menacingly. In sum, this is a book about Americans against the backdrop of their country, their society, their problems. About Americans in America.  FACETS OF CHARACTERPULLING BACK THE VEIL OF MOURNINGJohn F. Kennedy once joked that by the end of the first or second term of his presidency, he would probably face an insoluble problem: too old to try a new career and too young to sit down to write his memoirs. The bullets that felled the president at the age of forty-six rendered the joke meaningless. He was so young and vigorous, and his death so ridiculous, sudden and tragic, that many Americans still retain the original reaction in the back of their minds: can't believe it.The mourning days here did not stretch, but flew - the American way. They remembered that after Lincoln's assassination in 1865, his body was carried for fifteen days from Washington to Springfield, Illinois, to the place of burial. The twentieth century has a different pace and different modes of transport. Dallas to Washington, D.C., is further than Washington to Springfield. But only four hours after Kennedy's death at Parkland Hospital, the bronze coffin had already been flown to the capital aboard the President's Boeing. By then, the whole world knew that Lyndon Baines Johnson had become the thirty-sixth President of the United States.________________  During the night the body of the deceased was at Bethesda Naval Hospital. And seventeen hours after the assassination, early Saturday morning, 23 November, in a fluctuating mix of light and shadows from the lamps in the sticks placed near the front entrance, the ambulance with the coffin slowly drove into the gates of the White House. In front of it rhythmically beat a step of the mourning escort of honour - two dozen soldiers of the Marine Corps.Living, smiling, talking, gesticulating, making policy, John F. Kennedy was gone. On television screens, the nation saw a closed casket draped in a star-spangled flag.It stood first in the White House - for the distinguished, and since Sunday in the Capitol Rotunda - for the people. The Capitol dome was illuminated, a white light burning over Washington. Under the dome, a bronze Lincoln stared sternly at the coffin, with the presidential standard flung in front of him.It could be seen on a television screen. But people were not content with the screen. We arrived at the Capitol at four in the morning on Monday, having relayed our correspondence to Moscow. On the hill, fallen leaves rustled underfoot, it was dark, cold, windy, sad. The dense queue stretched for three or four kilometres. We drove along the queue for a long time, delayed by traffic lights. There were many young people, children came with their parents. Hundreds of people had travelled from far away and now, covered with plaids, slept in cars around Capitol Hill. They had come to attend the funeral of their president.Monday came at last - a day of funeral and national mourning, a day of clear, cold sunshine, weeping eyes, the sadly measured beat of drums, the solemn slow march of military units and, in silence, the clatter of six horses carrying the coffin on a simple, freshly painted black carriage. They admired the courage with which Jacqueline Kennedy, the widow of the deceased, bore the ordeal. The President's son John - he was three years old on the day of the funeral - saluted the coffin. Accustomed to crowded solemn ceremonies, the boy could hardly guess what this particularly solemn one meant.On 25 November at the fourth hour of the day, the President's body was committed to the ground. The former torpedo boat commander joined 126,000 privates, officers, generals and admirals buried in Arlington Cemetery.On Tuesday, the public was allowed to visit the grave on the hillside. Standing in the cemetery in the drizzling rain, looking at the unquenchable fire over the freshly wreath-laden grave, and listening alternately to the piercingly mournful trills of the bugler and the harsh whistles of the military regulators, I thought that it had been only four days since the paths of President Kennedy and his assassin had crossed. What a long time it had been.Now three more days have passed. America has returned to everyday life. The new president has already made speeches to Congress and the nation. Americans have already celebrated Thanksgiving with the traditional turkey and parades for children. However, the turkey could not prevent many people from thinking about the turkey and asking the following questions: How could this have happened? Who is the president's assassin? What is happening to the country?In grief, as in holidays, one can see the national character. The mourning of lowered flags and sincere sadness was interspersed with businesslike and even buffoonery. Vainly proud, the newspapers wrote that it was the most solemn funeral in the West since 1910, when they buried King Edward VII of England. They propose to give a special congressional medal to Jacqueline Kennedy - for dignity in the mourning days. The whiff of commerce is inescapable. Theatres on Broadway did not want to cancel performances during the days of mourning, because the late president was a theatre-goer and would not approve of this step. Football businessmen said Kennedy was a fan and took the teams to the field. On Monday, three hours after the funeral, the lights of Washington's Speakeasy nightclub flashed and half-naked girls were already luring passersby in the doorway. Hard to believe, but I saw it with my own eyes.It is disgusting, and not just in itself, but as a symptom of far more serious diseases: mercantilism, emasculated souls, indifference to the fate of others and the state. It gives birth to the anxiety of thinking Americans. Not only the Kennedy assassination, but also the lynching of Oswald in front of the television cameras, has driven them into a blush of shame. Priest Francis of his rhvk President Woodrow Wilson, said in his sermon: "By our silence, by our inaction, by our willingness to let someone else carry the heavy burden, by our willingness to call evil good and good evil, by our continued tolerance of ancient injustices, we have all taken part in the device".It is no secret that the atmosphere in the country, especially in the South, has been heated in recent months over one of the blatant "ancient injustices"-the oppression of the Negro. The ranks of those fighting for equality have grown (recall the August "march on Washington"), but so has the ferocity of racists (recall the September bombing of a Negro church in Birmingham). When John F. Kennedy offered Congress his modest programme for the struggle for civil rights, he became a "Negro lover" to the racists. After the assassination, phone calls rang out in the newsrooms of Southern newspapers, "So, they've boned that Negro man." Racists rushed to share their joy.The crime shines a tragic light on the nature of Dallas, a Texas town where the racism of the South is intertwined with the outlaw mores of the West. It is an American version of the town of Ocurova, and in principle nothing changes, neither the six hundred thousand population, nor the fifty-storey skyscraper of the leading local firm, nor, of course, the reactionaries and racists brought up in their own way. Here's from the Dallas Chronicle In 1960, the Adolphus Hotel spat on - literally - Lyndon Johnson, who was running for vice-president. On 24 October 1963, UN Day, the US representative to the UN, Edlai Stevenson, was spat on and punched: rich savages driving around in the latest brands of cars regard the UN as a "communist organisation". Lately, as Newsweek magazine testifies, talk of "poking" the president has descended into humour in Dallas On the day of Kennedy's arrival, "jokers" threw posters with his picture on them: "Wanted for treason!" Fr.Holmes, a Dallas pastor, recounted this fact: "Fourth grade students clapped their hands and cheered when the teacher told them last Friday that the president had been assassinated."In that atmosphere, bullets whizzed by.Texas law almost encourages the possession of firearms. The rifle, which, according to the investigation, was used to kill the President, was bought by mail order in Chicago for twelve dollars and seventy-eight cents. However, you can buy one in New York City. How many demands have been made to control the sale of firearms? Attacks have been repelled by dealers who, according to the competent authorities, have more stockpiles of arms for sale than the armouries of other nations. A rifle is chump change. For three hundred dollars you can buy a Swedish-made 37-millimetre anti-tank gun, which the armies of the Scandinavian countries are equipped with.I don't know if it is true that Kennedy's funeral is second only to Edward VII's, but there is no doubt that this is the most "televised" funeral in modern history. Operating around the clock, TV stations brought millions of people closer to the events. Excellent! But they have also erased the line between grief and sensation, tragedy and spectacle. Moreover, the Dallas police, forgetting their responsibility, worked not so much for justice as for television and the press. basking in the glow of public attention - and what is more flattering for an American policeman! - It was as if the police forgot what an important job they were doing. The day after Lee Harvey Oswald's arrest, District Attorney Wade, lacking sufficient evidence, dashingly announced that he could send him "to the electric chair," as he had already sent twenty-three men. Police Chief Carrie, to please the reporters (and were they the only ones?), announced in advance the hour of Oswald's transfer from the city jail to the county jail, and thereby caused his death by Jack Ruby's gun - in front of millions of television viewers. And Jack Ruby, unknowingly trapped in the heavily guarded basement of the police department? Jack Ruby, a man with a dark past, a friend of gangsters and cops (and who else?), who liked to hand out get-out-of-jail cards - the "Jack Ruby of Carousel". From prison, he would check on the phone how things were going at his strip joint. "Carousel's still going strong. Now it's got a big advert.The massacre of Oswald raised a lot of suspicions about police involvement, about a far-right conspiracy. Federal authorities took the case out of the hands of Dallas authorities and turned it over to the FBI. But that was two days after the murder - is it too late? If Oswald had the clues, they are buried in his grave in Rose Hill Cemetery, guarded by guard dogs and police officers.It is disgraceful to assassinate the president of a great power. It is disgraceful when, for publicity's sake, the investigation is being conducted at a prehistoric level, hardly worse than any of the one hundred and three Dallas murders of the past year.President Johnson was now being guarded with increased zeal. There were dozens of cars in the funeral procession to Arlington Cemetery. The President's limousine was instantly recognisable, flanked by a dozen Secret Service agents. On Wednesday, when Johnson drove down Pennsylvania Avenue to Congress, his personal physician was in the third car, right behind the security car, not at the end, as it used to be.The President of the United States apparently no longer rides in an open car.But is this only the lesson of the tragedy? By pulling back the veil of mourning, Washington sees a lesson in fighting extremism on both the right and the left. The wrong lesson. To put extremism on the left on the same scale as extremism on the right is to mask or underestimate the threat of "ultra" racist, rabid racists. The lesson, obviously, is to' overcome the resistance of the hardliners and march towards the 'new frontiers' of peace on earth and justice at home that the late president never managed to achieve.        November 1963.CHRISTMAS STORYThe train, travelling from New York to Washington, was packed to capacity. Even in the vestibules there were black faces, black heads. On Christmas night, the last train was the last train for blacks travelling from the North to the South.This train took me and a colleague to Washington. Christmas morning we flew West, deep into the Appalachian Mountains, in a twin-engine, curmudgeonly Lake Central Airlines plane. Three and a half hours. Clarksburg. Parksburg. Virginia and West Virginia towns... The aeroplane landed and took off, and the gentle mountains lasted under the wing in dark patches of sparse forests, or under a dense cover of white, custom-made Christmas snow.At last we landed seventeen miles from the city of Portsmouth, Ohio. A small, clean airport terminal building. Empty. No buses or taxis - it's Christmas. An airfield attendant helped me hail a taxi from the city. On the way the taxi driver - a thin and wiry old man with glasses - "brought me up to speed". Portsmouth is a provincial backwater on the banks of the Ohio River, at the junction of the states of Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. Thirty-five thousand residents. Thirty-four churches. One public library. A steel mill that even at Christmas blows soft yellow smoke into the sky. The factory employs many, but not all, and so the Labour Employment Office is not idle either. The shoe factory and railway workshops have recently closed. By the bridge over the Ohio River, the local Bowery, a neighbourhood of feral alcoholics, is expanding.But the main conversation is not about Portsmouth's ailments, but about the Russian family. That's what brought us here.On December days, when the spring sun is warming up and the streets of Portsmouth are filled with cheerful streams, there is a popular and deeply satisfying operation "Peace on Earth". The Portsmouth people simply, without diplomacy, want to prove to the Soviet family from Moscow how the idea of good peaceful relations with the Soviets has been instilled.It is said of the Muscovites: a Russian family, for who can remember difficult Russian surnames. Although the family name is simple. Viktor Pozdneev, a 39-year-old engineer at the Moscow Small Car Plant, his wife Nina, an English teacher, son Anatoly and six-year-old daughter Olga lived for a week in the home of Dames Mackenzie, co-owner of the Portsmouth Insurance Company, his wife and five children. They co-existed peacefully and their visit was the talk of Portsmouth. Almost all the residents considered them their guests; in homes, bars, shops, it was as if a vote was being taken - for or against? Ninety-nine per cent in favour," the proprietor of the Cameo Restaurant told us, summing up the results. And waved his hand dismissively at the one per cent, calling those who disagreed "crazy," like the local madman who drowned two of his boys."Peace on Earth"-a somewhat grandiloquent but apt name for the operation. Back in September, the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce decided to invite a Soviet family over for Christmas.  Ronald McCowan, the lawyer who became the "director of the operation," says that the idea was first floated in the State Department and among White House staff. Moscow also agreed. Then the chamber opened a campaign to raise money.- It's money well spent," said an old taxi driver.He believes that no dollars should be spared for the cause of peace.And so on 19 December the Pozdoneevs flew across the ocean At the New York airport they were met by Ronald McCowan and James Mackenzie, who prepared for the Russian family his spacious two-storey house. The arrivals had reporters in their eyes. A layover in New York, another in Washington, and the Operation Peace on Earth participants landed on a snowy Portsmouth airfield to the applause of three hundred assembled residents. On the way into the city, among the advertisements and various road signs that littered the sides of the motorway, a freshly made tall billboard, "Desirable," flashed in large Russian. With this word the Portsmouth people must have exhausted the whole stock of Russian words, because below it was in English: "Welcome to Portsmouth, Mr Pozdneyev and his family!".Not empty words. The guests "rested" from morning to evening? Visits to different houses, receptions, visits to schools, factories, basketball game, church, local newspaper, fire service, court.... There was a great demand for these unusual Christmas guests. The newspapers wrote about them extensively and they were often on television.- It's been a week, but it feels like a whole year," says Viktor Pozdneyev.        We finally caught them at home. We are sitting by the fireplace in the living room. In the corner is a Christmas tree, decorated by Russian and American children. Beneath it are the presents the families exchanged in the morning, as they should have done. Mackenzie's neighbour played the role of Santa Claus and Father Frost. Olga Pozdneyevskaya is with Mackenzie's children. Anatoly is trying to disarm a dog running around the room with a toy grenade in its teeth. The hostess is busy in the kitchen. A photo reporter from the local newspaper is here - he wants to film the festive table.Yes, a quiet Christmas in the family circle is a dream. But how many greeting cards on strings stretched out by the fireplace! Hundreds. Even more greetings came to the Chamber of Commerce: from California and New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, Florida, New Mexico. The phone rang so often that Mackenzie temporarily changed the number. And the doorbell never stops ringing. More and more people come in - to pry, to congratulate. The night before, Pastor Taylor showed up with the church choir, singing Christmas carols under the windows. A whole delegation came from the neighbouring town of Hannington.- We had hoped for success, but we are surprised by this response," admits the operation's director.- It's a lovely family. We are delighted with their visit," says the host, a tall, handsome man.Victor and Nina say they received them "wholeheartedly and sincerely". Before the trip, they were worried, but everything worked out perfectly, even not knowing the language doesn't bother the children much....We came to the Mackenzie house the next day, but we were late. The hosts and guests were away on visits. In welcoming them, it was as if the Portsmouth people were making a great policy of peace.With the help of thousands upon thousands of people, the Catholic Mackenzie's and the atheist Pozdneyevs created a Christmas story in a small town, among the snow-covered but spring-fed Appalachian streams. It was unbelievable yesterday. Today it is possible, and certainly not just because the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce had a good idea. The seeds fell on the soil prepared by the Moscow Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. It is not for nothing that this year has passed, and let the Portsmouth story be a good sign for the future.        December 1963.TEXAS WITHOUT COWBOYSIt would be ridiculous to leave Texas without seeing cowboys and cowboy life. Moscow Radio correspondent Alexander Druzhinin and I jumped at the invitation of Frank Stanush, a rancher forty miles from the city of San Antonio. When we met him the day before, he was a typical urban American. Now we saw a cowboy - in a checked shirt, tight trousers, belted with a heavy, fancy buckle belt, a large "ten-gallon" hat with a bent up brim, and sharp-nosed, sturdy, high-heeled boots. His wife and student son were dressed in the same manner."The "cowboy" sat down behind the wheel of the Chevrolet and drove us along the excellent federal motorway to his property. He drove at a truly cowboy speed of a hundred or more kilometres per hour.It was the end of November, but the sun was beating down on the blue sky and the hills, covered with evergreen oaks, breathed the idyll of South Texas.Turning off the motorway, Frank drove at a steady pace along the local roads. The wire fences of farms glimmered, and metal bars rattled under the wheels of the car at the open gates, which the cattle feared like hell.In Stanush's spacious house, hunting trophies lined the walls. Through the wide window we could see hills, pastures, groves, deer in a distant meadow, and the bottomless Texas sky, slightly blue as dusk approached.Frank took our wishes too literally. In two hours we were given the full range of Texas pleasures: we drank beer, tried on Texas hats, then mounted a pair of saddled horses. If Stanush sends the promised photos, we'll see the only cowboys on horseback we met during our week in Texas - ourselves. Then - not on foot, of course, but in a Jeep - we drove across a rocky creek bed and went in search of deer. The hunting season opened in mid-November, and Frank's son, having bought a licence for three dollars, wanted to show how Texans liked and knew how to hunt. But it quickly got dark and the deer were spared.All the way back to San Antonio, Stanush sat silently behind the wheel. He received his guests without wasting time, in a strictly businesslike manner. He promised, he showed them. And goodbye.Twenty miles north of his ranch, where the Pedernales River rumbles on the drops, lies the property of Lyndon Johnson, President of the United States. A billboard at the entrance to the tiny town proclaims, "Johnson City-the hometown of Lyndon B. Johnson. Johnson." The Country Boy Cafe advertises smoked turkeys, ham, sausages and bacon "fit for a president." Frank Stanusch considers the President a farmer's mate. This mate entertains his more distinguished guests with the same Texas life that Frank Stanusch showed us.But Frank only dresses up in a cowboy suit on weekends. On weekdays, he makes money in West Texas oil, insurance business, etc. His son, a handsome shy kid, is already playing on the stock exchange and dreams of becoming a stockbroker instead of a cowboy. The main capital of the president-buddy is not in the ranch, but in a large radio-television company in the city of Austin, which is estimated at several million dollars. The company's monopoly position in Austin has generated talk and gossip. Johnson's Texas detractors love that kind of banter:- How do you find Austin? Easy as pie. Fly and fly southwest of Washington, D.C., until you see a small town with a large and single television tower.Cowboys, of course, are not extinct in Texas, nor are cowboy horses skilled at separating steers or cows from a grazing herd. In America, Texas ranks first in the number of all livestock, and cattle in particular, and also ranks first in the production of cotton and cotton seed, rice, and sorghum. Desperate braggarts and patriots of their state, by territory the largest after Alaska, the Texans say that if you make one pig out of all their pigs, it will dig something like the Panama Canal when it digs twice. And if you made one mattress out of the cotton produced in a year in Texas, there would be enough room for all three billion of the earth's inhabitants.But the more composite Texas bull and pig, the less is left of the former heroes of the American prairie. They have been turned into cogs in the machinery of capitalist commodity production, equipped with superior machinery and torn apart by fierce competition.The pace of work on Texas farms is perhaps as fast as that of New York - no swagger. Here is Dick Moore, the manager of a ranch near the city of Houston, a thirty-nine-year-old big man with a ruddy face and grey head. He is like a wound-up spring Of course, he is wearing cowboy trousers and boots, but he is also jigging in the car. From the car, he shows us the ranch. He speaks in short, unbelievable Texas lingo, swallowing his words with strong jaws chewing gum. 5,800 acres, 1,700 head of breeding cattle. Only a handful of labourers. Perfectly clean meadows.- If the cattle fell, Mr Smith would understand and forgive. But if he sees a piece of paper in the field, he won't forgive, he'll scold.A kitchen with a big cooker polished to a shine.- This is where Mr Smith treats his guests to Texas-style roast bones. There's royalty too.A sullen, obese bull with inflamed eyes.- Mr Smith paid $40,000 for him.Who is Mr Smith? R. E. Smith is the owner of this ranch and five others. They have about ten thousand head of cattle, for sale and for breeding. Where Mr Smith's cattle are sold, and where we also visited, the feedmix factory is mechanised, it seems, to the extreme. There are buttons on the control panel and recipes for feed mixes for every kind of cattle, just push it. Dick Moore speaks of Mr Smith with dogged devotion and awe: one of the ten richest men in the US. Six ranches are fun for him, though he won't miss a cent here, either.And Dick Moore remembers working for Mr Smith twenty-four years ago as an errand boy for a dollar a day. Smith travelled then in a wrecked car. Its door was tied shut with a rope. The car and the rope are now shrouded in the hilarious haze of legend. Mr Smith, now an old man of seventy-two, began making money in oil. Then came the rest - insurance companies, property. He even bought the Houston baseball team outright. Baseball players play into Mr Smith's pocket to keep the fans happy. In 1948, he bought land for his ranch for two hundred dollars an acre, and now an acre costs about four thousand dollars.Loyal biographies of the founders of dollar empires are usually written after their death. But in Houston we were told in whispers that Mr Smith now has nine hundred million dollars worth of land alone. He has, for example, successfully and in good time bought up land along the shipping channel linking the Port of Houston to the Gulf of Mexico. The price of that land is rising fantastically along with the fantastic growth of the city. A speculator? Of course. But how shallow in America is that term next to another - billionaire. Mr Smith, like Hunt and Getty, is of the "new" billionaires.Oil and the Smiths made present-day Texas, pushing back the cowboys and, incidentally, giving a different ideal to the young knights of profit. These knights are coming here from the "tight" northeastern states, although it's not so easy to turn around in the Texas expanse. Oil is the progenitor of modern industrial Texas. One in fifty-six of every ten million Texans has an active oil well. And that's probably not bragging anymore, but statistics. The state ranks first in the nation in oil production and natural gas reserves. Oil has provided Texas' largest industry, refineries, as well as capital for the development of other industries and commerce.Major Texas cities are growing very fast. What do we know about Houston, for example? In the early 1940s, as I recall, it was not listed in our high school geography textbooks. Now this city in the southeast corner of Texas is the sixth most populous, after New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Detroit. Houston proper has more than a million residents and the Greater Houston area has one and a half million. Since the turn of the century the city's population has increased fifteen times, since 1950 it has doubled. Mr John Jones, one of Houston's most influential men, explained to us that the city owes its growth to a combination of two factors: abundant natural resources plus its position as a marine highway and air transport hub at the junction of the United States and Central America.Houston is uncomfortable, as if it were made of crossroads The drafts of powerful motorways run through the city. It develops vigorously, but chaotically - a worthy, gratuitous work of businessmen. Skyscrapers grow like mushrooms, the tallest is forty-four storeys high. Next to their glass and dural - unsightly old houses - these are local Smiths waiting for more expensive land.In the evenings, gas lamps are lit in the courtyard of the superb Holiday Inn. They seem here to be a tribute to the subterranean force that propelled this region forward. The motel room - excuse the unsophisticated but distinctive detail - even has a telephone in the toilet.Time is money, and with the toilet phone, Houston seems to say that this American truth has been learnt better here than anywhere else. Houstonians convince visitors that in the distant future their city will be the biggest' in the world. Apparently, this is a Texas boast. In the present, there is one private and reliable fact, which is reported not without heartfelt awe: Houston is the world's capital .... in terms of annual homicides.Houston's economy has been boosted by the Space Flight Centre. Its buildings have been built over the past two years, twenty-three miles outside the city. This is where American astronauts live and train, preparing for launches from the launch pads of Cape Kennedy, Florida. Astronaut Scott Carpenter is saving for New Year's Eve a gift from German Titov - a penguin-shaped pitcher containing an unknown drink.We travelled through major Texas cities: Houston, San Antonio, Austin. San Antonio, the third largest in the state, has Americans as excited about it as San Francisco and New Orleans. San Antonio attracts them with its Mexican flavour. For some reason the Alamo fortress there is called "the mausoleum of Texas independence", although it fell under the Mexican onslaught in March 1836, and all its defenders were killed. Mexicans make up more than a third of the population of San Antonio (there are more than a quarter of a million of them) and on the racial-national ladder are below the "pure" Americans, but above the Negroes. Negroes in San Antonio, by the way, are much fewer than in Houston or Dallas: Mexicans are suitable for black jobs.The proximity of Mexico is visible in the houses, parks, and the picturesque San Antonio River. The big architect O'Neil Ford, whom we met there, is fighting the callousness of "functional architecture," defending - with little chance of success - the parks and the river from the onslaught of all-consuming motorways and business.By all accounts, Texas assertiveness and Texas wildness are most concentrated in Dallas. Alas, Dallas is closed to Soviet citizens. Only seven miles away, from the airfield, did we see the skyscrapersthe skyscrapers of this dynamic and ambitious city, successfully competing with Houston. Dallas has already surpassed Houston in the number of floors - and they are a symbol for corporations - by putting in its centre a fifty-storey box of the insurance company South End Life. In terms of population, it came close to Houston nu. Attracting new capital, Dallas advertises itself as a city that surpasses all cities in the southern United States east of Los Angeles in the number of workers in the processing industry, in wholesale sales, deposits in banks, the number and scope of insurance companies, tonnes of airmail, the number of companies with a capital of more than a million dollars, and its importance as a centre of astronautics and electronics.Unlike Houston, Dallas owes its economic rise not to Mother Nature, but to the city's businessmen fathers. In the seventies of the last century, they bribed the Houston & Texas Railway Company for five thousand dollars and got the railway to pass through out-of-state Dallas with four thousand inhabitants. And so a beginning was made. And in 1936 for three and a half million dollars local businessmen bought the right to hold in Dallas the sensational exhibition-fair "One Hundred Years of Texas". The fair brought an abundant cash harvest and advertised Dallas as the de facto capital of Texas (the official capital was Austin). Dallas went steeply uphill. Since 1936 it has been ruled by an unelected and unaccountable citizens' council. Now the council has about two hundred members. All of them are CEOs of major local corporations. There is not a single doctor, lawyer, artist, newspaper writer, teacher, churchman, sociologist, not to mention labourers. In fact, everything is run by the ten or so members of the council over their lunches and lunches. Warren Leslie, author of the interesting book "Dallas - Public and Private", writes about it with facts in his hands.The city fathers know that fame, aka publicity, is also money. And suddenly came fame for the whole world - shameful fame. From Dallas' Love Field airfield, President Kennedy set off on his final journey to fall victim to hate. After recovering from the shock, the city fathers first grabbed their pockets: would the tragedy affect prosperity? It hasn't. Business is still booming, the Dallas Morning News reported cheerfully. I read that report at Dallas' Love Field Airport on 22 November 1964, exactly one year after Kennedy's assassination. On the anniversary of the tragedy, the Dallas Morning News never said a kind word about the president it was poisoning on the fateful day he arrived in Dallas. The paper only cares about the economic pulse of the city.Warren Leslie thinks everything in Dallas is measured in dollars and cents. They created a symphony orchestra and invite the Metropolitan Opera from New York every year, but not because the citizens' council is made up of music lovers. One of the overlords of Dallas, big businessman Bob Thornton, now deceased, raised money for a symphony orchestra with one condition: that he not be dragged to concerts. He was simply persuaded that culture would help attract new capital and new people to Dallas. When the smell of Negro "riots", Dallas oligarchs held a meeting. They calculated how much the "riots" cost the businessmen of Birmingham and New Orleans, how much it could cost them. They decided: to carry out some desegregation in schools and cafeterias to stem the Negro tide. It was a cheap operation. Now they're raising money for a monument to John F. Kennedy. Maybe the monument will pay for itself by attracting tourists to Dallas.But the slums of West Dallas, where tens of thousands of people live, remain. Taking care of impoverished fellow citizens is "socialism." In a wealthy city, only one out of every twenty-nine unmarried mothers receives any kind of welfare, one out of every three pregnant Negro women never sees a doctor.Where only one account is recognised, that of dollars and cents, there is inevitably an account of moral depravity. Texas holds the first place in the world in terms of crime. John Bainbridge, in his widely acclaimed book "Superamericans," writes that more murders are committed in Dallas each year than in all of England. And Dallas lags behind Houston, even though for every Dallas judge there are now an average of 1,157 pending criminal cases. While cases wait to be decided, witnesses are often eliminated. There are years when, after 1,200 or 1,300 murders, only three or four people end up in the electric chair.Such are the paradoxes of Texas.The cowboy Mecca has been relocated to the studios of Hollywood. And the Texas land is home to business-minded people, cleansed of romance and sentimentality, who have added to the lauded "frontier spirit" of the colonists - the ability to stand up for themselves and their own self-interest, even if they have to grab their neighbour by the throat.Our acquaintance Frank Stanush dropped the unintentional phrase that America has "too many lazy people" who "don't want to work." It's right up Goldwater's alley: trample on those who failed to rise. In San Antonio, a Pennsylvanian who made his money in steel confided to us that he had changed careers and moved to Texas as a stockbroker because the unions don't bother him here. Indeed, Texas laws prevent labour unions. And a Negro cleaning woman in a Houston motel complained that her wages were miserable, not only because she was "coloured" but also because the unions did not keep the businessmen in check.In such a Texas climate not only cotton and bulls, cities and skyscrapers grow, but also extreme reactionaries, whom I would call not only rabid but savage. Much has been written about them, I do not want to repeat myself. Up close, however, the picture is more complex than from afar. In Dallas on November 3, voters "rode the crow" reactionary Bruce Alger, whom the "city fathers" sent to the U.S. Congress four times. Goldwaterites abound, but Johnson won the Texas election, albeit with a smaller majority than in the eastern states. At the same time, the president's supporters also speak of him with restraint, perhaps because in Texas they know Lyndon Johnson, the history of his rise, and his radio-television company too well.Among Texas millionaires, not all are reactionaries.John Jones of Houston is a reasonable judge of the world - he believes, for example, that our countries should and will trade. His newspaper, the Houston Chronicle, is liberal, and some of its employees have been labelled "Reds" and "Communists."Not somewhere but in Texas we heard one wicked story. Three monkeys from a shipment being sent to the Space Medicine Centre in San Antonio had disappeared at a Dallas airfield. Where did they go? Answer: they were taken to vote for Goldwater. And on the other hand, nowhere but Texas have I seen such road "signs" as the Berchist billboards urging Texans to join the John Birch Society and the United States to break with the UN.Albert Fey, a Republican National Committeeman from Texas, is widely known. He campaigned zealously for Goldwater, raising money for his campaign. On the wooden panelling of his office are pictures of his boss with Eisenhower, Goldwater, pictures of sailing yachts. Fay's business is oil and his hobby is sailing. The mention of Africa affected the sturdy, bald old man like a red rag on a bull. Here he goes all out: about "a bunch of cannibals" and "beasts" who have no "financial responsibility".He says bluntly:- We believe in Teddy Roosevelt's old "big stick" policy.Albert Fey is no airy fairy. He grew out of Texas mores, out of the Texas way of life, and even - very significantly - out of the capitalist-style economic progress that this state has seen.Albert Fay, of course, has a mass of like-minded people with enormous influence. They measure the world by the measure of their ignorance and want to judge it by the mandate of their millions, which they will not succeed in doing, but which carries great dangers.1964 г.HE SAW HIROSHIMA FROM ABOVEBroadway bustled, frantically picking up the pace before the weekend. As always on Fridays, the lobby of the City Squire Motor Inn, a high-rise motel, was bustling with activity.- Ah, the bombing team," the clerk on duty said to me with a slight chuckle and memorably gave me Mr Jacob Bisser's number.On the 22nd floor, at the end of the corridor, the door of a large bright room with a balcony was open. Two flowery-looking men sat on a sofa. The one in the white shirt and bow tie, short and energetic, bushy eyebrows, mobile face, was called Mr Bisser.- Charles McKnight," introduced the other, tall and strong.Both are today's "selebrities" - celebrities, they are constantly being called, interviewed, recorded for radio, filmed for television. Mr Beazer says there will be 75-80 of them in all - with wives and children. There are 26 rooms reserved at the motel. They are coming to New York for three days. The programme has been worked out: a "cocktail party" on Friday night, a banquet on Saturday night. On an "individual basis," a tour of the city, shopping and revelry, a tour of the World's Fair, where there is so much to be curious about for adults and children alike. Sunday morning they will reconvene for a gala breakfast and then disperse, agreeing to meet again.I know when they will meet next on 6 August, the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.What, however, is the connection between the bombing of Hiroshima and Bisser, McKnight, the other guests in the twenty-six rooms of the City Squire Motor Inn?The most direct and tragic. They dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Twenty years ago, they wore U.S. Air Force uniforms and were part of a special "509th Consolidated Air Group." American nuclear scientists were completing the first bomb at the time, and the 509th Air Group had begun training flights, on "flying super fortresses", on which the bomb hatches had been lengthened and all armament, except the tail twin machine guns, had been dropped to save weight.On 16 July 1945, scientists and military personnel tested the first bomb in the lifeless desert of New Mexico. On 6 August, the 509th tested the second bomb on tens of thousands of Hiroshima residents. On 9 August, the third bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. After the war, the life paths of the 509th members diverged. Now, like all veterans, they create their own, so to speak, club - the most chosen one on the earth, which they so tragically brought into the atomic age. Their club has nothing to do with the struggle for peace.So, my name is entered in the visitor's register, and I am sitting on the sofa, side by side with Jacob Bisser, the only participant and eyewitness to both atomic bombings. He is the one who initiated and organised this meeting. As a 24-year-old military engineer, Bisser was responsible for the electronic parts of Little Boy, the "Little Boy" that hit Hiroshima, and Fat Man, the "Fat Man" that crushed Nagasaki. Now he is a successful businessman, one of the heads of the "defence and space centre" of a large corporation Westinghouse. Bisser has a wife and four sons, eyes alive and a little tired, without any, however, tragic imprint.The radio reported that in Hiroshima, a crowd of thirty thousand gathered at the monument to the victims, marking the anniversary with a minute of silence. And what was the purpose of meeting these in the heart of ever-noisy Manhattan? I'm asking about the purpose of the meeting. Mr Biser, avoiding impromptu speeches, picks up from his desk the text of a speech he has prepared for Saturday. The word rejoice - to rejoice, to celebrate, to rejoice. Yes, rejoice AND celebrate, but not because of what they did twenty years ago, but because they are together again, and because the United States was the first to get nuclear weapons, which they believe saved the world from war. The two atomic veterans hadn't eaten since the morning: no vRemen">press business. Interrupting their conversation and apologising, they count cents so that each contributes equally, and send Eric, Bisser's sixteen-year-old son, away for a Coca-Cola and sandwiches. Then they unwrap the sandwiches, wrapped in a semi-pro. Did he know what this "special bomb" was.- Yeah, we knew something. We were told it was bigger than normal. They'd given a lecture the day before, and we more or less knew what was going to happen. And Nagasaki, coming after Hiroshima, was no surprise to me at all. When I looked at Hiroshima from the aeroplane, I saw that it was finished. You couldn't see anything in the centre of the city, and everything around the edges was engulfed in flames. Charles McKnight's plane flew over Nagasaki "an hour before the bomb." He provided meteorological surveillance and gave the "go-ahead" for the bombing.- We waited then over the sea, about two hundred miles from Nagasaki, at an altitude of forty thousand feet, - says McKnight. - We saw the "sultan" blossom.He calls the atomic mushroom the "peacock sultan."I ask Bisser how he feels now that the scale of the Hiroshima disaster is known, still taking people to their graves, and the facts have proven that the use of the atomic bomb was not dictated by military considerations. He "admires the people of Hiroshima who rebuilt their city so quickly." But he doesn't want to admit the facts, it's more convenient that way.- My conscience doesn't bother me at allBeadle sympathises with Claude Iserley, the "Hiroshima pilot", who is painfully worried about his guilt, but is not himself burdened by a "psychological problem". The same is said by the others. Mr Bisser is not to be found among those Americans now protesting against the Vietnam War. He "fully sympathises" with Washington policy, although, to use his expression, he "sees no possibility" of using the atom bomb in Vietnam.And now he is having a happy day and is basking in the glow of newspaper and television publicity, which, of course, will raise Jacob Bisser's prestige in the "defence and space centre" of the Westinghouse Corporation.I am in a hurry to wrap up, because Jacob Bisser is one for the whole world, but there are many correspondents and American colleagues are already waiting for their turn, crowding with equipment in the motel room.I give way to them.Jacob Bisser is seated on the sun-drenched veranda in front of the ABC television cameras. A tiny microphone was placed around his neck, and in the same businesslike and casual voice, he repeated his already rehearsed story. His wife shouted at his naughty youngest son. The elder Eric complained, not without pretence, that he would probably need an aspirin sooner than his father: his head was spinning from the people and the festive bustle.While the correspondents were cutting up Biser Senior, I asked Eric what he thought about Hiroshima.- I'm proud of my old man," he replied. - He made history, like Colonel Glenn. You know, the one who was the first one to go into space....That was the end of my meeting with the people who saw Hiroshima from above on 6 August 1945. I didn't bother to interject to Eric that it wasn't Glenn who made history in space, it was Gagarin. This guy knows the American version of history - both Glenn and Hiroshima.1965 г.MANFROM THE "EAST TOWER"There are such co-operative buildings in New York: doormen and lifts - in tuxedos and white gloves, and you can't recognise the tenants as millionaires until you see with your own eyes how the chauffeurs put them in Rolls-Royces, standing at attention at the doors. The elite co-operate there, buying flats, and even whole floors for tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars.In the house called "East Tower" - and they are titled almost all of them, on the noisy corner of Third Avenue and 72nd Street lives the writer John Steinbeck. This is where his winter flat is, and from the 34th floor he showed me his former home, small and old. His sons grew up and scattered, over the years the stairs became increasingly difficult for him and his wife, it was dangerous to leave the house unattended. So he moved into the grey-glass, beautiful and inaccessible "East Tower". And in the summer, a house on Long Island, the ocean, a yacht, fishing. And the land is right next door, under the windows.- I grew up on the land," says the writer, "and I feel unhappy when I don't put my hands in it.The earth has risen up and into his high-rise flat. Dark, oily, it lies in a dozen pots on the windowsill. The owner habitually attaches a special lamp to give light and warmth to the delicate green grass.In the living room, a New Zealand palm tree reaches for the sun. In the study, three leafy American oak trees and a tiny Siberian pine coexist.When I arranged the interview over the phone, Steinbeck warned me - no more than half an hour. He had to meet someone.I arrived before the deadline, anticipating complications with the doormen. Only outwardly they look like conductors, but their guts are as diamond fortress as border guards, and the vigilance at the entrance of the Eastern Tower would be the envy of a checkpoint.- What time? What time?On the internal phone, the doorman - a private, not a senior one, because there were several - tried to contact Steinbeck's flat, but there was no answer. I was seated in a cosy hallway, out of sight, lest I should break into the lift without asking. I sat and watched the co-operators marching from the glass doors through the hall past the respectfully monumental footmen. The internal telephone did not answer again. I was nervous because I was pressed for time.Well, at the checkpoint as at the checkpoint, I made two protests in ten minutes. Then the chief of the East Tower border post made up his mind. In solemn silence we went up with him and the lift to the 34th, penultimate floor. But even there he did not leave me alone, bowing to the pearlescent bell button and flicking his ear to the door just enough to bounce off in time if it opened.He resolutely refused to ring more than three times, for you can't bloody well shake the basics. And we were on our way back to the lift when the door opened. A full-figured Negro woman came out into the corridor with a bin. It turned out that our delicate calls had been interrupted by the buzzing of a hoover.The hallway was clean and light-coloured. Through the windows of the living room came the New York sky as one rarely sees it, big, uncluttered by other houses, breathing freely of spring. It was the beginning of March.The owner came out. He is tall, though six feet is the standard for an American. Slouched - sixty-odd years old. The scraping of years and a life of serenity had made horizontal wrinkles on his forehead and vertical lines on his cheeks, brown and sagging, once red cheeks inherited from his Irish mother. The remnants of her hair tumbled unruly to the back of her head. A stiff beard, like the stubble of a man who hadn't shaved in a long time. And the sophisticated eyes of a man of the world. They were inquisitive, even distrustful, they had seen a lot of things, had set a lot of work for the brain and reflected it.The 34th floor was simpler and more complex than the ground floor. Steinbeck was wearing cotton trousers, a cowboy, house shoes. The plain clothes, the rough face, the stubble of his beard completed the look of a tramp, of which he was, in fact, proud. "Once a tramp, a tramp for life," he wrote of himself, and in all sincerity this confession encapsulates the not very simple irony of a great writer who laughs at himself.We went into the study.- Would you like a drink? - he asked.- As you like," I said, embarrassed.- Not as I please, as you please," he said in a hoarse shorthand. It hurts when you're not used to it.Then you find out that his wife doesn't always understand him and often complains about the rapid and slurred mumbling of a man who has long preferred the written word to the spoken word.While my host was preparing a whisky and soda in the living room, I looked round the study. On the wall were old lithographs of city views, an oil portrait of Lincoln, and a framed diploma. Medals of Freedom "Medals of Freedom." It's a high American honour. A microscope on a table by the window was puzzling. But the centre of this small room was clearly in the corner, where an electric typewriter stood on a low table, and behind the table was a light green, wide, not at all office-like chair with a high back leaned back. By the typewriter lay a stack of ruled yellow paper, written in clear handwriting.Bringing a glass of whiskey, Steinbeck sank tiredly into the chair, rubbed his forehead, restlessly touched the yellow sheets of the manuscript, reached for a thin, like a cigarette, cigar, flicked the lighter. He stood up again and moved around the room with a swaying gait, looking for something.- I always lose my glasses," he muttered. The glasses were next to the typewriter and the manuscript. He hung his lighter around his neck so he wouldn't lose it.He put on unusual glasses with double panes - the outer panes can be lifted up, and then they overhang the inner panes with flaps. And the glasses made him look like an old craftsman, a watchmaker and jeweller. A craftsman deals with a capricious material that requires precise workmanship. Not the "packaged" word on the conveyor belt of television and newspapers, but the artist's individual word.Yes, it was easier and more complicated on the 34th floor than on the ground floor than it was outside. There I had no trouble stocking up on books for autographs. In the pharmacy by the East Tower - his essays "Travelling with Charlie" were among the must-haves, as were Personna blades, Colgate toothpaste and Beyer aspirin. There was a world-famous writer down there, and the demand for the product was just as guaranteed as the products of famous corporations. Here, in the silence of the high-rise flat, where the city noise does not reach, freezing on the lower floors, where the hoover in the hands of the housekeeper buzzed, there was an old frowning man, like a convict in the galleys, chained to paper, ballpoint pencil and typewriter, obliged again and again to defend before himself and the reader the title of world-famous writer.This morning another battle played out. Which one in more than thirty years? Did he win? I don't know. But there was a neat, unmarked text on the table, and before I arrived he had been typing it out on the typewriter.Was he tired? Yes. And when he confessed that it was like this every day in the morning, there was fatigue and bitterness in his words, but also the persistence of a man who could not do otherwise.With the pride of a hard worker, Steinbeck spoke of the drudgery of writing, and with derision of brilliant amateur dilettantes who "know it all."- The older I get, the more I dislike amateurs, the more I love professionalsHe sees Annette, a Negro woman whose hoover buzzes in the living room, as a colleague, a "real professional". Annette comes once a week to clean the flat, and does her job very thoroughly. I remembered Steinbeck's remark about cars designed for quick demolition and the longevity of heavy lorries. When it comes to writers, he's in favour of trucks.What is Steinbeck working on? He answered reluctantly, and it's not just about so-called creative secrets. To say what you're working on before the word is cast on paper is to distort and even betray the word. Steinbeck scolded not only dilettantes, but also chatty writers.- Very bad is the writer who talks a lot. Such a one will write little. There are too many writers who talk too much.He's generally rough and prickly, no matter what side you approach him from. He has no sympathy for literary critics:- They're always deeply mistaken. They must have a purpose, I suppose, but I don't know what it is. In any case, their purpose has nothing to do with the writer. I can't talk about my book when I'm writing it. A critic writing about my book when it is finished no longer interests me. I am thinking about the new one. He is thinking about a new book even now, but categorically rejects questions on the subject.- A new book? Who doesn't hope for it.He conceived of this book several years ago, having already done what he called "research". Now one book is in the works, and Steinbeck is changing his right to keep silent about his unfinished work, because it is almost two-thirds written. Actually, it is not a book, but a "zoological" essay about Americans of one hundred and fifty pages. The idea for the essay came to him when his publisher decided to produce an album of outstanding photographs about America and Americans. The publisher had assembled a unique collection: nature, people, and the fruits of their labour. But the photographs are still dead: "even a photographed bedbug can't look into the brains of a bedbug."- This is a book about Americans as a people different from other nations. What traits are unique to Americans? Imagine you are writing about Russians, trying to analyse them, and not only analyse them, but explain them to others. Every nation has its flaws and its heroism. Criticism of foreigners may be good, but it's not adequate because foreigners don't understand everything.- So, this is not fiction Rather the zoological method: as if you have discovered new species and are studying them. Your state in its present form is about fifty years old. We, as a nation, have existed for almost two hundred years, and as a group of people living in the same neighbourhood - about three hundred and fifty. During this time, we began to resemble each other, created, so to speak, a breed.        ь’- Well, for example, I, an American, come to Italy, live there. I am wearing a suit made by an Italian tailor from English wool, a French shirt and tie, and even suppose that my grandfather came to America from Italy. Yet everyone unmistakably recognises me as an American. An American Negro who comes to Africa will not be confused with an African Negro. The American sticks out of him. It is the same story with an American of Japanese descent coming to Japan. Why is that? Isn't it interesting to answer that question?- I want to talk about it in an open-minded way without drawing conclusions, although eventually a trend will probably emerge. I don't like generalisations and see my goal as accuracy and specificity. It seems to me that foreigners' feelings about Americans are more like complaints. The impressions of outsiders are not what Americans really are. My book does not pretend to be profound, nor does it offer medicines to cure our ills, though correct observations are medicines in themselves....Steinbeck said that the work was getting along and going fast, that the book would soon see the light of day.It seemed strange to me to search for commonality at a time when the nation is so divided. Then I thought that the object of the search was national character, and that its traits are the same in people from different social and racial groups. Negroes, like their allies -- white Americans -- fight for their rights with the same American tenacity with which Alabama racists defend the inhuman status quo of inequality.The writer is consumed by his country. By his own admission, he rediscovered America in his "Travelling with Charlie". He is not going on new trips abroad: "I want to live at home".The phone call, expected by the owner, was late. We talked for two hours.He showed me the flat, which was not that big: a living room, a bedroom, a second office, a very tiny one, also with pots on the windowsill. New York City looked east, south, and west - the East River and its huge bridges, the cluster of skyscrapers in central and lower Manhattan, the Hudson River, and even the neighbouring low-rise state of New Jersey in the haze.The tension of the work had released the old man. He filled my glass again and poured himself a whiskey and Coke.- The doctor recommends a couple of drinks for the evening - nice, though I'd drink without his advice.We crossed to the drawing-room. The sky was getting thicker and darker, dusk was beginning to climb the floors, the lights of the big city were coming on. But we sat without light for a long time, wishing to prolong the spring day, and Steinbeck confessed - that he loved the poetry of a New York evening on the 34th floor - listening to music and admiring from the windows of a dark flat the hypnotic play of light in the houses and streets.Now he shared his thoughts on American anxieties. e- People are anxious," he said, "they are afraid of something, though it turns out they are often only afraid of shadows.Steinbeck sees the cause in the increasing complexity of life, in the fact that man, detached from nature, found himself in a frightening dependence on things and phenomena beyond his control, often not understood. A farmer who grows cabbage is more confident, Steinbeck said, because he depends on his hands and his own efforts. And a city steak lover finds himself among a herd of excellent bulls, and he doesn't know how to butcher and butcher a bull. A nation of motorists, but the engine malfunctions, and the motorist stomps in front of the bonnet, confused and helpless.- I know how to fix a car, how to butcher a bull and cook a steak," Steinbeck asserts his old man's leaven, his ability to withstand the pressure of powerful forces and protect individuality in a country that, as he once put it, is "conveyorising" even human souls, working people to the smoothness and facelessness of a naked man on a seashore.But he loves this country, and from our conversation I realised that he doesn't want to give it any offence at all in front of a journalist from another country, from another world.Arguing with Steinbeck about Americans? I did not venture to do so.Warmly recalling his Moscow meetings, he expressed the hope that there would be no war between our countries. The writer believes in the peacefulness of cabbage farmers, believes in politicians as well, but urges caution against gambling generals and their risky games.We took another look at the electroneon fiction of evening New York. It had already filled all of Manhattan, all the way up to the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building. The headlights of thousands of cars flooded Third Avenue with a devilishly beautiful, light-bearing river.Steinbeck switched on the living room light, extinguishing the glamour of the city lights. I realised it was time to leave.The owner opened the door of the flat as he saw me off. A fresh newspaper lay by the door, tossed by the lift operator. The huge front-page headline screamed of a new American air raid on North Vietnam.On a disturbing note, our meeting broke off. But this alarm did not hurt him. It seemed to me: John Steinbeck is too complacent about what the Americans are doing in Vietnam.- I don't believe in a white or black approach," he said, emphasising the undertones and refusing to condemn the bombing.What will the resident of Manhattan's East Tower tell us in future books?1965 г.THE PEN GIVEN TO THE PENTAGONJohn Steinbeck never wrote a new book until his death in 1968, except for America and the Americans, which he told me he was working on when I met him. And there were also his Vietnam essays, which prompted me, at the very beginning of 1967, to undertake a kind of afterword to the story of our meeting. I give here the text of my correspondence published in Izvestia on 9 January 1967 under the heading "The Pen Given to the Pentagon".Among the American writing fraternity in South Vietnam, from which the auxiliary propaganda service of the invaders is drawn, there has recently appeared one new volunteer. He has quickly surpassed many of his colleagues in the sense of repeating everything slipped and displayed by General Westmoreland and his khaki-clad press aides. His hatred of the guerrillas is as unbridled as his enthusiasm for the American soldiers whom he has elevated to the heights of noble supermen. His political philosophy is somewhere on the level of the mercenary anti-communists of the Hearst tabloids, though he writes not for Mr Hearst but for Newsday, a little-known but prosperous newspaper near New York.Here are the last three of the "Letters to Alice," that is, to former newspaper publisher A. Patterson, published on Saturday. The first is from the American base at Pleiku. It is an idyllic picture of a South Vietnamese settlement blessed by the stationing of thousands of American soldiers: "Stimulated by the troops' stay, businesses are sprouting up like mushrooms - laundries, bases, shops..." Other American correspondents noticed in Pleiku and even showed on the TV screen the miserable children digging in the rubbish, among the mountains of tin cans gutted by the Americans, the miserable shacks of Vietnamese families. The Newsday author does not see all this, but vividly describes being invited to tea by General Vin Loc, commander of the 2nd Corps of the puppet army: "His headquarters looks like a palace and is very handsome, and I think I shall never again taste such an exquisite tea as the one he gave me" We learn that General Win Loc is a "titled prince", an "expert in the history and culture" of the hill tribes and an expert in the English language, "as flavourful as his tea".The second letter is written after a raid in a military helicopter in the Pleiku area. The letter is written, as the author admits, in an ecstasy that was impossible 'to contain. Why the ecstasy?"I saw their hands and feet on the control levers. The precision of co-ordination reminded me of the sure, outwardly slow hands of the cellist Casals..... Would you understand that momentary flash of pride one feels just from being of the same species as these people? It seems to me that this feeling is just the opposite of the shiver of shame I sometimes feel at home when I see the Vietnamese, their dirty clothes, their dirty minds..." The author resorts to the jargon of the Ber- chists: vietniki is their nickname for opponents of the war.In the third letter, sent from Saigon, the Newsday correspondent proceeds to generalisations. He does not hesitate to express himself, his hatred spurts over the edge, it is almost obscene. Many of his colleagues, having grown up in the jungle, have come to the conclusion, despite all their "loyalty", that there is a civil war in South Vietnam and that the Liberation Army is closely linked to the people. The Newsday correspondent calls these facts, recognised even by Washington, "pure bullshit". To him, the guerrillas are "a bandit mafia, their weapons are terror and torture." Addressing his critics in the US, who send him "hate mail", he writes: "To simplify is to simplify, comrades. Charlie is just a son of a bitch." He is apparently fond of the jargon not only of the Berchists, but of the soldiery as well. "Charlie" refers to the fighters of the Liberation Army.Who is the author of these creations, who likens the murderers in foreign skies to cellists and is proud of the fact that he belongs to "the same species"? His name is John Steinbeck. No, not his namesake. The same, 64 years old famous writer volunteered to go to South Vietnam to put his pen and his reputation in the service of a dirty war. A welcome guest of General Westmoreland, he doesn't just write. Steinbeck also shoots. On New Year's Eve, he was allowed to fire a 105mm howitzer into a guerrilla position near Saigon. He considered it a "great honour". "It was a proud moment," he wrote to Alice. The shell casing, as a keepsake, he wants to take home. He was allowed to take a finger, he willingly allows himself to be photographed. His letters are illustrated in the newspaper with photographs: here Steinbeck poses at a mortar, here he gets out of a helicopter, here he bent over a military map.So what happened to Steinbeck? Some give this explanation - he could not take another position because his son is serving in the American forces in Vietnam. That's a naive explanation, passing off an effect as a cause! The cause is something else. Like Cardinal Spellman blessing the overseas killers for the "war of victory", the writer Steinbeck is faithful to the old principle of American chauvinists: "It is my country right or wrong". This principle has led him into the spiritual camp of imperialism and now to the disgusting "letters to Alice." His voice has never been heard in the anti-war protests, nor has it been heard with the voices of American intellectuals condemning the dirty war. Are they not the ones he has in mind, heaping scorn on the "Vietnamese" in dirty clothes and with "dirty minds"? Napalm and bombs are not present in his letters to Newsday because he was always in favour of bombing the DRV: he told your correspondent this as early as March 1965, a month after the bombing began.Steinbeck's frankness cannot be taken away. In Saigon, he said, "I have never had sympathy for innocent contemplatives. If necessary, I want to be a guilty contemplator." He became one by soiling himself in the mud of an unjust war.A gain for the Pentagon, a loss for Americans with a clear conscience!DO SKYSCRAPERS CRUSH YOU?Fourth arrival in New York... The bazaar hustle and bustle of summer at JFK International Airport, the sticky humidity of the nearby Atlantic in the air, familiar road signs for New York, Long Island and Brooklyn, a glimpse of ultra-modern stations and airline hangars, and you are already, like a chip, picked up by the inexorable flow of cars, You were carried past the squat Queens, past the local labourer - La Guardia airport, and, diving under viaducts and into various tunnels, you were finally carried out on the huge humped surface of the Triborough Bridge, from where the New York sky and the Manhattan skyscrapers opened up, not scraping, but, rather, piercing it.At the end of the toll bridge, a quarter as a toll to enter Manhattan, and up the steep curve to the motorway along the East River. The familiar turn onto 96th Street, and there it began, the familiar New York game of traffic lights - hurry, hurry to the green light across First Avenue, past the outdoor staircases and porches of Puerto Rican Harlem and the people on those porches still waiting for something. And past the fashionably hushed, self-absorbed Fifth Avenue, through the evening desert of Central Park down to Broadway's glittering lights, down to the darkness of West End Avenue and the freshness of Riverside Drive, where the Hudson would blow in his face. A dive into the basement garage. The spring-loaded, spring-loaded lift of the boot lid. Here we go.Notes on New York are not easy to write because of the abundance of facts. In the streets, in the houses, in the souls and brains of its inhabitants, New York writes thick folios about itself every day, but no Nestor can put them on paper. But facts are facts, and I think a drop of emotion is apologetic. Psychologically, this city is very difficult to resist. Without asking or recognising objections, it imposes its pace, its rhythm, its frenzy and tension. Its best "call signs" are television gentlemen advertising pills for headaches and nervous exhaustion. The city does all the necessary work, and the saviour, appearing on the TV screen, only strains the nerves to the last limit with measured, merciless, cold words: stress.... stress... stress... tenshn (which in Russian sounds not so metallic and means pressure, tension).However, there are all sorts of ways to get rid of the New York pace (albeit specific ones): from the desperate needle of a drug addict to the most common one, the automobile. American's drive out the wedge with a wedge. Get in the car, when you have a free minute, and squeeze out fifty miles where the maximum speed is defined in forty, sixty - where fifty and seventy - where sixty. This prescription is not written by the television and certainly not by the police, who, if they catch you, will fine you at a firmly defined rate of a dollar for every mile over the speed limit.But it's worth the gamble. The motorways are excellent, one-way, with three lanes in each direction. Go to the leftmost lane, be careful overtaking trucks with trailers, and if there are no damned traffic jams and you don't have to cuss, together with the automaticity of reactions, the whistle of the wind born by you and the rustle of tyres of neighbouring cars on a smooth and smooth road you will get the desired state of "relaxation", i.e. relaxation, discharge.If families, there are children on the back seat, sometimes even lying with their legs out of the window; if couples, they are hugging each other. American's relax, have fun and love at high speed.On summer weekends, it's like the elements. Hundreds of thousands of cars tear out of town Friday night and Saturday morning. Police officers on the ground and from the air in helicopters organise the elements, radioing the motorist about the density of traffic, dissolving congestion on roads, on bridges and in the long, two to three kilometres long tunnels under the East River and the Hudson River.New York clings tenaciously to its children. But now they have broken out into the operational space somewhere on the outskirts of Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, swung over the George Washington Bridge into the neighbouring state of New Jersey, and off they go - by golly!Movement is everything here, and the goal is, if not nothing, only something secondary. Perhaps the purpose is the movement itself. So the road grows into a symbol of America Only on that symbolic road of rows more brakes are not regulated, overtaking rules are violated 'more often and you need a lot of fuel to run and run all your life, alternating "tenshn" and "relaxation" ....But back to New York. There is such a typical tourist question: are skyscrapers crushing or not crushing? The tourist has little time, but this psychological problem seems simple, and, in general, he usually leaves with his miniature but categorical discovery: it's all a lie, skyscrapers are not crushed, on the contrary, they are a lovely sight.... When you live in New York for a few years, both the question and the answer seem naive. It all depends on the time of year and day, the place and the mood.Skyscrapers press on me at one o'clock in the July heat on the central avenues or in lower Manhattan, when you get into a mousetrap of cars, buses, trucks and, inhaling the petrol fumes, envying the speed of a turtle, with longing and helplessness you look at the walls of houses going upwards, thinking once again how people live here and what this devilish city does to them. (I'll note in parentheses that just breathing New York's air polluted by cars, boilers, and businesses also increases your chances of lung cancer as much as smoking two packets of cigarettes a day. That's the official calculation of the city government and their official acknowledgement of their own helplessness).And when you stand on Central Park's Sheep Lawn at eight o'clock in the evening, the skyscrapers are suddenly poetic.The traffic roars muffled in the distance. And the sky above the city is serene and vast.The day is passing, clear, unhumidified, cool.The air in the west is green, and in it all grows a lemony, clear, as if filtered light, which will soon blaze with the disturbing colours of sunset. Houses in this air become noble, sharp, distinct. And the skyscrapers to the south, beyond the boundary of the park, rise in irregular ledges, a pinched beauty and romance emanating from them. Some fraternal bond suddenly links them to the unsettling sunset rising over the Hudson River.The twilight is thicker, the lights bigger, the skyscrapers more mysterious and beautiful.But then the anxiety grows fuller, and it is no longer a sad anxiety inspired by the fleeting harmony of the evening sky and evening skyscrapers. It is a different kind of anxiety. The park is rapidly emptying, with lovers and old people rushing to the very edges of the park, where there is less greenery and privacy, but more security.Central Park is a real delight by day: children in cones, jumping squirrels, pigeons, old men with newspapers on benches, baseball games on the lawns, and at night it is a legendary criminal "raspberry". But it's no longer the skyscrapers but the mores of the city that are crushing. Only the cars continue their non-stop traffic on the roads that cut the park lengthwise and crosswise, and the police patrols are quiet.That's the park - different park. That's New York.Fond of doing business on everything, including itself, New York receives an average of sixteen million visitors a year. Some will remember it for its big entertainment complex, Radio City, where the latest, greatest and silliest films are played. Others will be surprised by the shops and restaurants. Others will fall in love with the tensely beating springs of creative thought. Four will remember the gloom of Wall Street.And many in the silence of also automobile, but not so restless America will dream about the rumbling underworld of the giant city, which must be seen, if only to be convinced of the charms of the province. This city is brutalising, but I will say in its defence that New York doesn't fit within the narrow dilemma of liking or disliking it. It depends. More than once I've been to the old and famous Madison Square Garden, a huge barn-like building now scrapped. You like it? You don't like it? I liked Madison Square Garden when eighteen thousand people gathered there to protest the American war in Vietnam. And once there, eighteen thousand Goldwaterites, Berchists and semi-fascists came there for the "Greater New York Anti-Communist Rally." The programme for the rally even included "a prayer to save the world from Communism". Eighteen thousand stood up thickly to hear the anathema to Communism. My comrade and I remained seated, catching perplexed, oblique and angry glances. I don't like this kind of Madison Square Garden.There is much to be learnt in New York, and in America in general, in particular the high standards of public service that are so high on our agenda. I wouldn't go far for examples, just to go round the nearest corner on Broadway to the ordinary supermarkets Food City and Fe-Rway, two of the hundreds scattered around New York. They have only one floor, but they are as surprising as skyscrapers and, more importantly, more people need them.Supermarkets are very rationally organised self-service food shops with prices affordable to the masses. The large sales area of a supermarket is lined with shelves and open refrigerators with a wide selection of meat and dairy products, fruit and vegetables, bread, spices, beer. Except for fruit, everything is packaged and everything has a price on it. There are no sellers in the shop, only cashiers at four or five cash registers standing in a row at the exit. You take a metal pram and roll it in the aisles between the racks, putting products. Then to the cash register. You put the food from the pram on a small conveyor belt in front of the cash register, the cashier presses a button or foot pedal, moves the food to himself, punches out the numbers, the machine automatically displays the total.Everything is put into a paper bag by the cashier, and with the bag in his arms, the customer goes to the exit, where the door itself swings open in front of him - because nowadays it is easy to "teach" it that the customer's hands are busy. The whole operation takes fifteen to twenty minutes for a housewife who knows by heart where what lies. Millions, perhaps billions of hours of saved human time.The supermarket has, of course, its own socio-historical background. The American path to the supermarket has been steep; it is the path of capitalist competition. From ruined small farms to large farms like Gareth's with their million-dollar turnovers and ability to count every cent, from crushed factory farms to giants - monopolists of the food industry, who taught the American to hygienically and tastelessly "fill up", while controlling his own weight, from the shop counter with its long queues and negligible throughput to the racks of packaged products, where they save on salespeople because labour is expensive and reduces competitiveness However, the buyer, moving with a wheelchair along the racks, feels not the background, but the finished result, which suits him.The city is building, changing, modernising. You know about San Francisco's famed Golden Gate? Now a million-and-a-quarter-tonne arc - but how graceful! - hangs from two support towers the height of an 80-storey building between Brooklyn and Staten Island. It's almost a kilometre and a half long. The world's largest ocean-going ships, which Europe sends to America, pass uninhibitedly under the bridge. The bridge is a beauty, but you can't even look round on it. America is so motorised that they haven't made a pedestrian walkway on the bridge. When the second tier is completed, there will be twelve rows of cars. The capacity is 18 million cars a year. That's one of New York's touches!In a few years, the twin skyscrapers at the bottom with the Hudson will rise. They will be part of the World Trade Centre complex, a Nansist venture. Sixth Avenue is being intensively built up with 40-50 story corporate and hotel buildings. On Third Avenue, old and quite sturdy buildings are being torn down and 25-35-storey apartment blocks are being erected. The land is more expensive every year, the buildings are taller, and they are built in close proximity to each other.One sees great things at a distance, but the poet's words do not apply to the new skyscrapers, and they block each other at a distance.The urban tourist who transits through New York City is in awe. Aesthetics buffs and many architects are horrified by the imposing but monotonous row of skyscrapers. A few years ago, New York architects picketed near Penn Station, saving its classical columns from being broken. But the columns were sawed to pieces and hauled off to some vacant lot in New Jersey. The dollar is crowding out aesthetics. Not so numerous monuments of not so grey New York antiquity are being scrapped, giving way to the coldly glittering and lucrative facets of modernism.The famous architect Wallace Harrison, who designed the magnificent UN complex and the Rockefeller Centre buildings, resents high-rise standard monotony. He is pressured by skyscrapers, even though he built them. Harrison sees a connection between the city's architectural appearance and its social ulcers. "We're trying to get rid of criminals and drug addicts, and they're the results of the concrete jungle," he says. - We're constantly invading our space and view of the sky. You can hardly see the moon in New York now."But it is not the skyscrapers and lack of moon that depresses the average resident. Old houses are being demolished, but here, alas, there are no city councils obliged to provide housing for those being evicted. The flats are good, nothing to say, envy the finishing, and bathrooms, spacious wall cupboards, silent lifts. But the prices... I went into a new one. A two-bedroom flat on the 20th floor with a view of the neighbouring rooftop costs $370, the same flat with a view of Central Park and probably the moon - $450. Not per year, but per month. I live in a not new, but decent building. A three-bedroom flat overlooking the Hudson River cost $305 a month at first. Three years later, under a new contract with the landlords, it was $315. After three more years, another contract.It's no problem to find a flat. True, you need two references from reliable persons, certifying that the money you have. The landlords will check your bank account to make sure that the money is not transferred. Then, of course, a deposit of two months' rent, which is non-refundable if you move out before the contract expires. On the first day of every month, even if it's a holiday on the 1st of January, a neat bag comes out from under the door in the morning. It's a rent bill - pay up front. Once I hesitated and didn't pay until the 10th - they sent me a reminder and threatened me with a fine.The editorial office helps me (the office is also located in the flat). But my comrade, a TASS correspondent, was not helped; he paid $170 for a room with a kitchen, bathroom and a view of a dirty courtyard. One evening he was almost strangled in the lift, and on the day he was moving out of the flat, two cameras disappeared. The landlord must have got hold of them: he had the keys. The police report, of course, did nothing - the theft was classed as petty theft, and in New York there are hundreds of thousands of such thefts a year.I should say that the "average American" earns a good living, knows the ins and outs of his land, pays less, and is better off. Alas, he too is fleeing from New York, unable to stand its atmosphere and flat prices. And how he flees! Since 1950, 800 thousand residents belonging to the so-called middle class have left New York, moving to the suburbs. In the same years, 800,000 blacks and Puerto Ricans - in other words, almost entirely poor people - have moved to New York. Not dreaming of 400-dollar flats, they settled in the ghetto, and under the pressure of the mass of "coloureds" the invisible but quite real walls of the ghetto collapsed, and the white population fled from the neighbouring quarters. And the landlords and loan sharks divide the flats into cells, for the "coloureds" have nowhere to go anyway, and expand the slum areas.These woes do not affect the residents of Fifth Avenue co-operative housing. They are protected by millions of dollars to rent entire floors and, in terms of security, by the bulldog grip of doormen in tuxedos, manikins, and trained biceps. But as the middle class is being flushed out, the contrasts of wealth and poverty are sharpening. Corporate skyscrapers and expensive apartment blocks are rising, while slums are growing next door, and sparks of the Harlem riots are fiery in the city from this close, tense neighbourhood. One can endlessly look for different definitions of New York, and none of them will be exhaustive. So much is contained in this city, so colourful is it in its hundreds of dimensions. The largest city in the Western Hemisphere. The most powerful financial centre of the capitalist world. The most diverse city in America Jews Irish, Italians, Germans, French, Poles Japanese, Russians, Chinese, Czechs, Arabs and others, and others who have melted into Americans, but who speak a total of 75 languages, according to reference books. America's most important sea and air gateway. The world's largest centre for bus lines. The world's first city in terms of mail volume. Etc. Etc.They say that New York is not America. This is true because New York is unique, and America is predominantly a one-story country, with two-thirds of Americans living in their own homes. But still, New York is the most concentrated America, with the great achievements and painful antagonisms of its civilisation.There are more millionaires and more poor people here than in any other city in the United States, more shareholders and more drug addicts. The Empire State Building has 102 floors, but how many conventional floors are there in the underworld of the New York underworld? Not even FBI trackers can count them. This is the capital of the giant Cosa Nostra crime syndicate. New York is the home of Vito Genovese, the "boss of bosses" of the syndicate, now in prison, and New York is where two modern American heroes and martyrs grew up - Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, two white young men who died in the summer of 1965 at the hands of Mississippi racists because they defended the rights of blacks. During the 1964 election campaign, Goldwater knew he was doomed to defeat in New York, and now it is hard to find a city in America where opposition to the Vietnam War is as active and strong.Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans are fleeing to New York, exchanging one poverty for another - a poor homeland for the so-called Spanish Harlem of Manhattan. And here too, fleeing memories or political ruin, millionaires are fleeing. After the tragic death of his brother, Bostonian Robert Kennedy won election to the U.S. Senate from New York State and made New York the springboard for a new family offensive on the White House. Billionaire Nelson Rockefeller lives in a wealthy co-operative house on Fifth Avenue, and writer John Steinbeck lives in a wealthy co-operative house on Third Avenue. In Greenwnch Village, home to bohemians from all over America, popular anti-war singers gather in one cafe, homosexuals in another. New York tolerates much and grinds much with its dollar millstones. In the polished to a mirror shine body of the "Rolls-Royce" belonging to a millionaire, sometimes the unshaven, inflamed, rotting alive face of a vagrant drunkard from the Bowery is reflected, and such feral half-people-half-beasts cannot be found, perhaps, in any city in the world.New York is a city for all tastes. The saying goes that there is no arguing about tastes.This truth seems to be understated in New York. It complements it in its own way: you can't argue about tastes, you can make money on tastes.Its eight million inhabitants, bizarrely mixed but retaining some national and racial characteristics, different habits and traditions, different ceilings of income, feelings and thoughts - all this opens up an extraordinary scope for the enterprise and imagination of businessmen. Chekhov's hero claimed to have everything in Greece. He must have had modest demands, and, of course, he had not seen New York, and therefore did not realise how profoundly mistaken he was.Among the standard boring American cities, New York stands as a unicum that history, nature and society have worked hard to create. And if history cannot be turned back, if nature favoured New York by placing it on rivers and convenient ocean bays, and then, having constrained its territorial growth by the same rivers and bays, made it stretch upwards with skyscrapers, then New York presents its verdict to society. But about the verdict later, first about the city for all tastes.Tastes make money, and the country is so developed economically that it can satisfy any material need and whim of a man with dollars - from fishing hooks to a car, his own yacht or a plane. If there was money, quality and choice would not be a matter of choice. The range is great - from a piece of meat moistened with a coloured liquid for "freshness" to French bread "delivered daily by jet planes from Paris" (this delicacy is advertised by the food shop Zabara). From expensive fashion fads to mass-produced consumer goods at different prices.Tastes make money, and spiritual demand is also satisfied according to this principle. You want Homer, Tolstoy, Hemingway? They're in every major bookstore. You want a series of pornographic novels from Travelling Companion? They're there, but in a more prominent position.You want Shakespeare's sonnets? There you go. You want special poems for water-closet reading? There are some with a chain so you can hang them on a nail above the toilet.Cheap sadistic detective stories are sold in any pharmacy, they are as necessary for many people as pills for insomnia and nervous tension. There are cinemas, where world classics, such as our masterpieces, are shown. There are cinemas where only sex films are playing all day and all year round. In one museum, a car flattened under the press acts as a masterpiece of abstract sculpture, in another there is an exhibition of Rodin's works.The business of tastes is revealed by comparing New York newspapers. "The New York Times is a bourgeois newspaper with a huge amount of information, carefully read by politicians, businessmen and intellectuals of both conservative and liberal, even pro-progressive persuasion. "Daily News" is a tabloid with horrors, murders, results of horse races at the racetrack, with screaming anti-Sovietism, speaking in semi-blatan jargon. The New York Times has a circulation of 800,000, the Daily News over two million. In the morning, in crowded underground cars, the Daily News makes my eyes water. What's the point? The point is that tastes are not formed in airless space, but by the atmosphere of society. This is a fact that must be reckoned with if you want to understand the American world. Maybe it was reading the Daily News and drugstore books that student Alfred Gonzak committed thirty rapes in a year and a half. And maybe it was not without the influence of the Daily News and its many sisters in cities and towns across America that many Americans supported the escalation in Vietnam, even as opposition and anxiety about the future grew.There is no arguing about taste - tastes make money. As it turns out, you can make more money on Travel Companion products than on Leo Tolstoy, more money on the anti-Soviet film "From Russia with Love" than on the excellent, anti-racist film "Just a Man", more money on empty musical comedies than on serious drama.They trade, and everything is suitable for advertising bait.The cult of youth and beauty is a derivative of commerce. The beauties advertising the shampoo firm "Clay-rol", so lustfully shyly combing hair on television that doubts evaporate, before "Clay-rol" can not resist any man.And in Harlem bars, young black women are sold the old-fashioned way. Although prostitution is officially banned, barman Jimmy is unfazed: "We're not afraid of a police raid. Our best customers are cops, white cops."At the fashionable Arthur's Dance Club, Mrs Sybil a Barton was at one time a successful biography dealer. She was the wife of the famous English actor Richard Burton, but he, having left poor Sybil, married the film star Elizabeth Taylor. The straw widow was not long offended. In the scandalous divorce advert lurked a good chance to make some money. But where? In New York, of course, the city of all tastes. Having travelled across the ocean, Sybil Barton opened the Arthur Club, knowing that the cream of society, hungry for sensation, would flow to her. And the cream did flow.City politicians are as dodgy as hedgehogs, especially before elections, when they have to manoeuvre between the Scylla and Charybdis of different groups of voters. Today, a mayoral candidate meets with the city's business elite, seeking funds for his campaign, and the next day, smiling radiantly, appears to the people in his underwear on Rockaway Beach among thousands of bathers - he is no stranger to simple pleasures. Today, at a rally of New York Zionists, he promises to sharpen further the spearhead of Washington's anti-Arab policy, and tomorrow he is shaking hands with blacks in the streets of Harlem and expounding his plan for the liquidation of the ghetto on the radio.At times, the mayor of New York City has a harder time than the president of the United States or the governor of any state. "The mayor comes into direct contact with a large number of people who disagree with each other on a very wide range of issues and agree on only a very narrow range of issues," the New York Times sympathises with the mayor.These conundrums of the mayor only reflect the extremely complex situation in the city, where there is a constant war of all against all. The city is simultaneously developing in two opposite directions, and they are well illustrated by two favourite phrases of New Yorkers.- None of your business, - this is the owner's letter of protection, and he immediately presents it when someone encroaches on his interests.- And who needs it? - he says the same thing when it comes to the interests of the city.By cultivating, on the one hand, selfishness, the pursuit of the dollar no matter what the cost to others, and on the other hand, public apathy and indifference, New York is strangling itself and creating problems that are increasingly difficult to cope with. The New York Herald Tribune set out to expose the vices with a series of articles entitled "New York in Crisis." This was not without selfishness: the paper was breathing down its neck and wanted to win back readers. For five months, the situation in New York was explored meticulously and under the very disturbing headline, "The World's Greatest City .... and everything is going wrong in it."So what is going wrong in this city? Here are some numbers and facts cited by the newspaper. Nearly a fifth of residents live in poverty, "cramped, poorly heated, unsanitary, rat-infested flats".Half a million exist on benefits from the city. Without this allowance, however meagre, they simply cannot survive. For every person removed from the list of beneficiaries, three or four new needy people are added.Tens of thousands of young people out of school and out of work languish on the streets - the reserve army of the underworld. Public schools, reaching a million children, are "overcrowded, teaching is below the accepted standard, especially in slum areas." Of schools in Manhattan and the Bronx, where 65 per cent are the children of the Negro and Puerto Rican poor, one teacher says: "You don't think about educating these kids anymore. You're just keeping them from killing each other and killing you."There are 125,000 civil lawsuits waiting to be heard in the courts, many of which won't be due for trial for another five years. The steady rise in crime is one of the city's most pressing problems. With one and a half million cars registered in the city, plus 600,000 passing through daily, traffic has become a monstrous problem.They propose such a radical remedy for traffic jams: everyone gets out of their cars and then sets them with cement. The joke is not without sense - during rush hours, a pedestrian can effortlessly run over a car. The commuter train network, which transports 200,000 people to New York every day, is close to financial collapse. Many small and large businessmen are fleeing New York City, not finding it profitable, and workers are being thrown out on the street: employment in industry has fallen by 80,000 in five years. Such is the indictment - very, very incomplete, the feedback? The newspaper gave an outlet, and a list of woes, pains, grievances, thousands of letters and phone calls poured in.Reading the responses, one wonders - where have you gone?Of course, patriots are not lost, but they express dislike and even disgust towards the city, its authorities, powerlessness and disbelief in the future.- It's true that everything is going wrong in our city," Ruth Dunmore agreed. - I don't dare to go out alone in the evening anymore.... The underground? I'm afraid to ride in it ... In other words, in the evenings I'm virtually a prisoner in my flat. Some people look for simple solutions.- Double the police force. Put lifters in any and every apartment block," demands one Reuben Fried.        Others are desperate.- New York is the most corrupt city in the world, and no one ever takes action after various investigations, including you," Mr Al Barry wrote to the newspaper.        If we return in this sense to the question of whether skyscrapers pressurise, if we remember who sits in them, the answer is quite definite: they do!1965 г.KETCHUM HISTORYKetchum (Idaho) - us. 746. Height 5821 ft. Famous in the USA sheep herding station in the U.S., located one mile from Sun Valley, a popular resort.(From the American Automobile Association)Ernest Miller Hemingway, July 21, 1899 - July 2, 1961.(One of the gravestone inscriptions in Ketchum Cemetery)Hills, clouds and sunshine. But above all the high hills. There is nothing picturesque about these hills. They conquer with their softness, simplicity and peace. They do not crowd each other, they stand freely, and their gentle slopes gently descend into the valley. The shadows of the clouds glide peacefully over the hills. The sun floods the valley with light and warmth to the round tops of the hills.Then there were three days of lingering quiet rains, alternating with streaks of sunshine and light. The spruce trees grew silently dark and wet on the hillsides. Water bubbled on the roofs of cars. The asphalt of Route 93 glistened wetly, and beyond the grated covers of two bridges the Big Wood River, the Big Wood River, not a big river at all, but in forested banks, rumbled in a rocky bed.Rain fell on the cut grass of the village cemetery, on the sparse -there is room for the dead- tombstones, and on a large slab of grey marble.And from Ketchum to the airfield at Hailey the hills revealed to the eye the hidden magic of their lines, and one willingly surrendered to it.Hills and sky, sun and clouds, rain and Big Wood River enter freely into the huge windows of Hemingway's house on the northern edge of Ketchum. The house stands at the eastern foot of the hill. Before the valley has even had a chance to colour, the first rays of the rising sun pour into the living room. Below, the river overflows, running through the thicket. The last rays fall on another hill - beyond the river, beyond the railway line, beyond Highway 93. Another hill, with a cemetery nestled at its foot. And still further away, fatherly over the hills, the dark Sotouf Mountains.With Mary Hemingway, the writer's widow, I stood in the front yard of the house. Dusk was coming and their peculiar silence. two dogs squealed affectionately in the corral.What is this bushy greenish-peppery grass that grows on the hillsides?- Don't you know?" Mary chastised. - It's our famous sage.We picked some sage stalks. When you rub it in your fingers, it gives off a pungent, sweet and bitter odour. Just like the whole story I learnt in Ketchum, the story of how Ernest Hemingway first went there and twenty-two years later shot himself there....In the "famous sheep-driving point" the aerodrome belongs to the sheep breeders' association. The flying field is unencumbered by concrete - like a pasture, it is covered with green grass, with a sheep track nearby. An old twin-engine aeroplane touches the grass after an hour and a half of shaking over the mountains. The plane is owned by the poor West Coast Airlines, and the governor of Idaho is threatening to shut it down if it doesn't fix the service. Road 93 is owned by the state. In fact, thirty years ago, these far-from-landscape lands were part of the Union Pacific railway empire, and it practically deciphered the magic of the hills, opening the Sun Valley winter resort for skiers a mile from Ketchum in 1936. In time, Ketchum residents shifted their business emphasis from sheep to resort-goers, and the Union Pacific empire was crushed by auto and aeroplane and recently sold the resort to the land firm Janes Corporation of Los Angeles.Let's go back, however, to the 1930s. Remember the old film "Sun Valley Serenade"? It was commissioned by Union Pacific to promote their new resort. For publicity, dozens of celebrities were invited to the hills. That's how the famous writer and famous hunter Ernest Hemingway, a millionaire, then governor and diplomat, came to the attention of Averell Harriman, chairman of the board of Union Pacific. At the time, he was writing and hunting in southern Montana, in the small town of Cook City. On Harriman's instructions, three resort employees, young boys who later became close hunting friends of the writer, were sent to Cookie City in the early autumn of 1939 to "lure" Hemingway to Sun Valley and "attach" him there. This story was told to me by Lloyd Arnold, one of the three, an old photographer and hunter. He was in charge of photo advertising for the resort at the time.Harriman needed pictures of Hemingway hunting in the hills of Sun Valley. Hemingway needed a peaceful secluded place to work and good hunting on autumn afternoons and evenings. That's how they got along, without even knowing each other.Plus the hills. Maybe it's the hills that hold the clue. They are like the green hills of Africa and the white elephant-like hills of Spain. Thirty miles south of Ketchum, where the hills turn to foothills, stone and white, Hemingway often recalled the mountains of Guadalajara. Basque shepherds, imported under contract from Spain by Aidah sheep herders, lived in the area and still do. At that time Hemingway was working on his "big book" about the Spanish Civil War - the novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls".In the holiday off-season of 1939, he lived alone in a large and comfortable newly built hotel "Lodge". He would get up at dawn and in his pyjamas right in his bedroom and get to work. He loved the concentrated silence of work. No one disturbed him. The three lived in the neighbouring Challenger Hotel. Their hunting rifles stood in the living room of Hemingway's suite. At noon, Lloyd Arnold would cautiously go in and retrieve the guns. The bedroom was silent. If necessary, Arnold would sneak into the bedroom as well. Hemingway didn't say a word. The three waited in the living room for the last beat of a typewriter or the clatter of a pencil thrown desperately against a pile of paper. Basta!He was coming out to them, tall, powerful, forty years old.- Good morning, damn it!They would get in the car and drive down Road 93, to where the hills resembled Spain and where there were wild ducks on Silver Creek near the town of Picabo, or even further to Gooding, where there was pheasant hunting, or to farm fields to shoot prolific and voracious rabbits. Driving the car was one of the three. According to Arnold, Hemingway was "the worst chauffeur in the world."Sometimes he would tell them about Robert Jordan and Maria, about how Pablo's character was failing. He told them when he wanted to. He didn't like to be asked about his work; they knew and respected that habit. And the silent companion - road number 93 - opened before them an uneven line of hills, until the car turned to the left to the rural road 23, and that narrow arrow carried along the old telegraph poles, looped around small villages and led to a low bridge, under which, shyly, casting dark silver, the Silver Creek, and then the creek took its own, taking a wide space of islets, arms and ponds.It was quiet and deserted, with tall grass along the banks and yellow daisies. Shots rattled.- They say he was clumsy," Lloyd Arnold recalls with a chuckle. - Not with a gun. He was a devilishly accurate, quick shooter. I come from a hunting family myself, I've had a gun since I was a kid, I've known hundreds of hunters, but I've never seen anything like him.In the evening they would sit down to a hearty dinner at the Challenger Hotel, with conversation and wine, and Hemingway, who valued hunting camaraderie, would take them back to his Lodge for a night cap, a last drink before going to bed.And in the morning he was alone again, and by an effort of will he harnessed talent and labour in the search for the "fourth dimension" - the most reliable truth.- I, who love only the word, trying to make with a phrase and a sentence what will not succumb to any bomber, what will remain when we are all gone, and long after that, so he said of himself in two "poems to Mary", written in 1944 and published after his death.A third of the novel For Whom the Bell Tolls was written in Sun Valley. The big book was going well, and in front of his three companions Hemingway called it "our book." So he was attached to Ketchum. For the three, the story began with an administrative order from the boss ended in male friendship. Mr Hemingway became Ernie and then Pope. When the novel was published in October 1940, the writer was in Ketchum. That's where congratulations were pouring in.- If it wasn't for this place, you guys, and hunting, I wouldn't have written the book in a year and a half," he said.Hemingway never forgot anything. He had an elephantine memory, Mary says. He did not forget his Ketchum friends and the hills and ducks on Silver Creek, although his favourite home was Cuba and he travelled extensively in Africa and Europe. He and his wife came to Ketchum several times between 1946 and 1948. Lived in rented houses. Then there was a break of ten years, but one of the three, the resort's head gamekeeper and avid fisherman, Williams Taylor, visited Hemingway in Cuba almost every year and, on his return, said Pope often reminisced about Ketchum. In 1958, Tillie and Lloyd Arnold received a letter from Mary: Pope was going to Ketchum and wanted to know if the places had changed. Arnold replied in good faith, without the subterfuge that Hemingway did not tolerate: the places, alas, have become more crowded, but the hunting is the same, only you have to work harder.Hemingway returned to Ketchum in October 1958, stayed until March 1959. He was polishing a book of memoirs about Paris in the '20s, The Holiday That's Always With You. The hunting was still excellent. And in 1959, the writer bought a house and a sage-grown plot of land on the hillside behind Big Wood River, the outermost, most reclusive Ketchum house. He had a housewarming party in November 1959, spent Christmas in Ketchum, and left in the bitter cold of January. And finally returned with Mary in the autumn of 1960.They thought they were settling in for good. Turned out it was to die.Those close to him noticed the bad signs. Hemingway was depressed physically and mentally. In bitter moments he said that he was finished, that he had written himself out. In the good moments, he was the same old Pope, just as good at shooting and having fun.At the end of 1960, he went to a clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He returned in late January, writing, hunting. But in April 1961, he went to Rochester again and for a long time.And so, on Friday 30 June, he and Mary were brought to Ketchum by car by George Brown, an old friend, a former boxer, and owner of a gymnasium in New York City. The three of them were seen in town in the evening and on Saturday. And then early Sunday morning. No one knows what the last minutes were like. Hemingway always got up at the crack of dawn. Mary was still asleep in her bedroom on the first floor. George Brown - in the backyard guest house. Behind the massive door in the small wood-panelled hallway was a hunting rifle rack. From Cuba he had brought a double-barrelled English Scott."And never ask for whom the bell tolls...."The big, slumped body was cramped in the small hallway. in theSuicide or fatal accident? Where Hemingway is buried, there are no two opinions about it. Everyone is convinced he killed himself. I didn't ask Mary. But in conversation, in passing, avoiding the subject, she said:- He shot himself over there.And she pointed to the hallway.- The shock was enormous, but we weren't surprised," says Lloyd Arnold. - I knew if the Pope decided to do it, he'd do it thoroughly.And he did it thoroughly, as he liked to do everything in his life.The local sheriff who examined the body believes both muzzles were inserted into the mouth. Not much is left of the big, grey, handsome head. He left life as he lived it, adding the last two bullets to half a dozen head wounds, two hundred shrapnel marks, a blown off kneecap and wounds to his arms, legs and stomach....One of the three Ketchum hunting buddies had only known Pope for six weeks. His name was Gene Van Gil-der. He was killed in 1939 while hunting by an accidental bullet from an inexperienced shooter. Death often walked beside Hemingway but he was shocked by the ridiculous death of a 35-year-old beautiful-' rogo and healthy man, whom he had managed to love The widow asked him to compose an epitaph. Hemingway did not immediately agree - he had his own superstitions. On a tarnished bronze plaque cut into the grave stone, cast simple, poignant words: "He returned to the hills he loved, and now he will be a part of them forever".In 1959, another stone lay nearby: John Williams Taylor.In 1961, a large marble slab: Ernest Miller Hemingway."He had returned to the hills he loved, and now he would be a part of them forever."Twice I've come to this house. A left turn at the northern edge of Ketchum, a railway crossing, a bridge over the Big Wood River, and the first right turn. Three poles instead of a gate, a beaten gravel driveway amidst thick grass, a car pad in front of the house, a garage below, a huge living room window above it.Up the concrete steps to a door with a metal ring.....With a strange feeling you cross the threshold for the second time, already knowing that behind this door in the last moments of his life stood Hemingway, and then, merged into one, two shots rumbled and a lonely dead body lay. As a farewell I brought a bottle of vodka to Miss Mary,-that was the name Hemingway and his friends called his wife,-and though I have no such right, it is hard to call otherwise a woman who is not young, but light as a bird.- 'Russian vodka is a little sweet,' said Miss Mary.I disagreed.- 'Let's try a sip,' she said.- 'Let's break all the old bourgeois traditions and have a drink first thing in the morning.We broke tradition, and then with cups of tea in our hands we went out onto the verandah.There was sunshine and hills again, the silence accentuated by the cooing of the river, and the elusive sadness of autumn just around the corner.Mary talked about how beautiful autumn is in East Africa, in Spain, in Italy.I thought of Hemingway's Ketchum autumn months.....He didn't build the houses he lived in. In Cuba, his villa Finca Vigia was once a watchtower. The house in Ketchum was built by millionaire Topping for a honeymoon with his young wife, whom he soon divorced.Hemingway didn't so much choose the house as the location. Maybe in this capital, made of concrete, the house he liked most of all huge, without bindings windows, which easily enters the surrounding nature.The house had not had time to be lived in, with almost no "material traces" of the deceased. He liked to work in the bedroom on the first floor, by the south-facing window - only three old blunt pencils there remind him of Hemingway.The tilt-board table at which he wrote standing up has been taken to New York. There is a corner in Miss Mary's bedroom where amateur photographs are pinned directly to the wall.Papa eats from the same dish with his favourite cat. Papa, cheerful, lively, sits at a table in a cramped wagon compartment with Mary and some young man.Miss Mary remembers exactly when this picture was taken: the day the Russians launched their first satellite.In the living room above the fireplace are two pairs of beautiful horns - an impala antelope shot by Hemingway while hunting in Africa, and a small kudu, Mary's trophy.And on the floor are finely blown hides. A peasant-made wooden cabinet from Spain. A coffee table with glazed bullfighting scenes.And in the partition, at the ominous entrance hall, as an excommunication from death and painful memories - the famous portrait of the bearded, young master in spirit.Hemingway's large library (nine thousand volumes), personal belongings, a collection of paintings remained in the Cuban villa, turned into a museum.- What do you want to talk about? - Mary asked me when, having called, I came for the first time.About what?A lot of things.We talked for a long time, until the last clouds of the day, coloured by the setting sun, hung over the hills in the east.We walked round the deserted house, she as hostess and I carefully, as in a museum, plucking stalks of sage in the yard, and Miss Mary slowing her speech if I failed to take notes.The shotguns were never banished from this house.The shotgun lay on the couch in the bedroom.There's a stagger in the neighbourhood, an ad hanging in a gas station in downtown Ketchum promising five thousand dollars for catching the killer, and Mary Hemingway, widow of a famous hunter and an accomplished marksman, is ready to defend herself.She met Hemingway in 1944.They were soon married.Is it easy to be the wife of a big man?Mary Hemingway referred to Sophia Andreyevna Tolstaya.Hemingway had his own intimate world of the artist. He didn't like to talk about his work even with his wife. Miss Mary gave herself a modest place: assistant. Guarded the silence, created conditions for labour, protected from unnecessary, rude intrusions. Hemingway was a saint to his work. And of course, no one will say about him better than his books with their courageous and tragic rhythm.And outside the desk? He loved fun, puns, pranks, light-hearted people. He admired Italy and Italians, adored "the Cubans' national capacity for music and dance." With Mary, he and Mary played pranks and fooled each other all the time.But in evaluating people, revealing the human essence, the human core, he was as serious and ruthless as at the writing table.What qualities did Hemingway respect most of all in people?- I think he most respected people with inner grace, people who, even in the face of danger and death, behave so casually as if these difficult situations did not exist. That's why he loved bullfighting so much.- The second quality was honesty, and his definition of honesty was harsher than usual.An honest man, they say. But how honest, to what degree?He was the most honest man I ever knew.Of course, if my dress was praised in front of him and he didn't like it, he could say yes.But, except for such small things, he always told the truth.He endeavoured to see people clearly, sharply, in the right light.He despised people who were untruthful and those who did not look straight into the face of life. He hated all that was false and pretence.Mary recalled the case of a book about the Second World War by an American "good writer" (she did not give her surname). When advertising it, the publishers wrote in the preface that the book was superior to War and Peace. Hemingway was furious that the writer allowed the truth to be prostituted: "Next to Tolstoy he is like a mutt next to a bulldog".After two years of mourning, Miss Mary is a living, easy memory of Hemingway. But not only that. In a few years Z S. Kondrashov.before his death, in his handwritten will, the writer made "beloved wife Mary Hemingway" the sole heiress to his fortune - literary and otherwise.Hemingway, of course, is immortalised in books translated into dozens of languages. There is a museum in Cuba, though no monument in the United States yet. The widow says the Cuban government is treating her well, that she is pleased at how well the Hemingway museum is maintained there. In the United States, funds are being raised by a Hemingway memorial committee made up of his close friends. Soon they will open a "Memorial Trail" by a mountain stream north of Sun Valley: a bronze bust of the writer, forest paths by the winding banks.The memory of Hemingway will merge with the nature he loved.***Hemingway didn't like the name Lloyd. He called Lloyd Arnold Pappy. "There goes Pope and Pappy," the resort staff would chuckle when they saw them together. Pappy was shorter than Pappy and seven years younger. He was now fifty-nine. He has the keen eyes of a hunter and professional photographer and a loving smile when he talks about Papa. It's like an inner smile - a friend coming alive in his mind, a great time of his life. Lloyd Arnold has seen hundreds of "big men" in Sun Valley, but to him they are shadows next to a "mere giant."Lloyd Arnold and his wife Tillie don't claim much. Hemingway had friends in different countries, and they are modest people: Arnold's father was a labourer, Tillie's        from a farming family. Both stipulate: "If there hadn't been good hunting and good places, he wouldn't have come here." They call him Pope, however, without false familiarity. He has become close to them, sitting more than once in this wide wicker armchair, at this table. Tilly was busy in the kitchen, the food was unexceptional but healthy, there was wine and hunting friends, and Pappy, a "bad conversationalist" with unfamiliar and unpleasant people, was here, and told funny stories, - they laughed till they cried On frosty days they shot at clay plates in the yard, and Pappy - he chuckles - never once failed to beat Pappy, though it happened that they were on an equal footing. On the bookshelf are Hemingway's books, and in them are autographs - "Pappy and Tillie with much love." Signed jokingly, Dr Hemingway Stein.On that July Sunday morning they got up at seven o'clock, going to visit Papa and Miss Mary. Suddenly, the phone rang. When they arrived, the body had already been removed. Now the poignancy of the tragedy is gone, Lloyd and Tillie say, "Once Papa decided to do it, he would have done it for sure, there was no stopping him."Memories remain, and Lloyd Arnold, a retired photographer, is writing a book about Hemingway in Ketchum.He can talk for hours about "a diamond with 56 facets," "a very, very good man," "kind and gentle." How he was simple and honest, loved simple things and simple people, got along with Lloyd's ailing father - an old labourer, head of a family where the only luxury was hunting rifles. And how complex: suppressed indecency, panibratism. As once a stranger, braggartly swept up with a question about what he writes, shouted fiercely: "A book!" How in a bar some guy mistook Hemingway for a miner - Dad dressed casually. How a few weeks after his first visit to Ketchum, after getting to know the three men better, he said to them almost shyly: "Would you like me to give you this book?" And he gave me the novel "And the Sun Rises." How he was "the greatest man of habit": every hunting season started from the same place, after the first hunt dined at the same farmer, wore his leather hunting jacket to holes and fastened it with pins, not wanting to start a new one. And how cool he was at hunting, he did not tolerate careless shooters and careless handling of weapons. Once ruined the magazine "Life": it posted a picture of Hemingway on the hunt and the message that he hunted for ten days and never missed. Shame on him, Pope said, any hunter would say that was a lie.And how it was as if he had a "crystal ball between his eyes" - that magic crystal, the ability to figure people out, to pull out all their backgrounds.- We were hunters, not writers," Lloyd Arnold said. - But sometimes the Pope shared his thoughts on literature: "To write, as you say, - shorter. The most difficult things can be expressed succinctly. Remember, the English language has only five vowels, just five, and they give it all the music.Hemingway was modest but knew his own worth. He regretted that he could not go to Stockholm in 1954 to receive the Nobel Prize; this was shortly after he was involved in a plane crash in Africa. He sometimes said, however, that he got the Nobel Prize a little late. Worried that the critics poorly met the novel "Across the river, in the shadow of the trees". He praised his The Old Man and the Sea.In the physical world there are three dimensions, Hemingway liked to say, and the task of the writer - as close as possible to the fourth. He believed that in "The Old Man and the Sea" to this fourth dimension, he came closer than anywhere else ...***I travelled from Hailey airfield to Ketchum in a black, old-fashioned but still fast-running rural taxi. In the back seat were two sacks of mail - to Hailey Township and Ketchum - and spare parts for the petrol station that the plane had delivered. I've never seen a taxi driver like this in big American cities - a grey-haired woman with glasses, a kind of grandmotherly housewife. Her name is Lorita Mal.lx, or simply Rita. Rita and her husband, who owns the only taxi in the area, knew Mr Hemingway. The funeral was "quiet, pleasant", they were among the fifty invited, Rita keeps this mourning invitation. She took the time, brought me to the cemetery, showed me where Hemingway's house was and where Arnold's house was.- He was a very nice man.A poor woman, 16-18 hours a day herding her black, dingy auto-feeder, Rita's assessment of Hemingway is very characteristic: it didn't matter to him whether you were poor or rich. I asked if she had read his books.Rita answered evasively. Miss Mary had given her The Holiday That's Always With You, the writer's posthumous book. I guessed from the evasiveness of her reply that Rita had not read that book either. After spending three days in tiny Ketchum, I discovered that everyone knew Hemingway personally or had at least seen him, but almost no one had read his books. They met him on the street, said hello, respected his privacy - his right to seclusion, considered him a "nice man" and were indifferent to his life's work.The waitress at the Chateau Café, serving me rainbow trout, spoke in a whisper:- You would never have believed he wrote books. He looked like a tramp.She hadn't read Hemingway either, but in the simplicity of her heart she assumed that books were written by so-called "decent people."I talked to the receptionist at the Alpine Villa Motel; to the bartender, who lied for publicity purposes that Hemingway visited him two or three times a week; to the clerk at the gift shop where they sell wide-brimmed Western hats, patterned cowboy belts, and Ketchum brochures from the "van days" and where there is nothing to remember Hemingway by; to the garage attendant; to the kid at Hailey Airport; to the sports instructor at the resort. Only the instructor read books by the great Ketchum resident, and yes the airport kid patted the classicist on the shoulder: "He wasn't a bad writer."At the local drugstore, which also sells books, I rifled through all the standard detective-sex kit on a rotating shelf, looking for Hemingway. There wasn't any. Just to be sure, I checked with the salesman. There was indeed no Hemingway.Puzzled and annoyed, I told Mary Hemingway about my search. She jokingly replied that she respected freedom, even the freedom to be stupid, but seriously, "most Americans are not educated enough to read good books."- To open a book to them is like digging up a grave," Miss Mary recalled someone else's words. She is sure that in half the houses here you won't find a single book at all.....Ketchum is a resort, not a memory, not a cemetery. They complain about the rains - the resort business isn't doing well.They catch trout. Hunting. They drink beer in the barracks where the regulars call each other: Hi, John! Hi, Mary! Cars are parked at an oblique angle on the pavement like grandfathers used to park horses. A rain-soaked billboard beckons south to Harold's Gambling Club in Reno, Nevada, promising "more laughs than anywhere else."By evening, Main Street dies out. Only at the Conoco petrol station, Lorita Maddix sullenly waits for a shuttle bus late from Twins Falls. Yes, the doors of bars slam and together with the frantic sounds of jazz, boys who can't stand on their feet rush out into the street like the heroes of Hemingway's stories.During the day, cars occasionally rustle along the gravel road that cuts the cemetery in a semicircle and stop for a minute or two at the large grey slab. People value time and convenience, and so is the road to the Ketchum cemetery, though you can bypass it in five minutes.Life goes on in its own way. And yet it's unimaginable. To live next door to Hemingway, to see him, to stand close to tragedy - and not immerse yourself in his books, to remain so indifferently far away. And evenings here are long. Everyone can probably read.....1965 г.BETA CHROMOSOMESA mile up, a mile down-- and everything is level.(Motto of the town of Byot, Montana)Mr Tom Weigle, of the Anaconda Company, was wary when he saw us that fine morning, and a shadow of annoyance ran across his forehead: he had not had enough of the Reds! But Mr. Weigle is a public relations man, which means that it is his job to get on with the public and the press, whatever its colour. In a minute he had the famous flash smile on his face - you know, the kind of professional flash smile that's always at the ready during office hours - nine to five.So, together we descended from the famous sixth floor, where the Anaconda office is, and in Mr Weigle's car we ducked down and up the famous Bute Hill, the cradle of the Anaconda. On the cut top of the hill were copra mines, mine yards, railway tracks, dusty roads. On the slopes lay the town of Buteut, but the mines were there too, bursting into the town, glimpsed around the corners of its steep streets.The crowning number in Anaconda's Beat concert is now "Berkeley Pit" - a giant quarry, a steep amphitheatre plunging into the depths. On its uneven tiers, multi-tonne lorries crawl along as tiny bees. The bees carry not honey, but copper. Their buzzing comes from behind the fence. "Berkeley Pit" is kept behind bars: so boldly has man turned the earth round. What would this pit be compared to? The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park came to mind. From the inconceivable depths beneath our feet rose rocks in all the colours of the rainbow. And at the very bottom, the tiny Yellowstone River throbbed with emerald and dilute polished malachite.The Berkeley Pit is still a long way from the Grand Canyon. Well, man is a late starter. But like a mountain river, he is great in his persistence. A mile up, a mile down is what they say in Bute about the copper ore reserves on the hill. Geologists say there's more in the ground than has been mined, though there's more than has been mined! There's one Biute mine a mile down already. "The Berkeley pit is following it. In short, Mr Weigle, the publicity man of the Anaconda, could be satisfied: he elicited cheers of delight from the "reds."But now, sitting at my desk, I think not so much about human perseverance as about its nature, its purpose. And oddly enough, the Berkeley Pit, majestic in its raw, working-class beauty, is overshadowed by a 12-year-old boy named Bobby Chase.At the time, Bobby Chance stood at the wooden canopy from which the pit is viewed. On a small table covered with oilcloth were pieces of Biut minerals. In a drawer by the table, too, were samples of ore, glued to painted neat squares of cardboard on which was stamped at the top, "Richest hill on earth. Beat. Montana." Bobby peddled this merchandise.- Meet Bobby," Weigle said not without playfulness. - Two Communists, newspaper men from Russia.Bobby glared at us from under his Finnish cap, the same look that Weigle had given us when we first met on the sixth floor of the Anaconda. But, like Weigle, he recovered quickly: he had a job to do. And he began to rant, in a breathy, boyish voice, licking his lips and touching the pebbles on the table with his hands.But now, sitting at my desk, I think not so much about human perseverance as about its nature, its purpose. And oddly enough, the Berkeley Pit, majestic in its raw, working-class beauty, is overshadowed by a 12-year-old boy named Bobby Chase.At the time, Bobby Chance stood at the wooden canopy from which the pit is viewed. On a small table covered with oilcloth were pieces of Biut minerals. In a drawer by the table, too, were samples of ore, glued to painted neat squares of cardboard on which was stamped at the top, "Richest hill on earth. Beat. Montana." Bobby peddled this merchandise.- Meet Bobby," Weigle said not without playfulness. - Two Communists, newspaper men from Russia.Bobby glared at us from under his Finnish cap, the same look that Weigle had given us when we first met on the sixth floor of the Anaconda. But, like Weigle, he recovered quickly: he had a job to do. And he began to rant, in a breathy, boyish voice, licking his lips and touching the pebbles on the table with his hands.He had already done business on us, now others were important.This 12-year-old boy had the psychology of a businessman, reduced to the desire to use the other for his own benefit, as if in the palm of his hand, protruding in its primordial essence, not yet masked by the cunning vignettes of age and experience. And then there was the round child's face, ice-cream on a stick, and he was ashamed of that ice-cream, hiding it behind his back. And immediately in his frowning eyes a dislike for the ironic glances of adults. He was engaged not in a joking, but in a serious matter, engaged with conviction. Our irony and condescension offended him. At Bute he was spoilt with admiration.So there stood before us a small but well established businessman whose tenacity would be the envy of the Yellowstone River. Bobby Chase's family is not poor, his father working in a mine, his mother as a bank clerk. From the age of three, like all the boys in Butte, he collected pebbles on the hill. When he was nine, he started selling them. He not only finds pebbles, but also trades them, he has his own suppliers among the boys. The ornament of Bobby's tray - an ingot of almost pure copper weighing 4 pounds - was bought for 5 dollars. Now Bobby sells it for $25. He ordered the pieces of cardboard from a print shop himself.Bobby is a well-known man. The boys selling pebbles at the Kelly Mine are desperately jealous of him. Yes, Bobby Chase, they say, because he made $2,300 last summer. You don't believe it?Tom Weigle, apparently, has long ago realised that he himself will not have enough stars from the American sky. He speaks of Bobby with grown-up respect: he'll probably get it.When the "sixth floor" wanted to chase away juvenile traders from the site in front of the "Berkeley pit", Bobby alone was able to prove that he will not interfere, and help - will give his colour.And Bobby's parents? They are appalled by their offspring's persistence. His father forbade him to stand at the excavation, more than fourteen hours. But Bobby sticks around for sixteen hours, all long summer days, all summer holidays.Unfortunately, this is not a shallow philosophy at the deep pit. I want to emphasise in all seriousness that Bobby Chase is a phenomenon. It's a type that reveals America more visually than many abstract musings. There's a hilarious half-truth: oh, poor guy, he dreams of being a mining engineer in a country where, alas, there are so many fee-paying colleges, and he has to save up money for an education. But he's outgrown that half-truth during his three-year stint at Berkeley pit. There is a hard truth: from one generation to the next, Bobby Chase passes on the chromosomes and genes of American capitalism.What's the Biutta boy in for? And judging by the fanaticism with which he has reduced his life to commerce, he is turned on for a long time, if not forever. Let's turn the story the other way round, move away from the seed and look closely at the Biuta tree - the Anaconda tree."A mile up, a mile down - and everything is level." There is a secret chuckle in this cloying aphorism, for the historical cut of Butte Hill is the cut of American capitalism. A hundred years ago, Biyut Hill stood in the south-west of the then defunct state of Montana, untouched as its neighbouring brethren still are. A dashing horde of gold prospectors rolled westward and raided the yellow metal in the narrow canyons of Dublin and Missoula. The gold fever did not last long in the area; after picking up the grains, the horde rushed on. Then they found outcrops of silver, and again there was a brief drunken excitement and game of fortune on Butte Hill. The era of pencosmithing broke off abruptly as it had arisen. The cobwebs took over the log huts abandoned by the seekers and coathangers. Nevada City (a few dozen miles from Bute), where in those years there was also a gold mining camp, is now only a comfort to tourists, a so-called ghost town. In an old shop that has become a museum, throw a dime into the slot machine and a voice from the past will tell you where, when and who was killed and how lynching was replaced by justice.But Bute hill, only slightly scratched by lovers of the noble metal, waited for its long copper age. Bute's real history began in the 1970s when copper mining began. It's a bloody story, though in a country that not only continues but has sanctified it, self-interest and violence are cloaked in romance and colourful characters. The bones of the "copper barons" crunched in the arms of the two "copper kings"-Marcus Daly and William Clark-but neither could share "the richest hill on earth." Clark elected himself to the U.S. Senate with dollars, Daley with the help of dollars caught up with him in the capital, threw him out from under the dome of the Capitol and finally from the Butte Hill.The miners, pouring in from all parts of the country and the world, received hard work, injuries, silicosis, demagoguery of the owners, the slang-laced romance of the stinking bars "The Cemetery" and "The Cesspool", and prostitutes in the red-light districts. Here's a lovely touch of the mores of the time. Prostitutes hid their silver dollars in their stockings. At the end of their shift, the stockings would tear, and the silver earned from the copper would clink on the paving stones.To this sound Marcus Daly founded in 1879 a copper mining company with a snake name. "Anaconda wasn't just in Bute. It owned the state of Montana for decades - with its elected governors, legislators, judges, newspapers and lawyers. She silenced voices of protest and stifled competitors who tried to lure away her miners. It bankrupted the state both economically and in terms of human resources: the fourth-largest Montana stands 41st in population among U.S. states (about 700,000 people).Then "Anaconda" crawled out of the Montana mountains to fifteen other states where it has mines, plants, factories, and on the international arena, wrapping its rings around Chile, Mexico, and Canada. There was already talk of a copper-mining empire. It was more convenient to view it from the skyscrapers of Wall Street, where the main headquarters of the company moved. Its "western operations" remained in Bute. Then...But let's return to the present day and to the city, which even in the names of its streets has immortalised the geological cross-section of the hill: Copper, Granite, Quartz, Platinum, Silver, Gold... The bars have become dull, the prostitutes are gone, gambling is forbidden. In the evenings, Byut is empty, quiet, dark. Miners buy houses on instalments and after work sit in front of family television sets where, as local union president Reginald Davis is convinced, they are "brainwashed" by programmes paid for by the National Association of Industrialists.Mayor Thomas Powers is diplomatic with visiting journalists, assuring them that Anaconda has become malleable. His diplomacy, however, doesn't take away from the Byut copper-ore land.- "I won't say Anaconda was for me during the election," the mayor told us in his clean dusky office, "but she wasn't against it either. If her people were against it, of course they would have found someone else. They are very powerful....In the miners' union room hangs above the stage a faded portrait of an activist brutally murdered by company agents before the First World War. It is a reminder and a warning. The union leaders are in a mood like soldiers at the front. They are confused by the lull, wondering what tricks the enemy is preparing.In a prominent place in town stands a monument to Marcus Daley, the victor of Clark and others, the progenitor of the snake corporation. It's bronze and immortal.Yes, he is immortal if he serves as a hero and an example to the Bobby Chases.But let's not insult the Beat by identifying him with "Anaconda."***There are some cities that are hard to be indifferent to. Bute is among them, with its detractors and adherents.John Gunther, an American who has travelled all over the world, in his book "Inside the United States," put his tick against Bute stiffly and irritably: "The rudest, most obscene town in America, with the possible exception of Amarilla, Texas..... At night the cemetery here is flooded with electric light. In daylight, Byut is one of the ugliest places I have ever seen."Mr Nelson edits the Montana Standard, the Byut newspaper. He told us that John Gunther never even poked his nose out of the Finlen Hotel, and picked up all the sordid information about Bute at the Shotgun Room bar. Nelson was heartbroken over Bute.And Bill Bourque created a hilarious myth in verse: angels in heaven painted a masterpiece for the Earth Saloon, taking colours from the bountiful palette of the summer rainbow, and God, loving their masterpiece, named it Bute. Bill Bourke has a naive imagination. He was a miner, grandson of a miner, son of a miner and father of miners. In his old age, he took up the pen, and for him, it's an unaccustomedly heavy instrument of labour. Do not look for a graceful syllable in his "Rhythms of the mines". But how much unsentimental warmth, how much clumsy pride for the rough loyal countrymen who go underground every morning on Bute Hill, and coming out of the "hole", slam a glass of Sean O'Ferrell in a familiar bar, adding a second one - "a bird doesn't fly on one wing"; once a year, on the 13th of June, the descendants of Irishmen and Finns, Germans and Serbs, Italians, Greeks, Scots, Norwegians, Swedes, gather for a miners' parade, suffer and rejoice, and, having raised a number of men for the mines, finally go into the ground - under the crosses on the plain. ..In national diversity, Bute is New York in miniature, even with its "Chinatown."- Russian? - an old man asked me in the lift at the Finlen Hotel. - Where from?- From near Gorky.- Isn't that in Kiev?His ancestors were from Kiev, and he had already forgotten whether it was a city or a country.The fathers came from different countries, and the children became Bute patriots. Americans are a mobile people, light on their feet. And in Bute, anyone you ask is born and raised on a hill. What keeps them here is their love for the big skies of Montana, for the vastness of this "God's country." Those who left often return. But "Anaconda" makes adjustments to that love, too. Gustav Hustvedt, a miner with 25 years of experience, told us that miner's sons are leaving Bute - no work.Who is right-John Gunther or Bill Burke? What is Buteut - the most obscene town or God's masterpiece? Each is right and wrong in his own way, the cold snobby know-it-all and the exorbitantly ardent old miner.Union leaders say the miners' relationship with Anaconda is twofold. "Anaconda stings, and it stings badly. But it provides work. The miners are forced to both fight and coexist with Anaconda. The union, one of the oldest and most militant in the United States, has a glorious tradition and considerable merit. It has repeatedly sought wage increases and better working conditions. But if you take the whole protracted war, the whole historical Byot curve, the company is the winner.Because of mechanisation, ore production is increasing and the number of miners is decreasing. In 1915 there were about 100,000 people in town, now there are about 45,000. There were 15 thousand miners, now there are 2.3 thousand. In 1959-1960."Anaconda cleverly manoeuvred the union into a gruelling six-month strike to get rid of surplus copper and force a mass lockout. The number of miners dropped from 5,600 to 1,400. Economic crisis gripped the town, traders fled because there was nothing to be taken from the cashless striking miners, construction was abruptly curtailed. 8,000 people left Biut.Of course, the neighbourhood tragedy is seen philosophically from afar, but it had its victims, who fell and never rose again.Now is a period of uncertain boom. "Anaconda" is expanding its Beyut operations, new banks are opening in the city, road construction has picked up. Union leaders are wondering: what does this mean? Their guess is that the company fears nationalisation in Chile and is pre-positioning itself in Bute.Ah, Chile, Chile, a country far away! Bute miners think of it more often than the lands from which their fathers came. What is there in Chile? They are blind and isolated, deprived of any contact with the Chilean miners. Justifying the harsh policy in Bute, Anaconda insinuates to them that they are losing money here, that they are only making it in Chile, where labour is much cheaper. The Bute miners do not believe in such charity.- There, of course, they claim otherwise," says John Glace, union secretary. - We're sure that everywhere else Anaconda is just taking, not giving.A mile up, a mile down, and everything is level.Tom Weigle, the Anaconda man, was on the level of his tasks when he took us to Columbia Gardens. Who says there's nothing a company doesn't give? Here it gave the citizens and their children an entire park. That's not bad, is it? But according to union leaders, it's a measly payoff, just a drop in the bucket of the billions of dollars Anaconda has extracted from the hill.Jimmy Shay, the permanent mayor of the mining suburb of Walkerville, took it upon himself to show us other gifts from the copper kings: strange, empty streets in almost the heart of Bute, abandoned buildings with broken dusty windows, apartment buildings in cracks, failed pavements. It's like the marks of an earthquake. It was the Anaconda that had waged an underground war against the townspeople for decades, digging shafts under the streets. Houses collapsed and cracked, pavements shook as dynamite tore ore close to the surface. The miners from the Emma mine, extracting their daily bread in the "hole", did not know that they might be digging for their own homes. And the company has favourable lawyers and geologists and the entire state of Montana in its pocket.Jimmy Shay showed us the streets, and talked about the people. He hates Anaconda as an inhuman monster, Jimmy Shay is a true friend of the people.- Hey, Jimmy! What's up, Jimmy? - you hear him walking down the streets of Butte with you.- Hello, Jimmy! - the Walkerville boys call out to this man with the grey whiskers like a peer.Everybody knows him. Jimmy fought the Anaconda and forced it to retreat.A mile up, a mile down, Jimmy's really on the level.It's almost epic, but Jimmy calls it a war - a favourite word in Bute. In 1958, Anaconda began developing the Ellis pit - literally under the windows of Walkerville residents, seven metres from their outlying houses. Copper was devouring people again. Bulldozers swept away highways, ripped up water and gas pipes. The plan was to make life unbearable, threaten the houses with collapse, and sell them a pittance of compensation when house and land prices went down.But the miner's son, insurance agent Jimmy Shay, took up the challenge on behalf of 1,400 Walkerville residents. He arrested the bulldozers and sued the company. "Anaconda" was rendered speechless by this audacity, and in the meantime, the local newspaper, the company's handmaiden, began to harass the mayor of Walkerville and his constituents. They were vilely accused of wanting to reduce employment in the city. At night, Jimmy was roused from his bed by phone calls. The calls were threatening and obscene. His wife was being taunted by miners' wives: Your husband wants to put our husbands out of work. Jimmy urged them to be human, to put themselves in the shoes of those whose houses were being excavated.Jimmy Shay bet on solidarity and didn't give up. He was gagged in Bute, he made his way to the newspaper of another Montana town, Great Falls, to television. Bravely embarked on a two-year legal battle. The case ended in an honourable compromise: the houses were bought back for a decent compensation, and the excavation was fenced off for safety.Jimmy took us to his poor Walkerville. The excavation was now abandoned, and all that remained of Willis Street were the crumbling foundations of the houses. We climbed up to the spoil heap. Down below, almost under the embankment, stood the brown school building. Rocks were falling almost on the heads of the children. It was a long time ago, but it was as if the mayor of Walkerville could still see the dump trucks going down those abandoned tracks.- Children's lives were in danger!You're a good man, Jimmy Shay, and please forgive me for that direct compliment. What were we to you? Just two unfamiliar journalists from a faraway country, who also scare your countrymen. But you're full of human solidarity. You had business at your insurance agency. You were worried because on that day your daughter was due to fly in from Paris, her first trip abroad. But you left your business and didn't go to meet your daughter. To the two Russians you wanted to give the information about Bute that the Anaconda people with their flash smiles are withholding.Here's a child of Bute, who grew up under Anaconda's thumb but retained a simple-minded holy faith in justice. In 1960, when the company was taking the striking miners by force, Jimmy Shay sent telegrams to Washington: the children are starving!Children are starving? That phrase doesn't exactly move officials, who know that thousands of children are starving in Appalachian mining camps and Negro ghettos across the country. But Jimmy Shay knows nothing stronger than that phrase.And that's when a telegraphic warning flew to the Chilean Minister of Information from the clueless mayor of Waukeoville: be vigilant, don't believe "Anaconda"! Naive? Naive, perhaps, but he couldn't have it any other way.The people of Walkerville apparently realise that such cranks decorate the world, and cling tightly to their mayor, having consistently chosen him since 1941. Jimmy twice tried to refuse: after all, you have to feed your family, and the mayor of tiny Walkerville is not entitled to a salary. But both times he was put on the ballot and elected.- This is still America! - Jimmy repeats, waging local wars for justice. He's referring to the democratic traditions of his people, the ability of American workers to stand up for their rights. But when his friends suggest Jimmy run for something higher, like governor of Montana, he gives up.- It would take too much money," he says, "and I don't have it.He's all about simple truths, and this, alas, is one of them.....And so, when I think of Bute, I think of the stubborn mayor of Walkerville and the stubborn 12-year-old boy who, in the summer twilight under the big sky of Montana-"God's country"-goes home rustling dollars in his brain and pockets. Yes, this is still America, where Marcus Daly's spiritual heirs are stronger than Jimmy Shay's miner's son.1965 г.PROCESSABOUT 1.5 MILLIONPrince Felix Yusupov, who murdered Grigory Rasputin, a "friend" of the Russian throne, on the night of 17-18 December 1916, suddenly emerged from the depths of history on 14 October 1965 in room 355 of the Supreme Court of the State of New York. It turns out that Yusupov was alive, and alive enough to make the journey from Paris to New York and bring a lawsuit against a radio-television company.CBS, which showed a film about Rasputin's murder on 5 June 1963. Here for the sake of one and a half million dollars, which he hopes to get on the lawsuit, in front of the judge, sitting under the American flag, Prince Yusupov opens with the hands of a participant and eyewitness one of the last terrible pages of the history of Tsarist Russia.They are senile, infirm hands. The 78-year-old prince is decrepit, deaf, afflicted with deep sclerosis. From it one shell - unbending slender stance, gracefully outlined bare skull, to a witness bench it is brought under hands. The Prince's lawyer Herbert Zelenko strains his voice and becomes a mime to deliver to the weak ears and consciousness another of his dozens of questions. Yusupov's command of English is poor, but Judge Waltmade is ruthless and only rarely authorises the services of a French interpreter.On the front bench sits with a stick in her hands a lame old woman with a lively intelligent face under her furry eyebrows. At the sides are some servants, very active. She is Princess Irina, Yusupov's wife, and the domestics have apparently appeared not earlier than yesterday, and expect to be rewarded tomorrow.The Princess is an active person in the case. On the advice of his lawyers, Felix Yusupov accuses the film makers and the CBS company, firstly, of "invasion of privacy", and secondly, of slanderous innuendo that, luring Rasputin to his Petrograd palace on the Moika, he used his beautiful wife as "sexual bait".In the courtroom, the air is saturated with sensation and nostalgia for long ago, almost unlikely times. The princess recalls that it was two and a half days' journey from St Petersburg to the Crimea, the prince reminisces about palaces "all over Russia". Among the fifty spectators are strange characters. A man with a mane of hair and an oaky grey beard looks like an onion merchant, but he recoiled from me: no, not Russian! Two photoreporters persuaded him to take a picture, finding that he looked like Rasputin. The man hesitated: to take offence or agree? But what good is offence? He agreed. Someone in a black coat with the eyes of a drug addict or someone else cleaner ceremoniously bows to Yusupov, when they stroll in the corridor between meetings. The lushly-breasted schizophrenic woman is covered from her Tyrolean hat to her belly with dozens of badges. The badges are campaigning for Beame, the Democratic candidate for mayor of New York City, and one, a huge one, emphatically calls out, "Stop!" Stop who? Why? Leaping up to the dazed prince, the lady shakes his hand, and the princess bestows a couple of her badges.I had the indiscretion to approach the lady. Chewing gum, swaying with excitement, she poured out an earful of opinions and information: the Prince is a great man; as a soldier, he has defended his country and the throne; the case has received such publicity that, of course, he will win.- You know, I love history. I'm from Kentucky. I'm the first woman to run for vice president of the United States. I have forty-second Indian blood. You know the Indians came here from Russia, or rather Mongolia, but through Russia. When Churchill died, I called everybody in Cincinnati, inviting them to the funeral. In 1946, I invited the Queen of England to a horse race in Kentucky. Prince is so noble, he looks like my father....At the fourth session, Prince Yusupov, literally inserted by the court steward at the witness stand, spoke about the murder of Rasputin, an illiterate, lecherous, perpetually drunken monk, proclaimed healer of the Tsar's heir and the empire, over which the fist of revolution was already looming. The participants in the murder - Prince Yusupov, Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich, State Duma member Vladimir Purishkevich and Dr Lazovert - wanted to save the throne by removing the "old man".Lawyer Herbert Zelenko tortures the last living conspirator with questions. Tortures not because Yusupov does not want to help his defence counsel, but because the deep old man can not be far away, almost no longer remember the 29-year-old brilliant nobleman and that deaf December night about which dozens of books have been written in different countries.After almost every question Zelenko gets up with another objection by the defence counsel CBC Carlton Eldridge, and the judge decides their disputes.Zelenko: Can you tell us about the murder plan?Yusupov remains silent. Zelenko repeats the question.Yusupov in French: I don't understand the word "plan." .With the judge's permission, the interpreter explains the question.Yusupov: To lure Rasputin to my house.Zelenko: Prince, what other details can you give?Yusupov: We wanted to kill him.Zelenko: How?Yusupov: Poison him.Zelenko: Poison by what method?Yusupov doesn't understand.Zelenko clarifies: What kind of poison?Yusupov thinks for a long time: I don't remember the name of the poison. - Zelenko: Where were you going to poison him?Yusupov: In my house.Zelenko: In which of your houses?Yusupov: In St. Petersburg.Zelenko: Who delivered him to your house?Yusupov: I did.Zelenko: By car?Yusupov: Yes.Zelenko: Who was the chauffeur?Yusupov: Dr Lazovert.Zelenko: Have you been to Rasputin's house before?Yusupov: Many times.Zelenko: Where was Rasputin's flat?In the silence one hears a clear, Russian pronounced, Russian word: Go-ro-ho-va-ya.The story is painfully drawn out of Yusupov.It was past midnight. Rasputin, to whom Yusupov and Lazovert appeared in a car, wanted to go to the gypsies. Yusupov persuaded him to look at his palace on the Moika. There they went to the dining room, not in the usual, but in a specially equipped in the cellar. The poison was ready, and Dr Lazovert put it in the wine, tea and cakes The Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich and Purishkevich were upstairs. There was gramophone music coming from upstairs.- What was playing? - asks Zelenko.Yusupov smiles: "Yankee Doodle Dandy...."The courtroom is buzzing with excitement.What happened next? Rasputin asked Yusupov to sing, and he sang.- What happened next? - the lawyer does not stop.- We talked.- About what?- I persuaded him to leave St Petersburg.- What happened next?Rasputin drank poisoned wine and tea, ate poisoned cakes.Zelenko: What happened to him after that?Yusupov: He coughed and asked me to sing some more.Zelenko: What did he do next?Yusupov: He went to the toilet.Deadly poison did not affect Rasputin, although he looked sick and drunk. There was a noise upstairs, and Rasputin asked where the noise was coming from.- I said that my wife had guests. (In fact, Yusupov's wife was not in St. Petersburg that day.) They drank wine again. Then Yusupov went upstairs to report. Having learnt that the poison had not had the expected effect, Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich gave Yusupov his revolver. When Yusupov returned to the cellar with a revolver, Rasputin was sitting in an armchair. Approaching him, Yusupov said: "You should have prayed."Shot him at point-blank range.Zelenko: How many shots did you fire?Yusupov thinks for a long time: Two....Rasputin fell.- He was still alive, - Yusupov informs the judge.On the impassive face of the old man amazement. Rasputin was not just alive. He got up, threw himself at Yusupov and wanted to.... Not finding an English word, the old man, opening his palm, brings it to his throat. The gesture is logged. Yusupov fell Rasputin and went upstairs again. The conspirators came down in four. In the cellar Rasputin again threw himself at Yusupov. Fell. Then ran out into the courtyard, Yusupov after him, after Yusupov - the rest.The years have squeezed the juices out of the old man and his story. The 78-year-old Yusupov does not remember what the 40-year-old Yusupov told in a book called Rasputin, published in Paris in 1927. Although his New York version largely matches the Paris version, they diverge in details, sometimes significant ones. To begin with, there was a fifth conspirator, Captain Sukhotin. Delivery of Rasputin by car to the palace on the Moika, the cellar, hastily equipped as a dining room, poisoned wine and cakes remain. The poison was potassium cyanide. In the book Yusupov writes that he shot Rasputin once. Immediately after the shot went downstairs, the rest of the conspirators decided that the bullet had passed through the heart area and that Rasputin was dead. After that, if we follow the book, Dmitry Pavlovich, Captain Sukhotin and Dr Lazovert left. One of them, wearing Rasputin's fur coat, disguised as an "elder". In this way wanted to deflect suspicion of the police. They had to burn the coat, return in another car for the corpse and dump it in the Neva. Yusupov and Purishkevich stayed in the library of the palace.But soon Yusupov, tormented by forebodings, again went down into the cellar. Rasputin's pulse was not palpable, but suddenly fluttered left eyelid, opened both eyes and stared at the killer with such a diabolical hatred that hypnotised Yusupov could not move or scream. As if returning from the other world, Rasputin stood up and rushed at Yusupov, who had already returned the revolver to the Grand Duke. Yusupov managed to escape upstairs to the armed Purishkevich.They saw Rasputin climb the stairs from the cellar and run out into the courtyard. Purishkevich started in pursuit, making three or four shots. Through the front door Yusupov rushed to the main gate to block Rasputin the way to the street. But he was already lying motionless in the snow. At the gunshots appeared town guard. Standing so that the policeman did not notice the corpse, Yusupov explained that fooled his drunken guests.The policeman left, and after the shocks of the terrible night, Yusupov slashed the dead body with his cane in a frenzy until he fell into unconsciousness.Then the three came back and took the corpse and threw it off the bridge into the Neva. That's according to the book.... When Yusupov was led out of the courtroom under arms, I approached him. He was glad to hear Russian speech:- "And what do you say?- However, I had no time to say anything.-No talking! No talking! - I was cut short by the stern lady who escorted the Yusupovs, and quickly concealed the old man in the service corridor.- No talking! - again warned the lady in the street, where the Yusupovs posed before half a dozen photographers and cameramen. The princess was leaning on a cane, the unbending prince cheekily smiling. A rented black Cadillac pulled up, and a negro chauffeur in a uniformed cap put the prince into the car.In the evening I rang the Sheraton East Hotel, giving the telephone operator my surname but not saying who I was or where I was from. The Russian last name helped. Yusupov's crackling voice came through the receiver. I told the old man where I was from and asked for a date. He didn't object, but he had a lawyer sitting with him, and in general they forbid him to meet anyone while the trial is going on.- They're so protective of us. They're like cithers. You know, neither my wife nor I are our own people right now," I heard in the phone.Who's "they"? Apparently, and the lawyer Herbert Zelenko, and his assistant Fanny Holtzman, who specialises in cases of "invasion of privacy" of celebrities, and the determined lady "No talking!", and the active lodgers for an hour. The Yusupovs belong to them now.Room 355 in Foley Square smells of sensation and nostalgia. And most of all, $1.5 million. Who and why persuaded the Yusupovs to go to the ocean in their old age, to sit through long hours of court hearings? After all, a month ago they had never heard of the television film against which they were now suing.Television company CBC, as it should be, mixed on the sex of his story about the murder of Rasputin, thereby setting the sides of the "defenders of celebrities. Those habitually reduced the case to dollars. How many years Yusupovs live on the murder of Rasputin? In March 1934 the London court in a similar process against the film company "Metro-Goldwill" awarded Irina Yusupova 125 thousand dollars.Prince considered that now it was his turn. He was not as lucky as his wife, and lost the process.PROTEST FIREAt six o'clock on Tuesday 2 November, 31-year-old Quaker Norman Morrison doused himself with paraffin and flashed a torch outside the Pentagon with a match. On Saturday 6 November at 2pm, five young pacifists burned their military ID cards in Union Square, New York. It was the same fire of protest against the barbaric war in Vietnam.The week dramatised how this fire burns the hearts of Americans who are ashamed of their country. Self-immolator Morrison fell into eternal sleep outside the Pentagon to awaken the conscience of his countrymen. Yesterday's five go to the threat of arrest, trial, jail and separation from loved ones. Under a law passed by Congress in late August, destroying a military ID card is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to ten thousand dollars. Already awaiting trial is David Miller, a contributor to the Catholic Worker magazine who tore up his ticket a month ago....Union Square. The stingy November sun casts shadows from the park's colonnade. The black uniforms and dapper caps of the police. The familiar bustle of television and newspaper reporters. The clang of hammers - the platform is being put together. On the platform, five men will burn the white paper of their military IDs. Burning them in public. This time they've done everything to maximise publicity: permission to use Union Square has been obtained from the city's Parks Department. The police department sent foot and mounted "pharaohs." FBI agents in civilian clothes, with identifying triangles on the lapels of their jackets and coats - walking around in the crowd, exercising their visual memory. They're in a lot of trouble: three weeks ago, the Justice Department warned that it would broadly investigate - and prosecute - the protest movement.On a small table by the dais are stapled pieces of paper. "Programme for the Military Burning Ceremony." Biographies of the five. Their written statements. These are for the journalists.The five are here, in the thickening crowd. They torture them in front of the TV cameras: how dare they break the law?The crowd swirls with disputants.- The law? - the young man lashes out at his opponent. - Remember, once upon a time, a federal law required the extradition of escaped slaves. Who was right - those who renditioned slaves or those who rebelled against that law?I approach Mark Edelman, a nineteen-year-old cabinetmaker. He has a handsome face with eyes tired from sleeplessness. In half an hour Mark will burn his military ID card. Tonight is his idea. He risks more than the others because he is the only one of the five to be drafted. The other four are also subject to conscription, but are exempted for now. They burn their tickets in solidarity with Edelman.I ask Mark: "What do you want to achieve by your act?"He answers clearly, "I want to disassociate myself from all military violence, especially the military violence perpetrated by the Johnson administration in Vietnam. I hope that my protest will be one of the sparks, and that together they will eventually lead to a change in all U.S. foreign policy."...As Dr Gordon Christiansen, the chairman of the rally, ascended the -bridge, shouts erupted from the edge of the square. There are two dozen "patriots" in pickets. Dumb faces - really dumb faces - of people who are not -used to thinking. Not a single Communist among the five, three Catholics. But the picketers have an old song on their placards: "Beat the Reds in Vietnam and New York!", "The best Red is a dead Red!".From the throats the familiar: "Traitors! Cowards!"And the four "cowards" could have stayed at home at all, for they are not drafted into the army. "Cowards" take the risk of prison, choosing a troubled life and a quiet conscience.To the dais, as to the scaffold - down the steep wooden steps, one by one. But they are not being executed, they are performing a civil execution on Washington. Already thousands of people are in the square. Some are applauding, others are shouting "boohoo..."Thomas Cornell.Mark Edelman.Roy L and Ecker.James Wilson...David McReynolds...Brief statements, and a step away from the microphone.The last one, David McReynolds, throws some heated words into the crowd:- The traitors are not us, the traitors sit in Washington. They have betrayed American tradition. I say to Johnson: I voted for you, and you betrayed me. The present government has openly violated the UN Charter in both Vietnam and the Dominican Republic. President Johnson has destroyed his solemn commitments. In response, I am destroying that tangible link to the government - my military ID card. Thus I declare that the government in Washington, D.C., which orders the dropping of napalm on South Vietnamese villages, is my enemy, the enemy of every American.....The light of a lighter flashes in Edelman's hand. It's tiny, but everyone sees it, because everyone is looking at it. The square falls silent, and shouts of approval and outrage collide again. Solemn and stern, the five hold out white strips of tickets to the fire. Tongues of fire lick the paper.Suddenly an elastic jet of water flies at the lighter, at the tickets, at the five. Someone's stashed a portable tank. The flame goes out, water runs down the faces and clothes of the guys. The square gasps. A commotion at the dais. The police take the provocateur away. The crowd, heated by the episode, watches breathlessly as the five men rekindle their fire. Wet faces, tangled hair ... A lighter... Matches... The wet papers aren't burning...- Tear them up! --somebody in the square can't stand the tension.No, not tear them up, but burn them as promised, burn them and scatter them. And the papers finally burn, curling fringes of ash, burning their fingers.And the crowd starts a song, a beautiful song. Hundreds of voices pick it up. The petrified faces of five men come alive. They join in the song, and, drowning out everything, the song dominates Union Square: "We shall overcome." The five are happy. Happy no matter what tomorrow holds."Deep in my heart I believe: we will overcome..."The crowd disperses.The FBI agents, the men with triangles on their lapels, who stood silently behind the dais, are also leaving. The Federal Bureau of Investigation does not make arrests on the people.1966 г.THE WORLD FOR SEVEN CENTSNew York. Nine o'clock in the evening. The silent rustle of tyres. The green and red eyes of traffic lights. An RV squeaks its brakes at the intersection of Broadway and 72nd Street, where there is an underground station and four newsstands. A chauffeur in an apron tosses piles of newspapers over the side. On the apron, on the van, on the newspapers are the words, "Daily News."The underground pulls thousands of people in and out. Cars slow down at the kiosks. Seven cents, and a hand held out for a newspaper. Seven cents, a newspaper. Seven cents for a newspaperIt's a tabloid newspaper, but it's the most widely circulated newspaper in America: over two million on weekdays, over three million on Sundays. More Americans read it than any other newspaper. Blasphemous as it may sound, the Daily News is, in a sense, the people's newspaper; it serves spiritual food to the table of the "average American". And of the one thousand seven hundred daily American newspapers, the majority, with some tolerances, plus or minus, are made at the level of the Daily News. You could say that, under various names, this newspaper is read by the majority of Americans. And perhaps most of that majority reads nothing else.So what kind of world is being produced in the gleamingly gorgeous 42nd Street skyscraper where this very American newspaper has made its nest?Reader, would you like to take a trip into the world of the Daily News? One day, of course, is not enough. One day might be a fluke. A month won't give us a month - we don't have as much space as the Daily News. We'll take seven days, a weekly cycle, Monday to Sunday. Take the week of the 18th to the 24th of April, randomly, the first one that comes up. Here they are in front of me - seven issues, 672 half-size pages.Let's discard the 433 pages of commercial adverts that make the paper's main profit. Odes to 79-cent pork cutlets. Dithyrambs to discounted ladies' hairdos at $1.95, eulogies to car tyres guaranteed to last 40,000 miles at any speed, weather or driving style.We discard obituaries, engagement announcements, weddings, crossword puzzles, comic strips, children's "brilliant sayings" (five dollar awards for the best), adults' "moments of embarrassment" (five dollar bait), daily reviews of the in-house gossip columnists reporting who goes and comes where, who met, had breakfast, lunch, dinner and - hint hint - sleep.We sacrifice bridge tips, film, TV and radio programmes, theatre reviews and racecourse results.Let's concentrate our tour on the spiritual pork cutlets - current news and commentary. There's no getting around any of the little-noticed attractions.So, on the road! One more note, though. Some of this may offend you, reader, but what can you do; it's a sight to behold. Our journey is not a whim or a quest for sensationalism, although there will be sensationalism, of course. We have a serious purpose: the search for the average American. After all, the world of the Daily News is the world of its readers. Do they not patronise the Daily News, making it the most popular newspaper? Is it not for them that the Daily News endeavours? After all, not to stray too far from the truth, we can paraphrase the saying: tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are. So...Monday. Day one. On the front page, the two main topics are war and the sweet life. At the top, in large letters, "American raid closest to Hanoi." At the bottom, also in large type, is a photograph. The radiant smiles of two beautiful women. Caption: "They rule in Spain." Not Franco and his ministers. It's two radiant beauties. Jacqueline Kennedy, widow of the assassinated president, and Princess Grace, former film star, daughter of the American soap king and now wife of the Prince of Monaco: "They stole the public's attention when they attended a charity ball for 61 international debutantes in Seville, Spain, as guests of honour".The dollar leitmotif is on the second page. Mayor John Lindsay warns New Yorkers that either he will be allowed to raise taxes by $520 million a year, or he will fire 13,000 municipal employees that the world's richest city with a chronically deficient city treasury can no longer support. Page three introduces us to Timothy Leary, MD. The doctor is handcuffed. Next to him poses a grey-haired, burly FBI agent. And here's Dr Leary without handcuffs, against the backdrop of his own 60-room neo-Bavarian mansion. The metamorphosis in the photos and in the life of the former Harvard professor is explained by his experiments with "psychedelic" drugs. Dr Leary is cramped, nauseous and heavy in this world. Being an altruist, he intends to move others to another, spacious, better world of hallucinations and "scientific religion" - through mind-altering drugs. Lately, the doctor has become addicted to the drug LSD. Swallow less than a milligram of LSD on a sugar cube and you are no longer cramped, no longer nauseous, no longer heavy. Faces and things dance in riotous colours and spots, you're knocked out of the bonds of consciousness, caught up in hallucinations. Results? 16 detectives raided the mansion with arrest warrants and arrested 30 of the professor's followers in "varying degrees of undress," among them six children under the age of 12.Turn the page. More coloured spots. Doctors again. But the spots are organised into a film, and the doctors are off the cuff. The big headline is "Bedroom built for 694 people caught on colour film". Someone named Richard Lyons writes: "The most extensive study of sexual intercourse in history is published today in the fact-packed book Human Sexual Response." The book conveys in detail the mental and physical experiences of 382 women and 312 men aged between 18 and 89. They all participated in a study undertaken by Washington University in St Louis. They ranged from university professors and married couples to prostitutes. Some were paid, but most agreed voluntarily. Engaging in sexual intercourse in a university laboratory, the study subjects were hooked up to recording instruments, while simultaneously colour film machines captured their reactions." "We were playing with dynamite," admits project head Dr William Masters, anticipating possible criticism. "The Daily News" is also not averse to playing with such dynamite - sex, and even under the scientific seasoning, goes well.Let's hurry. There's so much more to come! This is a special report out of Philadelphia. Ronald Singleton, a "quiet, intelligent" teenager of 16, killed his mother, sister and grandmother with pliers. He started with his mother - after all, she was the one who prevented him from making a phone call to a girl he knew. Then his 11-year-old sister and grandmother, so they wouldn't give him away. Then, after hiding the pliers and cutting his hand with a knife, he called the police and presented his version of the unknown killer who had broken into the house. The cops quickly cracked the sucker.Tuesday. The front page is given over to the "sweet life." "A million-dollar baby for a funny girl" screams the newspaper cap. Singer Barbara Streisand made fame and millions by starring in the musical comedy "Funny Girl." Now she is about to become a mother Two radiant smiles - the star and her husband- "They are expecting a baby in mid-December, Bav-bara announced yesterday while on tour in London. She has been forced to cancel a concert tour that would have earned her more than a million dollars."On the second page, Vietnamese news. Goldwater ru ga g Johnson: "We are not fully utilising our air power." A correspondent in Saigon predicts "tougher" bombing of the DRV. A visiting soldier, Ronald Handelson, complains about the guerrillas, "They attack when you least expect them."An editorial prompts Johnson: "The best way to refute Goldwater's charge is to intensify the war, to escalate. It is this language that the Reds understand. Even more important, it will be endorsed by Americans determined to win."Wednesday. Front page - Police. Hero policeman Michael Telesco is injured in the line of duty. Here he is in his pyjamas, leaning back against a pillow. In another photo, his fiancée Joan DiLong is smiling. Their wedding is due to take place on Saturday but, alas, the injured policeman is not allowed to leave the house. "The Daily News, a faithful friend of the police, has secured an exception for Telesco, which is reported on the front page.The drama of Bernard Zovluk and his wife Aida. Zovluk, a chiromancer, treats racehorses and plays big in the races. His wife is a refugee from Cuba. Married three weeks ago. The chiromancer believed the emigrant had six million dollars, the emigrant was seduced by the chiromancer's winnings. Mistake of both sides. Now the emigrant is seeking alimony - $1,500 a week.Restless Mayor Lindsay conducts a firemen's orchestra. The musicians look suspiciously at the conductor. The orchestra costs the city $400,000, and rumour has it that Lindsay wants to shut it down."Well-dressed" Ronald Wissel is found dead in a car in midtown Manhattan. He had two bullets in his back, one in his neck and one in his temple. 25 detectives are searching for the killer.Before they brandish "two pigeons in flight" - Senators Fulbright and Mansfield. One recalls Truman, who called Fulbright an "over-educated son of a bitch."Another advice to Lyndon Johnson: "It would have been excellent if Johnson had emphasised in his speech that only a Communist is good if he is dead. We believe that is the real truth."Thursday. Family picture on the front page. Nelson Rockefeller, billionaire and governor of Nyo York, holding a children's book in his hands, explains numbers York, holding a children's book in his hands, explains numbers to his two-year-old son: "Rocky Junior is learning to count from an expert... Maybe Daddy is reading the tale of the three bears losing their trousers in the stock market.""In a navy-coloured suit, white shirt and blue tie, Mayor Lindsay calmly but impressively laid out his $520 million tax increase programme to the city council without backing down on a single point."Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defence, holds his pen in his teeth like a dagger. The paper's Washington correspondent reports, "McNamara bombed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with a load of statistics that a B-52 bomber couldn't lift." He pointed out that U.S. planes are nailing Vietnamese targets harder than Korean ones and unloading almost as much monthly tonnage of bombs on Vietnam as they did in the European theatre during World War II."The judicial narrative is, as always, abundant. Jerome Glucksman, head of the fraud bureau and Assistant New York State Attorney, is charged with blackmail and extortion. Two honourable gentlemen in handcuffs-"trash tycoons"-are arrested for ties to the Cosa Nostra criminal empire. (By long-standing "tradition," rubbish collection in New York City is under the control of the big gangsters, as it is a hugely lucrative business with a turnover in the tens of millions.) Irving Lippman, president of the "lacquer" corporation, is suing his wife. The wife demands alimony - a thousand dollars a week.Friday. Science gives the scoop. "Plastic heart beats in man." Marcel Rudder, a 65-year-old miner, was operated on in Houston. Dr Michael de Baikie pioneered the use of a plastic pump that distilled blood. (The pump helped, but the miner died of a broken heart a few days later.)"Top Secret Report" on the reorganisation of the New York Detective Service, which the Daily News has obtained. Detectives are now being merged into six centralised divisions within the police department: homicide and sex crimes, robbery, auto theft, drug smuggling and "other crimes".Another division is scheduled for deployment to South Vietnam, according to the newspaper's Saigon correspondent.The "honourable policeman" Frederick Eisen-Bach is imprisoned. Repeatedly commended for fighting extortionists in produniversi-mags, the hero is exposed as the ringleader of these extortionists and robbers.Mannequin model Erin Goldstein married a blind salesman, then became infatuated with a sighted salesman and faces the threat of divorce and child deprivation. Pictured is the blind man with his guide dog. A judge has granted him visitation with the girl in the Central Park menagerie. The blind man, fearing the child will be stolen, takes two guards he hired with him to the menagerie.Handcuffed, under the arm of a detective, is a solid man in black. John Diogardi, aka Johnny Dio, is arrested along with his adopted son, nephew and butcher friend. Fraudulently declaring bankruptcy of the butcher firm, they pocketed two hundred thousand dollars, showing the rest of the stockholders the kook.During surgery, Joan Reilly was photographed with an "uncovered upper body." After being cured, she sued, demanding the negatives and $50,000 for "moral damages."Saturday. "Ten unions back newspaper strike." There's Jacqueline Kennedy on the front page in an Andalusian costume, on horseback. She's also drinking sherry. "Mrs Kennedy, escorted by Spanish aristocrats, took a horseback ride through a colourful fair.""Big Allied victory in Vietnam - 522 guerrillas killed."Another man in handcuffs: Wendell Holterman, a discharged Vietnam War veteran, killed his wife.A patriotic story written by a cynic who needs to squeeze out a tear: the story of David Callis, a twenty-year-old California boy killed in the jungle. "He had a kind smile, he was good at everything he took on..... Why did he join the army? Everyone with sons and no sons wants to know: why?" David Callis didn't know that either. Borrowing phrases from novels he had read and Washington speeches, he wrote on the eve of battle, "Tomorrow morning I embark on my first journey into the unknown .... We all know that in this war the stakes are high, beyond our comprehension."Sunday. Last day. A three section issue of 240 pages, of which 185 pages are adverts.Screams the headline on the front page: "Four little sisters killed in fire. A second fire in Brooklyn brings the death toll to seven." Pictured is Mayor Lindsay with the four sisters' six-year-old brother.Second page. "Sexual explosion on college campuses. Drugs and assaults on girls are causing scandals at many colleges."Shining with a smile is engineer Donald Brenchak. His wife shines, only their infant screams, frightened by the reporter and not sharing her parents' happiness. Engineer Brenchak solved the Daily News' most intricate crossword puzzle and won five and a half thousand dollars.A lady in dark glasses comes down the stairs. Followed by two handcuffed men. Uncovered thieves "raspberry" in Brooklyn, taken 16 people, found stolen goods for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The lady in the dark glasses was running the raspberry.81 people died in a plane crash near Oklahoma City. Smiles shine on the three survivors.On pages 138-139 is a big report on a "double homicide" in Texas. One fine morning, Dallas students Shirley Stark and Susan Rigoby decided to visit friends in the town of Austin. Shirley persuaded her friend to stop by for an hour at the home of an acquaintance of student James Cross. The student killed one of them instantly. The other one raped and then strangled. Took the bodies to a closet. They stayed there the whole time the student was having fun with his mates. Later, the police, who arrested the killer, found the bodies buried in a vacant lot.It's McNamara again, and bombshells again in the Sunday Review. McNamara lashes out at his senatorial critics. "All this nonsense about a shortage of bombs is just misleading. We have 61,000 tonnes of bombs in South Vietnam in our inventory." And further, "50,000 bombs were dropped in March," McNamara said, "and combat sorties in the first 18 days of April exceeded those of March. He also said that the total bomb load of 50,000 tons "compares favourably" with the 48,000 tons of bombs dropped monthly in Africa and Europe during World War II, and with the monthly average of 17,500 TONN (During the Korean War..."***Our time is up, reader.We are parting from this merry-go-round. And it's spinning, spinning faster and faster - day after day, month after month, year after year. Rotations spit out over two million spitballs. And the spit doesn't disappear. A world of bourgeoisie and "tuff guys" - tough, heartless blokes who, if they reach into their pockets, don't go for a word - they go for a gun. The bizarre world of models and drug addicts, lawyers and millionaires, "stars" and gangsters. A human enclosure where order is enforced by handcuffed detectives, colts of policemen and courts, courts, courts. Where people are separated and lonely as wolves. Where people are united except by the need to pay taxes and guard their money, even on the far reaches, thousands of miles away, in Vietnam.Where is the goodness, reader, where is the human warmth? But so much cold alienation and violence. Morality is ridiculous and naive - there is only "moral hazard". Beauty, talent, has an exact price in dollars.So where does all this rush of sensationalism, murder, trials, voluntary hallucinations come from? Society, yes. Capitalism, yes. Let us not, however, diminish the individual merits of the Daily News. We have seen a great discovery, the solution to a problem that has been laboured over for centuries. The unexpected phenomenon of the perpetual motion machine. "The Daily News is harvesting what it has sown before, and sowing again, and sowing and sowing, and sowing and sowing, and harvesting again on its pages. And how many of them are there, these sowers, these vile newspapers, vile films, books and magazines? How many seeds have fallen into the soul of Ronald Singleton, who, remember, killed his mother with pliers for keeping him off the phone, and his sister and grandmother to keep them from giving him away?"The Daily News has made a blatant bet that the man is low. And she wants to keep him there. It's a matter of life and death for her. If the man rises up, she's finished.BROADWAY FAREThere are at least two Broadways. Broadway Common begins its winding path at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, next door to Wall Street, and stretches for dozens of kilometres, losing itself somewhere in obscurity, on the northern edge of New York. It is New York's longest street. And there's Broadway Shortcut, part of regular Broadway. It's "that" Broadway - synonymous, symbolic. Broadway in the evening. A dozen blocks in midtown Manhattan, between the sparkling skyscrapers of Sixth Avenue and the squalid darkness of Eighth, Ninth, Tenth. To the north, it is fenced in by the evening emptiness of Central Park. And on the south, too, it is flanked by emptiness. Bursting with the glow of 42nd Street, "the one" Broadway is bounded on the south by the desolate darkness of the Thirtieth Street shopping districts, where cars and people swarm by day, and in the evening there are only shuttered iron bars on doors and windows, silent mannequins, invisible but vigilant watchmen, invisible but guaranteed signal systems.This Broadway is famous for the electroneon dance of its adverts. The dance is ironic. Broadway winks with its millions of bulbs and tubes: what's easier, I'm all out in the open, all out. Electric seconds, minutes and hours beat out an advert for the watch firm Accutron. The Bond firm informs the ignorant in grandiose shining letters that no one in the world produces more men's ready-to-wear than it. Life magazine girded the triangle of the Elliade Chemical Tower with running news. The lights of Broadway and Seventh Avenue crash against the tower like a breakwater. The canopies of theatres and cinemas sparkle. The huge windows of cafes, diners, and shops are cleanly washed and chicly lit. Behind these windows people silently talk and laugh, open their mouths over glasses and plates.Everything is in sight, everything is in place. The only thing gone is that tireless electric smoker of Camel cigarettes, who for three decades in a row has been blowing smoke from his mouth, seductive smoke in rings.Evening Broadway in a Pavlovian way, the tail of his advertisement fluffed out. What but a tail does this bird have? The ad is just an introduction to Broadway. What does that have to do with the Accutron watch? And the suits of this what's-her-name. - Bond? And even that photographer's favourite smoker, now retired? They're all beggars, taking handouts from Broadway, willing to pay dearly for the right to add another feather to the peacock's tail. The old man has a hard, responsible job. In the sophisticated XX century, Broadway implements the second part of the ancient but tenacious and capacious formula: "Bread and spectacle!"Spectacle! A human river flows in fiery banks. Sailors in white kleshas and uniforms are swaying after the ocean and acquaintance with Broadway bars. Furred American business travellers are poking around: where and how to shake up? Fooled foreigners, hundreds of ways to New York. The sleepy-eyed American provinces are curious about how modern Babylon lives and entertains. Young couples trustingly dive into the Broadway river. And the regulars swim so deep and for so long that they get sick just from the oxygen. There he is, the regular, an outpost of dark deep Broadway, surfacing on his own, sticking out on the pavement. Looking around, muttering to passersby, "You want a girl?"And the policemen at the crossroads polish their batons by hand. The dark body of the baton unwinds on the strap, deftly intercepted by the heavy police palm. And one... And two... Eyes, like frontier searchlights, leisurely, without fuss, scour the horizon. All-knowing New York cops. Broadway's true academics.Broadway academies I admittedly didn't go through. Professionally, it's a pity - I lack a deep knowledge of the subject. However, I walked along Broadway, gazing. I got into the uneasy longing of this "great white way": simpletons bring their expectations here, and the stronger the expectations, the more certain the risk of disappointment. Something to think about. Broadway throws up some brain food. Maybe this is interesting too?Here's the intersection of Broadway and 42nd Street, "the world's major intersection," as the Americans have arbitrarily dubbed it - without any international jury.Here is an ocean of lights, a tense, red-hot cosmos of lights.Here you wonder what Prometheus, and Edison after him, were trying for, stealing fire from Mother Nature.Is it for those cinema canopies pinned with divisions of electric bulbs? There's a lewd cheapness on the screens. Or for these dazzling shops? There the shelves are stacked with hundreds of scruffy photo magazines with maximally naked girls and boys, textbooks of lesbian love and homosexuality tutorials. Or for these, already in reality, mercilessly illuminated unattached faces, on which life has stamped the seal of scum? A distinctive stamp, you can't go wrong. Just to walk down 42nd Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, under the glare of the cinema canopies, past the pornographic shops, in the crosshairs of these faces, just to walk - and that is a test of endurance, of squeamishness. The eyes groping the stranger - is he ours?"The World's Main Crossroads" holds records for the density of electric lights and humanity per square foot of floor space. It's the world's brightest-lit cloaca.What about Broadway academics with clubs? There are plenty of them, but Broadway has its own rules of the game.....The crowd is the master of Broadway. If the crowd disappears, the lights go out. But the crowd doesn't disappear because it's Broadway's slave.He lords it over it, dividing it with his spectacles.It takes it captive piece by piece, summoning the abundance and squalor of the American bourgeois age as its allies. Broadway is littered with the signs of the century from top to bottom, from the necklaces of advertising to the bottoms of its windows. The planet is shrunken and compressed by commerce, the planet hunts for the dollar: ebony gods from Kenya, Aztec masks, Japanese wickerwork, Hong Kong crockery, Polynesian, Italian, French restaurants. Cameras and film cameras, tape recorders and transistors, gramophones and portable televisions are amazing marvels of technology. Broadway knows how to turn them into amulets around the neck of the savage: be gone, evil force of boredom, emptiness and meaninglessness of existence, be gone with the turn of a wheel on a transistor.Technically the age is abundant, but spiritually man is wretched - that's Broadway's working rate.All things pass and all things remain is its cardinal hope.The Broadway concept of entertainment and spectacle is as old as the world - the commodification of cruelty and women. Too bad gladiators can't be tortured alive in arenas. But they are dragged out for the amusement of millions in Hollywood super-action films. You can't light the fires of the Inquisition. But there is something to be had here. Let's leave the stuffy pavement and look into the so-called "Paris Wax Museum", right here on Broadway.It's cool with air-conditioning. The cleanliness induced by hoovers. Carpets. Wax figures in glass compartments. And behind other panes of glass, slightly touched with a patina of rust, natural, terrible Inquisitorial iron. "Heretic's collar" with iron spikes inside: "Used for victims who didn't want to go to the cell." Like a medical duck, but iron: "A device for pouring boiling oil into the victim's mouth." An opec sword for chopping off fingers. "Flesh piercer." "Spinal breaker," iron for crushing wrists. Again for flesh. For gouging out eyes. For branding.And here comes the crown of it all. The "Iron Maiden" kindly opened its gut, studded with a universal set of spikes. The heretic was inserted inside and the halves of the Iron Maiden were slammed shut. Even the executioners couldn't bear the sight of a twisted corpse. "The world's most famous instrument of torture and death."Is Broadway really that cruel? No, he's joking.Instruments of torture are exhibited not for a tour of history, but as a spectacular commodity.And the women? As many as you want. Film stars are made into modern-day courtesans, sex idols, sex bombs. That's the happy lot of the big film corporations. But there are poorer, smaller companies, the product is not of the same quality, but there's more pornography. Here is an "unrivalled, daring, penetrating into the essence" film "Girls for Rent" - 45 minutes of pure sadism, half a minute - edifying "happy ending".Maybe something tangible, not on the screen? Broadway has thought of everything. There are dark statues propping up the walls - Negro women pushed here by the abyss of Harlem poverty and despair.And if you like the glamour of the dance halls? The Broadway river trickles into their yawns, too. Give a coin, choose a paying partner - there will be no refusal. Dance. And again, make a coin. For every dance. The dance hall is old-fashioned. It rejects modern dance. Dancehall is for the dense intimacy of the tango.Broadway is vast, like an epic, like an element. It ranges from prostitutes to preachers to anti-war.An old woman with strong teeth and an embarrassed smile gibbering about "salvation" on the corner of 45th Street. The old woman selflessly defends Jesus Christ, who is expertly crucified over and over again on Broadway screens, making money from biblical stories. In her hands the old lady has some ridiculous tapestries: Satan in tights like a bar girl, Adam and Eve, an angel with heavy wings. Like the dance hall, the old lady is against modernity, modern skyscrapers, modern bishops. She is for the Apostle Peter: "You will not be redeemed with corruptible silver or gold from the vanity of the life handed down to you from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a pure and clean lamb".The old woman is listened to. Do they hear? Her partner is handing out religious leaflets to passers-by. The leaflets are being passed around.Broadway is free. You can be anything you want to be, within Broadway limits.Three homosexual guys are walking down the pavement, wiggling their asses. The guys are curled and pomaded, with lipstick and eyeliner. Eyes that look defiant. Guys earn their bread on Broadway, too.Broadway freedom? How often is it only the freedom of the individual to turn himself inside out. It is the peddlers' conscious need to gut a man if he succumbs.All is easily and freely conjugated by those whose lockpick to the world and life is the dollar. One day I stopped in front of a small, two-window gramophone record shop. One window was monopolised by photographs of an elder in a purple robe, with the benign face of an Osprey. It was the owners honouring Cardinal Spellman on the 50th anniversary of his service to the Catholic Jesus Christ. From another display case, a naked, luscious beauty peered piquantly at the Cardinal from a record case. The maiden was performing songs under the collective name of "Hot Pepper". This neighbourhood meant that on the occasion of the Cardinal's anniversary "Hot Pepper" was cheaper, that a sale was announced....And the colourful river of people flows down Broadway, sweaty, hot. The houses, heated by the day, give their warmth to the evening street. It's a good time for a cold beer. Bars are plentiful. They're in the streets facing Broadway. Bars are just a bottle of beer for 50 cents. Bars with girls behind the bar are 75-cent beers. Bars with girls behind the bar and dancing Girlz are $1.50 beers. Here are the gawkers outside a bar on 49th Street, by the aquarium glass, through which you can see the two girls and the bartender behind the bar from the street. You notice the bandstand when you enter the bar and cut off your escape route. The sharp-eyed barman beckons you to the bar: what can I get you? He opens a bottle, sets down a glass.It's crowded behind the bar, all standing sideways, all eyes on the low stage. Herl in white boots seems to be rubbing the floor, twirling her legs and hips to the deafening music. Bloody hell, there really is quite a show here. There are four other jazz players and three girls with tambourines. But what's with the weird drummer? Oh, that's my husband's mechanical, moving mannequin! It's cleverly done. He not only moves his arms, but also sways his torso, even opens his mouth in mechanical ecstasy. Dexterous? No. Perhaps the three saxophonists are cleverly done. Only later you realise that the three are also robots. All the noise, it turns out, is coming from a big, piano-like box. The only real sounds are the lazy tambourines in the hands of the gerls.Well, what about the girls? They're really alive, aren't they? Hair. Eyes flashing. And Pearl is silently scrubbing the floor, grabbing the invisible links of the rope ladder with her hands. Damn, but she's got the same moves. But she's leaving, she's leaving. She's alive after all. She's followed by another, then a third, finally a fourth, the longest-legged one. She's wearing shoes, not boots. Seven minutes each, dancing non-stop. No soul, no passion. The more mechanical, the more glamour.Lucky girls. They would have been replaced by automatons, but there are no automatons yet, which would give off an inviting current of a woman's body. They'll invent them, they'll invent them. Automatons are cheaper.I look at the men at the counter. All their attention is on the bandstand. Neatly trimmed necks. Fresh shirts. Ties.I turned away for a minute, not immediately realising that the haircut back of his head in front of me had changed.The young bartender, a big guy with a hawkish nose, languidly rolls a pink, already chewed gum in his mouth.And the wide guy in the corner, near the aquarium glass, alone, self-consciously shuffles his feet under the clattering noise. A strange guy, not like the others. In a cowboy. Drunk.And there's another man in the corner. He's weird, too. Doesn't look at the girls. Hanging his head heavy over the bar. Pokes his cigarette butt into the ashtray to the beat of the music. Finger tapping on the wall of the glass. To the beat of the music. He's thinking.Suddenly one of the haircut men has a smart, tired, sad look in his eyes.It's time! That's enough Broadway fare for today.Downstairs, in the underground, a policeman melancholically adjusts his wide, thick belt. The jolt of the carriages. The rumble of the carriages. People's silence...1966 г.HEROSTRATUS OF ARIZONAThis guy got his way.They came, reporters from near and far, the omnivorous biped, they came in a flash, as if on the command "whistle all hands on deck." And not just the gumshoe.From the big cities and the big newspapers came the aces of the pen, whose name alone is tantamount to sensation. Until a fortnight ago, some of these aces were travelling in two self-propelled press cars on the tail of President Johnson - President Johnson himself! They described Manila and Bangkok, and the colourful carpet given to Mrs Johnson by the natives of Samoa, and the Texas suit with the presidential eagle on the sleeve, in which Lyndon Johnson appeared before American soldiers at the South Vietnamese base of Cam Ranh, and now they are writing about his, Robert Smith's, white striped shirt and trousers, worn, canvas, faded blue, and his rubber slippers. And they trace the footprints left by those slippers in the small town of Mesa, fifteen miles from the big Arizona city of Phoenix, stomping on the yard of the school he attended, poking at the door of the house where he lived with his father, a retired aviation major, his mother, a homemaker, and his younger sister.And every day, even these snobs - they have seen it all and are tired of looking at it all - dutifully sit down at their typewriters and expertly and professionally beat out the beats, chase the lines, hurry, compete - yes, compete! - in order to fulfil his, yesterday still unknown Robert Smith's, dream: to get into the newspapers, into the headlines, on the TV screens, on the air. And from the Arizona desert, which was still hot in November, to the Great Lakes, which had already turned cold, millions, tens of millions, maybe more than a hundred million people read and heard his name.Oh, Robert Smith's great moment! It all came out as he "planned"-that is his word, and it is appreciated by the writing fraternity.- I knew I had to kill a lot of people to get into the newspapers of the world.That's what he told the cops taking him to the Phoenix jail.        - I wanted to kill forty people,'' he said, ``to make a name for myself. I wanted people to know my name.He killed five - three girls, a young woman and her three-year-old daughter.But even that was enough to enforce an unsigned but unbreakable contract between him, another "mass murderer", and the American press. He honoured the commitments he made by sensationalising the story. II the other side sends its plenipotentiaries to Mesa and proves that the case will not follow.But, trying their best, the plenipotentiaries grumble. He is wretched, this Arizona morel who has cut short five human lives. He's made on an American assembly line, this standard Herostratus. He is devoid of passion and drama, smooth as a billiard ball. And so his current biographers cling to his white striped shirt, blue canvas trousers, rubber slippers, .22 calibre pistol, two hundred yards of nylon rope and fifty plastic sandwich bags for an hour with dull monotony one after another, from newspaper to newspaper, from issue to issue.He's hard to play because he's arranged himself in an extremely dry, bare-bones scheme - kill to get in the paper.The wretched homonoculosus left newspapers to return to newspapers. He has been brought up by the evil power of criminal reports, criminal chronicles, sensational murders. He's only eighteen, but he's long been ignited by the desire to kill, for killing is the surest way to become famous.So he went to Mesa High School and was a diligent first grader, reading science journals and making homemade patriotic films about the White House. He had no friends, but no enemies either. He was, according to schoolmates and neighbours, a nice boy - a nice guy - and had no animosity towards anyone. Notice he had no animosity towards anyone. But the urge to kill was ripe in him. To kill not for love or hatred, not out of jealousy or revenge, without any schismatic ideology. To kill not a name, not someone in particular, but just to kill.To kill a lot, to be sure, to get a big hit in the newspapers.Now he tells everything willingly during interrogation. It is clear from the testimony that two recent stories have strengthened his resolve and helped the necessary arithmetic calculations. The first was in Chicago, where one Richard Speck, a former sailor, murdered eight nurses. The second was in Austin, Texas, where former Marine soldier Charles Whitman barricaded himself in a university tower and opened fire on the people below: he shot forty people, killing fourteen. Both stories got "big press."- Forty men would be fine," said Herostratus of Arizona to himself.How easy it is to kill in Arizona!Robert Smith already had a .22 calibre pistol, bought by his affectionate parents on the day of his birth - not for killing, they did not know about their son's cherished dream, but to "practice shooting". They wanted the boy to be a real man. And the boy was already picking up targets. Teachers at school? But would you kill many? A bank? Banks are guarded, for crying out loud. Supermarket? Not a good place for a mass murder.He leafed through the Yellow Pages commercial directory, the Yellow Pages, and.... Eureka! "Beauty College, 41 North Stapley Drive. And simply, without advertising, a small, 45-person course for beauticians and hairdressers, to which is attached-for practice-a beauty salon. "If you are looking for a career in beauty, I suggest you visit our beautiful school," the college owner invited. Robert Smith decided to attend a "beauty college" to pursue a career as an assassin.Now the other question is, how to kill? Shooting is unoriginal. He'd rather strangle his victims. That way it's more sensational. He bought fifty plastic sandwich bags: plastic doesn't leak air. Fifty-per forty people plus ten spare, just in case. He bought another two hundred feet of strong nylon rope to tie up his victims. He also stocked up on ammunition (not a problem in Arizona!), and stowed it all, along with his pistol and two hunting knives, neatly from the evening before. Admittedly, he then discovered, after trying the pouches on himself, that the human head was larger than a sandwich and that the pouches were no good.And so last Saturday he got up early in the morning at his parents' house (price - $15,000, "the colour of peach") and went through the quiet streets lined with date palms to the building of the "beauty college". And at the same time there, on a date with stupid Arizona death, were walking and driving seven people whom he had neither known nor seen before that Saturday morning, who neither knew nor had ever seen him. Three eighteen-year-old girls who had chosen "careers in beauty": Mary Olsen, Glenda Carter, and Bonita Harris. Carol Farmer, 19-year-old wife of a pilot serving in Alaska. Joyce Sellers, 27, wife of a motel owner who decided to visit a "beauty college" for a weekend getaway, was with her two daughters, three years and three months old. They had no one to leave them at home for.He entered the building following Mrs Sellers and her children and, after looking around at those gathered, ordered everyone to move to the back room. Survivor Bonita Harris recounts: "We thought he was just joking. They had no idea yet that he was serious about becoming famous.Robert Smith took a gun out of his bag and fired it into the air, and that's when they did his bidding. He was calm and smiling, but his brain was working, coming up with an original. He ordered them to lie down on the linoleum floor in a fan, like spokes in a wheel, with their heads towards the centre.- We laid down," Bonita Harris says. - And a woman with two children was with us. The baby cried, and it made her mad. Mary Olsen questioned who he was going to kill or if he was going to kill everyone. He said that we were all going to die and that he didn't plan to kill the children, but he would, since they had found themselves here, and that "because they were going to be adults too." The girls cried, and Mary asked him, "Do you mean it?" He said yes, and she began to pray. He asked what she was doing, and Carol Farmer said Mary was praying, "if you don't mind." He said he did mind and started shooting. I think he shot Glenda first, then me, and I played dead so he wouldn't shoot again. Then he shot the others, and that's all I remember.How easy it is to kill in Arizona!When police arrived, three-month-old Tamara was crying from beneath the dead body of Joyce Sellers - her mother had covered the baby to save her.It all took moments, all accomplished in the course of a single phone call. Mrs Cummings, the headmistress of the college, had gone into a side room for the phone call just before Smith arrived. When she hung up and returned to the parlour, she saw a young man with a gun and, unnoticed, rushed back and called the police.Police officer Gary Johnson was met by a smiling killer. He acted subdued. A shootout with the police was not in his plans: it could have taken his life and long-awaited rays of publicity.- I've killed a few people here," Smith said carelessly to the policeman. - The gun is in this bag.Then policeman Johnson asked Smith what he would have done if his mother, Smith's mother, and sister had walked in while he was counting out two bullets to each victim, reloading the gun three times.- I think I would have shot them too," Smith replied. - I wanted to kill forty men to make a name for myself.And the wire services, the fastest ones, were the first to make a name for him, before he was even in prison. Pictures and sayings of a smarmy, swarthy lad with a vague smile adorn the front pages of the newspapers. And newspaper investigators have been sending lengthy reports from Mesa for days now, skilfully squeezing this lemon, searching, sniffing out everything that's good for business. And the cops are eagerly giving interviews, lawyers and psychiatrists are making clever statements, basking in the peripheral glow of Robert Smith's herostratic fame.And there is still the first hearing, and then the trial, and then, goodness knows, appeals and appeals and even the dearly bought memoirs from the prison cell - how much more to live for, how much more grease for the wheels of sensationalism, until this perpetual motion machine is revved by a new "mass murderer" following in the footsteps of Robert Smith, as Robert Smith followed in the footsteps of Richard Speck and Charles Whitman.It is not new, this tragicomic dance, only its victims are new. It is so old that to write about it is to repeat oneself. But it is not this repetition that is frightening, it is its unstoppability. Try to shout to these newspapers, this television: what are you doing! You are breeding murderers. After all, here before you is a classic example of your own monstrous handiwork!Even if they hear, they won't listen. They won't ban the sale of guns, they won't ban training manuals for killers from the newspaper and book pages, both of which are lucrative. Nor will the temptation to kill and destroy disappear. The Smiths of Mesa have a stronger temptation to kill and destroy than Herostratus of Ephesus.1966 г.OF THE NAVAJO INDIANSNavajo is the largest Indian tribe in the United States. There are 110 thousand people. The Navajo Reservation is located in the north-east of the state of Arizona. It covers 16 million acres.From the handbookIn the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce I saw a unique advertisement, a feuilleton by Art Buchwald. The arrogant New Yorker had flown to this small Northern Arizona town to share the fruits of his scholarship with the provincials. He began grumbling already at the aerodrome: "What kind of air do you have? How do you breathe it?" He opened his mouth like a fish ruthlessly deprived of its native element. He threatened to fly away immediately. And he calmed down only when the driver of the giant lorry took pity and let him nestle against the exhaust pipe like a mother's breast for a fiver.So, Flagstaff is famous for the freshest, best air in America, the clearest sky, the abundance of Arizona sunshine, its proximity to the Grand Canyon, which is familiarly called "the biggest hole on earth," and to the planet Pluto. The planet was tracked down in Flagstaff in 1930 by the telescope of the famous Lowell Observatory. There are five observatories here, and they now strengthen ties with the moon by mapping it for American astronauts. North of Flagstaff is a "national monument," Sunset Crater, which last erupted nine centuries ago. Lava has ploughed up the ground and frozen a nostalgic ashy slag on which the devil himself could break his leg. This is where they train astronauts for moonwalks.Doing business on clear skies and space, Flagstaff eschews factory chimneys. He prefers observatories and the Northern Arizona University. But it's dangerous for a Soviet correspondent in America to be interested in space, and he might be mistaken for a spy. I stayed away from the astronomical hill.I went to the Grand Canyon, a breathtaking spectacle of nature's mausoleums, and then at the university I asked about the Navajo Indians. As close as the Moon is to Flagstaff, the Navajo are even closer. Tuba City, the reservation's western boundary, lies just 75 miles to the north. Turns out miles don't solve anything. Professor Giusti, who was making the case for me, was a little embarrassed when someone on the other end of the line explained to him that he didn't understand the trouble and that it wasn't reasonable for a redskin to meet with redskin students. My interlocutors either knew little or met questions about Indians with derisive smiles - what an original. Pluto and the Moon remained Flagstaff's two approved attractions.Still, one could not get past the Indians there either. They stood at the doors of the bars on Santa Fe Avenue, wearing jeans, cowboy shirts, and hats firmly fitted on their heads. Their faces were broad, not red, but yellow-earthy. Straight short hair, black with blue. Stocky figures.Oshi stood in plain sight, right on the pavement, while nearby, across the highway, the endless freight trains of the Santa Fe Railway were whistling and dashing through the air.And no one noticed them. Like a void, they were freely pierced by that famous white man's stare described by a Negro who called his book "The Invisible Man." It's the look of looking but not seeing. It's the way you look at footmen. Negroes - until they make you look at yourself differently. A pavement bollard, you don't see it, you walk round it.On Santa Fe Avenue, it was the Indians who were invisible.They pay a particularly generous tribute to civilisation on weekends. Then the drunk Indians are loaded into police vans, taken to court, fined, and taken (briefly) to jail. They are lukewarmly, habitually scorned for their unskilled handling of "firewater."They are most despised by police officers, squeamishly turning out Indian wallets and pockets and shifting green dollars into their own pockets and wallets. Recently there was another high-profile scandal in the police department, but it never solved the Indian riddle: how do you prove to a judge, a white judge, that you were ripped off not only by Joe, the swift bartender in the starched apron, but also by Bob, the burly policeman?- My God, who needs ideas? Unless it's Professor Fox and the other weirdos who care about everything.I heard these words in Byron Fox's office from a university sociologist. They were said with an irony that covered tenderness and adoration. Old man Fox slouched under the burden of the compliment. A Quaker, a pacifist, the local Jesus Christ, and by occupation a professor of international relations. When he urged students and faculty to march in protest against the Vietnam War, he was crucified by threatening phone calls. The march to Calvary - from the campus to the post office - had to be postponed.Who needs Indians?A friend of Fox's wisely observed that for any business to succeed in America, you need publicity, publicity^ restless pushers. Indians don't have publicity. The Pet Animal Welfare Association, which cares for the miserable plight of dogs in the crowded big cities and defends their right to nip on the pavements, has more publicity and pushers than the Indians.So, on my way to the Navajo Nation, I experienced in Flagstaff one of the root problems of half a million American Indians: the cruel indifference of the Big Land to reservation islands.Flagstaff has ties to the moon, not Tuba City, and even the buses don't go to the reservation. I was taken there by Jim, aka Yasha Elegant, a cheerful student who bifurcates between two foreign languages - French is easier for him, but Russian teachers get paid more. We sang "Moscow Evenings," leaving behind the sticky April snow of Flagstaff, and the further north we travelled, the fewer cedars and pines there were under the Arizona sky, and at last the road entered for a long time the bare rocks of the ancient desert, where there is even a "dinosaur trail" for tourists, with three-toed clumsy footprints on the rocks.Close to this trail lies Tuba City - not a city at all, but a kilometre of a single street with pavements under elm trees, school buildings, a hospital, houses of officials, teachers and doctors and the headquarters of the Tuba City Agency. The Reservation is territorially divided into five agencies, and Tuba City is the administrative centre of the westernmost agency. It was founded in 1878 by Mormons who illegally seized some treaty Indian land. At the beginning of our century they were asked to leave it by the federal government, and they left, probably without regret, this wilderness where life hangs by a thread of key oases. What's left of the Mormons is the sturdy stonework of the Tuba City Motel, which immediately brought back to my mind a resthouse in the town of El Obeid, sunk in the sands of Sudan's far southwest. It's not about the dingy windows, old furniture and drab sheets. Do you know the smell of colonialism? This place smelled of colonialism.And from behind a rickety door with a red arrow reaching for the bell button came the manager of the motel, as well as of the petrol station, cafe, and factories, the ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of some big corporation, not averse to Indian pennies. The "ambassador" was of age. At home without a tie. He had lived here for seventeen years.He was intrigued by the first Russian in Tuba City. And he began to talk about the need for mutual understanding between our countries, giving me an experienced look and writing the number seven on the registration form; the lousy room cost no more than four. (Looking ahead, I'll say that he did charge four.)- It's like a different state here. It's like Mexico instead of the U.S.," he said, reinforcing my El Obeid analogy.Then I went on a date with Mr Howell. I set up a little ambush, and Mr Howell did receive me, realising that a strange visitor who had made his way to Tuba City from as far away as New York would not back down. He looked at me suspiciously.- You've noticed we have no checkpoints or fences," he said, looking warily across his polished desk. - Did you notice where the reservation began? You didn't? Well, they're free people and they can leave the reservation at any time and come back to it.He emphasised the word 'freedom'.Mr Howell has the most substantial office in this part of the Indian wilderness, a secretary and a position as chief of the Tuba City Agency. He has three-eighths Iroquois blood in his veins, and later, tempering his suspicion, he drew a family tree on a notepad, carelessly drawing his ancestors in squares.Mr Howell is an official of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the supreme Indian trustee, based in Washington. A three-eighths Iroquois, he stiffly outlined the only path he believes Indians are given to follow and which they have 'largely already travelled - dissolution into the American mass, the death of their own culture, traditions, way of life.'He picked up the telephone receiver.- Miss Jorgenson? Howell speaking. I have a reporter here from Russia. Yes, yes, from Russia. Show him your school. What? Show him anything he wants to see. We don't have any secrets, do we?It was a large boarding school for 1,100 Navajo children, with bright classrooms and corridors, two-storey rows of dormitory beds and a clean, mechanised dining hall where meals were served three times a day. A free eight-year school where the BID paid for everything from textbooks to lamb chowder, a thorough school where children came from poverty-stricken hogans made of clay and stones, taught them English and other subjects, taught them hygiene, made them Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, took them to train stations, airfields, cities, opening up a world beyond the desert covered by sage bushes.There were no secrets there, except for one, but even that was not hidden by the outspoken Miss Jorgenson. It was a sanitarium, an accelerated assimilation station.By entering it, the Navajo sign, unknowingly, an act of renunciation of their people. It starts with a renunciation of language - teaching is in English only. Of the 42 teachers, only three are Navajo.The largest Indian tribe in the United States has no written language, and no one cares to create one. There are no historians, writers, poets - nothing but oral folklore preserved by herbalists.At school, the little Indian is deprived of his roots. Later he will realise what that is.After school he will find that he has no job, no place, no peace among the poverty of the reservation, and he will rush out into the big world, but there he must fight for his place in the sun, must compete with those who have learned the art of survival from generation to generation, and there he will encounter indifference, the contemptuous nickname "chiff," and the bewilderment inspired by television films: an Indian, and no feathers....We went from class to class and from one school house to another, and Miss Jorgenson was the first to greet the nannies in the dormitory and the cooks in the canteen. But there was an unsociability and distrustfulness about them, as if the war with the "Anglo"-that is the Navajo name for white Americans-was still going on.We drove two miles southwest to another outpost of the "dominant culture," the Curley Trading Post. It combines the functions of a village store, a trading post, and a pawnshop. At the entrance to the yellow squat house sat an ancient Indian in a black hat, with a wrinkled old woman's face. He looked round the two "Anglos" stealthily, without dignifying them with curiosity. A pretty Indian woman ran the cash register. Several other Navajo women in gypsy frilly skirts and shawls were looking at the colourful, eye-catching labels on tins and cartons. At the back entrance wool was piled up, and in a two-metre-long sack suspended over a pit, hidden almost up to his neck, a skinny Indian danced, tucking in the sheep's tribute. Here, from the back, the Navajos turn in their wool and meat.A big, blue-eyed, well-built man with tight trousers and a Western hat on his handsome shaved head ruled over everything. The owner of the trading post. Needless to say, he was a thoroughbred Anglo.He led us behind a folding metal grille and a padded steel pawnshop door. The walls were hung in three rows with necklaces, bracelets, beads, jewelled belts. In a cupboard lay rings and earrings.I saw for the first time the poetry of the Navajo, their love of discreet but true beauty, of the noble avaricious play of chased silver and turquoise in ancient brown veins.Like wool and meat, beauty was exchanged for bread, salt, groats, tinned food.Twenty or thirty Navajos a day, from near and far, or even travellers, visited the moneylender.The big man shook in the palm of his hand a necklace with large turquoise stones arranged in a silver horseshoe for good luck.And this is an antique. It's worth five hundred dollars ...I looked at the tag tied to the necklace with a string. It was pawned for $18. The big guy wasn't embarrassed.- Well, they'll buy it back for eighteen plus five per cent.- And if they don't, will you sell it for $500?- Yes.He explained that he gave his clients six months' oroku and could postpone the ransom for another two or three months if something happened-a wedding or a death or a birth. With the equanimity of a kite that knows where the prey is to be found, he answered the question as to why they carry their family heirlooms to him.- They don't care about tomorrow. They have a dollar today, they'll spend it, and tomorrow - whatever God sends.More than once I heard these words, confident and trustworthy words of supermen peddlers, doing business on the uncalculatedness of the Redskins.- So your business is profitable?- It's a lot of work. You're on your feet from morning till night. And you live here.- Is it still a lucrative business?- It's a lot of work.He led us out through a bewildered line of shoppers.On the way back, Miss Jorgenson spoke of him with reverence: the richest man in the county, selling unredeemed jewellery to the teachers for a reasonable price.The school was proud of its peaceful co-existence with the moneylender.In the evening, after having dinner at a café near the petrol station, where a jukebox played "Arrivederci, Roma" and three guys looked at three girls, I returned to my colonial motel. It was dark and quiet, and only the school superintendent was stirring behind the wall, promising to take me tomorrow to Window Rock, the administrative centre of the reservation.I was leafing through the essays of seventh grade students that my history teacher had given me. The essays were about the Soviet Union. "Russia has a big country called the Soviet Union," Katie Spinser wrote. - No one knows exactly how many people live there. Freedom in Russia is not always as free as it is in the United States..." Sackley Cleeley picked up on this theme, "They are not allowed to read newspapers, listen to the radio, watch television, and do other things that we do in the United States. In the United States, we can study as much as we want and work at different jobs..."It was a lot of laughing through tears, but I had to hold both back so as not to wake the school inspector behind the wall.***In New York City, trying on a map of Arizona, the boundaries of the Navajo Reservation, with the clear rectangle of the Hopi Reservation inscribed in it, I imagined how interesting this journey from Tuba City to Window Rock, from west to east, across almost all of Navajo land, might be. But the school superintendent who graciously took me in his car was in a big hurry. There were 153 paved, well-paved, and silent miles on Road 264, and at the end of them Window Rock, where I was transformed by the will of the State Department into the likeness of a goat tied to a peg: with the right to nibble the grass for information only within a 25-mile radius.Navajo land, then Hopi land, then Navajo land again, flowed outside the car window at 70 miles an hour, the smoky pink of the famous Painted Desert, a tourist attraction and the subject of Barry Goldwater's photographic ambition, The tiny settlements of Hotevilla, Orai-bi, Pollack, Jeddito, glimmered and drifted away, unexplored, unknown, teased in vain. A desolate plateau with the unenvious majesty of the harsh expanse. Layered pies of sandstone. Nature's cuisine is meagre here. And dry. Naked riverbeds like the footprints of a prehistoric lizard. Water is expensive. Natural reservoirs are scarce. Artesian wells are $10,000 a pop.We made only two stops. On one occasion, the inspector turned off the tarmac and onto the dusty desert gravel, towards a Hopi village - unlike the Navajo, the Hopi Indians are sedentary.There were no streets in the village. The mud-brick houses crowded together, and stood still in front of each other, establishing their kinship through the battlement windows. The village was closer to the Arab East than to America with its motley advertising colours. Beggar women looked at us as if we were invaders. No men in sight. Turning around, we departed.The second stop was longer. In a modern building by the roadside, owned by a Hopi artists' collective, the inspector was ordering jewellery for his wife. By some parts of his blood he is Indian too, though not Holi or Pe Navajo.Again I saw this beauty without clamour or fashion, timeless rather than the 1967 model, unfamiliar but accepted at once. There was dignity again, a sense of proportion and colour in the wicker plates and baskets, in the homespun rugs, in the juxtaposition of silver and turquoise.And the Navajo were never near Road 264, those nomadic sheep herders who make their temporary hogans out of clay, twigs and stones, cast out evil spirits of disease in elaborate ceremonies conducted by herbalists, profess a kind of harmony with nature, and do not even suspect that anyone calls them Navajo, because they call themselves "dine" - "people". The people were swallowed up by the desert. On the way there were only their tribesmen, who were travelling on high seats of Ford and Chevrolet trucks.By the end of the third hour the desert was alive with squat, sturdy pines and rather generous, though worthless from the sheep's point of view, sage bushes. After passing the round Civic Centre, a sort of cultural centre, and the combined courthouse and jail, we entered Window Rock. On the outskirts loomed a massive rock with a large hole in the top. Window Rock means window-rock, a window in the rock.The inspector pulled up outside the Window Rock Lodge Motel and went behind the counter to eat a hamburger, as if he had driven all the way there just to meet the timely arrival of a fresh patty stuffed into a round bun and drizzled with ketchup.I rented a motel room, getting a bed, table, chair, broken lamp, howling wind, and neat barchans of creamy sand under the door for four nights. 165 million years ago, in the Mesozoic Era, those wind, sand plus water drilled a window in the rock, unaware that in modern times it would become a symbolic window to America for the Navajo. In 1936, the Bureau of Indian Affairs established a reservation administrative centre here. After World War II, Window Rock also housed the tribal government.It was Friday, the end of the workday and the eve of the weekend. Window Rock was dying out at automobile speed. Indian servants were going home, sitting outside the offices in cars with the words on the sides: "Official. Navajo Tribe." In the motel café, a smooth-coated Navajo policeman chatted with a beautiful Navajo waitress. She had a Sophia Loren hairdo and a look borrowed from a magazine cover.The corridors of the main administration building were clean and empty, the left wing reserved for the tribal government, the centre for the BID staff. In the largest office, under a portrait of the tribal council chairman, Raymond Nakai, sat an elderly, dignified-looking man--Mr Graham Holmes. "Anglo."- I guess I have this reservation under my command," was the mocking but firm definition of his position by Mr Holmes, the reservation director, Washington's chief local arm.He has a staff of 4,500. He himself is a lawyer from Oklahoma with 18 years of service in the BID. And Mr Holmes' chair has a longer history.In 1863, pacifying the warlike Navajo tribe, General Carlton gave an order: men - to kill indiscriminately, women, children, sheep, horses - to seize, crops - to destroy. (Girls were sold to slave traders, interpreting the order expansively.) Colonel Kit Carson's nine companies of volunteers and the surrounding Ute, Zuni, and Hopi tribes set upon the Navajo completed the task. Then there was the "long walk" 300 miles away, to the south-eastern corner of New Mexico, to the "Navajo enclosure" - Fort Semner. Seven thousand were brought there under escort, "losing" many of them along the way. Then three hungry years, lean rations looted two-thirds by BID officers and officials and supplemented by rats and wild roots, cold winters without fuel or shelter, and homesickness. In 1868, despairing of the experiment, Washington returned the Navajo to their native land between the four sacred mountains.They came with their memories firmly notched and with a paper in an English language they did not know, which also bore eighteen crosses, the signatures of the tribe's illiterate leaders. Both the memory and the paper still stand today, defining the Navajo's moral and legal relationship with the "Anglo". The paper was the treaty establishing the reservation. The tribal communal land and the tribe itself were placed under the trusteeship of Washington.Graham Holmes is the distant successor to the ferocious Colonel Kit Carson. An intelligent successor. There is no lead in his voice, but the good-natured condescension of a guardian and mentor. Under him are not soldiers but teachers: 92 per cent of BID spending goes on education and vocational training.- Of course we make mistakes," he admits, adding philosophically: "Everyone makes mistakes.He cites, for example, the fact that the Navajo Nation has no written language.- Indians are afraid of assimilation. They want to keep their identity, their way of life," says Graham Holmes. - We would like to preserve their way of life too, but what about the economy? We are developing the rudiments of urban centres so that gradually industry will come to the reservation. We leave them a choice. You want to assimilate, go to Chicago or wherever. If you want to stay, that's your business. Of course, it's hard for them off the reservation. We got a lot of extremists. Indians are discriminated against. Their fear is understandable: will the white man accept them? There are different problems, including the problem of kindness. An Indian cannot refuse to help a tribesman, even if this help is fraught with financial damage for him....In life the problems are even tougher than in Graham Holmes' study. One of them - "the problem of kindness" - was put into worldly flesh by an American Nelson, manager of the motel "Window Rock Lodge". He spoke to me frankly, "like a white man to a white man".- Their brains are different, or something. If a Navajo has a pickup truck - on credit, of course - he gets up an hour early in the morning and drives five or six miles to pick up his buddies for a ride to work. For free. Free, that's the thing! Fun. And I say to him, why don't you charge them? It's worth something to you. No way! He refuses. Nothing, he says, they're my mates, they don't have pickup trucks. By God, they'll kill me!I heard other stories about the strange, incomprehensible "Anglo" kindness of the Indians. About an Indian family who bought, again on credit, a large refrigerator and food for two or three months, and relatives and clan members, having heard about the purchase, came to look at it, and in four days the refrigerator had only enamelled walls. About a Navajo who, thinking of becoming a businessman, took a loan from the bank, rented a petrol station from a corporation and quickly lost money, because he could not charge his relatives and acquaintances, and there were hundreds of them - the tribal kinship is vast. About Indians not knowing how to "accumulate" things, save up money and let it go to waste.Nelson wasn't the only one who told such stories. I can hear him chuckling in my ears.Tired face. The lace of his Western tie is threaded through an Indian brooch - silver with turquoise. Old bachelor. Owns his own restaurant in Farmington, in northern New Mexico. In Window Rock, he's been running a Navajo motel for two years. Before him, six managers, all white, fled within two years. The motel is unprofitable, but Mr Nelson gets a salary, has cut the deficit, and Window Rock clings to him. He's been dealing with Indians since 1955.- They hate us whites," he says frankly. - I'll tell you, they have their reasons. They remember that "long walk" to Fort Semner, and the old men tell the young: "Remember!"Nelson is industrious, practical. He says that if he had waiters, cooks, and cleaners who were white instead of Navajo, he would have had eight to ten employees instead of eighteen. The Navajo's fidelity to "Indian ways" commands his respect.But all is drowned out by the superman's snickering.A contemporary poet has mischievously and shrewdly exclaimed: "By naïveté blow to the shore! Looking for India? You'll find America!" Of course, this is not the situation the poet had in mind. But there, in Arizona, it was not by chance that I remembered his words. I was looking for the Navajo Indians, but at Window Rock, that distinct junction of two ways of life, I found America in the person of a typical Mr Nelson.The America that has saved up for a restaurant in Farmington and laughs at the weirdo Indian who puts camaraderie above calculation. She laughs, confident that all "white people" will laugh with her. On the one hand, Navajo communal traditions, collectivism and mutual aid. On the other is the American way of life, which emphasises individualism, purity, and glorifies so-called competitiveness, commonly known as the "rat race". It's ridiculous to defend poverty and pastoral sheep against industry and high productivity. But if it were that simple, there would be a problem big, painful but not tragic. And the tragedy for Indians is that the tribal system is coming under the economic and psychological pressure of American capitalism, the most highly developed and brutal.The harder it is for Indians to fit into the "dominant culture," the easier it is for private business to screw them over. "The American way of life" works for the pikes and sharks fishing on and around the reservation. Of the 150 shops, trading posts, petrol stations and other commercial establishments on the reservation, Indians own only 40. The sale of alcohol is prohibited on the reservation - a haven for bootleggers. There are no tribally-owned grocery shops - a free-for-all for white merchants who charge double and triple the price. Gallup, a town of 17,000 people 26 miles southeast of Window Rock, calls itself the Indian capital of the world, though it is populated mostly by whites and lies off the reservation. Advertisements not without irony praise it as the best city for business between Kansas City and Los Angeles. Though both claims are exaggerated, Gallup skilfully pulls in Indian dollars, both year-round and on the August intertribal holiday. Everything the reservation lacks or nearly lacks thrives here: bars, shops, laundromats, doctors, lenders. Flagstaff to the southwest, Gallup to the southeast, Farmington to the northeast-the reservation is taken in the ring of private business.I remembered a Saturday afternoon, funny and sad, an expedition to Gallup an expedition to Gallup with Indian Charlie Goodluck, a 68-year-old retired tribal accountant, a powerful man in an old mackintosh and barefoot sandals.The first trap was two miles from Window Rock, right on the reservation boundary, a liquor shop. A little further on, where the reservation tongue crossed the road again, there was a rubbish barrel by the side of the road-a place to dump beer cans; and empty cans are evidence if the police find them on the reservation.Gallup greeted us with the dead eyes of abandoned houses where miners once lived, and the commercial activity of Cole Avenue (Coal Street), which shifted to the Navajo and Zuni after the miners left the closed mines. The town's trademark sign hung on many of the shops, "Pawn Shop and Loans."- Now you'll see the Indians in action," Goodluck said sarcastically and hopelessly.And I did. It was a raid on Gallup by the long-abandoned Navajos, and it was accompanied by the clicking of cash registers in shops and bars, and by industrious white ladies and gentlemen at the cash registers.And the busier Cole Avenue and the crossroads near the Schlitz Bar became, the more furious the merry-go-round of Indians in hats and bloody leather trousers, the more often green police cars and white policemen flashed by. And order is to turn in dollars to the Gallup merchants as quietly as possible and without drunken fights.The same thing happened here as in Flagstaff, but on a larger scale: Gallup is the Indian capital of the world. One of the episodes of my expedition with Goodluck was a frank conversation with a prominent Navajo official, whose name I will not mention, because I met him later, already in his office, and he sat embarrassed, as if regretting that Saturday's frankness. He told me that Indian money and cattle and carpets and jewellery were going to Gallup, and that Indians were being robbed at the many trading posts in town, making at least a hundred per cent profit, and that there was not a single trading post belonging to the Navajo.- Why?- White people have money and influence. Even if I had the dollars to buy a licence to open a trading post - which I never will - they still wouldn't give it to me. The white man has the courts and influence.In Gallup there was robbery in broad daylight, and under the protection of the courts and the police. And somewhere nearby was Mr Graham Holmes, the reservation director, guardian and educator of the Navajo. Whatever he was, he would not be able to cope with the Gallup Sabbath, for the system worked there.1967 г.HIPPIE GRINWhen we arrived, there were already a thousand and three young men and women gathered on St Mark's Street between Second and Third Avenues. Jeans. Young moustaches and beards. Shoulder-length hair, even the boys. The evening darkness obscured the platform, but you could see that it was two-tiered. And on the first tier at the microphones stood guys with electric guitars, and on the second, narrow and rickety, - girls, ready to give "vibration" to the crowd. On the roof of a low house, near which the platform was placed, two faces were white in the darkness. Police caps were visible above the faces. New York "cops" have their fun, too, but here it was service, duty.A slim Jim Fotherg appeared at the microphone, a slight teenage chin, a halo of uncombed hair, a blue jumper. He urged the crowd to part. Then guitars strummed sharply and the electronic resonating sounds of rock 'n' roll swept down the narrow street corridor under a dark, starless New York sky. The crowd "vibrated." And the girl in front of us, "vibrating," took a handful of cherries out of a bag and handed them out to those around her. We also got a berry on a thin stalk, and, carefully wringing the tender skin in my fingers, I remembered and said to my colleague:- Why are you fidgeting, Borya?- Oh, yes," Boris remembered, too, "indeed.He took a flower out of his pocket and gallantly handed it to the girl. Of course, I should have performed the ritual to the end, but neither Boris nor I had enough time for that. I should have said: Love... Love.We made our way to Third Avenue, where the crowd was thinner. A lot of people were "vibing." A young Negro was rock'n'rollin' himself, with an African sense of rhythm. Some kid, laying his guitar on the pavement, took his time - his own in this crowd - sprayed it with spray paint, and the guitar glowed orange and festive in the darkness.There was a wooden police barrier at the end of St Mark's Street, and near it Jim Forette was handing out the simple flat sticks used to stir coffee in paper cups. Five minutes ago these sticks, unnoticed, had been lying in a careless heap on the pavement, but now Jim was handing them out, lifting them from the pavement to the level of a symbol. As we passed, we picked up a wand each, and I - oh cursed perplexity! - asked Jim:- What's that for?But Jim took no offence and answered gently:- Maybe it will be useful for something.....There are thousands of different New Yorks in New York, and almost around every corner the city changes the scenery of human tragedies and comedies.Rokk was still humming faintly in the distance, but we were already walking down a completely empty street, where there were no cherries, no flower, no life-giving current of youth, no expectations. A lonely man-beast, a drunkard, gawking at us, dying - for the umpteenth time! - from unquenchable thirst. The asphalt served as his bed and the wall as his headboard, and what did he care about different sticks, if the glass flask lying next to him was a pusgah. Here stretched the spurs of the famous Bowery, the street of lodgings and alcoholics, the most undisguised, the most frank street in New York....I've given you a charade, reader. What can you do? So, psychedelia. It is not a science, but rather a practice of consciousness expansion", and more and more massive. Expanded primarily through the use of marijuana and other drugs and "vibrating" to the sounds of rock 'n' roll. Long-haired young people are called hippies, although this flimsy word was not born by them and not everyone likes them. The exchange of flowers, cherries, sticks and even homemade marijuana cigarettes carries a symbolic load - it's like the sacraments of their religion. This is the idea of sharing, but not the kind of sharing where shareholders share dividends, but a selfless sharing out of sympathy. It's the idea of brotherhood and community. A hippie even gives a flower to a policeman.Jim Forette is the liaison between the anarchic "tribes" and "communal families" of the hippies. We were introduced by Don McNeil, a hippie reporter who had dropped out of high school in Alaska and had come to New York for work and life experience. On the way to Cafe Figaro, where the meeting was scheduled, Don took me into a basement shop. It smelled of Indian incense and was selling mind-expanding merchandise. I tried on the cut-glass glasses. The world became multicoloured. The world, refracted through the facets, shone iridescently.Does it take much to see the sky in diamonds?They were psychedelic glasses.The first time we met, Jim Forette caught the irony in me. He snapped at me. When I asked him about his parents, Jim said evil: his father was a millionaire and his mother was a prostitute, you know, the way millionaire families usually are....The fourth time we met, we understood each other better. He's from a wealthy family, stepfather is a successful businessman. Since his childhood Jim has been supervised by the organisation "Youth Achievement", which - strike while the iron is hot! - teaches teenagers how to start an independent business, and at the same time, and the views of the Burchist. Then Jim was at the privileged Harvard University. There he realised that he was being developed into a businessman and a deadening human being. There he abhorred the universal yardstick of mercantilism: "The fastest means the most economical, the cheapest means the most practical."Who took him away from orthodox bourgeois America? Imagine, Konstantin Sergeyevich Stanislavsky. Jim became fascinated with the stage, and the "Method" (i.e. Stanislavski's system) allowed him to "look within himself" and see where "youthful achievements" lead. He dropped out of university. Became an actor and a hippie.Here's the credo I heard not only from Jim, but from Don and Paul and other hippies: in this society we are forced to do machine work. But let the machines do the machine work. We want something more substantial, creative.These are not empty words, they are the cry of a young soul threatened with annihilation.The Old World landlords, as we know from school, did not live, but existed vegetatively.The New World businessmen are very dynamic. But they don't live either. They function like machines, they are programmed in the manner of electronic-decision-making devices.It is not only our social systems that are at different poles, reader. Our moral and ethical problems are also at different poles. This is why America is so incomprehensible from the outside, to those who have not lived in it. For example, we are in favour of increasing the business savvy of our people, our workers. Hooray for business people! But if they remain human beings.Here is the so-called "pressure interview," an advanced method of testing the qualities of a businessman."- Suppose either you or your child should die tomorrow, but it's up to you - which one? Who will you choose?- I think I'll choose me.- Why?- It's hard to say. Probably because I've lived a lot longer than he has, and he has more to live for.- Don't you think that's a rather silly answer? How will you reconcile him with your role as husband, father and provider?- But my child is young and...- What does it matter? I don't understand you. What are you trying to prove?- I don't know. I suppose..."This dialogue is taken from Life magazine, which published an advertising article about the working methods of one prosperous private agency for recruiting top personnel for leading corporations. The candidate for big bosses is already hesitating, almost ready to "kill" his child. He's already ashamed of his emotions. Too late. He has been found to have a remnant of soul and therefore a lack of 'effectiveness. "His chances of snagging a $50,000-a-year job have all but evaporated," the magazine summarises.Oscar Wilde once remarked that Americans know the price of everything, but have absolutely no concept of values. In his time there was neither the Pentagon nor Kurt Einstein's recruitment agency, which rejects foolish businessmen whose atavism of paternal love takes precedence over calculation. But since then, ignorance of human values and erudition of prices have developed so much in the world of pure genius that the poet Allen Ginsberg gathers audiences of thousands to discuss the truly Hamletian question: are we alive? Or merely functioning?The Life article is not written about hippies, but it helps us understand where they come from and why they are rapidly "multiplying." There are about 15,000 of them in New York City. In San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood, their "world capital", there are between 50,000 and 150,000. Their colonies are springing up everywhere. The masses are the offspring of the "middle stratum", of affluent, if not wealthy families.Here is the vengeful grin of the hippies - the ideals of the businessmen are overthrown by their children. They grew up among cars, TV sets, shares, loans, scrupulous home ledgers, and when the time of maturity came, they grinned in the face of their parents: you know the price of everything, but what about the meaning of life...?And they crossed their father's threshold, having realised only one thing: the point of life is not to repeat their parents in a new spiral....Their ideal is negative - the extravagant, 100 per cent denial of the 100 per cent American. From bare feet on the pavement of city streets, from stomped sandals to beards, Zaporozhye moustaches, long hair, artisanal beads and cowbells on youthful round necks. Their barefoot carelessness in dress throws the merchants into a quiver: what will happen to profits if asceticism replaces consumer bacchanalia and infects all young people.One hundred per cent punctuated: time is money. The hippie rejects this philosophy along with the products of the watch industry and dreams of living outside of time.The 100 per cent is individualistic, a "lone wolf". The most active sect of hippies, the Diggers, takes as their model those English farmers who freely gave the fruits of their labour to the needy.The God of the hundred per cent, whether he be Christ or Jehovah, works as a petty clerk on the staff of Mammon. The hippie, having lost all hope in the native gods, strikes out into the trappings of Zen Buddhism, which, it seems to him from afar, protects the "whole" man and does not truncate him to a sharecropper.The hippie brings a much-needed irony to the fashionable American debate about whether God is alive. "God is alive, but he just doesn't have a place to park," he writes on his round multi-coloured badges. "God is alive, but he's off to Miami for the velvet season."The "flower boys" don't like politics, don't believe in the Republican elephant, the Democratic donkey or the bipartisan idol of anti-communism. They arose largely as an unplanned result of the Vietnam escalations, the brutality and cynicism of the dirty war.I once came across a psychedelic shop housed in an old bus. The bus sides were adorned with pictorial political advertisements for "artist, philosopher and poet" Louis Abolafia. He was offering himself for the presidency of the United States. Beneath a photograph of a stout, naked man covering his shame with a cylinder hat was the caption, "At least I have nothing more to hide."Another time I came home with tapes of music popular with hippies and spent a long time playing a song I liked. Calm opening bars of guitars, a short hidden run-up - and suddenly a furious, hoarse voice and, like a door breaking down, like a battering ram, the words, "Run! Hide! Break through to the other side!!!"In a rush, an avalanche, a desperate attempt, the refrain bursts out: "Break through to the other side..."What is it like, this other side?My comrade and I watched one of the experiments of the "breakthrough" - a hippie wedding demonstration. In the barn-like dance hall of the Palm Garden, psychedelic smoke was billowing. It tickled my nostrils with spicy, bittersweet incense. Cigarettes with "weed" - marijuana - flashed in the semi-darkness. The jazz of the "Group Image" tribe rumbled through the eardrums. A girl of about sixteen, a slim stalk in a miniskirt, selflessly "vibrated" on stage, inspiring the audience. A pink beam skilfully wandered across the psychedelic panels on the wall, lighting them up with fantastically bright colours - then a glowing corolla as if of the moon in eclipse, then the glow of some fuzzy huge green molecule. Tirelessly working the film cameras were two female underground cinema cameramen. The negro barman, looking philosophically at this bustle of vanities, was supplying beer and whiskey to those who wanted it.The crowd was humming... The jazz was humming.Then the doors opened, opening directly onto the pavement, and the flowered motorbikes rumbled and rumbled. And we saw Jim Forette in white Indian robes, phosphorescent with blue fire. He sat clutching a black motorbike jacket. Behind him on other motorbikes phosphoresced the bride and groom. Then Jim stood peacefully on a platform in the middle of the hall, taking the young ones by the hands - an amateur Buddhist monk hailing from New England. Not only his robes glowed, but also his feet in sandals, anointed with some compound.This was the way of "expanding consciousness" on 52nd Street in Manhattan between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, near Broadway, where fans of the usual spectacles flitted in the evening.One New York newspaper, describing the wedding, drew a standard-joke moral: the newlyweds had only 25 cents, and the groom couldn't even buy the bride a Coca-Cola.And the moral is more complicated. The hippies know where to run from, but alas, that's not where they break through, though their breakthrough is eloquent.Why the deafening jazz? It's to take away a man's tongue, his voice. Words have no faith, words are false, language has compromised itself. Music is without deception. The furious rhythm of rocka wakes up the sleeping souls and bodies.Why the feast of colours, so strange, so iridescent, so unfamiliar? America is as bright as a loubok, painted with modern, most powerful chemistry in the world, but not for its children, whose emotions are dead. It is necessary to stir them up, to shake them with unprecedented explosions of colours.Why marijuana? Why these voluntary hallucinations? Retreating into yourself, "switching off" the outside world in which you are forced to function from nine in the morning to five in the evening, individual "trips" into the world of hallucination by means of drugs have become a mass phenomenon in America."The inner journey is a new response to the electric age. For centuries man has undertaken external journeys, Columbus-type journeys. Now he heads inward to himself," are the words of Marshall McLuhan, a professional theorist of such journeys.St Mark's Street, where I began my notes, is located in the south of Manhattan, in the East Village neighbourhood. The hippie invasion happened in the summer of 1967. Actually, the East Village is a long-standing neighbourhood of former Ukrainians, Russians and Poles. On the neighbouring avenues a new, still compact Puerto Rican ghetto is promisingly expanding. Our brother visits the former Slavs for fragrant bread, Stasiuk Brothers sausages, and apples, which, unlike other American apples, are not sprayed with some miraculous thing that protects them from rotting, but kills the vitamin, fragrant apple originality.In the East Village, contrasts are not just neighbours, they are superimposed on each other. Former Slavs fled to America at different times and for different reasons. And now young Americans who can trace their ancestry back to the Mayflower, the first Anglo-Saxon pilgrim ship, are fleeing here, voluntarily settling in the slums. They are fleeing here, not to the Slavs, but from the America of their prosperous fathers and mothers. What a colourful picture, truly mind-expanding!Hippies planting a tree of love in a city where there is less love per square mile than any other place on earth. Puerto Ricans, coming for the ghost of happiness and finding themselves in a slum, accumulate hatred and, like the Negroes, think of rioting. Hippies preach "partisans of love" and Negro radicals preach real guerrilla warfare in the ghettos of American cities.One encounter, frankly, I wasn't looking forward to in the hippie domain. But it happened - in a shop on MacDougal Street, where all the walls from floor to ceiling are covered with hundreds of posters. And among the film actors and hippie prophets and all sorts of coloured psychedelia, I suddenly saw Lenin. The famous portrait to which, you remember, Mayakovsky reported.Comrade Lenin, the work of hellWill be done and is being done already...In the shop it was a portrait like a portrait - with a modest place on the wall, at number 116, designed only for curiosity. I thought of Mayakovsky. The Futurist's yellow jumper teased the Russian common man as the American hippie's neck bells do now. About Mayakovsky, who was organised - in the highest sense of the word - by Lenin and the revolution. About Blok, who urged listening to "the music of the revolution." You can deny the American world through marijuana, but you can't remake it that way.1967 г.CINEMA EXCURSION WITH CONTINUATIONThe skyscraper filled the screen with a dark hulk. Its dark windows glow empty in the early, impenetrable morning. A house without a destiny, with which the builders are about to part and the tenants are about to meet. But on the top floor, in the penthouse, someone's windows are already lit up, someone's life is already glowing. Two dark figures look up at the penthouse, enter the entranceway. One is holding a doctor's type bundle. In the bag are two bottles of whisky, a stick of salami sausage and skeins of colourful ribbons, which are used to wrap presents in shops. The bag, as well as themselves, they will reveal later. Crazy alcoholics. Criminals. There's two upstairs, too. He's a middle-aged estate agent. She's a young shop girl. Lovers. In the penthouse, comfort and morning conversations. A melodious bell rings, a voice outside the door, "Gas piper..."A quarter of an hour later, he sits in a swivel chair, tightly twisted with gift ribbons. She's sipping whiskey in glasses, snuggling with strangers. He's creeped out by the fact that she's having fun. Then another hour of expertly crafted sadism, striptease, pornography to the disgustingly affectionate chuckles of the "guests" who think they're having a party. The clothes fall off not only from her, but from their souls and relationships. There are very few clothes at all. She betrays him. And he himself is a compliant coward and traitor. When, playing with an oily salami knife, the criminal goes through a bunch of keys taken from the victim's jacket, the estate agent gives away not only where his car is parked, but also the address of the house where his wife and children live.The ending is almost prosperous. The alcoholics disappear, having stowed their baulk. The lovers leave the empty house, hating each other.The moral? Young English director Peter Collins's young English director dumbfounds rather than moralises. The Paramount film company that rented his talent is not interested in morality, but in the proceeds from a horse dose of sadism. Morality, if you insist on it, is obviously that normal people are meaner than crazy criminals. At least they have their own code of loyalty, and the estate agent discovers this code when he wants to break them up...."Penthouse" - a feature film, embarrassed even seen kinds of reviewers. It is recommended to the viewer with strong nerves Well, there are many such, in this regard, the nerves are hardened."The Oddities of Titicat" is highly appreciated by professional critics. This is also a film about crazy criminals, but they are, thank God, in custody, behind the strong bars of the prison psycho-therapy in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. This is a documentary film from start to finish, from the strangely creepy hospital jazz of the sardonically named "The Oddities of Titicat" to the screwdriver used to drive screws into the lid of the coffin that put the stroppy inmate to rest forever. Director Frederick Weissman relies entirely on the brutal effect of the film camera without weakening it with text.Grey pictures of the prison-hospital yard, lonely, withdrawn people. A rambling, passionate monologue about Jesus Christ; next to the speaker's head, the mossy feet of a man who likes to stand on his head for hours are glimpsed. An argument about Vietnam - and there are "patriots" and opponents of the war. The guards function in the best traditions, the big guys are efficient and unscrupulous. They have, however, activities for the soul. They tease one patient tirelessly, cold-bloodedly. He snarls, growls like a beast, measuring the cell with nervous steps - completely naked in a completely empty cell. That's the way it is, they only wear them for walks.In Massachusetts, the picture was tried in court and gave politicians and policy makers material for internecine fighting. But that's not the point.Is it a coincidence that the fictional "Penthouse" and the documentary "The Oddities of Titicat" overlap? It's almost the same question: who's more abnormal - the psycho-criminals or their normal guards? Where is the line? Is it so elusive? Yes, it is, Collins and Weissman insist.Here is another film, Reflections in a Golden Eye (directed by John Huston, a Warner Brothers production), The audience is drawn in by the fine actor Marlon Brando and such a creature of publicity as the most famous movie star, Elizabeth Taylor. The high technical standard that distinguishes American cinema, a kind of directorial snobbery in a play of golden tones. The action takes place in an army garrison in the south of the USA. A weak-willed major (Marlon Brando) teaches young officers the art of winning, but he can't control his wife - an outspoken female (Elizabeth Taylor), who likes to gallop through the surrounding woods on a white stallion in the company of the colonel - a soldier and an animal. Their liaison is known to everyone. The colonel's exhausted wife finally flees from this dreary, scottish life. The Colonel is convinced that she has gone mad and places her in an asylum disguised as a luxury hotel, where she dies. The unhappy Major asserts himself by shooting a soldier who feels a mysterious attraction to his wife.Weird films. The weirdest part is that they're typical. The list goes on. Here is the film "Wait Until Dark", in which a gang of sadists torture a blind girl (actress Audrey Hepburn), looking for a doll stuffed with heroin in her flat. Here's The Incident: on a New York underground train, two thugs terrorise fifteen well-meaning and unresponsive citizens.I don't need to stir up archival dust. These are all film premieres coming off the assembly lines of Hollywood.I did a sort of film tour of New York. The criterion was one of new films that somehow got critical attention, not outright crap. Bottom line: The painful search for the line that separates the normal from the abnormal is still popular. The line, however, remains elusive. These searches are familiar, just as accusations of pathology, sadism, and speculation on the vulgar taste of the public are familiar and justified. There is no shortage of such reproaches in local film criticism.But where does the artist's guilt end and the guilt of reality, from which he cannot abstract himself, begin? He reflects his world, or at least his vision of that world. Take the documentary evidence of newspapers, the whole endless criminal chronicle - it doesn't contradict the evidence of the films. After all, these middling directors take only sensational details of the big subject matter that big artists like Fellini, Antonioni, Kremer dig deep.Everything is so thoroughly turned upside down in this world that clowning and madness appear as a natural norm of life, and the one who doubts this norm risks becoming a madman in the eyes of others. Isn't this the essence of Antonioni's brilliant film Blow-Up?The same reality of human disintegration provides some with the material for a perceptive generalisation, others for a peppered combination of 'sex and shock' .' (to use the two-pronged formula of New York film critic Bosley Crowther). The latter are the majority.With sex having supplanted old-fashioned love, there seemed to be nowhere else to go. However, they are moving on. Now Hollywood is busy with an unprecedented "sexual revolution". Politically it is more neutral than other revolutions, commercially - more profitable. Newsweek magazine has heralded the triumphant march of an era in which "everything is allowed" by placing on its cover the bare back and bottom of a young film actress. "Sex and Shock" occupied the first screens, not only near-Broadway cinema zakutki, traditionally existing slogan "closer to the body". Mores are decidedly liberated - bed side, and sex "revolutionaries" easily stroll across the screen in whatever the hell they want.The film "Ulysses" based on Joyce's novel is symbolic. Film critics have declared it a masterpiece. The distributors, explaining the concept of "masterpiece" for the illiterate, warn that "absolutely no one under the age of eighteen will not be allowed to see the film "Ulysses". Those who regard Joyce as the founder of modern literature emphasise his famous "stream of consciousness" in which characters exist inextricably in three dimensions - the reality of the present, memories of the past and fantasies of the future. In the film, the "stream of consciousness" of Leon Blum and his wife Molly does indeed develop in three dimensions, but, alas, in one unified direction - sex, sex and sex again.The avant-gardists of "underground cinema" (underground in the sense of independence from Hollywood, not for the audience, because their films are shown in quite legal cinema halls) are trying to find their own methods. One of them the critic calls film journalism of a special kind. This is not the traditional film documentaryism that involves the deliberate selection and organisation of film documents. It is a kind of fetishisation of the film camera, which is as if released into the wild in the expectation that it will not fail or deceive with its uncompromising objectivity. It is an attempt to rely on the elements of life and a conscious refusal to interpret them. One critic has defined this method in these words: "The man behind the camera does not apologise for being there, but recognises at the same time that the world is too big and too complex for anyone to know it".This method was used in The Oddities of Titicat, as well as in the film Portrait of Jason by the "underground" filmmaker Shirley Clarke. Two hours on the screen the same man in the same room smokes, drinks wine from a glass and straight from the bottle, walks, sits in an armchair and on the floor, lies on a sofa, gets drunk and talks, talks, talks, revealing all the nooks and crannies, hiding places, the cloaca of his soul. What a cloaca it is, you'll guess from Jason's occupation. He's a male prostitute.In his marathon film interview, Jason admits that he is sometimes scared to death of himself. He scares both the audience (not many of them) and the critics, although the latter amicably praise Shirley Clarke. Film reviewer "Newsweek" Joseph Morgenstern writes: "In the end, Jason .... is no more insane than the American pilot Skyraider, which, dropping napalm on a Vietnamese village, gasping with delight: "Look, it burns! It's on fire, damn it! Fantastic! We made them run! Brilliant!".It's an unexpected conclusion, but it's a logical one. It doesn't exonerate or exalt Jason, but it does remind us that he has spiritual brethren elevated by society to the status of patriots and heroes.Speaking of Vietnam: it's as if the war doesn't exist for Hollywood. Reports about the war do not leave the television screen, but the war is not seen on the cinema screen. The anti-war protest is reflected in literature, particularly in poetry, theatre and painting, but it seems easier for Hollywood to get rid of moral taboos than chauvinistic ones.The anti-war theme is now more often hitting the American screen from across the ocean. At the New York festival, the film Far From Vietnam, a collective work of famous French filmmakers, was shown, but it failed to reach cinemas, and critics amicably dismissed it as anti-American propaganda. The Greek comedy The Day the Fish Came Up depicts a second Palomares: an American aircraft "dropped" hydrogen bombs on the Greek island. Washington, having learnt the "lesson" of Palomares, keeps the incident secret, and everything ends tragically. In the cinema "York" is a pacifist film by British director Richard Lester "How I won the war". It is a wicked and apt grotesque about a soldier's platoon in the Second World War. They talk about Vietnam as if it were the present day, and the brave colonel shouts at the end: "To Moscow!".I wonder who is watching this film. The audience is full of young people - those young people who are struggling and protesting, trying to shake the pyramid of the American way of life. They have their own idols, ridiculing the lies of politicians and ideologues.She has her favourite films too. Here is "Don't Look Back" about the concerts of Bob Dylan, the most popular singer and poet. The film camera accompanies him everywhere: in the hotel room, where he is among his comrades, in the car, backstage and - guitar on a strap, harmonica near the lips on a metal mount, black shiny jacket - a fast walk in the darkness of the stage, to the circle, highlighted by the spotlight, to meet the roar of applause. Dylan turns out to be an anti-prophet, an anti-hero. All his truth is in the denial of lies, but it is also dear to young people.In the documentary film "Festival" - about the annual jazz festivals in Newport - people's life spills out in song. With its joys and sorrows, far from the painful reflections of the Hollywood screen. How much poetry, kindness, smiles, love not sex, compassion not sadism. How warmly the "Folksingers" - folk singers - are received. And after one such meeting, the beautiful Joan Baez, also an idol of youth, with an embarrassed, marvellous smile says: "You know, young people want something else. I feel sorry for them... Because truth and love are buried in this country..."It was in Texas in the early '30s - a time of severe recession, massive bankruptcies and Franklin D. Roosevelt's election portraits flashed everywhere. Roosevelt. Small towns, over which the winds of economic turmoil whistled, and serene expanses in the warm sunshine, sheriffs with a star on their chests, hoards of unemployed men travelling with their wives and children, farmers without land, business or money, prosperous fat and cowardly undertakers. And there was also Bonnie and Clyde, in love with each other and with dangerous adventures.Clyde would trot into the bank with pistols in both hands ("Good morning, ladies and gentlemen! Steady! Steady..."), and Bonnie would follow behind him with a gun in one hand and a bag in the other. The ladies and gentlemen were silent, staring mesmerised at the pistols and at Clyde, so handsome, so black-haired - blood and milk and ruddy lips - so pure and handsome. And she, a spirited blonde with hair running back to 1968, fumbled around in the tables behind the counter among the cashiers, scared as chickens, and dumped the piles of green papers into her bag. And when she and Clyde's brother, for Clyde had a favourite brother, ran out of the door, and the limping Clyde was the last one out, still arguing Smith-Veosons, and the last one to get into the car with their cold-blooded associate Sam at the wheel, the alarm bell rang outside the door. But too late. The car sped off, muzzled at the frightened crowd. One day an overly troublesome bank clerk rushed up, clawed at the side of the car, and Clyde shot him point-blank, and he screamed to death, and floated with a horrible bloody face across the screen, and crashed to the pavement.Clyde didn't like killing, but he had to kill.They were summoned to the outskirts, shooting back at the belated cops, to the empty road under the blue sky, to the saving expanse of Texas. They were undaunted and elusive and loved to read newspaper reports about themselves. A formidable fame was growing. Already dozens of policemen were after them, but they went through the thick of lead, leaving corpses behind, disappeared into the vastness, to fall like snow on the head again on another bank: "Good morning, ladies and gentlemen...".But as the rope twists and turns.... During one ambush, when the police had pulled up the armoured car, Clyde's brother was mortally wounded, his wife blinded by bullets, the unfazed Sam barely got Bonnie and Clyde out. Like stricken birds, they bled to death in the back of the car. At Sam's father's house, they recovered from their wounds, and at their leisure from wet work, they experienced the idyll of love. But Sam's father gave them away. On a country road, a hurricane of bullets ripped through the foliage, splitting the silence of the Texas afternoon. Bonnie and Clyde quivered, jumped, danced like fish in a frying pan under that hail. They were already dead, and the vengeful hail poured in and out, and their dead bodies twitched with bullets.....What's next?Dead Bonnie comes back to life, gets her hair done and goes to the New York State Supreme Court with her lawyer. Producer Otto Preminger sues Bonnie, believing that she had no right at all to be Bonnie for Warner Brothers until she appears under contract in five films of his, Otto Preminger's, corporation, Sigma Production.But Bonnie - already without Clyde and Smith-Veoson - convinces the judge that Otto Preminger wants to "damage my career and deprive me of my livelihood."And the plaintiff's lawyer proves that Bonnie was not at all in danger of an almshouse for the poor and that she could well have received two and a half thousand dollars a week from Sigma Production.But Bonnie's lawyer says Preminger's rates are "defiantly below what she can get in today's market."And Life magazine, speaking the Esperanto of the universal bourgeoisie, is there as a defence witness. The magazine puts Bonnie on the cover, which means she's really expensive in today's market. The magazine prints five pages of Bonnie in a variety of dissolute poses and, most importantly, attire, proclaiming her the new favourite of model homes from Rome to New York. Bonnie, the magazine says, "synthesised" the softness of 30s fashions and the "nakedness" of the 60s.And in these pictures, black, ominous silhouettes grow behind Bonnie, drawn gangsters with guns. Don't disagree with that synthesis.However, director Arthur Penn, who directed the film Bonnie and Clyde, is not to blame for the damn thing. It's just that a new film star was born - Faye Dunaway. Her magnitude and radiance have been so inflated by publicity that she's already visiting not only a lawyer but also a psychiatrist for advice on how not to go mad with sudden fame. These visits do not prevent our Bonnie quite qualified to sell herself to fashion designers, on the pages of Life, in film studios and, as you can see, even in court: Hollywood skupushiki and resuppers also realised that the product promises millions.Let's return, however, to the film Bonnie and Clyde. With all the gangster accessories, this is not another cheap' action film, but one of the best American films of 1967. It is made like a folk romantic ballad, broadly and with gusto, brutally and yet poetically. The film is unmistakably American, national in spirit, not the synthetic and cosmopolitan kind of film that is now in abundance. A film with its own underlying unsettling meaning, because Clyde captures a purely American type, and the whole story, down to the names of the characters, is taken from life.Странный даже фильм. Грабитель, убийца, а до чего симпатичен!Тут начинается чертовщина и с Клайдом. Убивать не любит, но что поделаешь — приходится. Из кровавых оргий ’ выходит сухим, как гусь из воды, да к тому же с незамутненной любовью, которая легко перешагивает через трупы. И есть своя дьявольская логика в^ этом характере, идущая от логики той жизни, где каждый кует свое счастье в одиночку и плевать ему на остальных. Художественная ткань фильма столь неподдельно национальна потому, что отражает здешнюю практическую философию: всяко бывает, жизнь настолько множественна и неожиданна, что не судите (даже бандита) да не судимы будете.Вглядитесь в Клайда! — как бы предлагает этот фильм. Ну что ж, я вглядывался, долго вглядывался.Разве не Клайд вон тот солдат, который приехал за 10 тысяч миль, чтобы сжечь чужую деревню, а потом — такой симпатично усталый на телеэкране — тютюшкает уцелевшего младенца и сует ему круглый леденец на палочке? Младенец-то ведь ему пока не мешает, а «обезвреженный» отец младенца трупом валяется неподалеку с биркой на груди — «вьетконговец».In the first part of this essay I offered the reader a sort of film tour of New York, describing the fashionable combinations of "sex and shock" and the current production of average quality. I would like now to continue this tour by changing its task. 1967 did not bring masterpieces, synthesis in art is more difficult to achieve than in fashion, but the year is considered "rewarding". Among the best six films are "Soulful Night" (United Artists Film Company, directed by Norman Jewison), "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" ("Columbia", directed by Stanley Kramer), "The Graduate" (Embasy Company, directed by Mike Nichols), "The President's Psychiatrist" ("Paramount", directed by Theodore Flicker), "In Cold Blood" ("Columbia", directed by Richard Brooks) and the already known to us "Bonnie and Clyde"."Soulless Night" won the Academy Award as the best film of the year. It captivates with its special rhythm from the first frames, when on a sweltering night under the chirping of cicadas and cheerful music from a transistor, the shaggy-eared policeman Sam habitually drives through the streets of his native Mississippi town and stumbles upon a dead body. The chief sends Sam to check out a late-night cafe and a railway station. At the station, the only passenger waiting for a train is a Negro, and since the Negro is a Negro, an unfamiliar Negro, and a Negro with twenty dollars in his wallet, as Sam discovers when he bravely bursts in with a gun and puts the Negro up against the wall with his arms outstretched, he is surely the killer. The chief of police . (played brilliantly by the famous actor Rod Steiger) also has the poor twists and turns of the brain, like a true Southerner. But when he demands that the Negro confess without delay, he throws a metal police identification badge on the table. This black boy, it turns out, serves on the Philadelphia police force, which allows all sorts of things about desegregation, and is also the foremost expert on homicide investigations - a revelation that shocks the Southern policeman.Then there's more. The wife of a murdered Chicago businessman, who intended to build a factory in this backwater, threatens to take the capital and leave the town's residents in the same slumber and unemployment if the killer is not found. The worried mayor threatens to throw out the chief of police if he does not ask for help from the Negro criminalist. And the unhappy chief has to beg the black man not to leave, to protect him from vigilantes and, alas, to be constantly convinced of his professional and mental superiority. In the detective plot there is a subtle psychological duel between the two heroes (the role of the Negro is played by the magnificent actor Sidney Poitier). By the end of the film, the Negro finds the murderer, and the chief finds the man in the Negro and becomes imbued with an unsentimental respect for him, which he conceals not only from others, but perhaps even from himself."Guess Who's Coming to. dinner" takes another of the thousand aspects of the Negro problem.The daughter of a Los Angeles publisher has fallen in love with a Negro. For the girl the question of marriage is settled, no matter what her parents say, but secretly from her the Negro declares to them that he is ready to leave unless they give their consent, and unconditionally.The publisher and his wife are honest people of liberal views, who have stood for racial equality all their lives.Nevertheless, the news throws them into a state of shock.The full range of their confusion is psychologically accurately conveyed.After the shock comes pride for the brave daughter and her chosen one - he is by no means an ordinary Negro, but a famous scientist, a humanist, a candidate for the Nobel Prize.The publisher's wife agrees to the marriage for the sake of her daughter's happiness. But it is the question of happiness that confuses the publisher, not because he does not believe in their love, but because he knows all too well what kind of dislike and dislike will surround their "one hundred million" compatriots. The question is not an easy one, but in the end the old publisher makes a worthy decision: the main thing is their love, and let it triumph.The film has touching moments showing honest, intelligent and deeply feeling Americans alone with their conscience and the hard problems of their country.The publisher is played by the famous Spencer Tracy, who passed away before the film was released. He created an image of noble simplicity and moral firmness.In the role of 37-year-old professor shot Sidney Poitier, the most popular negro actor now (in 1967, he was included in the top ten film actors, bringing the largest box office, which means that he is on the hunt for producers).Charm, masculine grace, some kind of internal music distinguish Sidney Poitier.And mental armour - in his roles he is always in an environment where they can prick and humiliate as a "nigger".Once jabbed not in the cinema, but in the newspaper.Negro writer Clifford Mason said that Poitier has become a Hollywood "window negro".The actor knows that this reproach has its share of bitter truth. Indeed, the Negro theme has finally reached Hollywood, for it is taken by serious artists, but - no offence be said to two interesting films - the true depths of it has not yet been touched. What circles of hell, visible and invisible, did the American Negro pass through before exploding in rebellion on the streets of Detroit?The true answer does not necessarily have to be direct, but only a great master can give it. To answer requires not only talent, but also civic passion, knowledge of the grassroots, and ownership of their pain. It is also important, of course, that the blacks themselves say a long-suffering and truthful word about themselves. So far, Hollywood has not given them that opportunity.So, two good films about the race problem.Two pictures about criminals - the romanticised story of "Bonnie and Clyde" and the icy realism of "In Cold Blood", a film set before writer Truman Capote's documentary novel about the brutal senseless murder of a farm family in the state of Kansas.And two film comedies, "The Graduate" and "The President's Psychiatrist."Comic jibes in the film "The Graduate" is addressed to the stronghold of bourgeois America, the so-called "middle class" with the dreary-sweet idiocy of its life around blue home pools, sparkling kitchens and luxurious interiors.Critics praised The Graduate as an example of "intellectual" satire. And perhaps they over-praised it. The film promises a lot in the beginning with its independence, but fails to fulfil its promises at the end, moving from satire to a gallop of sentimental grotesque, which sometimes makes you yawn.In the film comedy "The President's Psychiatrist" the main character is a New York doctor who is suddenly invited to the White House to relieve the President's nervous tension.The naive psychiatrist (actor James Coburn) finds himself in the realm of phantasmagorical transformations, CIA and FBI agents, special signalling systems, eavesdropping devices and so on. Finding that he is talking in his sleep, the security service takes his beloved away from him, loading her, however, with the task of recording all telephone conversations with him. The president is not shown; he remains behind a door, with a psychiatrist entering from time to time. After the first visit, the hero leaves the presidential office dripping with delight, after the second - with a bewildered look on his face, and further - with his tie bent sideways, grabbing the walls. He goes mad, and they can't help him, because the presidential psychiatrist, unlike ordinary psychiatrists, has no right to fix his nerves with another psychiatrist.Any film year in the US would certainly not be complete without satire of this kind.The start of this film apocalypse was made a few years ago with the great comedy Dr Strangelove. Dr Strangelove, a nuclear age scientific maniac, has since become a household name and entered the political lexicon of a world where science often works for madness. "The President's Psychiatrist" develops this far-flung vein in his own way.I conclude my incomplete and by necessity brief film review. One learns from Hollywood's slapstick what kind of bourgeoisie is most profitable today. Good films go beyond entertaining, somehow engaging with the serious problems of society. There are more of the former than of the latter, but there is a living thought beating, and many artists yearn for high art and, if you like, for high preaching. "Art," says Sidney Poitier, "has a responsibility to teach, to enlighten, to stir up thought, but most producers are not interested in teaching anyone anything.The idea is not a new one, but it is being revisited, and it will never be killed by the commercial cynicism of show business.Rod Steiger, who won an Academy Award for best film actor in 1967, echoes Sidney Poitier. "I try not to fool these people - the ones who come to me and say, 'You know something, you choose to participate in the kind of films we go to.' Yes, I try to make paintings that are clever enough to interest them so that I don't waste their time. I don't care about their money, I care about their time. You know?"Even though I'm not the one to whom this question is directed, I'm going to answer: I understand, Rod Steiger.1967 г.IN THE MORNING ON CHURCH STREETWhat is "anti-conscription week"? What did it look like yesterday, in New York City?It was six o'clock in the morning, young voices in the darkness of Battery Park, at the southern tip of Manhattan, where New York is separated from Europe only by the waves of the Atlantic, where, during the day, windswept tourists gaze at the Statue of Liberty standing in the middle of the bay, and where a bronze, fat-footed eagle guards the marble tablets with the names of sailors who were hidden by the abyss during the Second World War.It is seven o'clock in the morning, when dawn is barely breaking, and the stomping of young feet in the deserted quiet alley, and the flaming face of the curly-haired leader of eighteen years of age, and his shout:- Follow me!Hundreds of them follow him, and they join the narrow corridor of the footbridge over the Brooklyn Tunnel exit, where the lazy, sparse morning traffic flows by. The bridge leads out onto Church Street, and there is already a bustle and run of guys and girls. They have the beautiful faces of people doing a worthwhile, though unfamiliar and even risky, endeavour.The stream pouring over the bridge knocks off the inertia of morning and peace, includes me, and I too am anxious and well. The policeman at the exit of the bridge has anxiety in his face too, but it is the anxiety of an islet streamlined by the flood of people. He is not alone, there are many of them, these alien specks in dark blue cloth overcoats, and, playing with their batons, they hurry after the crowd that is rapidly counting the blocks of Church Street. A mounted policeman, as if playing a game, but playing evil, suddenly makes a volte-face to the curly-haired leader and wants to strike him on the curls with his gloved hand, but he dodges.And, of course, the press, with their film cameras, tape recorders and chest passes, those orange cardboard barriers against police batons. The stream flows swiftly down the pavement and pavements of Church Street. The stream speaks to the rare passers-by who have gone to work, but they look dazed, neutral, with their arms crossed over their chests, distancing themselves. The houses are silent, the old and new modernist offices of this bank-sharing neighbourhood next to Wall Street are still empty. And the pavement is noisy, but this noise is from outside, and consciousness clearly separates this noise from the detached silence of the offices.Along the pavement, confident that they will give way, ride a dozen policemen in dark capes, on naked horses, and the clatter of their hoofs, like the silence of the offices, falls measuredly into the murmur of voices, epitomising authority and order in the midst of the elements. Their dark cloaks, the horses in the street from which night has not yet left, and the dripping rain bring to mind Federico Garcia Lorca's romance about the Spanish gendarmerie: "On the wings of inked mackintoshes, wax drops.... The leaden skull is secure -- the gendarme cannot cry; they walk, belted with lacquered leather hearts..."The crowd flows north along Church Street towards the centre. It's getting light fast. There are more passers-by. And someone in the crowd shouts, like a recitation:- What do we want?- Peace! - They answer him in unison.- What do we want?- Peace!A green police car sneaks by like a panther. A detective in a grey coat with a woki-toki transmitter in his hand walks briskly down the pavement, listening to the hoarse commanding voice.- What do we want?- Peace!- Peace, brother," the bearded student tosses with good-natured irony to the chauffeur, frozen perplexed by his truck. "Brother" is silent. And here I hear another "brother" saying to a third "brother", nodding at the youth: "This shit is making noise to get in the papers"....It's half past eight in the morning. Police officers are moving the crowd from Church Street to parallel Broadway. The flow that dominated the sleeping street until half an hour ago comes to the great intersection of Broadway and Houston Street, to a riot of honking cars, to thousands of passers-by, on a sober New York morning. The demonstrators are already outnumbered. Mounted policemen, deftly manoeuvring, push them from the pavement to the pavements, but the demonstrators do not give up and the stream, already fragmented into rivulets, again strives on the pavement to delay the cars, to stop the iron rumble and the course of the iron city, to distract it from the bustle of programmed everyday life and make it think about the distant, terrible, brutal war ....Meanwhile, not far from Battery Park, outside the old brick building on Whitehall Street, there was silence. The silence told how difficult it was for those who were moving further and further north along Broadway to achieve their goal. Not only the building itself, but the surrounding streets were braided with hundreds of wooden police barriers. The trucks, too, had barriers to spare, and another barrier stood hundreds of burly big men in dark blue overcoats, with batons and patent leather hearts, as well as their buses, their prison vans, their ambulances, and even an "information" car.The brick house houses the New York draft centre, where recruits undergo medical examinations and paperwork. This unassuming house is the target of all early training camps. For three days in a row, opponents of the war have stormed the house to disrupt its work. This main task of "Week Against Conscription" has not yet been accomplished. On Tuesday, there were two and a half thousand police for two and a half thousand demonstrators. 264 people were detained and arrested. On Wednesday about three thousand demonstrators, moving in three columns, wanted to take the brick house, but their attack was repelled by five thousand police.Organisers of "The Week" are looking for new tactics to confuse police. On Wednesday, mobile groups rushed into downtown Manhattan, to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where Secretary of State Dean Rusk was speaking, to the U.N. headquarters, trying to disrupt traffic on car-clogged streets. The batons had their work cut out for them. The spirit of the opponents of the war is high. Their militant enthusiasm is enthusiastic. They are looking for action. And in this search they are increasingly stymied by the elementary truth that they lack organisation and an authoritative headquarters.December 1967 г.YOUTH. YEAR 1967Some field, some sky in this sudden television picture that is suddenly thrust upon you. You see them and don't see them, mesmerised by the pile of dead bodies. Two soldiers with stretchers. P-one... And two... And three! From the stretcher, dead stretched out, flies another body into the middle of the pile. It's a body count - a body count of killed guerrillas. The two guys are leaving. Here they are again in the frame, tall, athletic, professionally skilful. The stretcher in their hands again. And one... And two... And three!Then the helicopter. It hovers low over the soldiers. They do something, and having done it, they run away, covering their faces from the dust and the wind swirled by the blades. They run aside and, having escaped from the wind, wave to the helicopter: have a happy journey. The helicopter goes upwards, and under it on the cable - you can hear the dull and hard creaking of the cable - a large strong net, sagging under the weight of dozens of corpses, sags heavily. A catch of young lads in soldier's shirts, labouringly let out over soldier's trousers. "Find and kill" - so .in the language of the Pentagon is the name of the business they are engaged in in the jungle ....And almost at the same time, thousands of miles away from the jungle, in the very centre of bustling New York, shivering with the sweet commercial fever of the pre-Christmas days, next to the polished cold skyscraper "Time-Life", next to "Radio City", where patient queues of those who want to join the subculture of another film action movie and to see dozens of three girls synchronously throwing their legs in front of each session - in provincial languor, who want to join the subculture of yet another action film and in the provincial languor to see a dozen or three girls synchronously throwing their legs in the air before each screening - in the middle of it all, defying the world, stands an American boy, holding the flag of those who are being sought and killed in the jungle by his peers.He has made a choice and he is not hiding it.He has raised the guerrilla flag, wishing victory for the Vietnamese fighters and defeat for the American army, with whom he, an American, has nothing in common. On his head is a white motorbike helmet - the guy knows he can get beaten up.And the crowd, accustomed to spectacles, the indifferent crowd, the hurrying crowd, drops a dozen or three or four men from its mass, and they curl up in a circle, springing like bulls before the red colour, spitting the fellow with glances and remarks,   ..Soldiers with stretchers in the jungle and a student with a guerrilla flag near New York's Rockefeller Centre are two opposite flanks. Everyone knows the story of the four American sailors who escaped from the aircraft carrier Intrepid in Japan and travelled via Moscow to Stockholm to fight against the war. But does everyone know the story told to the International Public Tribunal in Copenhagen by the West German doctor Erich Wolf? American soldiers, flirting with German women nurses from the hospital ship "Helgoland" (FRG), invited them on "hunting expeditions".They circled in helicopters over the rice fields, looking for prey.   And when they found a Vietnamese, any Vietnamese, the machine-gunners "played with him like a cat with a mouse" and shot him at point-blank range.This is all American youth, but it is certainly not all youth. If we mentally imagine a gigantic panorama of American youth in 1967, between the opposite flanks, between the extreme points, there will be a great variety of types, shades, phenomena. The memorial services for the "silent generation" of the McCarthyist era have long since been served. Young people have spoken - everyone knows that. But even 1966 is markedly different from 1967. Young people are speaking louder, more forcefully, more sensationally, if you will, for you have to produce a sensation to be heard in America. It has been a tumultuous year; in parallel with the Vietnam War, big events inside the United States have often rattled like its echoes. They involved people of all ages, but, no offence to adults, it was young people who were the main participants in American dramas. It is their actions that paint a collective, very different and colourful portrait of the hero of 1967.Negro riots in Newark, Detroit, dozens of other cities?   It's the youth. The rabid Stokely Carmichael and Rapp Brown threatening guerrilla warfare in the ghettos? That's youth. The hippies with their extravagant but eloquent rejection of bourgeois society? That's youth. Linda Fitzpatrick, the 18-year-old daughter of a millionaire who left her parents' luxurious and spiritually dreary home and was found with a crushed skull in the basement of New York's East Village? It's young people. A 16 per cent jump in crime in the first nine months of the year? Mostly young people. A drug craze growing into a national scourge? Mostly young people. The unprecedented October "march on the Pentagon"? 80-90 per cent youth. Portraits of Che Guevara? In student hostels and the headquarters of youth organisations. The pickets that forced Dean Rusk to sneak out of the Hilton Hotel in New York? Youth. The sieges of recruiting stations? The moral ostracism meted out to university recruiters by the napalm corporation Dow Chemical? The thousands of subpoenas publicly torn up and burned in protest of the war?All of these are young people.Recently, the electronic machine at the Commerce Department that calculates population growth heralded the 200 millionth American.   On that occasion, President Johnson said that in 200 years of history, the American people have answered three decisive "yes" to three decisive questions: will they be a free nation? - during the War of Independence; would it be a united nation? - during the North-South Civil War; will it be a humane nation? - during the economic crisis of 1929 and the Rooseveltian social reforms. Johnson's rhetoric is vulnerable from many angles. But today's reality makes excursions into history superfluous. Today's Americans are proving that the nation is not united because of an inhumane and unjust system that embarks on adventures like Vietnam.The nation is divided now and sowing the seeds of future division, for the future is carried by the youth. The Vietnam conflict was thought of as a fleeting encounter between a colossus and a pygmy with a predetermined outcome, an island isolated from American prosperity and conscience. What was seen as the supreme valour, the most compelling evidence of America's power and wealth? That America, which can do nothing, can wage a dirty war with one hand and create a pure "great society" with the other.But the poet correctly said that no man is an island and that every man is part of the universe.The Washington pragmatists overestimated the factor of brute force and underestimated the moment of dialectical interrelation. In the end, it was because of this miscalculation that Robert McNamara himself, the original creator of the escalations, fell as one of the "victims" of the war, although this sacrifice is not counted in the field body count. Instead of the ostentation of a "great society", the world saw the agony of a "sick society", and Lyndon Johnson failed to fulfil the promise of simultaneous "guns and butter" and got a "home front" against the war.The dialectic of interconnectedness is avenged by the fact that the entire climate of the country is saturated with Vietnam. It is intuitively felt by the young outlaw, to whom the "hunting expeditions" of his peers in the jungle provide an additional impetus in the dark street. It is expressed in the protest of the inquisitive student who critically links the brutal practices of war with the "humanist" theories of anti-communism and concludes that his country is exporting not freedom and democracy but robbery, counter-revolution and the imperialist right of the strong. What kind of country and what kind of system is this?Of course, one has to experience a lot before one can express one's protest with the dynamics of the most popular anti-war slogan: "To hell with it! No! We're not going!" The Vietnam War and the protest against it by a generation over which the atomic mushroom of war psychosis had been hung from the cradle did not arise from nothing."This generation has not known a severe economic crisis, but it has known something worse," Martin Luther King said. - 'This is the first generation in American history to experience four wars in twenty-five years: the Second World War, the Cold War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. This is a generation of war, and it is showing its scars..... And yet we cannot call it a lost generation. We are the lost generation, because we are the ones who failed to give them a peaceful society."So what, then, is the generational conflict? "The bitter mockery of a deceived son over a squandered father," if we recall Lermontov's words? To a certain extent, yes, although there is no single generation of children and no single generation of fathers, especially in a class-hostile society.Whose fathers and whose children? The "big press" is most attentive to the student population. Firstly, the future elite of the nation is formed there. Then, they are the masses of people from the bourgeois milieu, to whom more attention is always paid in America. Finally, the change in mood is most noticeable there. It's not just the anti-war protests of the student body. There are other shifts worrying the ruling class.Big business is closely linked to universities, supplying them with money and orders for scientific research and counting on the inflow of young blood into corporations, on the fresh brains of talented graduates. Four or five years ago, the problem of young brains was easily solved. The system recorded in its asset the growing attraction of students to the world of big business, to the headquarters of leading corporations. Now the situation has changed. "Selling refrigerators to Eskimos seems to be only slightly harder than convincing today's students of the virtues of corporate service," says the Wall Street Journal. Corporations have gone to great lengths to prove that business "doesn't just make a dollar, but wants to help humanity," that "corporate life can be rich and meaningful," but these arguments are met with "disappointingly little" response. The strongest aversion to the charms of "corporate life" is shown by the colour of the student body, and they are the ones who are being hunted.This new phenomenon was noticed by many. The eminent English historian Arnold Toynbee, after spending three months in American universities (his eighteenth visit to the United States since 1925), found that "more change has happened in the last two years than in all the other forty years.""I have found that young people in America speak with disgust of the ideals of their parents," Toynbee notes, explaining that ideals have been reduced to making money. This change he considers "important, even dramatic."Indeed, the peculiar corporate evasion is no less dramatic than the anti-war movement, although it is certainly not as widespread or as loud. Another indicator: applications to join the Peace Corps are down 35 per cent.The number of volunteers has dropped because young idealists have realised the hypocrisy of Peace Corps agitation in Asia, Africa and Latin America at a time when the American Expeditionary Corps is busy "agitating" in Vietnam.The lost daughter of a bourgeois flees from a country mansion and resort in Bermuda to the cramped, marijuana-scented communal flats of a hippie. A young bearded radical, still naive but utterly sincere, dreams of becoming a revolutionary and thinks of ways to transform the democracy of the rich, which he has learnt the value of, into a representative democracy for all, including the blacks of Harlem and the unemployed miners of Appalachia. A brilliant student rejects a solid place and a salary in a corporation, wanting to serve not the dollar but the people. Different people, different forms of protest, but one denominator - the crisis of traditional ideals, or rather, the lack of ideals in the humanistic sense of the word. And indeed, children have outgrown their parents, if the parents do not realise what this is all about.Of course, bourgeois society has a thousand direct and cunning ways to curb the rebellious young generation. The hippie movement, as you might expect, is already degenerating into drug addiction and commerce. The craving for radicalism, so characteristic of capable, politically active youth, does not yet provide a guarantee against anarchic disorganisation and vagueness of political purpose, and without them the longevity of protest and its weight in the political arena cannot be assured. And of course, for the masses of young people, the many lures of the "American way of life" are still quite valid. In short, it is not a question of shaking the foundations, but of challenging these foundations, of the symptoms of the disease breaking out.These symptoms have not only intra-American but also international significance. Young people, the best part of them, testify: the example, the goods - from the Vietnam War to "free enterprise" - that Washington wants to sell abroad are in less and less demand at home.1967 г.CONVERSATION WITH DR SPOCKFrom his jacket pocket he takes out a piece of paper, unfolds it, and smoothes it gently with his strong doctor's fingers.- Here," he invites me to lean over, and I see a typographical drawing, corrected by hand, "thirty-five feet long. Perfect for the tropics, for the Virgin Islands. Not sleek or fast, but a comfortable yacht.- You see," he traced his finger across the drawing, "wider than usual. Tall. Takes 170 gallons of water, enough for a fortnight. There's a refrigerator.Just as carefully, he folds the paper, stashes it in his pocket, and leans back in the seat, stretching his long legs. "The Cadillac rustles majestically down the motorway. In front of us is the broad, fat back and black uniform cap of the chauffeur. Outside the window is the dry and austere running of cars between dotted lines on the concrete. And beyond the concrete is the fresh emerald green of New Jersey. It has risen grass, splashed leaves on the trees, but the petrol barrier does not let its fragrance onto the motorway, and the speed turns this living green only into a symbol of nature, which is tantalisingly near and inaccessibly far...The man sitting next to me is called Benjamin Spock. That's the one. The famous paediatrician. A prominent peace activist. Now that he was beside me, I wanted to strip away those manufactured epithets and delve into a living person.I was mastering his face. A firm face, that's the impression. No senile flabbiness. A strong gnarly nose, a strong forehead, a strong sloping chin. Smile is frequent, but stingy, not conveyor belt. Strong, fine teeth. I noticed that his gait was youthfully springy. He's gaunt. Tight. He's an American weight watcher. But he's 65 years old, and you can't escape it. Recently retired, gave up his medical practice. He's got a long-standing fame, he's got money.My sons have fledged. Time for a quiet, honest old age. A yacht, comfortable and easy to manage, the smoothness of the warm sea, safe small cabotage among exotic islands. And what days, dawns and sunsets must be there? In short, the famous Dr Spock, who made American mothers happy with his book "The Child and its Care" (20 million copies, over 170 editions), is on a well-deserved rest. "Beneath him is a stream lighter than azure, above him a ray of golden sunshine...".It's all available. Meanwhile, he, the rebellious one, asks for a storm. Without the storm, there is no peace for him.Leaning down, Dr Spock switches to a half-whisper, as if engaging in some sort of male conspiracy with me:- My wife was angry when I got involved with the yacht, but now she's reconciled. She understands. Now she herself says that if it weren't for the yacht, I'd be dead.We met in the middle of April 1968. He said that the first seventeen days of May were clean - no meetings, no dates, no appointments. A yacht was waiting for him and his wife in the Virgin Islands. In May, Benjamin Spock's name was again in the newspapers - the trial of the "Boston Five" began. The old paediatrician and four people with whom he was brought together to fight against the Vietnam War, sat in the dock.They are accused of conspiracy: of encouraging young people to avoid military service. When Lyndon Johnson announced his refusal to run for a second term, a partial halt to the bombing of the DRV and a willingness to negotiate with Hanoi, Dr Spock rejoiced, believing the trial could be scuttled and dropped. His lawyer dispelled his client's political and legal naivete. He told Spock that the authorities would not let the Five go since they were prosecuting those who evaded conscription.Spock now hopes that the trial, including the appeal, will take a year and a half, that the war will be over in the meantime, and that the vengeful fervour of his pursuers will subside. But he is prepared for the worst. The quiet conscience of this pensioner allows a prison cell instead of a cosy flat on New York's Lexington Avenue and a yacht under the refreshing breeze of the tropics.But who has seduced whom? The old doctor has enthusiastically succumbed to the example of youth. Like many Americans, he sees young people as "the only hope for change for the better in American society."- My friends say I've gone mad. I have, indeed, become belligerent. My hope is that young people will say in a strong voice, "Let's stop this monstrous stupidity! Let's bring order to this world!"- Why did they put me on trial? I decided, since young people are willing to go to prison to avoid going into the army, we older people should give them our support. I am by no means young, of course. But I am encouraged by the approval of youth. And now, when they want to judge us, no matter which university you come to, the auditorium is three times bigger, the enthusiasm is three times greater, they meet and see us off with applause. Standing up...I arranged the interview by meeting Dr Spock at a mourning rally after the assassination of Martin Luther King. Fate had briefly placed these two differently remarkable men side by side - at the head of the anti-war movement. King was assassinated a year after they walked together down Fifth Avenue in the first line of a mass protest march.The hastily convened funeral rally was held in Manhattan's Central Park. It was sunny and windy. A black woman in a black leather jacket and a man's hat was at the microphone. The shocked audience was excited. Behind the anger was a helplessness: what to do? How to respond to the crime?The Doctor towered above the other speakers. His presence among the young people, among those jumpers, open jackets, shirts, seemed strange, incomprehensible. His dark tee, his pocket handkerchief, his doctor's correctness, his strong, almost bald skull did not fit in with the beards, moustaches and temperament of the young rebels. In front of the microphone, Dr Spock stood in his characteristic pose, bowed, hands clasped to his chest, as if shrinking his almost two-metre height: his interlocutors had been children for so long.But Dr Spock's most important current word is not found in the paediatrician's lexicon. Belligerence is his password. He didn't say much back then, but he said it well. Yes, King professed non-violence, Spock emphasised, but he was a militant fighter for peace and justice.That's where I arranged to meet him. We were supposed to meet at his flat. But on the appointed day, the doctor was asked to appear on a television programme in Philadelphia. They sent a Cadillac to pick him up. The doctor invited me along, and it turned out to be a two hundred mile interview on wheels, from New York to Philadelphia and back. I was glad to have Benjamin Spock for five hours, with no telephone, which tends to ring frequently in his flat, and no door for other visitors to enter.The chauffeur, who had been listening to our conversation with the edge of his ear, delicately intervened.- It's an honour to be transporting you, Dr. Spock. I want to tell you this, although many people would probably have a different attitude. I'm for peace, Dr Spock, even though my son has been deferred from the draft.There was a murmur of bewilderment, dislike, timid approval in the line of ladies standing in front of the Philadelphia television studio as a tall man, familiar from newspapers and television, strode swiftly past.A long-haired fellow in a light brown leather coat shook his hand with feeling:- Dr Spock, I have the greatest respect for you.While waiting for the doctor to be summoned, we sat in a passageway by the television studio. Curious people were peering in. Dr Spock was introducing me to them. It wasn't hard to read on their faces, "I see. "You've come here with the red one."He sort of tortured his new acquaintances, teased them. He told of an episode with a priest who had a deferment from conscription, but had given it up in order to oppose the war without cover. And so the priest was summoned to the recruiting station. He hears unflattering remarks from other recruits: "You idiots! I should shoot you, dog!" Spock glares at the crowd, wondering what they'll say. The producer and his assistant are silent.It was a show by one Mike McDouglas, paid for by the Westinghouse Corporation. A vinaigrette of a Negro singer, deep in thought on the subject of whether to smile when singing sad blues, a jazz quartet of young schoolboys with a twelve-year-old trumpet girl who had embarked on the slippery slope of commercial success, and a local fashion model who proved that Philadelphia was no stranger to mini-skirt records.Then Dr Spock was summoned. He disappeared from the passageway room, and a couple of minutes later I saw him on the control screen. Through all this cheap fuss he was now, solemn and even prim, breaking through with his very serious truth about Vietnam, about napalm, about escalations, about how the world could "implode" if Washington's risky and impure schemes were not put to an end in time.The Westinghouse Corporation, which had bought McDouglas's show, needed his popularity to ensure a large audience for its next advert. And he had agreed to come to promote his just-released book, Dr Spock on Vietnam. He was embarrassed in front of me for this kind of deal and for the television mishmash, but he compromised because his second most important word is business.It's not a matter of Westinghouse commerce. It was a public matter, a matter of conscience, with which one should go on the telescreen and, if necessary, to prison.And looking at the TV screen, I saw how patiently he answered the questions - naive, angry, bourgeois:- Doctor, is it true that the president's daughter Lucy is using your book to raise the president's grandson Patrick?- And is it true, Doctor, that American women are now returning your book to you, not wanting to raise their children on the product of an anti-American?- Doctor, how do you feel about being called a traitor and a communist?It was clear from the questions what a great undisputed fame he had as a doctor, and that this fame had been blotted out for some and added to for others by the new fame of a fighter against the war. And he told them how in 1964 he had campaigned for Johnson against Goldwater and how two days after his victory Johnson had called him, thanking him for his help and expressing the hope that he would be worthy of Dr Spock's confidence. I am confident, Mr President, that you are worthy of our confidence," the paediatrician replied to him.- And three months later," Spock continued, "he betrayed all of us who trusted him, did exactly what he promised not to do....He ran out of time, bade farewell to McDouglas, to the studio staff. The same black Cadillac was waiting for us outside. On the way back I questioned Spock, how to explain the enormous success of his book on child care. He replied: firstly, it's cheap; secondly, it's comprehensive; thirdly, it's written very simply. I thought that maybe the craving for simplicity was what gave his character wholeness. His enemies have and still do insinuate to him that in the complicated business of war and politics there is no need for a baby doctor of whooping cough and nappies to get involved. But he does not agree that matters of war are the monopoly of politicians and specialists. For him, the complexity has not become the trees behind which the forest can no longer be seen - the cruelties and injustices of war.Dr Spock did not hesitate to join the peace movement, joining the liberal anti-war organisation Sane Nuclear Policy (SNP) six years ago. The liberals quickly disappointed him.- I was discouraged by the lack of fighting spirit in the peace movement," he said. - They are sincere, of course, but it is so difficult to get them to do anything. In recent years, SEIN's membership has grown from 20,000 to 23,000. If the organisation has only grown by three thousand as a result of such a terrible war, what sort of organisation is it?It has gone from liberals to radicals. From well-meaning protest to anti-war resistance, to organising mass campaigns for the refusal of young people to take part in the war. He is emboldened by the massiveness of protest, but he also sees the looseness, the diversity, the illusions. At one time, the idea of creating a third party - a party of "peace and freedom" on a national scale, nominating Spock or King as its presidential candidate - was popular. The idea was quickly abandoned. According to Dr Spock, the "new political forces" movement is "terribly weak" in the sense of organisation.- We wouldn't get more than a million votes. And then what? Total disappointment.His Vietnam insights have led him to a decisive conclusion about the nature of American politics. He considers it imperialist. But he adds:- Most Americans don't think we are imperialists. They think we're the good guys. For example, we dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and then we sent help there through the Red Cross. What are the good guys?Again and again I look at this Cadillac passenger hurrying back to New York. Torturing him with questions, trying to turn him around. Dr Opok is certainly not a politician. Certainly not a Marxist. He is a spontaneous, perhaps temporary radical who, with the intuition of an honest man, gets to the true springs of American politics. An honest son of his country. Speaks frankly to a foreigner about her blunders and vices. This is the frankness of a patriot - because people like him, and there are hundreds of thousands of them, take upon themselves the gigantic labour of washing away the black stains from the image of America.Above all, Dr Spock is a humanist doctor who is attracted not by economics and politics, but by the human being and social psychology. He has something to say to people, and he dreams of new books addressed to young people and adults, and is working on them.And, returning to his favourite topic, the topic of youth, he says, as he swears:- All my books are about instilling faith in young people, giving them worthy authorities to lean on..... Children from three to six years old play parents. Girls play mothers, boys play fathers. From the age of six, they begin to imitate adults more serious. And if the parents don't have high aspirations, the children go downhill spiritually....The last turn near the granite cliff, unknown how survived on the high, once wild shore of the Hudson among the houses and motorways. And that familiar, always exciting moment. Like a curtain opened on a huge stage, and from the last turn we see the panorama of Manhattan - the spire of the Empire State Building shining under a clear April sky, a mighty division of skyscrapers of the southern part of the city, among which Wall Street lurks, untold orders of houses, white, idyllic from here, haze over the chimneys of thermal power plants. The car rolls down, into the longest tiled hole of the tunnel under the Hudson, and we wistfully dive under traffic signs and traffic lights, into the clinging captivity of Manhattan streets. The city swallows us up and separates us. The end of the journey is the end of the conversation.We say goodbye at Columbus Circle, where there is a marble column with the famous discoverer of America. This is the geographical centre of New York, from here the city measures its distances to all four sides of the world.I shake the doctor's hand and then watch as the Cadillac drifts on, quickly getting lost in the jumble of cars. I watch with a complicated feeling. Well, Dr Spock, not only your books, but your present exploits inspire faith in man in many, many people. Ah, if only all of America could be calculated as accurately as the miles from Columbus Column....    NEARFROM NEW YORK(FROM THE TRAVEL DIARY)25-26 MAY 1966 NEW YORK - ITHACAPolitics is not the smooth asphalt of glorified American roads. At my own, correspondent level, I realise this whenever I am about to leave New York for a "trip across the country". Without politics, it's so easy: go down to the garage, get the car out, say goodbye to the skyscrapers of Manhattan on the Washington Bridge spanning the Hudson, or under the Hudson, in the three-kilometre-long Lincoln Tunnel, and, as they say here, "hit the road" with the right number.But since we can't do without politics, we have to start with the paperwork, with the State Department circular updated in November 1963, which lists the counties closed to Soviet citizens. By the simplest method of exclusion, you establish that what is not closed is open. You take Rand McNally's popular road atlas and, checking against the circular, shade the closed areas. You shade them thickly, as if to cross them out - they don't exist for you anyway. Sometimes whole states disappear under the shading. Having carried out the act of closing America, you ask yourself Columbus' question: what to open? So the turn comes to the itinerary of the trip. The itinerary is detailed: where? when? how? how far? where next? when? by plane? by train? ________________  If by car - on what roads: on road one to the intersection with road two and further on road two south-west to the intersection with road three and further on road three west to the intersection with road four and further, and further, and further, and further.... Here we are... "Overnight"...Then your route falls into the sphere of diplomacy, not the high diplomacy, but everyday, consular. You call the Soviet Consulate in Washington, on the other end of the line Volodya Sinitsyn arms himself with his map, even more detailed, we are travelling together: where? When? How...? Overnight? There is an overnight stay! So... What's next?My brainchild, composed at a desk on Riverside Drive, is climbing the ladder of interstate relations - no longer just a correspondent's itinerary, but a diplomatic note. The note goes to the State Department. Already the other side is travelling the map: who? where? when? how far? So... Let's move on. And - it's not hard to guess - calls to "third" institutions, enquiries, warnings.The note must be on the appropriate desk at the State Department forty-eight hours before the trip, off-days don't count. Forty-eight hours to think! If the Americans are silent for the whole forty-eight hours, it's okay, we can go. Suddenly, on the thirty-ninth hour, the consulate calls: stop! They've banned.....So a long-haul trip to Alabama, Arizona, New Mexico was cancelled. But we had to go. I needed fresh material for the newspaper. There was one topic in mind: Vietnam and the Americans, the war as a touchstone, as a surgical tool, revealing the depths of social psychology, political views of the American. How is his character expressed not by abstract percentages of Gallup polls, but in the concrete words of concrete people?And the other topic is not even a topic, but, as they call it, a free search, in the correspondent's way, like a hen on a grain, where something will fall.I made a new route: Ithaca (New York State), Niagara Falls, Dearborn (Michigan State), Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Uniontown (Pennsylvania State), Washington. All in all, not far from New York City. Part of the way by car. Some of it by plane, because you can't get to Dearborn and Pittsburgh any other way, they're open cities in closed areas. And the State Department, having remained silent for forty-eight hours, gave the go-ahead.Yesterday morning I went down to the garage, got into the Chevrolet, and left New York for a fortnight. There was rain and fog, beyond the control of the circulars, on the Washington Bridge, rain and fog on Approved Road No. 4 right up to its intersection with Road No. 17, rain without fog on Road No. 17, and on Road No. 96 the rain dried up, the sky cleared, and soon a deep lake in steep banks gleamed blue and the town of Ithaca opened up, the first stop of the fortnight.Ithaca nestled against the hill, obediently, like a slave to a master's yoke. On the hill is Cornell University, which the town lives by.Everything on the hill is spacious, peaceful, quiet, idyllically peppered with old oaks and maples. A detached, self-centred world of an American university. Modern is successfully blended into the false classics of the old buildings - halls, asphalt of paths cuts through the well-maintained green of lawns. The university has its own life - students with books on the grass, the smack of a ball on the tennis court, tweed jackets and carelessly tied ties of professors, sneakers and barefoot shorts of boys and girls - the latest student fashion.Meanwhile, Cornell's walls bear the mark of aristocracy - the green weaves of ivy. The university is a member of the so-called "Ivy League" of selected American universities. A Cornell diploma is a good starting point for success in society. It is not only highly valued, but also expensive. In the predominantly private sector of the university, a student pays $1800 a year for tuition, and all his expenses (with housing, food, textbooks, etc.) average about three thousand dollars. On the summer student shorts there is a boschy fringe, but on the ivy there are financial thorns, and they help to regulate the social composition of the pets.Liberty coexists with discipline and practicality. The clerk on duty at the university's Statler Inn is tight, buttoned, and pressed - American-style efficient. And he's a student too, from the department that trains hotel managers. The clerk worked deftly behind the counter, checking in arrivals, charging departures, selling newspapers and cigars. He was polite and cold. He handed me the keys and called up a colleague practising as a porter. A student porter would have passed for a professional. Picking up my suitcase, he let me into the lift, let me out first on the floor, opened the room door, gestured me forward again, spread out the suitcase stand, flicked the switches in the room and bathroom....And when he left, he put me in a small but psychologically acute dilemma: to tip or not to tip? Do I join in the game he was playing by the rules? Do I or do I not stick a quarter in the hand of a man who is getting a college education here for three thousand dollars a year? After considering this and that, I decided it was better to deprive him of the quarter than, God forbid, to humiliate him. The way he hesitated strangely at the door, I knew I was wrong.It began: you are in a foreign world, in a foreign monastery, without having learnt the subtleties of its statutes.....I first came to Ithaca a year ago. Then it was a tourist trip with four of us, enjoying the silence that cured nerves after New York, envious glances at students sunbathing on huge naked trees by the bank of a rapids local rivulet. Whitney Jacobs, assistant director of the university's information centre, led us up the hill, speaking mockingly but also respectfully about Ezra Cornell, the "man of the soil" who made millions laying the first telegraph cables a hundred years ago, and in his old age made a good deal with the New York State authorities, exchanging half a million and a hill near Ithaca for the grateful memory of posterity - his gift was the beginning of Cornell University.Now I was alone and on business. Back in New York, I'd told Whitney Jacobs on the phone the purpose of the trip. He was quiet for about ten seconds, no more. Well, Vietnam is Vietnam. Cornell University is ready to accept a correspondent of Izvestia, even if he wants to find out the mood on a sensitive issue.Without commitment, a business American is as unthinkable as without a fresh shirt, smoothly shaved cheeks, and physical and figurative weight control. Whitney immediately called me back to New York and informed me that a "pretty good selection" of interviewees had been prepared: two students who were opponents of government policy in Vietnam, two supporters, one professor who was "strongly opposed," another professor who was "reluctantly in favour," willing to talk but did not want to be quoted.Whitney had booked not only interlocutors but a room at the Statler Inn and came to see me, barely had I had time to wash up from the road and recover from a psychological sketch with a carrier trainee. In Whitney's hands was a packet, and the packet contained the usual miracle of American orderliness: a minute-by-minute programme of my meetings, the text of the resolution of the executive committee of the student government condemning US policy in Vietnam, brief details of my interlocutors, including a copy of the university profile of Professor Douglas Dowd, who was "strongly opposed", a report on graduate student Tom Bell, who had staged an anti-war sit-in in the office of the university president, the latest issue of the Cornell Daily Sun student newspaper, and so on.- Vietnam? Please. We have nothing to hide," was the gesture Whitney made as he handed me the package. We checked on the health of mutual acquaintances and made our way downstairs to the basement bar, where the student bartender pulled two frosted, frosted glasses off the ice and poured us German beer.Vietnam... It's so far from the Cornell paradise of peace and quiet. But it's here, it casts its shadow on the hill. I hit the hottest time. Students with books on the grass are preparing for exams, but the most important exam of all is offered on top of the syllabus - the Army Selective Conscription Service. From the realm of conviction and conscience, the Vietnam question has been translated into the practical realm of fate and social selection: students who fall into the last third of their course by the results of this exam may end up as soldiers. Who would swap books for rifles, lawns for jungles, professors for sergeants?The bronze Ezra Cornell, standing on a large lawn, had no idea that nearby, in Union Hall, students were voting on Vietnam. The executive committee of the student government had set up a referendum, calling for a vote against both the war and the test. Its opponents were campaigning, too. A piece of cardboard nailed to an oak tree outside Union Hall read, "The Executive Committee has spent student fees on its appeals. We do not need Pravda dictating the party line to us." (The executive committee's appeal is published in the Cornel Daily Sun as a paid commercial ad because the student newspaper is organised on a commercial basis.)"The Cornell Daily Sun is further from Pravda politically than Ithaca is from Moscow geographically, and the executive committee, as I found out, wasted no contributions on the ad. Passions were simply aroused.Student passions provided food for academic minds, and associate sociologist Rosa Golsten ran them through an electronic-counting machine, surveying some of the students; I saw her detailed folders and heard the conclusion: there are few political activists on the right and left, the majority are apathetic and apolitical.The referendum amended that. The apathetic did turn out to be many, but still more than fifty per cent of undergraduate and postgraduate students (6655 out of 12,000) voted.Fifty-five per cent were in favour of withdrawing support for the Saigon regime, and fifty-three per cent for stopping the bombing of North and South Vietnam. What struck everyone was the forty-eight per cent who voted for a "final and complete withdrawal" of US troops from South Vietnam.What do these percentages mean? Solidarity with a struggling Vietnam? Criticism of the war alone or of U.S. foreign policy in general? Or perhaps public condemnation? Or maybe confusion of young minds, convinced from childhood that this is the most beneficent society, bringing the light of great ideals to all ends, and suddenly finding a shameful stain on its garment? How much of this is "mature" and how much is from the play of youth in politics?There is no single answer. And the questions, in my opinion, are essential for assessing the moral and political ferment in the current generation of American students, who, replacing the McCarthy-era silencers, are making noise around the world. These are questions not just for Ithaca, but for the entire anti-war movement in America. Much depends on what yardstick to measure it by. If we use the measure of the Korean War, which progressive Americans often use, it is an unprecedented movement, violent, broad, inspiring optimism. By the measure of practical impact on policy, there is less room for optimism: the anti-war movement did not compel real policy change in the ruling circles.It is important to define the political and class nature of the movement, avoiding the simplistic, but alas, familiar view that those who oppose our enemies are with us and our allies, those who oppose Washington's war in Vietnam are in favour of the Vietnamese people's war of national liberation. It's tempting, but deceptive - American political life is far more complex.The four students offered by Whitney Jacobs! four in-depth interviews gave me a glimpse of three political colours. Of course, a journalist is a photographer, not an artist. I photographed my interlocutors from one angle that interested me: political. Whitney was present at all of the conversations, but maintained neutrality, not embarrassing the students.What I got was this.PhD student Tom Bell is a radical, leader of the university group Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). A convinced bloke who's been through a lot of critical thinking. He has a thick moustache as a challenge to bourgeois conformism, but it's not his moustache that matters, it's his views. His starting point is his rejection of capitalist America "Does our society fulfil the true needs of man...? Is the purpose of life to make money and fill the house with vulgar things...? Our country satisfies man only on an animal, material level." From his point of view, what is happening in Vietnam is "a liberating, anti-colonial war linked to social revolution." Its goal? To create "a powerful political current to change U.S. foreign policy."David Brandt is the president of the student government, the organiser of the referendum. According to Brandt, the referendum proves that not only the student activist but also the "ordinary" student has now gone to oppose the war. The starting point of his criticism? "Americans are violating in Vietnam the very principle of self-determination on which the United States was founded." For him, Vietnam is a mistake and an accident, not a policy derived from a system. What is his goal? To correct the mistake by ending the war and withdrawing troops. David Brandt, like most students protesting the war, is alien to the radicalism of Tom Bell.Thomas Moore and Howard Reiter are pro-war activists. Both are excited by their first "confrontation" with a living Communist. Both are enjoying in their youthful way the entitlement bestowed upon them by American democracy - the free speech that so often covers up bad deeds and bad policy. The starting point? A schoolboy anti-communism, an imperial psychology in which it seems perfectly natural for Americans to have the right to judge, rank and file for other nations- Communists deceive nations with good promises," says Thomas Moore, "but we won't let them deceive the Vietnamese this time.And Howard Reiter observes:- If we leave, the Viet Cong will win, and there will be no free society in Vietnam.Looking at me with innocent eyes, he continues: -Our main task is to find such leaders in South Vietnam who can carry out the "Honolulu programme".He is not at all embarrassed by the fact that the "Honolulu programme" was concocted in one sitting by President Johnson, who is not at all authorised to represent the Vietnamese, and by the puppet Key, who represents only President Johnson in Saigon, and that, in general, the search for South Vietnamese leaders is not an American activity at all.It would seem so obvious. But Howard Reuther is stuffed with a different kind of obvious. My words bounced off the wall like peas. He is a fresh product of the ideological conveyor belt - not battered, not battered, not battered by life. He is full of goodness, wants to bestow his "free society" on the Vietnamese, not stingy with sacrifices, mostly Vietnamese. He is genuinely convinced that what is good for him, an American, cannot" fail to make the Vietnamese happy. He is an honestly deluded little fellow, Washington's easy prey, for he is mistaken who believes that the mass support of the imperialists in the American people is the professional militarists in the Pentagon and the political hawks on Capitol Hill.American Boy Scouts are supposed to do good deeds, preferably at least one a day. Howard Reiter is like a Boy Scout from a story that Senator Fulbright once recalled to illustrate his country's foreign policy and the imperial psychology of his countrymen. The story is simple, but with meaning. Three Boy Scouts were excitedly reporting to the Scoutmaster about the good deed of the day: they had helped a strange old lady cross the street.- That's fine," said the Scoutmaster. - But why did the three of you cross her?- Well," explained the Boy Scouts. - She didn't want to cross the street....Howard Reiter is important as a type. He was born in an era of anti-communism and logically grew up an imperialist by conviction, though I am sure he would be offended by such a characterisation. Like the Moliere hero, he is unaware that he is speaking in prose. It's hard to say how life will deal with him. But it's easy for him - he's adrift.It's harder for Tom Bell and his comrades. They're swimming against it. They have not rid themselves of petty-bourgeois utopia, because they rely not on class strength (according to Bell, the American working class is "bribed and conservative"), but on age, on young people, on young protest against society. Not accepting the world. left to them by adults, the radical student youth even sets age ceilings for participants in the movement: thirty-five, or even twenty-five, or even almost eighteen. This is touching and naive. Today's youth has not been bypassed by one eternal law - they too are getting older. "Noisy, excited, boiling" and ... and falls into the nets set by society, and they're everywhere.A smart guy, Bell understands that over the years the participants of the movement will face an inevitable dilemma: either to continue rebellion, for which society takes revenge by means of economic pressure, depriving radicals of warm places and material benefits, by means of psychological pressure, portraying them as outcasts and "un-American" (Howard Reiter is not threatened by the latter), or, figuratively speaking, to shave moustaches and beards, comb their views and fit into this society, recognising the "delusions of youth".But here is Professor Douglas Dowd - far from being a student. He's acting head of the Department of Economics.- Using napalm against villages? It's indescribably horrible! I speak of it with great reluctance. I wish I lived in a country where I could shout hooray for my government.This is not to say that the professor is against capitalist America. But he sees the ills of American society and fights them in his own way as a man of liberal views. He led expeditions of Cornell students travelling south to Tennessee to help blacks. Now he is one of the leaders of the "intercollegiate committee" that organised the well-known "silences" (public debates) on Vietnam. Cornell University has its own anti-war group, with thirty-five professors and faculty members actively involved.- I am convinced that the more people talk about the war, the more war opponents there are. I believe in the American people. If they are brought into a serious political discussion, they will make a worthy decision.Douglas Dowd has been against the colonial war in Indochina since 1947, when the French were just starting to stir it up. And the epiphany came earlier, in the Philippines, at the end of the Second World War. The military pilot Captain Douglas Dowd commanded a special air group that rescued downed American pilots. He had contacts with Filipino guerrillas.- You couldn't help but admire them," he says. - I knew many of them well. And suddenly, imagine, just after the war ended, I find out that my friends are being put up against the wall by the Filipino feudal lords. Suddenly our government is taking the side of this upper class against the guerrillas...Suddenly the young pilot had a lot of those. He released prisoners of war - British, French, Dutch, captured by the Japanese in the colonies of Southeast Asia. And suddenly he learnt that the soldiers were returning to their former places of service to restore the old colonial orders. For the economics professor, these suddenly no longer exist. He believes that American business, and after it the American government, has become frightened of the movement for social change and social revolutions in underdeveloped countries. He, however, explains this by myopia, nothing more, and an inability to realise that "enlightened egoism" requires the US to support national liberation movements. It is curious to compare the views of Professor Daoud and the student Reuter, so to speak, through their biographies. The professor came to criticise this war through participation in another war, through meetings with Filipino guerrillas. He is not intimidated by the communists, the "Viet Cong": he knows the Filipino patriots. And Reuter was born after the war. He is a product of the Cold War. For as long as he can remember, he remembers talk of mythical "scary communists" undermining his America from afar, stealthily. A generation raised on anti-communism - isn't that the generation that fought in Vietnam? And isn't it the same generation fighting against the war here in the United States?27 MAY. ITAKA - WARRENChecked out at the hotel in the morning. $25 for two days. The "patrons" here are not poor: parents of students, former graduates, academic guests, businessmen associated with the university. The university, by the way, has a big budget - $124 million in the 1964/1965 academic year. One-third of the money comes from the federal government - in the "post-Sputnik" era, Washington is generous to science. The government, as well as corporations and private foundations, gave Cornell $55 million last year for 1,500 different projects. You can guess from the kindly caution with which we were led around the grounds that orders come in many forms....The houses and streets of Ithaca were dozing, but the gas stations - America's first roosters - were already awake. The first conversation of the morning:- Good Morning, sir. How much to fill up?- Good Morning. All the way up.American cities, especially small ones, are strung on the roads like kebabs on a skewer. A traveller doesn't need a language, his eyes will take him to Kiev. Signposts with road numbers and directions are everywhere on the streets and crossroads. I quickly found my own, approved 13th, the direction - south, and in half an hour, in the morning chill, skipped deserted thirty miles to Elmira, where it was necessary to exit on the road 328.Elmira had no time to wake up, sparse cars and even sparser passersby on the empty streets. Two old men on swivel stools at the counter of an early-opening diner. The waiter, not yet cranked up to the top speed of breakfast time, was exchanging news of weather and business with them.Local businesses didn't catch my attention. I was looking for the Mark Twain Museum. The road atlas indicated that Elmira is "the place where Mark Twain was born and buried." I was directed to the central town square. There was an old Mark Twain Hotel there, but no museum. There was a public garden, but in the public garden was a monument not to Mark Twain, but to a soldier with a determined face, a rifle and wearing a tropical hat. Where did that hat come from in upstate New York, near the Canadian border? "To the veterans of the Spanish wars of 1898-1902. Cuba-Puerto Rico-Philippines," the dedication read.The people of Elmira had raised money by public subscription to immortalise just those pages of national history that their great countryman had damned. Denouncing the "imperialists of 1898," Mark Twain wrote: "We have called upon our pure young men to put the disgraced musket to their shoulder and do bandit work under the flag which bandits are accustomed to fear .... We have abused the honour of America."As if said yesterday at an anti-war rally.There is no Mark Twain museum in Elmira, as it turns out. But a hundred metres away from the bronze soldier, under a tree by the road, there is a small stone with a memorial plaque. There used to be a house where Mark Twain and his wife Olivia Langdon lived. The house belonged to the Langdon family. It is now replaced by a paid car park.In 1952, the Langdon family donated to Elmira College the "Mark Twain Study," an octagonal wooden gazebo with windows on all sides that used to stand on East Hill--on a mountain near Elmira where the Langdons had a farm.The simple arbour bored by the green pond on the college grounds. Through the windows I saw a small round table, two rocking chairs, three chairs, a tall typewriter under glass, a fireplace and mantelpieces. It was in this study that Mark Twain wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.If the mountain doesn't go to Mohammed.... Mark Twain returned to Elmira, an old and beautiful cemetery with shady alleys.I catch myself that if I am not discovering America, I am repeating it like a schoolboy repeating familiar material. What on the first trip was an unknown cipher, on the tenth trip is already an alphabet, the alphabet of motels, roads, airfields, even the alphabet of cemeteries. Yes, even cemeteries are the alphabet of convenience and rationality. I guessed that I would not have to look for a car park near the cemetery gate, that I could drive up to the grave itself. And so it was: the directional arrows led me to the right place. Mark Twain is buried in the Langdon family plot. On a small hill are the graves of "the beloved late wife of Samuel L. Clemens," his three daughters and son-in-law Osip Gabrilovich. Next to them on the tombstone granite:Samuel Langhorne Clemens.- Mark Twain -November 30, 1835 - April 21, 1910Here, on the hill, Clara Clemens-Gabrilovich (Mark Twain's daughter, who died in 1962) erected a large monument to her father and husband in 1937. Their bas-reliefs are carved in granite.Americans do not nurture a tenth of our emotional and intellectual attachment to their great writers. But Mark Twain is very popular and his fame is growing, and I find it hard to explain why Elmira hasn't turned her business around on Mark Twain.In Hannibal, the sleepy Mississippi River town we visited three years ago, Mark Twain was at every turn. We drove there with a mate late in the afternoon, and even as we drove in we were intercepted by the neon glow of the small but clean Tom and Huck Motel. In the morning we had breakfast in town, in a restaurant where they put eggs and bacon on a "memorial" paper napkin with a map and a list of Twain's places. The writer spent his childhood in Hannibal, which later became the childhood of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. In Becky Thatcher's house-museum, throwing a coin into a huge "orchestralola", once commissioned by the writer, we listened to his favourite music "Marseillaise", "Moonlight Sonata", gopak.We also visited the cave "named after Mark Twain". Now it is electrified and not so scary, but the guide used to do tricks with light and, plunging into the pitch darkness, we were penetrated with fear and awe of Tom Sawyer. By the way, next to the entrance to the cave there is another entrance - to the atomic bomb shelter. How much water has passed! And the fears have become different, and the trepidation.Not far from Hannibal there is a memorial park above the Mississippi, beautiful, well-kept and empty. Empty too was the river at that hour, no boat or steamboat, wide, powerful, coming up to the green islands. In the park is a monument to Mark Twain from Missouri, erected in 1913, with a nice inscription, "His religion was humanity, and the whole world mourned him when he died."Cannibal townie Courbet, owner of the Tom and Huck Motel, is far from high-minded. A countryman of Tom Sawyer, he has read about the adventures of Twain's heroes, climbed caves as a child, spent his days on the Mississippi, but then he learnt his father's advice to "be the best, not the second best" - in the art of making money.We invited him into the room for a conversation and a glass of whiskey. Courbet rejected the whisky. He doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke. He sat there virtuous, healthy, in a fresh blue shirt. He sat and talked. The most memorable for him was 1942. Then twenty-six years old, a newly married guy, he took a loan from an acquaintance of a real estate dealer and bought a house for twenty-one thousand dollars. Three years later, a hard working man, a jack of all trades, he remodelled the house and sold it for twenty-seven. He bought another house and, having remodelled it, sold it again. The operation was repeated fifteen times. In his forty-seven years he owned a motel for eighty-five thousand dollars, some of it paid in cash, some in instalments.Two sons in college. He did not let his father down and passed the same baton to his children: "be the best, not the second best". The competition has become tougher, it's harder to be "the best." But he is sure that his sons will not let him down. He himself is a railway worker, a train crew foreman. When he comes home from his shift, he helps his wife to wash the motel laundry - they give only the sheets to the laundry, and the two of them manage the motel together. The railway gives once a year the right to free travel with the family. Courbet does not use this right. Unprofitable: you come, for example, in Kansas City by train, and there in the city will have to travel at your own expense - bus, taxi. It's better to travel in a car.Courbet is sure that he has realised the meaning of life - now he will sell motels.At Becky Thatcher's house-museum we met an elderly teacher from Chicago who had been to the Soviet Union. I wrote down her words, "I like your country. There is a future there. Because before, his books were considered rubbish here. And he was a man of great humanity, great humanity in your way."And Courbet about Mark Twain said condescendingly: "a genius with a pen", "became famous because he wrote about children, and everyone loves children. In his opinion, Mark Twain was also in business, but different, and he got money easier....From Elmira to Warren is about one hundred and seventy miles along the northern edge of Pennsylvania, far from big cities and gated communities. Five times we had to change road numbers, but it is a familiar matter, the road signs skilfully transferring from one road to another, giving advance warning of motorway meetings and separations. The language of road signs is good - clear, commanding, addressed to the person next to the danger of speeds and bearing danger: "Don't fall asleep!", "Daredevils lose their rights", "Maximum speed - 60 miles", "Reduce speed! School zone!", "Reduce speed! City limits," "30 miles maximum," "Watch out for traffic lights," "End of zone! Resume speed!", "Watch out! Deer crossing!".Sometimes an apologetic note: "Detour! Sorry for the inconvenience."But the need for apologies is rare. The roads are enviable. You can take a lot from America. Cars? Yes, of course, although they have become a curse in the big cities, on Sunday summer evenings, when hundreds of thousands of residents return to New York, cars can be found bumper to bumper nz the three-row Long Island Expressway as early as 33 twenty miles out of town. And take the roads without reservation. Their so-called "farm roads are far beyond our neighbourhoods. And the regional ones, alas, have never dreamed of motorways stretched in the American backwoods between towns of five to ten thousand people. And still there is no rest for the roads, not from cars - from builders. The old ones are being widened and new ones are being built even where, it would seem, there are no large flows of goods and people.Here and there is the orange colour of roadworks, the eye-catching colour of warning and alarm. Large orange billboards: "Look out! Work ahead!" And a suite of road signs sounds, starting a mile or two away from the work site. "Reduce speed! 40 miles maximum!" A new instruction: "30 miles maximum." The measured tacts of road signs, "Left lane closed in half a mile," "Move to the right lane," "20 miles maximum!", "Watch out! People are working!" And after that admonition to inspire respect for working people, there are orange bulldozers, orange graders, orange trucks, orange construction workers' waistcoats and helmets.And blue big billboards at the entrances to the new, not yet tyre-darkened wide lanes of motorways: 'Your tax dollars at work'. These are road-building taxes at work. The great road network developed in the thirties, under Roosevelt, under the "public works" programme. It helped suck up unemployment after the famous economic crash.The road is like a song. Doesn't it, in the words of the poet, help "what to remember in life, what to forget"? Even if it is not a Russian road, but a Pennsylvania road, through green low mountains, with a short stop at the local Grand Canyon, with a glimpse of federal and state forests, where signs call to "protect your forest and enjoy it", where cleared picnic grounds with roughly chipped tables and benches and even a tap and a comfortable toilet. Small towns, lawns in front of neat whitewashed houses, terraces in the shade of trees, and again - "End of the zone! Resume speed!" - the motorway jerks into the green mountainous country."What in life to remember, what to forget..." In the unique, all-consuming world of New York, where the individual is lost in a crowd of eight million at the foot of cold, gleaming skyscrapers, where cars roar under the windows around the clock, and the brutal newspapers, which you must study at least by virtue of direct work duty, reflect the brutal struggle of the people - in this city it seems that the whole of America from the Atlantic to the Pacific is built up with skyscrapers, clogged with traffic jams and industrial rumbles, not silent for a second. You know in your mind, but in your heart you forget that it's not so. But when you get out, there it is, a spacious green country running along the road, "America the Beautiful," as their song goes. In their song... That's the thing. The road lulls you to sleep. Your eyes are on oncoming cars, on the yellow dividing strip, on the speedometer, and your memory is far away. And it turns out that there is no better and lovelier road of childhood - sandy slopes and crooked golden pines on the' edge, and after them the ship's boron on the forest road from Savasleika to Kulebak. There is no more beautiful, more memorable dawn than the one I once saw as a child from the back of a lorry shaking on the cobblestones of the Gorky-Murom-Kulebaki highway. We were freezing all night, and then dawn broke in the field above the edge of the forest, and the red, still available to the eye, still scalding cold sun was jumping behind the tops of trees, jumping with us....And suddenly, on this magnificent asphalt, among the well-groomed expanses and beauties of another country, which you plough through at the speed of sixty miles, a longing for the heart would seize you.... No, brother, it's no good upsetting yourself with memories when you're far from home, from the people you love, and alone as a finger.I burst into Warren, and the first traffic light said to me with its red eye: "Sassy, bro. Stop..." Streets clogged with cars again."Overnight in Warren," the note said.I wanted quiet, there were woods all around and a river with a beautiful Indian name of Allegheny, the road book beckoned good hunting, fishing, swimming and even winter sports, but in vain I trotted within the twenty-five mile radius allowed. There was no silence. If I had come here four years ago, still new to America, I probably would have marvelled: small town, fourteen thousand inhabitants, and a few hotels and motels - honour and praise to it. Today I think about the fact that everything is dictated by business, and the presence of hotels, and the fact that they are all under the nose of the roaring roads. They don't want to spend on asphalt driveways. And they are superstitious, devils, superstitious businessmen: what if a motorist does not want to swing and five hundred metres away from the motorway, what if there is no better music for him than the ear-splitting music of the roads.And so I landed - the Shady Lawn Motel, three orphaned trees, soundproof cabins-cottages made of some synthetic pseudo-brick, which were about to be blown away by the air wave from the frantic shells-auto vans on federal road number six. The road became my enemy as soon as I left it. But I know it will be a friend again as soon as the engine of the Chevrolet purrs tomorrow.27 MAY. WARREN TO NIAGARA FALLSOvernight, the cars have quieted down.Today is Saturday off, tomorrow is Sunday off - Americans have long been on a five-day week. And Monday is Memorial Day, also a holiday. So, long weekend.Memorial Day began shortly after the Civil War between the North and the South, and now commemorates the fallen of all wars. End of May, graves in flowers.Warren has its own bronze soldier, too, in a park by the river. In the very centre of the town, yet out of sight and surprisingly inconspicuous. Families, with babies in prams, snooped around the shops where the next sale was going on - they happen before every holiday (Independence Day, Washington's Birthday, Lincoln's Birthday, Labour Day, and the most important one - before Christmas). Gawkers flocked around the van, long, new, sheltering a mobile X-ray room: would you like to get a picture of your own lungs? The square with the soldier was empty and quiet, and the drunk, the only drunk I had found in all fourteen thousand pre-holiday Warren souls, snored blissfully by the pedestal, brightening the loneliness of the bronze hero.There are monuments to soldiers everywhere, in almost every town I have been to - and I have been to dozens - but they have a strange way of being invisible. Is it because they are the same, like a letter of reply? Or from the fact that they are not suffered, that there is in them, in my opinion, something of a game of history? Or maybe just because they are foreign? I don't know.Less than a million Americans have died on the battlefields of every war the US has fought, including the bloody Civil War, World War I, and World War II. How that figure reflects the difference in our historical destinies, the measure of sacrifice and suffering, and finally the national character!The day before yesterday, on the eve of leaving Ithaca, Whitney Jacobs invited me to his home. We sat on the patio, above the trees that ran down the hillside, and Whitney, having shed the officialism of tie and jacket and dressed in liberating house trousers and holey sneakers, sipped whiskey soda and, in his homely way, searched for common ground with me - that obligatory activity of the American and the Soviet man wherever they meet in our age, whether at a high-level conference table or intimately, at home, over a whiskey soda. The two of us searched for these points - in our childhood, in our life's journey. And fumbled for something in common, like the people at the conference tables, but not much. We are children of different countries and, sitting on the terrace on a quiet and warm evening, we felt their breath behind our shoulders all the time.Whitney was in the Marines during World War II. He told me how he saw a sheepskin sky on a Pacific island where they were cut off and taken by the Japanese. Which island? I didn't remember, but to the Americans it was a famous battle.A small fact, but a characteristic one. We live at the same time in the same land that has become very close, we made history together during that, the big war, and most of us have the same concern - keeping the peace. But even the same information passed through our brains is processed differently by us because we live different lives. On a popular level, on a mass level, we don't remember their battles, except for the Normandy landings; they don't remember ours, except for Stalingrad. I've met Americans who have presented us with only one wartime bill - the outstanding LEND debts. Eleven billion dollars - this figure they remembered exactly, the rest they didn't know or had forgotten. This is Shylock's calculation, it is dry and simple, like other alphabetical truths of American practicality. The more conscientious ones flinched, however, when I mentioned our contribution to the victory. It was a figure they did not know: twenty million of our deaths, and two hundred and ninety-one thousand Americans who died in World War II. \ It is sacrilegious to translate blood into arithmetic, but so much less suffering and tragedy! And the rampart of fire that swept across our land, and safe America, which underwent on its territory only the drama of Pearl Harbour, and that not on the continent, but in Hawaii. And the starvation blockade of Leningrad.This is not an abstract conversation about matters of bygone days. People's memory is a shaky notion, it flows through the holes in the punch cards of electronic computers without lingering. But it exists and acts as a living history, written in the hearts of millions. It forms the national character.Here is a snack bar, aka office, at the Shady Lawn Motel. If you order tea instead of coffee, you're a stranger. It's a penny diner, but it's got the characteristics of the country and the people. The nickel-plated kitchen is right in front of your nose, across the counter. The menu on the wall, in front of my eyes, as big as a signboard. Semi-finished and tinned food, sterile and tasteless, all at the old lady's fingertips. Swivelling book racks - a set of cheapies, but take your pick, and then pay the same waitress. Open racks for magazines. A little machine from which postage stamps pop out, each a cent more expensive, but no need to go to the post office. Convenient? Convenient. It's convenient. Everything is rational.Behind the pseudo-brick cottages is a small park of trailers - motorhomes. There are luxury trailers, but here they are havens for old couples, breathless ships at rest. Concrete slats are placed under the front of the trailers. Each trailer has its own concrete pad - a factory-made imitation of a yard. The trailers are inhabited: a couple of large propane tanks for gas cookers are neatly arranged, the windows are lit, cars are parked nearby, ready to take the ships off their moorings at any moment.But... The damn "but" at the intersection of convenience and lifestyle. The trailers are extinct. They're five metres apart, but the connections between the occupants are broken. Saturday before a holiday. It's a nice evening. And everyone's behind the curtains. No one comes out to sit next to each other, have a word with a neighbour, score some American goat.Two tables buried under a tree by the motel office were empty.I sat down at the table like an actor on the stage, gripped by an eerie feeling of complete failure. My skin felt the perplexed stares from the trailer windows: what a laughingstock, what a strange weirdo?Three miles away from the motel was a campsite by the river. Park, grass, picnic tables, water rustling. Not a soul. All in tents or near tents, in public, but all to themselves.We are different, although it is fashionable to say that Russians are like Americans. And in that constant mental reckoning which our brother is always busy with in America - what can be learnt from them and what cannot? - I made one more private conclusion in "Shady Lawn": it is possible to take the equipment of a diner, trailers too, perhaps. But the whole atmosphere, invisible but creepy, God forbid!And in the morning I "hit" road number six, then number 89, through the unassuming, abandoned northwest corner of Pennsylvania, through poor, Saturday-less towns and villages, jumped out on the magnificent New York State Thruway, and, and, after receiving permission to speed up, gained seventy miles and raced along Lake Erie, past the industrial clutter of Buffalo right up to the traffic lights of Niagara Falls, where he disappeared in a cluster of cars rushing to the falls.Niagara Falls ... American John Steinbeck saw them already on the sixth decade, when he went with his dog Charlie in search of America. He said two words about the falls: very nice. What can you say about Niagara Falls?But how nice it is on a sunny day on the green Goat River, surrounded by the river, rapids and waterfalls. The Niagara - all in white scallops - carries itself over the ridges of the rapids to the falls. On the rapids, the water rushes and rushes to glorify itself with an unprecedentedly powerful fall, while in the pools near the shore it sneaks quietly, secretly, as if hoping to avoid a common fate.A helicopter rattles - that's for those who want a view from above. "The Cave of the Winds gives yellow cloaks to those who want to see the waterfalls from below, from the wet wooden bridges on which the triumphant Power of Water is about to fall. They disappear in the lift down into the underworld of the Cave of the Winds, and then slip and slip their way along the bridges, the shiny yellow rubber of their cloaks next to the white, sparkling avalanche of the waterfall. They return excited, splashing all over. Couples on the shore laugh more often, cling to each other more tightly. And, generously embracing this cheerful holiday world, a rainbow trembles in the sky, torn in the middle by an eternal cloud of water dust.On the other bank, steep and high, opposite the three waterfalls, is the industrial landscape of neighbouring Canada. It's right next door, Americans and Canadians don't need visas, they freely cross the border over the bridge....Whatever you say, you can understand the confusion of the Seneca Indians who once lived here. They are still imposing now, the waterfalls, though Niagara is in the ring of American and Canadian industry. Man has harnessed them for business, but has not taken away their grandeur, and now that grandeur is protected. Goat Island belongs to the state.The excursion steamer "Maid of the Mist" received heavy cloaks, black and long like monks' robes. The steamer dances on the mighty headlands at the foot of the water avalanche. What freshness from the innumerable splashes, from the water dust sparkling with diamonds!At night the waterfalls are beautified, make-up nature with electricity. Powerful illumination changes colours - the avalanche of water is purple, scarlet, green. Spectacular, fantastic, but also stupid. Isn't it better to listen to the trumpet voice of water in the dark? At night, another operation is performed - a working one, not a cosmetic one. The Con Edison Company intercepts a hefty portion of Niagara water (to God be God and to Caesar be Caesar) and, cutting the river bend, drives it through underground tunnels under the city to the turbines of its hydroelectric power station. This operation is carried out in the daytime, but at night they take more soda - even with the illumination tourists will not see how exhausted the waterfalls are.I went to the editorial office of the local Niagara Falls Gazette. Unfamiliar colleagues in an unfamiliar city met me politely. They volunteered to show me the hydroelectric plant. Called the hydroelectric plant, and they didn't object either. The State Department objected in absentia. According to the map, we established that the hydropower plant lay outside the official city limits, in a closed area.What to do? What to do? I "felt" the waterfalls. I inspected two massive and elegant water intake towers (they are in the open area). The main street, of course, Waterfall Street.What else? I left the editorial office, and my feet were already carrying me to the Chevrolet parked across the street.Suddenly I had an unexpected conversation with a skinny, long-nosed stranger at the door of the Niagara Falls Gazette. We began, as usual, with the weather and, fittingly, the waterfalls. He told me that he happens to deal with other foreigners, engineers and scientists, who come here, helping them to arrange accommodation. Suddenly the man burst out - confession with caution, because his own people are strangers to him, but with me, a stranger, he can share. He has seen the world, during the war he was a soldier in Africa, Burma, India ("We didn't fight in India, though"), and he is intolerably ashamed of his America, of the narrowness, violence, rudeness, and mercantilism of American life.- Oh, yes, sir. We want to run Vietnam. I say let every country be run by its own people. Let them fight amongst themselves, it's not our business to send soldiers--- You know, sir, I think we're gonna end up like the French Empire. We're just like they were. Everything's rotting. Violence, race riots, young people out of hand. And crime? They say it's the blacks. But it's the same with the whites.I told him he had the same concerns as Sir Fulbright, remembering the Fulbright expression, "the arrogance of power".- Oh, yes, sir. Americans are arrogant, they don't give a damn about other nations. The dollar bill, that's God Almighty. I've got a $20,000 house, I've got a $5,000 car, they pay me $12,000 a year. Is that all there is to it? Where's the friendship? Where are the things of humanity?I was disturbed by this conversation. A stranger ruthlessly denied his homeland. Journalistic luck? The sought-after ordinary American we love to write about in pastoral tones? The voice of the people is the voice of God? I'm tempted to say yes, but such revelations are rare. But I won't write off this confession, either - it's heartfelt, with a human life behind it. I was happy and somehow afraid for him: here he is, my ally in worldview, and he is helpless in his environment. And what does man need? Not a material thing, but what a great thing it is - to be part of a great idea, the idea of justice.The dollar is not omnipotent. His country can give him more dollars, but it cannot buy this belonging. And whatever houses and cars and wages it promises him will be an unequivalent exchange, because a man like this is not happy alone and needs justice for all. He doesn't need the happiness of a Courbet railwayman peddling houses and motels. He is not born to be a fist and an acquisitor, and yet the fist and the acquisitor are common ideals.I was recording this unexpected conversation in my room at the Imperial Hotel, gazing out at the waterfalls made up for the night. A poor hotel for the poor, dingy, dirty, $ a tired old man on duty, with silent sluggish guests so obviously surrendered to the onslaught of life - until late in the evening they play, without any chance of success, at gawking at the television, watching another luxurious life that may be right around the corner, but is as inaccessible as Mars."Imperial? That's a fitting name. And just a stone's throw away, the intimate twilight of some nightclub, polished, cheerful men in dinner jackets, women in evening gowns.No involvement...27 MAY. DEARBORN.As the note says, I'm in Dearborn. You don't go to Tula with your samovar, and our brother doesn't go to Dearborn by car, as instructed by the State Department - I had to fly. In the automotive empire, where three competing corporations rule - General Motor, Ford Motor Company and Chrysler - only Ford's domain, namely Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit, is open to us. But even there, you can't get there except by plane, because Dearborn itself is in a ring of gated communities.My last impression of Niagara Falls is the mechanisation and pace of the Falls Street cafeteria. The morning, Sunday cafeteria pace when there are 30-40 customers for two waitresses and no one has to wait. An old lady with a worn, nervous face ran around behind the counter and in the cramped lounge. She was assisted by a fat young woman with unwashed, grey-dyed tresses.And mechanisation: behind the counter, along the wall, adjacent to each other, an electric cooker with a smooth steel surface, a double-decker toaster whose handles automatically jumped to signal that the slices of bread were toasted to the desired condition, a nickel-plated fixture from which milk poured, another fixture where coffee was constantly boiling, a third fixture from which pastry cream was squeezed, glass refrigerated covers under which were pies - from apple to cheese and strawberry. These and other cleverly devised things together did their job perfectly, turning the cafeteria itself and the two waitresses into an automaton. And it was convenient for the visitor and profitable for the owner.The waitresses had been wound up since early morning and were already into the right tempo. A new visitor. Immediately the old lady writes down the order on the form, automatically slides him a cup of coffee, a vessel with milk, a sugar bowl, and on and on it goes - eggs from under the counter, a metal spatula cleans the cooker of oil, a special frying pan is snatched from somewhere, two eggs are broken, the shell flies down into a special tank, corn oil "Mazola" splashes on the frying pan, grated cheese for omelette appears. And on and on it goes, and in the breaks - there don't seem to be any - the old lady runs out from behind the counter to the new customers, cleans their table, gives them a menu, writes it down again, back behind the counter, coffee and cream again. And all with big steps, unbending gait on unbending legs - and the legs are old. And you have to smile and throw "Ice Morning". It takes two or three hours, and when the people are gone, you can sit down in a corner over a cup of coffee, stretch your legs, stretch a cigarette - you can't have a cigarette at this pace....Niagara Falls uses the airport of Buffalo, twenty miles away. I almost missed the plane. The old man at the Imperial Hotel did not know the way to the airport: apparently, his guests do not fly by aeroplane. Booth attendants collecting tolls on toll road number 190 helped. At the airport I handed my suitcase to a helpful American Airlines girl and put the car in the car park.Goodbye, darling. Don't disappear, for God's sake, because we'll be gone for a whole week.The problem of connecting car and plane in America is solved conveniently and thoroughly. There are long-term paid car parks at airports, where you can leave your car for a day or a month. There is no hassle - no receipts, no documents. When you slow down at the entrance to the car park, the machine throws you a ticket tongue, you pick it up with your left hand, right from the driver's seat. Then you park your car between the two yellow lanes, in any available space.However, this service has its own boundaries, they are unashamedly marked where material benefit turns into material risk for the owners of the car park. Ticketik warned that there is no one to ask for theft of the car, fire and "any other damage". Except for the insurance company where my Chevy is insured.From Buffalo to Detroit forty minutes flying over the whitish Lake Erie. At Detroit "international airport" I did not hesitate - rather to Dearborn, from the sin, though the sin is sanctioned by the same State Department - not on a parachute, after all, they will drop me over Dearborn. I took a taxi, and we raced down the roads of automotive Mecca, heading for the Dearborn Tavern Hotel. Surely he must be in Dearborn.The cabbie was a Negro. I called my name, asked how things were going in Detroit.- It's all right, but no boom.- You born here?- No, from the South.- Is it better for Negroes here than in the South?- Better.- I bet it's harder to get a job than a white man, huh?- Oh, yeah. You gotta be twice as smart to get the same job.- Why is that? Is it the wrong education or is it the colour "kalar"?- Education, of course, but it's the colour. They don't like us much in Dearborn.- Why is that?- It's like that everywhere, - said the negro, softening his attack on Dearborn. - During the war I was in England, France, Italy. Everywhere the negro was treated with indifference. And how is it in Russia?I assured him that it was different in Russia, and that there was nothing wrong with work for Negroes. True, there are no blacks themselves, except for students and diplomats.Why? - There is a reproach and accusation in the question. They've already transferred our brother.I explained that we didn't bring their brother from Africa. He didn't know that. Negroes see other unhappy Negroes everywhere, and Indians see Indians everywhere. I realised this one day near Kansas City, when a fellow Indian got into the car with me. Having learnt where we were from, he started from afar: are there mountains in Russia? And forests? Are there deer? Are there trout? Shy little fellow, he got off without asking his crowning question, though the question was so obviously on his tongue: do you have Indians in Russia and how do they, the wretches, live there?- And how do you live there? - asks the negro. - The newspapers say very bad things about you. Is it true?- Is what true?- How can I put it? Here we can curse the president. What about you? They say you can't.A Negro has to be "twice as smart as a white man" to get the same job, but he has a comfort he cherishes: he can curse the president all he wants, it's safer than telling his boss to go to hell. Just prove you're a loyal American, or there could be complications.We drove up the lush oak avenue to the Dearborn Tavern, and it turned out to be a prosperous modernist yearning for the old days - in memory of Henry Ford - the first and to please its patrons. In the old-fashioned sofa-carpeted lobby, in armchairs under colourful covers sat wiry, painted, almost immortal-looking old ladies. They smelled deceptively of an almshouse. No, such old women, rich and passionately mobile, do not stay in place. They have an incomprehensible surplus of energy, which is often released through the valves of the conservative organisation Daughters of the American Revolution. Having outlived their husbands, separated from their children, and with no longing for grandchildren, these old ladies flit around their country and the world, as if checking to see if their ideal is all right, and the ideal, imbibed since the turn of the century, is that poverty is a vice and wealth is a virtue.And in the expectation of these well-to-do daughters of the old - as if it never happened - revolution, behind the main building of the hotel there are orders of red-brick houses with front gardens and idyllic white fences.Silence... I finally got it.I was led to the lightroom, that is, a room in the cottage of Walt Whitman. There are three other rooms, but all like mice in a hole. There was only the occasional rattle of old people's voices behind the wall and the muffled work of the television set. The room was a complete imitation of the old days - vaulted ceilings, frequent window frames, tasselled curtains, a pseudo-kerosene lamp under the ceiling, a wrought iron chest, an armchair, a bed, a chest of drawers - all carved, not furniture, but nostalgia embodied in walnut wood. But the television and telephone, but the toilet and bathroom glistened with plastic, nickel and enamel. Convenience and hygiene in America are not joked with and are not parted with, even imitating antiquity.I suddenly felt bad for Whitman, even Ford, Where is Ford, by the way? The tavern is part of his Dearborn complex. And Ford showed up. I found it in the drawer of a fake old-fashioned office. "Welcome to Ford's in Dearborn!" - exclaimed from the booklet's rough cover, a black-haired man with a broad face. Henry Ford the Second himself. Grandson of the dynasty's progenitor.Ford to Dearborn! He pulled me out of the lighthouse into the second half of the 20th century.And, obeying Ford, I stepped out onto Oakwood Avenue, onto the boulevard near the tavern, and strode toward Greenfield Village, where the Ford museums are dotted about.It was a Sunday afternoon. The industry was silent. The squat brick buildings of Ford's research centres stood at ease behind low grilles.I walked on the pavement along the motorway. The pavement was abandoned, unmade, and the highway darkened with tyres.And Henry Ford the Second, who had taken me in for a visit" explained from the pages of a brochure: "...Motor transport has become a major economic and social force in modern life, and all of us here in Dearborn are proud of Ford Motor Company's longstanding contribution to the progress and well-being of our country and its people. While you are here, we will make every effort to make your visit enjoyable, educational and, we hope, truly rewarding."That was a serious conversation. Oh, what a serious conversation it was! And Oakwood Avenue was filled with evidence. And I thanked the State Department for its veto - for forcing me to abandon my car in Buffalo and denying me the right to rent a car in Dearborn. By walking, I could better appreciate what old Henry Ford, his early deceased son Edsel, and his grandson Henry had done to his country and his people.I was the one-and-only pedestrian, and I didn't count as a stranger. Cars all around, everyone in cars, cars rustling under oaks frozen in fright.I was the bogeyman, the wildness, the deviation from the norm, I was growing into a lone rebel defying everyone.I walked and walked, and each step was getting harder and harder, like each second of sitting alone under a tree outside the Shady Lawn Motel. Between me and the people in the cars there was so obviously a frightening psychic field, a state of that tense, nervous expectation that is fraught with explosion and which, I thought, horror films had not invented, but had merely picked up on the American streets. I saw curiosity, bewilderment. I even saw looks of fear.Yes, fear. A man can't just walk all of a sudden. What a suspicious man. What's on his mind? And what if this weirdo snatches a deadly loaded thing out of his pocket, and nervously shuddered and interrupted the smooth smooth gliding of cars on the smooth avenue, and people madly hurried, transmitting to metal bodies trembling, racing and looping hare fleeing from the chase ....On Michigan Avenue, the main thoroughfare of Dearborn, I could have shouted like Diogenes: looking for a man! Any man!On Sunday it was as empty as five minutes before the radioactive wave that had been warned a week in advance. Shops, banks, restaurants closed. The bars were almost empty. At the cinema, where a film about Michelangelo's "agony and ecstasy" was playing, there were only two guys and a girl, and the cashier was bored in her glass booth.Only a handful of passers-by on miles of pavement.But even here the petrol stations weren't dormant. And cars, cars on the pavement - whites and blacks, families and couples, alone, with dogs sticking their faces out of the windows. The rustling, rustling of the cars. Thick rustling and screeching of brakes at traffic lights. Green signal - and again shh.... shh.It was after a Sunday date with the TV that the green yearning and the instinct of socialising that drove the Dir' Bornts to people. But people in cars are not like people in a crowd. You can't call them from the pavement, you can't talk to them. If they're in a car, they must be in a hurry, slaves to speed. They are close and yet far away, in their metal microcosm on wheels. There he is, and then - phew! - he's gone.An American, especially an American in small towns, not only physically, because of the lack or complete absence of public transport, but also psychologically cannot do without a car, cannot think of life without a car. He has long understood that a car is not a luxury, but a means of transport. But a car is also a status symbol, a symbol of prestige, a certificate of position in society: from a worn-out, fifteen-year-old Ford, which can be bought for fifty dollars and in which a miner in Eastern Kentucky is hobbling around looking for work, to a shiny black Cadillac with a telephone, a television set, a portable bar, and a negro chauffeur in a uniform cap, replacing the Arapaho on the sidelines of an eighteenth-century carriage. Without a car, an American is subhuman. He absorbs it with his mother's milk, or rather with baby food - industrially produced baby food in vials and tin cans, because American women have long since stopped feeding their children with their own milk to protect their youth and figure.But I did find a man on Michigan Avenue, and not just any man, but the talkative man I was looking for, a vivacious but slouching old man in a Sunday suit. Before I arrived he had been trying to talk to the mannequins in the shop windows and, of course, to his dog. He had a dog on a leash, which is an important detail, because without the dog I would not find the old man on Michigan Avenue. Firstly, the doggy, unaware of the existence of Fords and deprived of human inferiority complex by its own chain of evolution, whined, demanding fresh air and a walk. Secondly, in the eyes of thousands of people rushing in cars, the doggy justified the atavistic instinct of the old man to take a walk like that.He didn't feel like a pre-Ford subhuman because he wasn't walking himself, he was just walking the dog.The old man turned out to be a Ford labourer, complained only about his foreman, and was happy with his fate and Henry Ford the second. The black-haired Henry Ford, who greeted me from the pages of the booklet, was for the old man a benefactor father who understands his "responsibility", cares about employment and builds new factories in the neighbourhood. And, imagine, this old man's philosophy had a good dollar equivalent - a top-skilled worker, he gets four-plus dollars an hour, $170 a week.The old man's wife died long ago. He brought up his two daughters, now grown up and married, alone. For two years he kept them in a private boarding house.- I tell you, though," he whispered, "every penny paid for itself.But the daughters grew up and fled. He got a dog - an object of love, a prescription for loneliness. Then one day, the old man had the misfortune of losing his dog. The old man printed adverts in all the local newspapers. The dog showed up two weeks later. And the woman who took it in didn't want to take the ten dollar reward the old man had promised. "But I said, 'Since I promised, you'll get it.'" The old man wasn't used to getting anything for nothing. Now there's a phone number and address on the dog collar.What's next? What's next? The old man's doing well. He bought back his credit house a long time ago. New car "Comet-66", it's a pity that there's no garage. He's building another house to rent out for extra income when he retires. And another house he rents and sublets. Plus, of course, some stocks. So, what do you get? A labourer? City slicker? Who knows? Numbers convince you that you're a happy man. But since when can happiness be expressed in numbers?Working people earn good wages in general. Nevertheless, a lot of people work on the side. The negro taxi driver from earlier runs an automatic car wash. What drives them? Fear of a rainy day? A craving for self-respect, which is so easy to calculate in dollars? Or a kind of fear of showing up on foot on a street where everyone is in cars?30 MAY. DEARBORN.Here's Memorial Day. In the morning, I saw Arlington Cemetery in Washington, D.C., America's largest and most famous military cemetery, on the TV screen. Star-spangled flags and bouquets at the headstones. A wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. President Johnson eulogised for the occasion "American boys" in Vietnam and American freedom. In general, both the fallen of the new war and those soldiers in the jungle who may still have to be remembered.The Detroit Free Press prints on its front page "A Soldier's Diary. A Hero's Thoughts on War." Skimpy, hurried lines of Sergeant Alex Vaczi, born in Detroit on 18 June 1930, killed near Tiu Hoa, in South Vietnam, on 6 February 1966. Portraits of the serious black-haired sergeant and his smiling wife.Van Sanger, a contributor to the newspaper, writes: "We honour Alex Vakzy and thousands like him today who died for our country in its many wars. If you haven't lost a husband, son, father or friend in one of those battles, think of Alex Wakzy today. Who was he?"Here comes the sister's recollections. As a child, "he spent hours playing toy soldiers." He graduated from high school in Detroit, joined the army in 1946, hiding his age (he was only 16), fought in Korea and received an award - the Silver Star. "Alex never said why," reports his sister. After Korea, he served on the Detroit police force, "missed the Army," volunteered there again, and was sent as a military advisor to South Vietnam. "He got another Silver Star, but again didn't tell his family what for." He could have stayed home with his wife and three children, but he preferred the jungle.The soldier's diary is professional, brief descriptions of combat skirmishes, occasional thoughts. For example: "I think our troops have done a damn splendid job here in everything. World War II and Korea gave no bigger game than the one we are engaged in here."He was still playing. But the last entry is emotional. The sergeant writes of the battle for the village, of the Sky Raider aircraft, which "in their second raid in the last three quarters of an hour dropped heavy bombs now about a hundred yards from us"."I returned to the small village house where I thought two people were hiding in a bomb shelter. It turned out to be four teenagers, two middle-aged women and an old woman. They were all huddled together in a space where two of us wouldn't fit, and they had been there all day. I took them out of there into the open, as the house, trees, etc.. - are too good a target for aeroplanes and small arms. I hope that our soldiers, seeing them, will at least not shoot. I was afraid that C Company would swoop in here, throwing grenades into every crevice..... I gave them a tin of biscuits and cheese. I think they trusted me. That's why I hate this war. The innocent suffer the most."He fell in the same battle.The company commander told his widow, "Inspiring the soldiers, he did not hide from machine gun fire. We called him the best, and that's what he was: the best soldier and the best man."The author of the article concludes: "Maybe this Memorial Day you will leave your business for a moment and think about Alex Wakzie. That's what he exists for, Memorial Day."But, let me ask you, what is that for? For what did Alex Wakzie, who wrote just before he died that he hated this war, die? On a ritual day, such questions are inappropriate.On the front page, next to the soldier's diary, the newspaper prints reports from Saigon: yesterday another Buddhist nun, a mother of two children, burned herself in front of a pagoda; Buddhists in the public are stabbing themselves in the chest and writing letters to President Johnson in blood, demanding Kee's removal. On the second page is a note from a Saigon correspondent of the Detroit Free Press. An American sergeant unloading four seriously wounded Americans from an air ambulance told the correspondent, "You'll be angry when you see these bodies coming in every day while these scum are still fighting each other.""Scum" is about the US's South Vietnamese allies, the very ones the Americans have come to defend....After newspapers and TV, I walked out onto Oakwood Avenue. Once again there was the confrontation of the loner and the thousands in cars. But in the fields of Greenfield Village, home to the Ford Museums, people were leaving their metal microcosms, forming an ancient fluid crowd. They were getting out of Fords, Chevrolets, Pontiacs, Lincolns, Cadillacs, Buicks, Ramblers, etc., etc.. and went to museums, not sparing three dollars to gaze with fascination at the great-grandfathers of their cars and the powerful, wide-breasted steam locomotive "Southern Pacific", at ancient typewriters and telegraph keys, at gas horns, Thomas Edison's laboratory, the Wright brothers' workshop and, of course, the paternal home of Henry Ford the first - then the forefather had no serial number and was just a farmer's son, a practical boy with a passion for mechanics. The museum pieces began to be collected by Ford-first himself towards old age. Like Ezra Cornell, like many others, he first made millions, and then, when the flywheel was spun and the difficult initial millions seemed to stick to themselves other millions, he thought about eternity, the gratitude of posterity and the pedestal of the prophet: with millions you can broadcast to the whole of America.A hundred and four trailers - not poor wooden trailers like the ones at the Shady Lawn, but streamlined dural houses on wheels - stood on the Greenfield Village lot. A passenger car grazed beside each one, harnessed to a horse.Yesterday, I had noticed new trailers pulling into the site and lining up in rows, American flags flying on flagpoles above them,' loudspeakers with cheerful voices giving orders about parking, water, electricity.Today I approached two people at the gate, apparently the duty officers. They were in civilian clothes, but they wore dapper caps on their heads and the words "Wally Byam's Caravan Club" on their caps.What kind of club? And one of them not without pride told me that last year their dural houses had travelled as far as the Red Square in Moscow. And the other volunteered to show and explain everything.And he did show and explain everything to me, Henry Wheeler, a retired engineer, an old man with a triangle of grey moustaches and drooping eyelids. What's more, I was quite a catch for Henry Wheeler. For among all these sophisticated people he was pining for a fresh, uninformed person to whom he could show a brand-new, eight thousand dollar - eight thousand dollars!!!-trailer. What luck to meet a Russian, a Communist, in Dearborn and be dumbfounded by an American trailer!So we walked with Henry between the rows of other trailers, and unannounced, sweet grey-haired Ninette, his wife, shouted fearfully from the dural sill:- Henry, what are you doing! I don't have carpets!That's right, folks, no carpets. But even without carpets this dural kibitka was a marvel, and, as a polite foreign visitor, I admired it unsparingly. There was the full range of amenities and pleasures: a three-burner gas cooker, a gas fryer for steaks, a gas and electric fridge, a dishwasher, cupboards for food and utensils, three capacious wardrobes for clothes. Toilet. Washbasin. Shower. "Air-conditioning. One sofa - ordinary. The other sofa is a sliding double. Folding table. Chairs. Fan under the roof. Additional mesh at the /іveri - from insects. A folding step. And a lot of other things were on the area of no more than 15-18 square metres. And yet it is spacious enough, there is a place to pass, a place to sit and even to receive guests.Once again, I apologised to Ninette for the unmade carpets and congratulated Henry on his successful acquisition.I was even more astonished to learn that the dural kibitka was not a hobby, but a way of life, that the mobile home was their only home, and that they had sold their house without wheels. And that in general all the owners of these four hundred trailers, shining on the site, are nomads seriously, forever, although many of the houses - those without wheels, not sold, but only rented. And that in all there are sixteen thousand trailers, and therefore families, in the "Wally Byam Caravan Club," and that Wally Byam himself does not live on wheels. He is their supreme patron, the man who sells trailers and the idea that by the time an American gets old, it's time not only to get around - that's what he's been doing all his life - but to live on wheels.Yes, yes, Wally Byam is not only a manufacturer and merchant, but in a way a spiritual leader, the founder of a whole sect of motorised nomads. He has rallied them around his banner, and the banner says that if one is to nomadise, it should be in these dural, streamlined, fashionable kibitzers of the brand "Erstrim", manufactured by Wally Byam's company. And Wally Byam tirelessly fosters in them loyalty to the ideals of "Erstreme" and even spares not even a hundred thousand dollars a year for meetings, services, advertising, printed lists of club members, etc. In return, he has loyal customers and at least thirty-two thousand agitators travelling throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.There's no limit to progress. The dural marvel is improved every year, because Wally Byam has powerful competitors besides customers. There is no limit to progress, and the Wheelers are already looking enviously at their neighbour who has added a TV set to his set of mobile conveniences. And there, look, the refrigerator will become more elegant, they will introduce automation in the sliding sofa and many other things will be invented. And the Wheelers will be ashamed to show up with their outdated trailer at the next convention. He'll get a scornful chuckle: Ha-ha, eight thousand dollars?! And where we have not disappeared: mobilising the old man's savings, they will exchange their current one for an even shinier trailer, already for ten thousand dollars. That's all Wally Byam needs.From a neighbouring trailer, the Wheelers invited a familiar couple over for French coffee, Mexican peanuts and a Russian journalist. I had to admit that as far as trailers and old man nomads go, we are lagging behind and don't even seem to be planning to pull up.- But is the very idea of nomadism at the end of years reasonable and useful? - I questioned them. - What force tears American old men out of their seats and makes them roll and roll on the threshold of the grave, glistening in the evening sun with Wally Byam's dural products?It's all been explained to me. What is strange to us, to them is the logical conclusion of life's journey,The American habitually entrusts the psychological and material problems of old age to machinery, the road, businessmen.The factor is psychological: by old age the world shrinks, you feel loneliness and isolation. You don't want to hang a weight around your children's necks. And it is easier to make acquaintances on the road. New places, new people stimulate the fading interest in life.Material factor: cheaper. Cheaper without taxes on the house and land. You only pay for petrol and a little for camping - for a piece of land under your wheels, for connection to gas and electricity. There are plenty of campsites. Together with migratory birds you can go south or north, depending on the season. You can clip coupons on the difference in the cost of living, for the American dollar is always worth more abroad than at home. Both couples are passing through Dearborn. And they prefer to live in Mexico, in a campground near Guadalajara: "reasonable prices, decent food is much cheaper."We had a conversation about Mexico and Mexicans in an unexpected but not accidental way - clean toilets, hot water and, of course, dollars. My interlocutors were ashamed of those club members who, looking out over a foreign country from their dural clean nest and adoring its reasonable prices, honour Mexicans as "dirty thieves".I brought them back to the nomadic conversation. What is it to be quite at a deep old age, when one's eyes fail and one's hands rest on the sheepskin?Oh, then one could become permanently parked in some campsite.- Imagine, then you don't even have to 'Mow the lawn in front of the trailer!This was shouted triumphantly by Henry Wheeler, and the nomads clamoured at the mention of great grace.That's it, dear friends,-the lawn can be unmown! I have never, I confess, mowed lawns. But I strained my imagination to appreciate the grandeur of abandoning this ritual. I realised that uncut lawns go somewhere on the high level of unmown carpets, that it is a revolt against the all-powerful bourgeois conformism. And imagining this revolt reminded me of the old women of the Dearborn Tavern, those statues in the upholstered chairs, the guardians of the great .ideal. Of course, virtue is in wealth, or at least in a decent life, a decent bourgeois life. And when the standards of an incorporeal decent life are too much for you, when the neighbours already look with contempt at your decrepit house and the Hamletian question of whether or not to mow the lawns arises in full bloom, retreat with dignity. Get on wheels. There the standards of conformity are not so strict. Join the clientele of Wally Bye-yum. Nomadic originals are allowed not to mow their lawns....Conformism coexists with frontierism, criticism of compatriots for narrowness and provincialism - with patriotism, national pride, propaganda clichés.- I am in favour of freedom and competition," says Ninet.She knows what competition is. Who knows it better than Americans, for whom the school of life equals the school of competition? And what is freedom? It is the freedom to compete. These concepts are twins here.Henry is frank, especially when there are no neighbours. He sees many inconsistencies in government policy, in the economic orientation of the country. He doesn't hesitate to air his grievances against people in Washington in front of a foreigner, and a "red" one at that:- They spend 50-60 billion a year on the army and military equipment. This amount cannot even be imagined. How many years has this been going on? Now we have come to the point where it is increasingly difficult to give it up. And look at what's happening in the meantime? Shaving blades - do you buy American blades? No. You get an English blade, it's better quality. Cameras, televisions? Japanese are better. European cars are more durable, more robust, and we make everything with the expectation of rapid wear and tear. And ships? We buy Japanese. The cost of labour in America is so high, we can't compete with other countries.Henry Wheeler has the fear of the defenceless in the face of big corporations, mythically strong and vast.- How long ago were there dozens of car corporations, and where are they now? There's only the big three left. Try starting a new car business. You'll fail even with 100 million...He was born and formed in the era of American isolationism - isolationism not only in foreign policy, but also inside the country (weak centralisation, great rights of the states, concern and traditional obsession with local and personal affairs and business). And now for some decades his country has taken on the burden of "guardian of the world", "world policeman". What mess has this made in the brain of the average American, who has always wanted to sneeze at everything that happens not only outside his country, but outside his City and State? He is used to looking at everything as a pragmatist living today, he denies any theory in principle, but the measure of a narrow pragmatist is not suitable for history, and he feels himself a participant in it, and, choosing between the two candidates for the US presidency, he may be choosing between war and peace (wrongly or rightly - that's another matter).Henry Wheeler travels in his dural kibitka to Mexico and reads a Mexican newspaper published in English. Suddenly he is convinced that this newspaper makes the world look different from the one he has been reading all his life in northern Michigan. He discovers that he's been brainwashed. He tries to break through to the truth, tries to look at the world historically: "You're a late starter, and you've already achieved great results." He sees a threat in the American deaf and well-fed prosperity, in the American arrogant - nu the principle of rich to poor - attitude towards other nations. He believes that a hundred years without war has both helped Americans and corrupted them - they do not know what war is, what the Russians and the rest of Europe have suffered. And that's dangerous.And he is entangled with the small but strong categories of American philistinism, formed by the same big corporations of ideas about "decent life". He is almost childishly proud of his brand new trailer, he apologises fervently for the unmade carpets.....The coffee was drunk, the peanuts were eaten, the Wheeler neighbours left. It was evening, and a loud radio voice overhead warned the nomads of the impending danger: Greenfield Village was unwilling to connect the trailers to its power grid. My hosts were getting worried, and I realised it was time to say goodbye. But to say goodbye, Henry wanted me to meet a prominent nomad.- What a chap," he whispered to me with the secret delight of a conspirator.But the fellow had disappeared, and Henry hastily told a short story about him-a story about the Real Man of Wally Byam's Caravan Club.It was the same story, and it was written anew every time another dural wheelhouse, like the others, but belonging to a Negro, rolled into the trailer camp wherever it was spread. And no sooner had it taken its place in the row than the Real Man was already knocking kindly on the Negro's dural door: "Are you being disturbed? Are you not disturbed here?" And the overjoyed family thanked the ever-vigilant defender of racial equality and such an easy-going foe of discrimination. And the hero would knock again half an hour later, "Is everything all right?" He was thanked again, but that was only the beginning. The Real Man was vigilant, punctual and tireless. After another half hour his cheerful call was heard, "Is everything all right?"He spared himself neither day nor night, rattling the dural door: "Everything all right?" After a maximum of three days, the campground was finally in order as the black compatriot departed, having learned that no Wally Byam's dural wonders would protect him from "one hundred per cent" Americans. I was stunned by this tale, told with rapture and vengeful voluptuousness.- What did the Negroes do to you, Mr Wheeler?The setting sun played coldly on the streamlined sides of civilised twentieth-century kibitzers, and Henry Wheeler whispered in my ear:- You know, there is such a thing as middle class, middle class. So Americans want to get into the middle class or at least get close to it. They work hard. They save money for a house, for a car, to bring their children into the world, to save something for their old age. They know the value of every penny and they owe every penny to their labour. Why don't Negroes get into the middle class?His words were dry, bookish, but he whispered them hotly, as words of love and hate are whispered, Henry Wheeler, uncomfortable with his narrow-minded compatriots rubbing Mexicans the wrong way, Henry Wheeler, a critic of big corporations and the arms race, Henry Wheeler, a good-natured, sensible old man, pleasant to talk to over coffee and peanuts.- Here's why. They have a different attitude to the penny. They don't care about anything - earned it, spent it. They've been free for a hundred years and it's their own fault they're poor. So what happens? Their children have a destructive instinct. Everything is alien to them in this country.....And he hurriedly said goodbye and ran off to his urgent electrical work.But I appreciated the solemnity of the moment and the solidity of the credo. Negroes are different, with different attitudes to the penny, and, if Wheeler is to be believed, there are three dozen Negro millionaires in Detroit. But he takes the Negro poor mass, and she inspires him with fear. She does not fit into his, American, way of life and already therefore encroaches upon it. She has gained nothing from America and is frightened by the fact that she has nothing to lose. The Henry Wheelers - and there are millions of them - see Negroes as destroyers, because by their destitution and their impulse to fight, Negroes attack the economic and social status quo, the difficult, precarious, but in their own way stable balance of power in American society. And they are knocking the supports out from under his applied philosophy of life, materially embodied in the "Extreme" trailer. He fears they have a different set of values.So he's a racist? Probably yes. But Henry Wheeler's racism, judging by his explanation, is only derivative. He is deeper than racist, broader than racist. He's a proprietor. And it is from the point of view of the proprietor that the Negro is his antipode. Henry Wheeler is a part of the very petty-bourgeois element that, as Lenin noted, generates capitalism daily, hourly, and on a massive scale. And feeds its circling, and saves it.The proprietor... Isn't that where all the beginnings lie, however far the ends - in this case into racism?31 MAY. DEARBORNIn the morning I walked like a faithful pilgrim to the headquarters of the Ford Motor Company in South Field, on the outskirts of Dearborn. First down Michigan Avenue, then along a motorway jammed with cars - today was a workday and there were more cars - across a large, untrodden, motorway-cut meadow. The twelve-storey Ford headquarters is small compared to the New York skyscrapers of the leading corporations, but it is beautiful, clean, spacious, blue glass. By the way, Ford supplied the UN skyscraper in New York with blue glass of its own production.Excursion to the Rouge plant - old, but the most famous at Ford and the largest in the United States. The usual free tour - for anyone interested. What you shouldn't, you won't be shown, but there's no annoying closed-door impression either. Clean, comfortable, radio-controlled buses leave from the Main Office every hour. In our bus there are simple people: schoolchildren, a girl broken by paralysis with her mother, with a special folding chair on wheels, an old man and an old woman - either former Russians or former Ukrainians, a mighty Negro with three Negro women, two Japanese, of course, with film cameras.At first we drive through some woods. The guide, a handsome, fashionably dressed guy, tells us that all this is Ford property, Ford land, Ford forests. The holdings are large. Ford, though not a farmer, even gets some money from the government for unused land: in America, with its overproduction of agricultural products, farmers are paid a federal subsidy for deliberately uncultivated land.It is difficult for me, a layman, to describe the Rouge plant, especially after a passing tour. The plant is enormous. The entire production cycle: the car starts with iron ore arriving at its own port on the Rouge River and ends up on the conveyor belt. The cargo ship Robert McNamara was docked at the harbour, by the way. The former Ford president, and then the Pentagon chief, had been "incarnated" into a steamship while he was still alive.The excursion is as clear-cut a working operation as the assembly of cars. We were driven around the factory territory by bus, then brought to the assembly line. In the right places the guide stopped, arranged us in a semicircle, took a microphone out of a box on the wall, and drummed the memorised words. To the sightseer's eye, the pace on the conveyor does not seem excessive. A certain even working grace - as if without hurry. Of course, you can't talk to the workers - it's a conveyor belt. Every fifty-four seconds, fancy, semi-sporty Mustangs roll off the assembly line, adding to the eighty million cars on three and a half million miles of American roads and pavement.I was provided with figures and facts by the General Office. When, fifty years ago, Henry Ford the first, already a very prosperous auto industrialist, decided to build a huge closed-loop plant, even his friends were "sceptical," according to the official description of the Rouge plant. "Enemies said he was out of his mind. Congressmen opposed him when he applied to the government for permission to deepen and widen the canal on the Rouge River to receive sea vessels. Shareholders were opposed, wanting the company's profits to go to dividends rather than expanding production. Landowners fancied jacking up the price of land along the river." Ford defeated all and sundry. In November 1917, the main event for Dearborn residents was, of course, not the revolution in Russia, but the laying of the Ford plant.Now it is one of many Ford plants, though the largest. Every twenty-four hours five thousand trucks, twenty thousand cars, and over sixty thousand pedestrians pass through its gates. 135 acres of car parks provide space for twenty thousand cars: some workers live seventy miles from the plant. In 1963, Ford paid its fifty-three thousand workers and employees in the Dearborn area $476 million (all Ford plants now employ 330,000 people). The plant produces and consumes as much electricity as is needed for a city of a million people. In 1963, the plant received 179,000 sightseers from all fifty U.S. states and from 107 countries. "It was visited by."Ford Motor Company" is an industrial corporation which, in terms of the number of automobiles produced, has long been vastly inferior to General Motor, the largest industrial corporation in the capitalist world. But Ford, Henry Ford the first, the Ford dynasty, is something more in moral and historical terms; it is a notable institution of modern American life, a supreme patron ranking far above Wally Byam, a purveyor not only of machines but also of ideas."Ford Motor Company," besides museums, has its "department of educational affairs."Here is one of its publications, an apologetic pamphlet entitled "The Evolution of Mass Production (the story of Ford's contribution to modern mass production and how it changed the habits and thinking of an entire people)." The booklet does not assign Ford any extra credit, describing him not as an inventor but as a skilful hard worker and organiser who developed the principles of mass production in detail on the basis of four discoveries of his distant and near predecessors. These discoveries were the interchangeability of product parts, the conveyor belt, the fragmentation of work operations, and the elimination of unnecessary movements for the worker.The first discovery, as the pamphlet shows, belongs to an American, Eli Whitney. In 1798, when war was brewing between the United States and France, the government in Washington urgently needed ten thousand muskets. It was physically impossible for the gunsmiths to complete the job in the required time frame of two years. Eli Whitney solved the problem by creating a machine to produce gun parts and thus arrived at the principle of assembly.Henry Ford's second principle was "The worker must stand still and the work must move." This is the idea of the conveyor belt, which was first realised by Oliver Evans, the inventor of the automatic mill. Evans' conveyor was simple; one worker would pour the grain from the sacks and another at the other end of the line would take the milling into the sacks. The conveyor belt appeared in its newer form in the 1960s in Chicago slaughterhouses. Carcasses of slaughtered pigs were strung on a moving belt, allowing twenty workers to slaughter and process 1,440 pigs in eight hours. Previously, their limit was 620 pigs.The third principle ("fraction the work operations and multiply the output") was worked out in detail by Elihu Root, an American who helped Samuel Colt establish mass production of six-shot Colt pistols. Elihu Root fragmented the workflow into many separate operations that were "easier, less likely to go wrong, and faster".The fourth principle, borrowed by Ford, introduced not new machines and mechanical devices, but the "human factor" - saving time, and hence increasing the speed of production, by eliminating unnecessary movements of the worker, and finally by making the worker himself like a machine, quickly combining into a whole product the disparate parts produced by other machines. This principle was developed by the famous Frederick Winslow Taylor.About Taylor, the Ford brochure says this: "It was Taylor who undertook the task of, firstly, establishing the speed at which the worker could most efficiently perform his tasks, and secondly, of directing the efforts of the worker so that he worked with a minimum of unnecessary movement. The aim was, of course, to save time, for time is the essence of profit, and every moment lost is regarded as a direct financial loss... Taylor also found that workers are less efficient and products are damaged when work is excessively accelerated.""The right speed," Taylor himself wrote, "is the speed at which people can work hour after hour, day after day, and year after year, while maintaining good health. (Taylor was, of course, interested in the good health that a given regime provides the worker.)The pamphlet points out that "to these principles taken from the past, Henry Ford added his own practical ideas, creating a new method of automobile production, which the entire automobile industry later adopted".Ford himself expressed his philosophy of mass production very frankly, to the point of cynicism practicality, He wrote: "The net result of applying these principles is to reduce the necessity of thought in the labourer, and to reduce his movements to a minimum. If possible he should do only one operation and only one movement."Later, Charlie Chaplin, as we know, brilliantly illustrated this Fordian ideal, creating in the film "New Times" tragic, funny and creepy image of a worker on the conveyor belt. He was doing only one operation and only one movement, namely screwing a nut. One nut, another nut, dozens, hundreds of nuts were inexorably thrust upon him by the conveyor belt. The whole world was catastrophically narrowed down to a man and a nut, to a man in the service of a nut, and finally, to a man born only to turn nuts.Ford was a businessman, not a humanist, and did not hesitate, especially at first, to subordinate the "human factor" to the dollar. Chaplin helped to think about this philosophy not from the point of view of profit and production, but from the point of view of the human person. The essence of progress in the Fordian way is scary: labour created man, and labour must turn man into a machine.Ford started the business on 16 June 1903, "with an abundance of faith but only $28,000 in cash," his biographers narrate. That was the first money Ford and his eleven fellow shareholders made. And in 1965, "Ford Motor Company" produced 4.5 million cars and tractors and a huge number of military and "space" products. Its sales were $11.5 billion (second only to General Motor) and its assets were $7.6 billion.Ford was not the first automaker. Cars were made before him, but manually and for racing, for excitement - it was fashionable even then. But Ford was the first to realise the need of the century for speed - on ordinary roads, not on autotracks - and was the first to undertake the production of a cheap mass-produced car. After a series of failures in 1908 came the grand success - the legendary model "T".From then on, Ford was rapidly changing the face of America, and October 1908 to the end of 1915, one million Fords-Ts were produced. In the next eleven years, fourteen million. In 1923 - more than 40 years ago! - two million cars rolled off Ford's assembly lines. In 1925 there was a record day when ten thousand cars were produced. The car had indeed become mass-produced, affordable, mainstream. The consequences, reinforced by other fronts of industrial development and mass production, were enormous. The machine pulled in the roads and the boom in road construction. The machine linked the city to the countryside, made the countryside stretch behind the city in terms of standard of living. A qualitatively new, and expensive, need and the accompanying huge, constantly renewable market demand were created.Ford's apologists also attribute to him the "social revolution": he was the first to start paying his workers five dollars a day, realising that the growth of the population's purchasing power and the growth of profits are interrelated.Ford was at the origin of that capitalist America, which needs not only a man-machine on the assembly line, but also a man freed from class consciousness, an insatiable consumer and slave of things. Such a man is skilfully nurtured, honed to perfection by large corporations, by the most powerful system of advertising, from which there is no fear, and by the whole system of ideology and life, which convinces that the measure of a man is the measure of the things he possesses.This is a complex and extremely important question, the question of the interaction between the scientific and technological revolution and the social system, the question of what, under certain social conditions, technological progress and mass production serve: the spiritual subjugation of man through things or his spiritual liberation, the reduction of man to a consumer or the creation of a fully developed, harmonious personality.This is what the famous American sociologist Eric Fromm writes: "The miracle of production leads to the miracle of consumption. There are no longer any traditional barriers keeping anyone from buying whatever he wants. All he wants is money. But more and more people have money, maybe not for real pearls but for synthetic ones, for Fords that look like Cadillacs, for cheap dresses that look like expensive ones, for cigarettes that are the same for millionaires and labourers. Everything is within reach, can be bought, can be consumed..... Produce, consume, enjoy together, in step with others, no questions asked. That's the ritual of their life. What kind of person does our society need then? What kind of "social character" is appropriate for twentieth-century capitalism? It needs a man who obediently cooperates in large groups, who is eager to consume more and more, whose tastes are standardised, easily influenced and can be predicted.......Cars, refrigerator, television set exist for real but also ostentatious use. They communicate the owner's position in society. How do we use the things we buy? Let's start with food and drink. We eat tasteless and unnutritious bread because it fulfils our fantasy of wealth and fame-it is so white and "fresh". In fact, we are "eating" a fantasy and have lost touch with the real thing we are eating. Our taste, our bodies are shut out of this act of consumption, even though it affects them first and foremost. We drink labels. With a bottle of Coca-Cola we drink the picture of the handsome guy or girl drinking it on the advert, we drink the advertising slogan "a pause that refreshes", we drink the great American habit, least of all we feel the Coca-Cola with our palate.... The act of consumption should be a meaningful, human, rewarding experiment. Under our culture, there is little left of that. To a large extent, consumption is the satisfaction of artificially stimulated fantasies, the fulfilment of a fantasy alienated from our concrete, real self.Noting that consumption has become an end in itself, Fromm writes: "Modern man, if he dared to express his conception of paradise, would paint a picture that would look like the largest department store in the world, displaying new things and new devices..."All of this is, alas, a true description of today's Henry Wheeler-type American, though of course many are cruelly left at the door of consumer bacchanalia, and some are rebelling against it.So, Ford didn't just make cars and dollars. It is not by chance that in Aldous Huxley's famous Western science fiction satire novel Brave New World, Ford replaces Christ (the author resorts to a play on words - Lord, i.e. God, and Ford). In this dystopia, the annals are counted not from the nativity of Lord, but from the nativity of Ford, people are bred serially, in flasks, with a predetermined social purpose....In the evening I saw a glimpse of Dearborn, which is not part of Ford's paid or free excursions - the underside of Ford's America.Two mates came to my hotel. It's the first time I've seen them. But they're comrades. In looks.Communist N., who works at the Ford plant, is stout, ironic, unflappable. A Pole who was picked up, spun and landed in Dearborn by the whirlwind of the war years. What's it like for a Communist in Dearborn? Hard. Almost lonely. But N. doesn't hide his views or his party affiliation.A Communist?! For many Americans, among other things, it's impractical, unwise to voluntarily make life difficult, to cut off one's path to benefits. But a local union boss, a renegade former Communist, once confided to Comrade N. in a burst of frankness: "You certainly think I'm a traitor, don't you? But you're still closer to me than those sons of bitches." Comrade N. is not naive; penitential words whispered in his ear will not seduce him. He knows that dollars will not replace the ideal and will not fill the vacuum where there was something called conscience.For the workers who know N. well, he is first of all their own guy, who will not let them down, who will stand up for common interests, whose advice is necessary and dear. N. believes in the union bond, in the fact that they can protect him from the administration.Comrade K. is the editor of a progressive Detroit newspaper in Polish, an American of Polish descent, born in the United States.In N.'s car we roll through the evening, another Dearborn. Industrial backroads. The stench from the pipes. Old factory buildings. Old dilapidated dirty houses where low-wage workers, bachelors, widows, lumpen people live. With some secret satisfaction N. wants to show the like-minded worker from Moscow to the trade union boss, the very same renegade. But the building of Branch No. 600 of the Automobile Manufacturers' Trade Union is already empty. For today there is only one event-meeting of the local group of the national association "Alcoholics Anonymous". Men and women, old and young, discuss their problems over a cup of coffee. A strange, in our opinion, but, as they say, useful organisation. Alcoholics are treated together. The fight against the green beast begins with public repentance: I am an alcoholic!We went into a bar, spit up, smelly, smoky. An invalid on crutches. An old painted whore. A tense truce, apparently after a fight. Before our eyes, having settled the quarrel, a policeman leaves. And immediately a new scuffle breaks out. One drunken man grabs his drunken neighbour by the throat. Others drunkenly separate them. Scolding. The horror of uncontrolled reactions, heavy meaningless stares.- It's like Gorky's "At the Bottom"," K. says.We disappear out the back door without finishing our beers. Some gloomy, empty courtyard - a suitable place for deaf reprisals. We cross the road.- Faster! Faster!" N. suddenly shouts in a voice that doesn't sound like her own, pulling me by the arm.Staring at us with the eyes of lit headlights, a car rushes frantically towards us. Barely managing to dodge from under the wheels, we shout in pursuiti- You son of a bitch!But the son of a bitch is gone.Other working neighbourhoods are cleaner - neat houses, lawns, garages. The minimum wage at Ford is more than two dollars an hour, the maximum is five dollars. But, as N. told me, the workers more and more often say: to hell with it, with an increase in wages, we need to reduce the pace of work. At the sight of the excursionist, the pace on the conveyor is not so high. But everything is calibrated and squeezed by Taylor's followers, sociologists and psychologists. Everything is at the limit of human capabilities. The dulling monotony of the work - eight hours plus half an hour for lunch and Twelve minutes each for the lavatory - before and after lunch. The slightest jam on the conveyor belt and panic. Emergency technicians on bicycles and motorbikes rush to the jam: "What's the matter? We're losing money because of you!"After the conveyor belt workers "unwind" themselves in bars, N. told about a recent incident. A Negro working on the conveyor belt had been offended. The foreman reported to his superiors. The negro was deprived of a month's salary. He apologised and asked for forgiveness, but in vain. Then, coming out of the boss's office, he attacked the foreman and slashed him with a knife. Ford employs many Negroes, most of them on the assembly line: "only one operation and only one movement". Detroit is said to be making big shifts in terms of desegregation. However, Dearborn remains "lily-white", under various pretexts blacks are not allowed to settle here.The conversation touched upon Vietnam. In N.'s opinion, young people are afraid of the army. He knows of cases when college graduates, even students who have not completed their course, enter the Ford factories as apprentices - if only they were not drafted. A young biologist N. knows works as an apprentice. Some, dodging the draft, flee to Canada, because Canada is close by and the border is open.Workers talk about the war, but the war remains in second place after talk of wages, loans, instalments, sports. In the newspapers, news about baseball games and car races come first, only then the war effort. But, in general, anti-war sentiment is growing. Recently, an anti-war candidate was elected to a union office, even though the union bosses had proposed their own candidate.N. believes that the American worker differs from the European worker, in particular, in this important respect: the American worker has no tradition of prolonged political struggle for a certain broad programme, no tradition of uniting around a political party, although in elections the trade unions usually support the Democrats. The American worker knows how to stand up for his material interest and believes that a rich country can give him more. The class struggle is predominantly economic in nature - collective bargaining between the union and the entrepreneur, strikes to raise wages, improve working conditions, and now increasingly against the threat of so-called technological unemployment, born of automation. But in times of national crises, the American worker actively intervenes in political life, and the intervention takes violent forms. Before the crisis of 1929, in an era of prosperity, who would have thought that workers would go on "hunger marches" on Washington? Therefore, N. and K. emphasise that it is difficult to make predictions about the development of the anti-war movement in the American working class. The American reacts decisively when he is struck in the heart, when the expansion of war narrows the choice: instead of military prosperity, it is rifle in hand and death in the jungle.1-2 JUNE. PITTSBURGHThe last, like the first, Dearborn conversation is with a taxi driver. This time white, on the way to the airport. To him, the Vietnam War is a "waste of men and money," a "purely political war" in which the U.S. has no reason to get involved. But what can you do? The taxi driver believes that "the bulk" of the people support Johnson, and since this is so, the war is consistent with American democracy. The fate of the Vietnamese is of little concern to him. When he talks about wasting people and money, he means American lives and American money. The taxi driver has this idea of communism: the government stands over the people and controls them too much. In his view, this is a necessary stepping stone for some nations, but eventually they will come to American-style democracy.He resents the scale of military spending.- The current government in Washington is not to my liking at all. It's like a big company that doesn't know how to spend money wisely and doesn't do business well. Why do they give money to Africa, for example? Why do they give money to Africa? Why do you give money to Africa? Don't our people need that money? All that aid goes to a handful of people and Africans are still poor.I explained that, for example, we are helping to build a hydroelectric power station in Aswan; it is not for a handful of people, but for the people. That's the kind of help he approves of.The taxi driver, like many Americans when meeting Soviet people, talks about the need for mutual understanding: nations should know each other, people should go to each other.- I'm against closed doors of any kind. You can't see anything in the dark.I say that Americans come to us, and a lot, but unfortunately more rich people, and they see our life in their own way, that ordinary people could see differently, understand us better. With this he agrees. Scolding the propaganda, he says:- If I went to Russia, when I came back, I would tell those who know me and believe me about it.Another typical American theme, exacerbated by the Vietnam War: distrust of government. Somewhere out there in Washington, politicians and bureaucrats, with more and more power in their hands, who are far from the people and are pursuing some policy incomprehensible to this Dearborn taxi driver, guided by their own considerations, alien and incomprehensible to him....Before Pittsburgh there was a landing in Cleveland. A negro, a military man, entered the plane. There were free seats, but between him and the whites there was a strip of alienation. The negro as if asked with his gaze: "Can I go? Are they occupied? White passengers turned their heads away. He sat down to me, sensing a stranger, an unwilling stranger in his own country. I asked the Negro if he had been to Vietnam. No, he hadn't.- Are you going?- Pretty soon.- What do you think of this war?The Negro shivered, "I have to go there." He didn't feel like continuing the conversation....The Roosevelt Hotel stands in "down town" - the business centre of the city. First walk, first mixed impressions of Pittsburgh. Just physically depresses the eye gloominess of the old city buildings. It is as if walled up in the insecurity of blind, end walls facing the street, unexpected dead ends, vacant lots temporarily occupied by car parks. But there are quite a lot of them in the city - material traces of the later formation of businessmen. Dural faces, acres of shining window glass, Pittsburgh clouds floating reflectively in it. The spacious Gateway Square, the creation of the Equitable Life Insurance Company and other corporations, is magnificent. It's local pride, the pinnacle of the famous "Golden Triangle" formed by the confluence of the Monongahila and Allegheny Rivers into the Ohio River.In Pittsburgh, I have the same two goals. The first is to talk about the Vietnam War. The specific target is the University of Pittsburgh; in terms of student political activism, it has a reputation for being middling. The second was to get a feel for the economic and social pulse of this old industrial centre, second only to Philadelphia in the state of Pennsylvania, in three days.The start is facilitated by the "Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors", a community-based organisation for welcoming foreigners. I have come across organisations of this kind. They arose in a number of large American cities on the basis of curiosity about foreigners, idleness of bourgeois housewives looking for an outlet for their energy, and - American endeavours cannot do without it - a business, practical interest: how to turn a foreign visitor in a favourable direction? The way is a bit difficult for us, and that is why "international councils", with or without intent, usually give the visits of Soviet correspondents a kind of tourist-entertainment-secular character, with the obligatory lady-activist, dashingly turning the wheel of her Ford or Chevrolet, with the obligatory "cocktail party" at a liberal doctor's, lawyer's or newspaperman's house, and, of course, with a tour of local sights.The Pittsburgh council was unusually dry - no carpool, no city tour. Nevertheless, two meetings were prepared - with Associate Professor Carl Beck at the University of Pittsburgh and with four bankers and industrialists at the Duquesne Bankers Club.University this morning. The Gothic "Temple of Science" - the central university building - has forty-two floors.Carl Beck turns out to be a handsome young scientist. His speciality was political spidering. "I am strongly opposed to our government policy on the Vietnam issue," he introduced himself upon meeting me.Carl Beck changed the topic of his seminar, seated me at a small table in front of a dozen graduate students himself sat next to me, but hardly intervened in the conversation. After the first few minutes of mutual embarrassment and hesitation, the improvised seminar on Vietnam settled down and lasted for two hours. Unfortunately, I had no time and inconvenience to take detailed notes.The views, as elsewhere, are different. There are those in favour of the war and Washington's policies, and those against. Among those who are "for", there are no rabid, they have reservations and hesitations. Among those who are "against" - not all strongly against, but believe that Vietnam is a civil war and that the U.S. has no right to intervene in this war. Critics of government policy are confused by the question: where, what is the alternative? Not everyone sees an alternative in the withdrawal of American troops. Americans have a characteristic attitude towards the prestige of their country: if the strong one concedes even where he is wrong, his prestige is compromised, and this cannot be tolerated.Again I was struck by the purely rationalistic and, as it seems to me, somewhat immoral view of a "small" war in a distant country. Young postgraduate students, who are trained by their professors to be rationalists, are deprived of a view of things and phenomena from the soul, from the conscience, not only from reason. They look at the war on top of the Vietnamese, on top of the rice fields ravaged, trampled by the war, on top of the bombs flying on Vietnamese villages, on top of the killing of innocents, millions of refugees suffering in camps, in short, on top of the tragedy of the people. For them it is only a game of "world politics", the balance of world forces in Southeast Asia - the United States, China, the Soviet Union - but they are deaf and blind to the fact that for the Vietnamese this is by no means a small war, that it is about the fate and even the physical existence of an entire people.Then I came to the university again and in the same room, on the 23rd floor, I met with other students. One of them, Peter Gall, was memorable.- What is morality in world politics? - asked cynically and cheerfully this sturdy, blooming chap. - You say - bombs. So what? We have to drop bombs. It's another thing when you start to feel the impact of the Vietnam conflict personally. Now, for example, the prices of many products have gone up. There's the issue of draft students again. That kind of discontent can have far more impact on the government than ideological polemics.Peter Gall was challenged by Mahmood Mamdani, a student from Uganda studying at the University of Pittsburgh. The African was heated, breaking American rules of academic argument.This is an atrocious war,'' Mahmood Mamdani shouted. - This is a racist war. I'm sure you wouldn't drop so many bombs on European countries. This is a soulless war. For you Americans, killing is no longer killing when it is depersonalised, when the killers are pilots who do not see the victims.I thought I was the only one who understood the African. The others felt uncomfortable and wanted to apologise to me for being a naive, hot-tempered weirdo.What is morality? The question is both naive and legitimate. The philosophy of pragmatism, widespread in the USA, puts profit and expediency in the place of morality. Morality here is mostly understood as Christian morality, but it is ridiculous in a country that imposes the laws and habits of businessmen as a law for everyone.The rationalism of the businessmen implies that a person or a country, if it acts rationally, must yield to force. And there, in Vietnam, force (and what force! - bombs, napalm, the practice of genocide) does not help. Hence, is man rational?With the Pittsburgh students, I wanted to once again test my assumptions about the roots of the student anti-war movement in America. Here the assessments are the same: everyone believes that this movement developed logically from the "civil rights" movement, for the equality of blacks. It is no coincidence that the anti-war protest includes many of those who were associated with the struggles, marches, and marches in defence of Negroes in the South. The present protest movement is broader but more vague, ideologically less orientated and accentuated than the radical, leftist and Marxist movement in American universities of the 1930s. A graduate student whose father was in the leftist movement of those years looks critically at the current movement. In his view, it is a temporary fad of young people who will later make "good bourgeois."Another postgraduate student says that the protest movement, if we take it not in terms of a specifically political but in terms of a general, ideological movement, is directed not against the ruling system but against the method of government, against the influence of the "machine" government bureaucracy.Is the charge of political protest durable? According to the general opinion, postgraduates, i.e. older people, are not as politically active as students. Many of them are already conformists, already in the category of reliable "good bourgeois".In the meantime, my interlocutors ironised the "good bourgeois", laughing when they heard that I was rushing to the conservative Duquesne Club for lunch with bankers. Someone remarked, "The walls there will tremble when the red man walks in." However, Mr William Boyd, vice-president of the Pittsburgh National Bank, who invited me to the Duken Club, liked the joke. It was also appreciated by Mr Boyd's other guests who had called in for a "red" - two industrialists and another vice-president of the bank.Pittsburgh's famous banker's club was founded in 1881. Here at lunches and dinners the elite of local businessmen do their own and the city's business. The club's entrance fee is $1,500, with smaller annual dues. In the club building everything is old-fashioned, solid, dusky. At the entrance, servants in mouse-coloured suits filter visitors. Separate offices. The waiters are well-trained, mute and, apparently, taught to keep their mouths shut.We have refugees from Hungary among our waiters," said Mr Boyd. - Maybe we have a Hungarian serving us, too. Imagine his surprise - a Russian at the Duquesne Club?!I tried to imagine this Hungarian, who chose "freedom" in 1956 and later discovered it was just freedom to serve Pittsburgh bankers.All four are happy with the economic situation of ytts urgh. Twenty years ago, the city seemed inevitably to be dying, choking in the thick smoke of its glorious but old steel mills, which could no longer compete with the new steel centres. Pittsburgh was called the "smoke city." The factories were so smoky that they used to light the streetlights during the day. But "socially conscious" businessmen saved the city from economic decline, cleaned up the air with steep sanctions against polluters.Then my new acquaintances started talking about Negroes, as business people, of course. Pittsburgh is fortunate to have relatively few Negroes. Boyd praised the local unions, particularly the steelworkers' union. This union, he said, practices discrimination, keeping Negroes out of its ranks, its wages and other union privileges. As a result, in Pittsburgh - thank goodness! - there are "not so many Negroes that they can't be managed."In recent years, the government has been clamouring for Negroes. For businessmen, keeping up with the times is a matter of fashion and "public duty". This means, for example, getting a Negro of their own and giving him a prominent place, like putting him in a shop window. But business people do not forget the business approach to things: they need Negroes with "good brains". They look for such people and even lure them away from each other.From Hungarians and Negroes we moved on to questions of war and peace. Do Pittsburgh businessmen need war? No, they don't - they don't need a big, world war. It is impractical in the nuclear age, threatening capital investment and profits. The members of the Duquesne Club are willing to accept changes in the world that can be accommodated to the interests of American business. But where communism or a radical national liberation movement is coming, where the slogan "Yankees, go home!" rises from the streets to the level of public policy, where, in their view, disaster for American interests is looming, they are for war. Vietnam, for example. Here they are determined to avoid the risk of a major war. Their reservations, their criticism of Washington are just within the boundaries of this vaguely delineated area of risk.They compliment our technical development, by the way. They have an inquisitive interest in our economic reform. It's competition, isn't it? There's hope in their eyes.In the evening, chance brought me into contact with a prominent Pittsburgh newspaperman. I shall call him Saul Price. I had not known him before Pittsburgh; there were no mutual acquaintances, no verbal greetings or letters of recommendation. His paper is by no means progressive. I went into the editorial office with the usual short courtesy visit. But American newspapermen are usually sociable, their professional rapport is well-developed, and they help - even the Soviets. Price invited me home, explaining the invitation with a "sentimental attachment" to Russia. His parents are from near Odessa, having come to the United States in the 1990s. In the basement of the house is a family heirloom - an old samovar. The son, a student at Yale University, is studying Russian literature, history and language. His teacher, from "former Russians," finds the younger Price speaks Russian with a "muzhitsky accent."Lunch with Saul and his wife Joan at a country restaurant. Nice place, homemade tablecloths on the tables, candles flickering in the candle sticks. Chattering about this and that. Suddenly a tipsy Joan whispers to me with desperation:- "Saul will probably kill me, but I'm going to tell you. You know Pittsburgh is ruled by one family, the Mellons. Nothing in the city can be done without them. They rule the city, and if they want to, they can ruin it.- Is that so? I said.There is a moment's heavy silence. Joan is embarrassed by her sudden frankness. We suddenly realise that, despite these intimate candles, and the tablecloth, and the points of contact through Hemingway and Faulkner, there is an abyss between us. The familiar feeling is that of irani. They feel this boundary almost instinctively, my American interlocutors, and conversations, like a game, are conducted in accordance with the rules: not to reveal to a stranger the secrets of the firm whose name is capitalist America. And here Joan has crossed the line to our mutual embarrassment.Saul is a loving husband and will certainly not kill Joan. Having recovered from their embarrassment, they turn the conversation to facts, explaining that the Mellons, in addition to the Mellon Bank, which runs the city, own the big oil corporation Gulf Oil, the copper Copper Company, the aluminium company ALCOA, shares in the steel giant U. S. Steel. The total capital is about nine billion dollars.The head of the Richard King Mellon clan in Pittsburgh is called the General. During the war he was a major intendant.The General has been "very kind" to Pittsburgh - creating charities, buying land downtown for four million dollars, giving the citizens a beautiful public garden in a square called, of course, Mellon Plaza.But Joan, a brave and honest man, emphasises again:- If he uses his influence and power for evil, bad things will happen to Pittsburgh.Saul is silent, agreeing.Their house is on the edge of town, across the Monongahila River, in a restful green neighbourhood. Behind the house is a large lawn. It's quiet. Fresh air. The chirping of birds. Joan laments:- What cold weather! The roses haven't bloomed yet. And look what's happened to the poor petunias!The house is cosy, full of books, novels by Faulkner, the Price's favourite writer, a multi-volume history of England. The carpets are worn, the sofas are old, there is no pretentious modernity, they appreciate the snugness. Talk often and proudly about their children. Two framed photos: a serious bloke, a pretty girl with a good smart face.The Price's love their children, but it is an American love - they are not kept at their mother's skirt. Last year their sixteen-year-old daughter was let go to the end of the world - to Singapore - on one of the many "exchange programmes". My friends were surprised: a young girl travelling to strange foreigners in the middle of nowhere?But this is a typically American act, and its roots are typically American. Great-grandfathers, grandfathers, fathers sought their share, travelled across the expanses of America, explored the Midwest, the Far West, the Northwest, and the Southwest of the United States.Southwest of the United States. Eventually sailing to this country from other countries.History has planted in Americans the seed of mobility. The Russian man can't believe his eyes. The American does not like books, and often does not believe them, he needs to feel the world.In Singapore, Price's daughter lived in the house of a Chinese man who runs a huge rubber plantation. Of course, the girl also saw Singapore through the eyes of the planter and his children. And recently the planter's son came to Pittsburgh, also "on exchange," and lived with the Prices. At the same time another young boy from some distant islands of the Indian Ocean-Joan could not pronounce the name. A poor but "talented boy", again "on exchange".- What an enviable, un-American appetite they had, eating from morning till night," Joan recalls.These are the contacts at their, bourgeois, level, personal contacts. In time, they could pay off politically. Joan is against the war - their boy could be drafted. She speaks of the national limitations and ignorance of Americans. During her college years, for example, they didn't study Russian literature. She happened upon Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, then Chekhov, and became fascinated with Russians and Russian literature. The professor said: "If you find six to eight people, we'll organise a series of lectures." There were no willing participants.Until eight years ago, schools studied only the history of Western Europe in addition to American history. The rest of the world - beyond the ancient centuries - remained a white spot for children. Now the picture is changing...In the afternoon, Sol showed me the city from the steep bank of the Monongahila. In the Golden Triangle, skyscrapers shone beautifully in the sunshine of glass and dural. They had risen recently on the site of slums, warehouses, spare railway tracks. Now the U. S. Steel Corporation, which is already cramped at forty storeys, is going to build a new skyscraper, either sixty or eighty storeys high. Or rather, it has commissioned this skyscraper to a construction corporation, having committed itself to renting it for a very long period of time.4 JUNE. PITTSBURGH.Pittsburgh is more than two hundred years old. At the cradle of industrial Pittsburgh, born at the end of the last century, stood the famous trinity: the king of steel Andrew Carnegie, the king of coal Clay Frick and the banker Thomas Mellon. Now those names give rise to other associations. The famous Carnegie Hall in New York is a favourite of music lovers, a witness to the triumphs of Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels and the world's biggest stars. On New York's Fifth Avenue is the exquisite Frick Gallery with masterpieces by El Greco. The Mellons founded the most beautiful National Gallery in Washington, having bought for it in Europe canvases of old masters.Metamorphosis with the millions of the Pittsburgh three came later - as a penance for sins. They started out by killing. In 1892, Clay Frick, who hated trade unions, committed a bloody massacre, ordering factory guards and hired Pinkerton agents to shoot a peaceful crowd of striking workers. After being stabbed by a strike supporter, Frick dictated his will in an ambulance: "I don't think I'm going to die, but whether I die or not, the company will pursue the same policy and it will win".It was the most famous Hamstead steelworkers' strike. Frick and Carnegie won by crushing the unions. Then their agents scoured the countries of Southeastern Europe, recruiting Poles, Slovaks, Serbs, Hungarians, Ukrainians - cheap labour for Pittsburgh mines and factories. Mellon, meanwhile, successfully amassed the grandest family fortune in America, using to his advantage both falls and rises in economic conditions. In 1919, after the deaths of Carnegie and Frick, the Mellons' influence in Pittsburgh became decisive.Talking to me, Professor R. of the local university gave me some information about Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is first of all a city of steel. 25 million tonnes of steel are melted within a 25-mile radius - a quarter of all American production.Pittsburgh is known for many important inventions. It was home to the first radio station. The first electrical appliance company was George Westinghouse's company. It's the cradle of American labour unions.A severe crisis occurred twenty years ago when the surrounding iron ore deposits began to run out. Steel corporations had to relocate plants, or rather build them anew, in other areas near Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia. The city was threatened with ruin.The "city fathers", first of all the General, decided to save it - after all, their fate was linked to Pittsburgh. Tens, hundreds of millions of dollars were thrown into scientific and technical research, thousands of specialists and scientists were lured and brought to Pittsburgh. In alliance with the city government, Mellon dealt a decisive blow to the dark glory of the "Smoky City." A law was passed that banned the use of bituminous coal for heating."Golden Triangle" was radically rebuilt, large areas of slums were swept away. The purpose of redevelopment was, in part, to rid the business centre of the housing and presence of the poor, moving them away from the centre. Pittsburgh's redevelopment thus included not only clean air and modernist office buildings in place of slums, but also the physical separation of social forces, a kind of geographical spacings between them.According to R., Pittsburgh is a city rare in America in terms of social composition: a super-elite, a mass of poor people, and between them a very thin layer of the "middle class," including university professors and lecturers, lawyers, doctors, and city employees.R. considers Pittsburgh to be the only large "feudal" city in the world, emphasising that its current renaissance also has a feudal-capitalist character. The feudal suzerain is, of course, the Mellon family.Another interesting meeting today is with Paul Daly, vice-president and director of the steel company Happenstall Company. Last year he was in Moscow on business - he wanted to buy some licences from us. He says that he was "charged" at the National Hotel no worse than they charge at Hilton hotels. He approves of that kind of grip.We are getting closer," he jokes. - "Your Intourist can make money, too."So Paul has been here, I'm a Soviet correspondent who got to Pittsburgh, and he feels it is his duty to repay me for our hospitality. Yesterday he was at a luncheon at the Duquesne Club. Today he invited me in and showed me his company's plant, which employs eight hundred men. Happenstoll has several plants. Total capital - 50 million dollars, a crumb next to "U.S. Steel", stealing billions. The company is family-owned. The eldest Happenstall recently died. Now his thirty-seven-year-old son is running the business. He's been trained since he was a kid, once worked as a labourer in his father's Pittsburgh factory.Daley came to pick me up in a brand-new Buick.The beginning is typically American.- What's your name? - He looked at my business card. - Stanislaus? Stanley? Stan? Call me Paul.He laughed and added:- "Europeans are surprised at our impudence. We call everyone by their first name, not their last name. We think it's easier that way.He said it very well - simpler. It's simpler, it's more convenient. American domestic democracy.Paul is an enlightened businessman. He studied at the University of Paris before the war, cheaper than American universities. There is no American cockiness in him, which often neighbours with that very domestic democratism. In some ways even shy, ready to listen and understand another point of view. He's got a sharp tongue.- Credit," he says, "is like a shaving blade, you can shave with it and cut your throat with it.Not the super-patriotic type. He sees his country's shortcomings, but believes America offers great opportunities for the hard-working man. His father was a postman, then opened a small business and educated his children. His wife's father is a labourer from Poland.- Are you a millionaire?- No, I'm not one of the lucky ones. But I make a decent living.Three kids. Son and daughter are in college. For the youngest son is worried - he is also in college, but studies poorly. Now Paul spends six or seven thousand dollars a year on education of children. Daughter will soon receive a diploma and has already found a job - a programmer on electronic calculating machines. Will receive $ 125 a week. Paul started more modestly - with 120 dollars a month.The cost of educating his children is so high that this man has to save money. The eldest son recently sent to Italy on a cargo ship - of course, not very convenient, but cheap, only a hundred dollars. The boy did not go for fun. Two months will be a worker at the steel factory, and then a week or two of rest - on the money earned. Last summer the same his eldest son, a future metallurgical engineer, worked as a simple labourer in a Pittsburgh steel mill. This is how the children of the capitalist are brought up: they are taught to worship the dollar, and not just the dollar - labour.Paul Daly laid down a principle common in America: every job is good, no job is shameful. This is, of course, not without its share of sanctimony, but we should note something else. The laws of society are cruel. The most adaptable survive and succeed, which means, in particular, the hard-working. Higher education is expensive, that is why it is highly valued. As a rule, it is not only paid for by rich parents, but also earned by students themselves.I remember on my last visit to Cornell University, we were served at a table in the restaurant of the Statler Inn by a beautiful, languid young woman. Some of the Americans whispered that she was the daughter of Maxwell Taylor, former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, former military adviser to President Kennedy, and the notorious ambassador general to Saigon. We wanted to interview the titular waitress. We made further enquiries. Alas, there was a mistake. The girl was the daughter of Taylor, but another, not so famous, - the U.S. Ambassador to one of the Latin American countries. Interest in the interview was lost, but the fact was remembered. The ambassador's daughter, a student at Coryell University, worked as a waitress during her holidays. This did not surprise anyone. It was the norm. During the summer season, I saw many students in Yellowstone National Park. They cleaned hotel rooms, sold petrol, worked as clerks and waiters. It's not at all new, nor is it a moral burden for them to wear the overalls of petrol station workers and the starched aprons of waitresses. They make dollars to live and to study ...Daley has a businessman's eye on the Pittsburgh renaissance.- Pittsburgh is big enough," he says, "to feel like a big city, but compact enough that you can call up two dozen business friends and invite them over for cocktails tonight to discuss an urgent matter.The big businessmen here, he says, are closely tied to each other and to the fate of the city, on which their fate depends. In New York, the situation is worse. It is too big and "impersonal". Its lords live somewhere in Connecticut, on Long Island, in country estates. Their capitals are invested not only in New York, but all over the country, all over the world. New York, Daley believes, is too big to be cured of its permanent crisis.Daley doesn't even mention unions, workers, or the urban population in general when he tells the story of the Pittsburgh renaissance. They have no place in this story.It's curious how Daley judges us. Understands something, agrees that we should have centralised and directed industry when the foundations were being laid. Agrees with the need for planning in the early days. Now he is excited about our reform of industrial management, which he has heard about in passing and which he characterises as a profit system. It reminds him of America:- Man is like a horse. The more oats in the cart, the faster the horse runs. That's what incentives are.Daley thinks we've learnt this truth now. Root differences in the property system he ignores. This is his idea of American "almost socialism":- My secretary also works for the state. She pays 20 per cent of her salary in taxes. That means one day a week she works for the state.The emptiest conversation today is at the headquarters of the Steelworkers Union of America. It's the second largest union in the United States after the automakers, with 1.2 million members.The president's not here. The vice president's busy. I was assigned to Mr Asa Atwood, public relations man. As it is impossible to imagine an American diner without an apple pie under a glass cover, so American corporations, trade unions, universities, etc. are unthinkable without a public relations man. They deal with relations with the press and the public, they are useful for the first acquaintance - they will fill you with brochures, books, figures. But don't be fooled! They are professional varnishers.According to Asa Atwood, all the problems of American steelworkers were over thirty years ago, when union activists were killed and businessmen threw rifle and baton-wielding factory guards against striking workers. Now the only thing workers care about is getting washbasins and latrines closer to their workplaces.Asa Atwood fears the Reds more than the bankers at the Duken Club. Those are beyond suspicion. Those need to show patriotism and loyalty. On Vietnam, the union leadership has a clear line: full support for Johnson.And by the way, the foreman at the Happenstall plant said differently: "Let them live there, in Vietnam, as they like". He's a union member, too, but his common sense prevails over his anti-communism.Saturday, a non-working day. In the morning, however, I managed to meet and talk with John Morow, director of planning and redevelopment at the Pittsburgh City Council. What he told me kind of turned the city around another facet. Without talking to the Price's, Professor R., Paul Daly, and just today's conversation with John Morow, one would have thought that this is not a "feudal city" at all, that it is ruled by those who should be ruled by law - the city government elected by the people.A former reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, John Morow knows to keep his ear to the ground with newspapermen. He was suspicious, parsimonious, weighed every word.So, in American terms, the city is old. Now in Pittsburgh proper there are more than six hundred thousand people, in the Greater Pittsburgh area - two and a half million. Geographically and transport-wise, it's favourably situated - three rivers. But its topography is unfavourable because of those same three rivers. Suffers from annual flooding. Concentration of industry, intensive use of coal polluted the air.After World War II, two major programmes were developed to control the scourge. Flood control was taken over by the federal government, "smoke control" by the city and county governments.There have been no major floods since 1937. As for "smoke control," the late forties and early fifties banned the use of soft coal for home consumption, as well as steam locomotives and steamboats. Transport switched to diesel, homes to natural gas. There were no government subsidies; corporations and individuals gave the money. Flood eradication and strict "smoke control" helped begin to rebuild the city. Since 1950, the city has redeveloped approximately one thousand six hundred acres - "clearing" or demolishing some neighbourhoods, building "business" buildings and new residences, and improving educational and recreational facilities.The city government obtained the right to acquire buildings and land in areas to be redeveloped. They decided to demolish a building, an independent jury or court determined its value, and the city government paid the money. "Usually our prices were higher than the open market," Morow says. - They were rarely challenged.Then the land was either resold to private firms or transferred to the city. New buildings are built by firms and corporations; the city is only responsible for communications and utilities. In total, about a quarter of the "unfit neighbourhoods" were redeveloped.- What about the poor residents, the small merchants who are being displaced? Are they happy?" I asked. - There are usually a lot of problems.John Morow gave me a watchful glance:- Is this for information or propaganda?- To complete the picture," I replied.He began academically:- In all countries there are people who resist change. Imagine a small trader who has lived in the same place all his life, has a regular clientele, etc. Of course, he does not want to leave his place, no matter what he is promised. As a rule, we offered the best conditions. Of course, there were difficulties, including psychological ones. Now the resistance of the displaced has become purely symbolic. They want to get more for their land and houses, they are worried about where to go. But there is time, usually five years pass between the decision to demolish and the demolition itself.One of the positive results of reconstruction, Morow sees, is that the large corporations that have come to clean up neighbourhoods are employing thousands of people in their offices.- After all, employment in industry is declining across the country.The General was not in Morow's story. I reminded him. He replied:- If you take business, Mr Mellon was probably the most effective factor in the redevelopment of Pittsburgh. He worked closely with the city government. And it must be said that he was the one who actually started the whole programme.I thought of the American "open society." What is open is usually only what they want to open, what is profitable to open, or what cannot be hidden. You are provided with booklets, brochures, postcards of beautiful new buildings, and then suddenly behind all this splendour you see the Mellon State, the knights of big business, who crowd each other in the darkness of tangled financial interests and connections.Having finished with the town's business, Morow asks:- Tell me frankly, do the Soviets really think we want to conquer the Soviet Union or China?I answer that I personally do not think so, but that there is Vietnam, and there are American troops and planes, bombing not only guerrillas, but also civilians.- How do you want to understand that? What do you think about that?His response rings very familiar and typical: the world should believe American good intentions while ignoring American soldiers.So obvious to him is the American's dislike of war:- We are taught from childhood to value our lives and property. Do you really think we are our own enemies?In Vietnam, he sees a "trap."- We can't win, but how do we leave to save face?And also a wistful and sincere thought - how nice it would be to let all this military spending, for example, on urban reconstruction. He realises that in socialist countries it is easier to rebuild cities, because everything is planned by the state.- We have a clash of public and private interests, a search for compromises, and in the end private entrepreneurs have the last word," he says frankly. - After all, if they want to close a factory or plant or move it out of Pittsburgh, the city can't stop them ...In my hotel room I tried to summarise my acquaintance with Pittsburgh. I gutted the local papers: the Pittsburgh Press and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In four days, I already have kilos of paper on my desk. Big newspapers stuffed with adverts.So, another American city. And people, generally friendly people who like it, though they see it differently. Did I see everything? Alas, not much at all."The Golden Triangle has indeed been gilded with modernist skyscrapers. Beyond the Allegheny River, the large poor neighbourhoods are untouched. They are far from the centre and therefore not of interest to business, nor do they blister his eyes. There used to be an independent town called Allegheny, now a Pittsburgh neighbourhood. I went there and saw the slums, the shabby old houses with broken windows, the untidy yards, the humped cobblestone streets, the old women on the porches, crippled by life. In short, the local Harlem, but with Negroes mixed in with the whites."Aha, propaganda!" - I hear the voice of John Morrow. But why is that, Mr Morow? I must be objective. I gave the floor to you and, unfortunately, deprived the other side of the podium. It's easier to meet with you - you have offices, editorial offices, country restaurants, university offices, your work can stand while you talk to a Red, it doesn't move on a conveyor belt like a labourer's. And where, other than in a taxi, can I talk to other, working-class, poor Pittsburgh? Other than at a bar? It's not always comfortable to approach someone on the street - it's not in the spirit of America with its "uncommunicative" problem. It's shameful to upset an old lady on the porch with questions about poverty. And they're more wary of the Reds than you are, Mr Morrow - you're above suspicion.The city is different and at the same time monotonous - with all the monotony of your reality and its contrasts. In the university neighbourhood - green hills, beautiful cottages, charming public schools, large parks. "Squirrel Hill" is a town, and the residents have "their" squirrels, and they come running into the kitchen for treats.And there's separation everywhere. Social alienation. But you don't feel it right away. I could have left without knowing about Pittsburgh Harlem. The Golden Triangle shines so victoriously, the neighbourhood near the university so splendid. Only these people leaning against the walls across from the Roosevelt Hotel inspire a vague unease. They are waiting for the tram, poor clerks, Negroes, cleaners, labourers. Waiting for the tram to return to their homes after working for the Triangle.A Negro woman, Professor Montgomery's wife, is employed in the local poverty programme. She says the poor in Pittsburgh are very many. People whose houses are demolished under the reconstruction programme usually stay in the same neighbourhoods, move into the slums next door, and live no better. In place of the demolished houses they build other houses, more beautiful and comfortable, but... the rent is biting.Skilled labourers have improved their lives since the war and have new homes. They settle in the suburbs in the same national communities as in the old places. Familiar neighbourhoods and compatriots appear there too. There are Czechoslovakians, Poles, Italians. Their fathers and grandfathers became American workers long ago, but they still hide in the national shell, although it has lost its protective properties.Another impression, though not a new one. They are thinking about us, comparing and contrasting us. We remain an unknown, mysterious world. Visitors to the Duquesne Club are caught up in the news of economic reform. Banker Boyd said there was growing interest in trade with the Soviet Union. Daley was doing reconnaissance on the ground - Moscow, Leningrad. The Bolshoi Ballet would soon be coming to Pittsburgh; in the window of a fancy shop was a large photograph of Maya Plisetskaya. An invisible thread connected our prima ballerina with Pittsburgh banker Boyd - after all, it is he who heads the council that invited our ballet.And ignorance of elementary things persisted even in the circles of intellectuals. I've been asked questions like: "Can you inherit money?" (a native American question about a socialist country), "Do you have housewives?", "Do your writers get a salary from the state or do they live on royalties from their books?". There were some very funny questions that were difficult to answer: "Why do Russians like to play chess?", "Why do Russians like poetry?".JUNE 5. BUFFALOAn early morning flight to Buffalo, back to my Chevrolet. Through the greenish window of the bus, one last look at Gateway Plaza. Smoothly rustled across the bridge over the Allegheny River, entered the tunnel hole, and in the windows of the bus rolling hills of Pennsylvania. On the way to the airfield, the motorway exit for Carnegie Town: descendants have immortalised the steel king.Pittsburgh is not so big, but we probably can't find such a large airfield complex. There are so many airlines, and each has its own office, its own auxiliary service, its own access to the airfield - the cost of capitalist competition. Each company has its own sky gate, and I left Pittsburgh through gate #27.The early transit plane was nearly empty. Five or so soldiers dozed in their seats. One had not fallen off. After gutting a thick Sunday paper, I sat down next to him, introduced myself.- Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?He looked at me, hesitated a moment, but was not confused: "Go ahead!A good-looking chap of about twenty-two to twenty-three. The face is handsome, hard. Straight nose, handsome forehead, carefully combed black hair glossed with one of the dozens of local diamonds. Eyes attentive, calm, looking with dignity. Not a single crease on his light khaki uniform shirt, tucked into his trousers and crispy in appearance, except for the creases that the iron had made. It seems that nature itself told him to be a military professional. And he obeyed. A volunteer. He's been in the service for over two years, and he intends to serve full time for twenty years, until his retirement and pension. On his sleeve, the letters "AB" - Airborne Troops - were diamond red.- You ever been to Vietnam?- No.- Are you going to be?- End of June.Clear, short answers.- What's it like? What kind of mood are you in?- We are fighting for freedom there," he said.- Have you read in the newspapers about recent events? About the Buddhist riots? Even your allies in South Vietnam are not very happy with the American presence.- It's a minority, I was in Santo Domingo last year. Only a militant minority there were against us.- What do you think of the American bombing in Vietnam? After all, you're destroying civilians as well.War is war. We use means in which we are superior to them. If we don't stop Communism there, we'll have to fight on America's borders.- Don't you think it's not about the Americans and their interests, but about the Vietnamese and letting them handle their own affairs?- No. If we leave, the Vietcong wins. And we want to give the Vietnamese their freedom. War is a bad thing, but it's necessary. I'm personally against war, but we have to stop the Communists. The majority of the people are with us.- How do you know that?That was an unnecessary question. The soldier knew everything. He was confident in his right to speak for the Vietnamese and the Dominicans. He knew everything for all the peoples of the world, an invulnerable, ideologically rigid, sterilely pure American, with the last specks of doubt and freethinking carefully blown off. The idealist imperialist. "Fighting for freedom... War is war. We must stop the Communists..."I feel like I'm in an American soldier's political literacy class. Well, shall we continue with the questions? What about the Communism this handsome chap thinks he's going to stop? What does he know about it? Why doesn't he like communism?And these questions did not take the skydiver by surprise.- The harder a man works, the more money he has to make. In your country, everyone gets the same, and if that's the case, will a man work hard? We have every opportunity for a man, if he wants to get his way.Imposing his terms of argument, he demanded an explanation of communism at the level of the ruble and the dollar. I explained that we also have different salaries, that a better worker usually gets more, that this system is being improved. I explained our fundamental truths: you can't own land, factories, plants. It is not fair that a person just because he has more money, acquired, perhaps, by dishonest means, should have an influence, perhaps detrimental and even ruinous, on hundreds, thousands of other people. Told about Pittsburgh, about Mellon, about the fact that Pittsburgh, as its own people say, would be in for a disaster if Mellon decided to move his financial interests elsewhere. The soldier had not been taught such political literacy, but the miracle did not happen - he did not give up. He, not a banker, just the son of an engineer of the Standard Oil Corporation, does not like our orders.- Of course, if a man has more money, he can influence other people. What's wrong with that? That's how great men grew up in America. And the limits? How do you establish that a man can only make money up to this limit and no more? No, we have unlimited possibilities. Otherwise a man wouldn't try.It's still amazing how quickly he reduced the complexity of the world and of man to the American root of "money-making" opportunities. Freedom? To make money. Opportunity? Making money. Happiness - also through money.I try to approach it from the other side: private property separates people; we want people not to fight with each other, but to co-operate. The soldier looks at me condescendingly:- Well, you're the one talking about harmony.He knows, it turns out, the word harmony.- I'm not against harmony," he says. - But man is not like that. First we must ensure law and order in the world. Then we can co-operate with you, help other countries. You build dams in Africa, we help there too. I'm against war. I'm in favour of such help.- Then why send troops?- Here we don't agree with you, - the soldier grins. - We've talked about this.I return to my seat, behind the soldier, and again I see the black, carefully combed back of his head in front of me. The plane is already boarding in Buffalo. A straight, dapper gesture, and the cap sits firmly on the back of his head, tilted slightly over his forehead. The soldier likes military service.- It's good to serve," he says. - Eight hours at the base or in the field, and then I'm free.The soldier's rations are not poor, the pay is good, he can save up.He travels abroad: from April to July last year he was "cleaning up" in Santo Domingo, and recently he flew for three weeks to Turkey for manoeuvres of parachute troops. In American cities and on the roads, you see Marine Corps adverts: "Want to see the world? Join the Marines!" The Leathernecks, as the Marine Corps is called here, have a patent on this catchy advert. But it's also good for airborne troops, all the armed forces of a country that for two decades has kept more than a million soldiers outside its borders.A soldier stands in the aisle. Lacquer glow heavy, like weights, cleats. His black tie is tucked between the buttons in a military fashion.- Although we didn't agree, it was nice to talk to him.I nod silently at him. It is strange, of course, for him to meet a "red" in the depths of his country, in the peaceful skies between Pittsburgh and Buffalo. Strange to me, too. It's a strange encounter: a verbal dispute has trenched the entire planet, and the flashes of fire are only there, in the distant jungle. What am I gonna tell this guy? I won't tell him anything. Our dispute is over, but he's on his way to continue it - to continue it with guns, and he'll be met with guns. Man was born to be free to make money... Is that funny? No, I'm sorry. For the sake of this philosophy, an American engineer is ready to kill a Vietnamese peasant on Vietnamese soil.The soldier is the first to spring from the gangway. All his veins play in him with the enviable youth, shiny, without war or want. Then I see black boots, a broad back and a cap in the corridor of the airport terminal. He steps straight and confidently, as if he swallowed an arshin, but his left hand awkwardly and embarrassedly encircled the waist of a low woman in a motley dress. Mother... The corridor is long, and I watch the hands change, then she snuggles up to him, then the soldier, without bending, clumsily and gently leaning on his mother. On the right is a man in a hat and jacket. Father... So that's why the lad's all ironed up. He's come for a visit. In front of the jungle...We wait five minutes for the luggage. We don't look, but we feel each other. Dad went to get the car. Then, walking out of the building with the suitcase, I see them again - the three of them sit down on the front seat of their "rambler". And I take the Chevrolet I've come to miss, pay the seven dollars for seven days' parking and, after canvassing the road, drive to Buffalo. I think about our conversation and try to imagine myself in the place of a paratrooper, who from the seat of the Rambler takes in the empty Sunday streets, dressed up people at churches, women in colourful hats that seem ridiculous to me, but to him - touching, girls in white gaiters, combed boys in festive suits.He absorbs these streets and these men and probably thinks, he can't help but think: Is this really the last time? In a matter of days, the soldier will find himself thousands of miles away from this pure, peaceful America, lengthening and weighting with his presence the grief of war in another land, glaring guns at its men, children, women. Somewhere on the shores of Lake Erie his father and mother remain, and there is no telling how long his life will last. In the meantime, he is here in Buffalo, under his parents' wing, and surely he is telling of an unexpected-unexpected encounter. I wonder what he got out of it. A soldier needs hate. Does he really think that the Communists are encroaching on this slow and dull Sunday morning in Buffalo, on his parents' Rambler, on the women in hats thickly covered with bright artificial flowers?In the meantime, I found shelter at the Buffalo Hotel and conducted another "interview"-with the Negro woman who cleaned room No. 1014. She was changing sheets, sweeping the floor, shaking cigarette butts into a wastebasket, and did not want to intrude into the realm of high politics. Two grown sons in the military. One was in Vietnam a few years ago, before "before all this," that is, before the escalations. He didn't like it - too hot, too stuffy. However, they have not yet seen each other since his return, she only spoke to him on the phone, he lives in Boston. Second son hasn't been to Vietnam yet.- What's it like for you blacks in Buffalo?- Not bad," the Negro replies cautiously. - They let us in everywhere here, except in a few places.- Why don't they let you go there?- They don't want to. By law, of course, you can, but they make it clear they don't want Negroes.She's talking about some restaurants.- It's all right for us older people. But the young people are different. She doesn't like it.She gets up the courage to ask: What about you, in Russia?I realise what she means, but I deliberately ask again: in what sense?- With the racial problem.I habitually reply that we have neither blacks nor a racial problem.- What about Paul Robeson?It turns out that she thought Paul Robeson was a Soviet citizen. After all, they wrote so much about him that he was a "red" black....What to do on a Sunday in an unfamiliar American city? When you have no address, no telephone number, no letter of introduction? When you've seen enough rooftops from your hotel room window? When you don't feel like reading three kilos of the Sunday New York Times? When you're not drawn to the shores of Lake Erie because you know you'll find neither beauty nor silence there, but only the dregs of industry and the roaring motorways?From idleness you start to dash around, good thing you have wheels. You skip twice from south to north along Main Street with its traffic lights, pharmacies, cinemas and the Sunday languor of people who are used to the tension and pace of the future. Further north, thirty minutes away, are the Niagara Falls, and you'll suddenly be drawn back to the lazy murmur of water that doesn't know it's about to explode with diamond dust. But for today you are a prisoner of Buffalo and the route and schedule you have made.You stop the car at the hotel and walk into the gloom of the bar, to the heavy wooden counter, to the swivelling stool. Rows of bottles. Nickel-plated dispensers stuck in the necks look like question marks, and everyone here deciphers them in their own way.You wander along the streets - shop windows, monuments. In an empty square near the Statler-Hilton Hotel and City Hall stands a monument to U.S. President William McKinley, assassinated in Buffalo in 1901. The assassin fired a shot as McKinley held out his hand to say hello. And there's a huge obelisk - four lions slumbering at its edges.Nearby is a miniature monument to Christopher Columbus, dated 1952. Christopher stands perplexed at the wheel: why the hell did he come here, to the Great Lakes?I also came across an unknown bronze brigadier general immortalised by his colleagues. Apparently, they had saved money on the pedestal - the general, leaning on his sabre, stands almost on the ground.In the evening drank tea in the snack bar on the ground floor of the hotel. It has some educational functions: in the corner, to the right of the counter, there is a display shelf with books - and what books! Cool bulges of naked girls on cheap covers. Promising titles: "Young Tigress", "I am a Prostitute", "Sweet but Sinful", "Slaves of Passion", "Bedroom Game", "Bedroom Window", "Sex Tramps", "Somewhere Between Two", "Women's Patent", "Manhunter". And on top of that, astrology magazines, horoscopes for the current year,-different spiritual food.How's my morning companion, the soldier? What's he up to?JUNE 6. BUFFALOAll day, almost to the evening, at the university. Its official name is the State University of New York in the city of Buffalo. In every state, except for private universities and colleges, there is one public university - a public university, which is maintained on the state's money. The State University of New York is a huge, geographically dispersed educational complex. For example, Cornell University, a predominantly private university, has a public department of agriculture that is part of the State University of New York. Buffalo, too, is part of New York University. Ten thousand students, and with evening and part-time students-twenty.The university is expanding - new, beautiful, good buildings. The old buildings are covered with ivy, though ivy is illegal. The young, public university in Buffalo is not in the aristocratic "ivy league" like Cornell, and its diploma does not have the same halo and weight.The authorities have recently allotted another thousand acres of land, and a campus is already under construction on the outskirts of Buffalo.The tuition for a year's study is four hundred dollars. It is considered to be almost free, at least four times cheaper than in private universities. Plus $418 for a place in a dormitory (a room for two or three students), $500 for the student canteen, if you wish to eat there, $100 for textbooks. This adds up to 1500-1700 dollars a year - and this is in a public, not private university! But we have got used to such expenses: what can we do?It is also natural to consider the fact that there are practically no children of labourers, small farmers at the university. Firstly, they cannot afford these expenses. Secondly, many of them are so psychologically orientated that they do not aspire to higher education. Kim Darrow, vice president of the Student Association, and Carl Levin, its treasurer, told me this. The students are the children of the "middle" and "upper middle class": lawyers, doctors, corporate employees, government officials.The day for the visit is extremely inopportune. The holidays have already started, and tomorrow is an important event - the enrolment of students for summer classes. Plus, I showed up unannounced. But they received me well. "Dean of Students" Professor Richard Siggelkow (a kind of university uncle-mentor) helped me to meet with the leaders of the student association.Darrow and Levin are very young guys, with fuzz on their chins, but with the same slightly ostentatious dry calculating and rationality that I can't get used to. Carl Levin is studying economics, but is thinking about a "political career". An elected position in the student association is not an unreasonable start for a career, and he sees nothing wrong with the word "career." Most congressmen, governors, ministers are frankly careerists.Young Darrow and Levin are centrists by conviction. Attitudes toward Vietnam? "A mass of confusion," and cautious support for the government line.- I used to sign a petition supporting the war," says Carl Levin. - Now I don't think I would sign it. I don't know why we're there, whether we're achieving the freedom and self-determination we're talking about.Professor Siggelkow finds that most students are apolitical and only think about future jobs, how and where to get a job. There are forty-eight student clubs at the university that have nothing to do with politics. The progressive organisation Students for a Democratic Society has three hundred members, and usually fifty people turn out for anti-war demonstrations.We had lunch with Siggelkow in the restaurant of the Amerhwest Motel. He invited his wife and an old friend, also a teacher, who wanted to move to the University of Buffalo from Wisconsin. Siggelkow patronises him, and I suspect that before the Wisconsin hick, the professor wanted to show how cosmopolitan Buffalo, a city on the way to the famous waterfalls, is. His wife chirped excitedly about how many foreigners were passing through Buffalo, how they had welcomed the Japanese, someone from Africa, a member of parliament from Malaysia.A provincial came to reconnoitre. He was preoccupied with the prose of life, asking about the schools, the climate (found to be milder than Wisconsin), the prices (food is more expensive and clothing perhaps cheaper). But the professor's wife was overwhelmed by the exoticism of Afro-Asian transit. She marvelled at the Africans who once joined her for lunch on their way to the waterfalls. She served them fried chicken with a sweet fruit relish.- Imagine, they put the fruit aside. They thought it was for dessert. Turns out they eat fruit for dessert in Africa.I had to explain to her that fruit with chicken is an American exotic. That not only "in Africa", but also in Europe, for some reason sweet fruit is not a side dish for meat and poultry. It was a fleeting conversation about the difference in tastes. My interlocutor did not despair. She continued to look for points of gastronomic contact.- Do you have any bourbon whiskey?I say no. Alas. But we have learnt to make do with Russian vodka, Armenian cognac, Georgian wines. Have you heard of Georgian wines? She hasn't heard of Georgian wines, she hasn't heard of Georgians.So we had a nice chat. Nice restaurant. Friendly people. Well-to-do bourgeois. And they took you for a bourgeois somewhere, in something. Thanked them. Say goodbye. I got behind the wheel of the Chevrolet. Is there anything in this town besides the university, the Buffalo Hotel, and a bronze President McKinley who didn't live out his term in the White House? I began ducking my car to the right and left of the straight and long Main Street. The directory informed me that this city has a lot: 404,452 telephones, 174,260 televisions, 18 radio stations, 497 Protestant, Catholic and other churches and 11 synagogues. Estimated value of all kinds at $1,050,390,115. 532,000 human souls.But now I wasn't leafing through a directory, but through pages of streets. A glimpse, kaleidoscopic. And then I came to the neighbourhoods of the poor. The American poor is not the African poor, or the Asian poor, or the Latin American poor. It is the poor man in an extremely wealthy country that has raised both the peaks of wealth and the level of poverty. I used to climb by car into the neighbourhoods of the Buffalo poor. Again I'd pull out onto Main Street to catch my breath, and again I'd climb deeper and deeper. At first it was the white poor - wooden houses side by side, like chickens on a roost, turned away from each other by blank walls. No lawns, but the houses were clean, with garages, TV aerials, armchairs on open verandas.I dived deeper, and there was shabby, shabby, with dirty children and uncombed women, with broken windows - hopeless, black poverty.Also trees, but dirty, as if black. Stinking bars and shops and black mannequins in shop windows, with European, however, facial features.... Poverty in the midst of wealth, in a country that has all the material prerequisites to destroy, eradicate, sweep poverty off the face of the earth.How to convey all this black longing, fermentation and despair in the Negro streets?JUNE 7. UNIONTOWN.Love was without joy, separation will be without sorrow. The mighty motorways took me away from Buffalo. I spent almost the whole of that clear, windy day driving. I passed birch trees and dark firs, hills, towns, roadside cafes and oncoming cars. I was following the next paragraph of the approved route: "From Buffalo to Uniontown (Pennsylvania), follow the New York State Thruway to the intersection with Road 79 and follow Road 79 to the intersection with Road 422 and follow Road 422 southwest to the intersection in Indiana with Road 119 and follow it southwest to the intersection in Indiana with Road 119 and follow it southwest to the intersection in Indiana with Road 119 and follow it southwest. Indiana to the intersection of Indiana Road No. 119 and follow it south to Uniontown. Overnight in Uniontown.""The Chevy didn't let me down, and once again the healing American roads were excellent, as if charging the soul with the inertia of motion. I was swinging on the swings of green hills, flying up the concrete of the road to the next crest, and on the way, over the crest, cars jumped out, and between their wheels - for one marvellous moment - glowed blue stripes of sky.I gave a great big lap, driving a respectful distance around the closed districts around Pittsburgh, but I was glad to make new and new dozens of miles, to continue this game with hills and blue stripes of sky between the wheels of oncoming cars, but the sky was already thickening in the evening, and the route demanded to stop myself and the Chevrolet exactly in Uniontown.I knew nothing about Uniontown, and I had chosen it only because it was the right place in southern Pennsylvania for the distance.As I flew into this town on road No. 119, I realised that it was old, born before the car: its streets were not constrained by straightness. And at once I felt that it was not well. There were many abandoned houses with dusty or broken windows.But what struck me most was Main Street. There didn't seem to be any abandoned houses there. There was the visor of a cinema and the dusk of half a dozen bars, a couple of solid bank buildings and motley drugstores - a drag-store. In the shop windows mannequins carried on their agitation for the latest fashions. And up on the hill rose the freshly built "Greek Orthodox" church of John the Baptist - John Baptist in English.So why was Main Street so saturated with anxiety at this lovely hour of an early June evening? I drove cautiously, as one drives past the scene of a fresh car wreck.Any casualties? A shabby man crossed Main Street and waddled to a bench on the pavement. Another... A third... The shabby people entered into a mysterious conversation with unanswered mannequins at the shop windows. Pathetic old men - old men? - sat on the step of some almshouse just across the street from the White Swan Hotel. Empty faces of former people. Every American town has them. There were more than usual. And they occupied Main Street!The city bore the seal of desolation, the official federal seal of a depressed neighbourhood.The White Swan Hotel on the edge of Main Street was old and empty. The old man on duty greeted me without the usual cheerful pleasantries. He knew that the occasional swallow would not bring back spring, and that the White Swan's mica neck had long since sagged.But there was a Negro there, too. And, as an American Negro in an American hotel should do, he picked up my suitcase, and when we got to the lift, it turned out that the hotel was not quite empty. Through the open door I saw some steaming men and women in a room near the lift. They were apparently having a meeting.- What were they talking about?- Unemployment," said the negro.- Why, do you have unemployment?- Oh, yes," said the negro.- Is it high?- Seventy-five per cent.- Are you kidding?! You can't be kidding.- Oh, no. Seventy-five per cent,'' the negro said.- How? - I asked, putting an end to the argument about percentages.- There's no work," said the negro wisely.- But they used to have work, didn't they?- Oh, yes. There was a big business here. Coal. Now the mines are closed. Nobody needs coal anymore.The negro opened the door of the room. Put the suitcase down. Put the typewriter on the table. Flicked the switches to see if the lights were all right.- So you're lucky, huh? - I said, slipping him a quarter.- I beg your pardon?- You're lucky, I said. You got a job.- Oh, yeah," the negro chuckled. He was in his fifties, and he didn't like my joke.The negro, however, is not a statistical bureau, and feelings are not facts, though they can be more reliable than facts and statistics.I went out to reconnoitre, seizing an official paper addressed "to all whom it may concern," and signed by Bill Stricker, Deputy Director of the Foreign Correspondents' Centre in New York. It is a careful but useful double-accented paper: it emphasises that I am a Soviet citizen and a correspondent for a Soviet newspaper (watch out!), but states that I am nevertheless accredited to an American institution and entitled to use "the usual courtesies accorded to members of the press". It is like an indulgence that pardons the American for the sin of communicating with the "Red" and allows him to "build bridges" and establish individual diplomatic relations across the Iron Curtain.So, I went out and presented my credentials to the first person I met, and he immediately swayed my feelings about Uniontown.Not an ex at all. A young, healthy guy with a nice, wide smile. He willingly gave me his smile after finding out where I was from and who I was. He came out to stretch after work, showered and wearing a fresh shirt. Everything seemed to be going well for him, and therefore for the neighbourhood. Builder. Makes good money. He thinks things are going well in Uniontown and the country. The mines are closing? So what? People find other work.We were standing on the pavement, cars passing by. He recognised some of them and gave them his willing smile. He immediately drew the cars into his circle of evidence.- You see, cars. Lots of cars. True, some had Mr Credit in the back seat. But you don't have cars in Russia. They say you have only bicycles...But the second person I met, a former miner, reinforced my feelings. The hills were over for the evening, my Chevrolet was resting near the White Swan, but suddenly I realised that the Pennsylvania swings were still there and that they would be swinging me all the time in Uniontown.- It's a mining town, and now all the mines are screwed.- Is it really all of them?- You drive 30 miles and you can't find one that works. There used to be 30 of them.- So unemployment?- Eh.- Are you retired? On social security?- Eh.- How much do you make?- 100-120 dollars a month.- So you make enough?- It's enough if you tighten your belt.He looked at me with an irritated and probing look. He didn't like my tone. That grey nosed miner was a pessimist. A man needs a lot of things, and above all the feeling of being needed by other people. With the mines, it was as if his life had been shut down. We stood in a dark, empty street, and I could do nothing to comfort him.I wandered on, thinking about the swings of Uniontown. The anxiety of Main Street. The blunt indifference of the Negro porter. The youthful fervour of Albert Softer's builder. The grim hopelessness of the nosy miner. I also appreciated the trademark humour of the Coca-Cola Company. The city centre was in its donated signs. Under the names of bars, drag-stores, hotels, everywhere in red and white were the words of the famous advert: "Things go better with a Coke". Even the bins on the pavements were adorned with this motto. Soke is an affectionately shortened nickname for Coca-Cola. But Coke is also coke, coking coal. Coke used to do better here. Now Coca-Cola merchants have given Uniontown a cheerful epitaph: "Business is better with Coke!"Across from the White Swan, at the entrance to a small building, sat an old man who turned out to be the watchman of the Eagles Club. "The Eagles nested in this very house. The old man was an optimist. Yes, the mines are exhausted, and there are only mines left in Greene County. Yes, the young people are fleeing Uniontown, but things are going well, although Uniontown is becoming a town of old men who don't want to leave here. The old man was a coal miner in his day.- Do they mine coal in Russia?We didn't talk much, but we talked about the weather. - It's a nice evening. Does it get hot in Russia?He went on the attack when we got to Vietnam.- We have a reason to be there. What reason? We made a promise to this nation and we have to see it through. I would send more troops over there to get it over with. And in general, Americans should not be discussing this issue with you!- Why not? I'm a journalist, my profession is to ask questions.Turning away, the watchman muttered:- "Your paper means nothing to me.- What do you mean, it doesn't mean anything? Do you think it's fake?- Of course it's fake. You can't fool me. An official paper should have an eagle on it. You don't have an eagle.So much for that! We parted hostilely.I went up to my room and looked for the eagle, which I had not been interested in before. The eagle was found. A cunning eagle in the form of a watermark. The old man could not see the disguised bird in the dark.JUNE 8. ELKINS.I'm already in Elkins, a mountain town in West Virginia. "The Elkins Motor Lodge is a comfortable motel, neat brick houses on a hill. Everything is fine, but damn - the window overlooks the road, there are trucks humming, and I wanted silence for the last time. After all, tomorrow it's Washington, D.C., and then New York.Nine o'clock in the evening. It's getting dark in the mountains. It's only ninety miles from Uniontown, but it's been two and a half hours, on a mountain road, narrow, winding. And twenty miles of torrential rain, so heavy that cars had to walk with their headlights on. Still, it's good in the Appalachian Mountains. Even though he was a plain dweller, he drove here, and, strangely enough, it seemed as if he had come to his native place.I can't get Uniontown out of my head. It's a curious little town. Maybe that's why small towns are so valuable to journalists, because you can see a lot of things about them in the palm of your hand. They're made of the same bricks as the big ones, the same bricks as the rest of society, but the building is smaller and easier to see.This morning, Main Street looked cheerful, as if it had brushed away a layer of anxiety. Filled with people. In the drag-store they were drinking their first cup of coffee. Across the street, two old men propped up a litter box with a Coca-Cola advert.I walked into the editorial office of the local Evening Standard and, presenting my paper to the editor, Arnold Goldberg, recounted yesterday's episode. To avoid any misunderstanding, I insisted that the editor see it in the light and record the fact that there was an eagle with an olive branch of peace in one paw and a bundle of military arrows in the other in the lower left-hand corner.Then I stared enquiringly at Goldberg: "Now, dear man, tell me, what is your business here?But the "Red" Russian, the first in his life, had fallen on my man's head like a snowball, and so my man was no longer just the editor of an out-of-the-way newspaper, but a person involved in the state eagle, and he was learning the role of a diplomat. He was doing quite well. There had been high unemployment, but now only six per cent. Young people fled and are still fleeing the city for the steel centres of Cleveland and Detroit, but, you know, some are coming back. We've been burned by coal, by mono-industry, and now we're creating a diversified industry, and we've opened three factories. Meet the editor of the women's department... We're expanding our fashion pages... We're targeting youth readers...It's been an upward swing.At the local Chamber of Commerce, Ernest Brown, the administrative director, an energetic, jovial cynic and former Marine officer, took 'em on. He laid out the state of affairs orally, and with the help of two orosh r of glossy paper.Uniontown's history is a swing with an amplitude of decades.A peer of the Declaration of Independence, Uniontown (current population-17,000) was born on 4 July 1776. It was dormant for nearly a century until the age of steam, steel and coal woke it up. Coal became king here, coke was called the queen. At the end of the last century, Uniontown called itself the coking coal capital of the world, which was being absorbed by the booming steel district of Pittsburgh, Uniontown's big brother. It is said that in those years the city ranked first in the world in the number of millionaires "per capita." And the souls were mostly miners-Slavs, Italians, Irish. Successive waves of immigration brought seekers of American happiness, reservoirs of labour.In time, even single millionaires disappeared into the vast belly of the steel whale U.S. Steel. Uniontown became a supplier to the giant corporation.There were booms, and booms had an ominous background-they came with wars. So Uniontown established its ties to world politics. One boom, World War I. Second boom, World War II. Feverishly steel was poured. Coal was being raked feverishly. There was a war, somewhere someone was being killed ("Is there heat in Russia?"), cities were being destroyed, villages were being burnt. People were suffering. It was far away. In Uniontown, coal and money were being rowed. Unprecedented profits. Unprecedented earnings.Reckoning came soon after World War II. Where the war had been fought, people rejoiced, but Uniontown suffered grief. It turned out that the coal had been raked out. True, at great depths in the area lay, as they say, other powerful seams, but they for some reason did not interest "U. S. Steel". The corporation began moving its plants out of the Pittsburgh area, giving Uniontown a "good bye." Ironically, this happened just as General George Marshall, Uniontown's most famous native, was composing his plan to aid Western Europe, which - to build bastions of anti-communism - was allocated billions of dollars.Trouble came to mining families.But Uniontown did not become a ghost town.Are businessmen soulless? True, but the laws of life are complex - merchants need customers, bankers need depositors. They need people who earn money to carry it to shops and banks. The giant U.S. Steel, with its billion-dollar turnover and national scope of operations, had freely crossed Uniontown off its books, but the local businessmen needed it because their own fortunes were tied to it. So they set out to revive Uniontown the way Mellon set out to revive Pittsburgh.And so the headquarters of the local renaissance is the Chamber of Commerce, which exists on the voluntary contributions of businessmen. It's also an advertising office, a centre for attracting new investment. Ernest Brown operates with optimistic figures: back in 1961 there were 24 per cent unemployed, now there are only about eight per cent. Opening a brochure with the promising title "Progress", he gives brief profiles of the Chamber of Commerce leaders.- Paul Oprols, chamber president, - real estate and insurance business... Fitzgerald, first vice president, - factory manager... William McDonald, second vice president, - merchant, department store owner... Orville Eberly, one of the directors, is the owner of Galantine Bank, worth $30 million.... - Brown gives me a meaningful look. - Jay Leff- of Fayette Bank..... Worth seventeen million. - Another eloquent look.- Now you've seen that this is a very powerful group," Brown summarises. - If they decide to do something, they'll do it. They can, for example, dictate to our congressman: vote this way.....So what do they do? They set up an "industrial fund" and lure industrial companies to the city to suck up unemployment and keep young people in the new factories. On favourable terms, the aliens are offered a long-term lease of prepared land with all communications and even factory buildings. Plus labour force, which will then carry their earnings to the shops, banks and insurance companies of the businessmen united by the Chamber of Commerce.I said goodbye to Brown, went out into the street laden with brochures, and near the post office stopped a man in a shabby jacket. A labourer. Age fifty-three. His first words:- It's all rotten here!         And the Chamber of Commerce says things are better now. They'll tell you more than that. Better? There's nowhere for people to work. Those guys at the Chamber of Commerce are afraid of the new factories. They're running the clerks out of the shops, cos they pay more in the factories.- They say there's been 2,000 new jobs here in the last ten years?- That's not what they say! Where are the jobs? I have to travel a hundred miles to work now. I've been in the army 21 years, and now I get a pension of $88 a month. I can't live on that. I came back from the army in '49. I started working in a factory. I was paid three times less than I should have been. I made a scandal and they threw me out. What to do? I started making moonshine - they arrested me. I've got to feed my family, damn it!- And they say unemployment has fallen to eight per cent since 1961.- Eight per cent?! Ha-ha. Let them do the math again. Sixty per cent of the people here are on "rileef".- Is that sixty per cent?- Yeah, it's close. A lot of people have given up. You can't look for a job, there's no work. You're better off on Relief, at least you don't have to pay taxes.Relief is for the most desperately poor and unemployed. Literally translated, relief means relief. Relief is given in this way: when there is no job in sight and an American has exhausted his right to unemployment benefits, which are given for a period of eighteen to thirty weeks a year, he is thrown a lifeline - relief. Rich America does not want people on its streets to starve to death. Lifelong unemployed people are thrown a lifeline, but they are not taken aboard the ship, they are superfluous there.And they sway, till death they sway, clinging to these lifelines, barely keeping on the surface.Look, some "U. S. Steel" throws overboard another batch - tens of thousands of Pennsylvania miners and metallurgists. After a while, rescue and relief flies in the wake - not from the corporation, but from the authorities. Humane, merciful. The ship is relieved, having got rid of ballast, and the scientific men on the deck, looking at this exaction, discourse without scruples about the by-products of the scientific and technological revolution, about the rigid requirements that the "society of abundance" imposes on its members, about the inevitability of human sifting and human waste.And overboard, cries for help, cries of fear. You can't reach them. They are written off, not even included in the unemployment rate, like the former people on Main Street in Uniontown, Pennsylvania.How many are there? I went to the local labour exchange as well. Received kindly, they said: a lot. But they wouldn't give me a number. Was that angry worker at the post office right? I don't know. If you add Ernest Brown's eight per cent to his sixty per cent of those on relief, you'll find that the Negro at the White Swan Hotel doesn't have such a wild imagination.Is it just the numbers? Numbers are like symbols. They signify, but do not reveal the tragedy of people who matured during another economic mess in Uniontown. What joy do they take in the Chamber of Commerce's optimistic calculations? Life is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was broken in its prime....But there was one more swing, a lunch with Arnold Goldberg at the Venetian Restaurant, Uniontown's swankiest. At shifting tables, a dozen or two grey-haired and perky old ladies were gibbering in the neighbourhood. The restaurant owner approached. Goldberg took a slip of paper out of his pocket.- Meet Mr Kondrashov from Izvestia. Nice place, isn't it?" whispered Goldberg as the owner left. - And upstairs there's a banquet hall for two hundred people. The owner's Italian, his father's from Rome, I think. You know, this Italian's made his own fortune. He's prospering, for Christ's sake. So much for the depressed neighbourhood.The Depression District is not my idea, it's a federal qualification for Uniontown. But it offends Goldberg personally. He doesn't want to be stigmatised. He is not "depressed."He fights that humiliation, and he has his own system of evidence. He tells with reverential awe of his millionaire publisher. He made his own fortune; five newspapers, seven to ten million dollars. Only a rich Texan friend helped at the start.Millionaires attract him like a magnet. A whisper draws my attention to a grey-haired, but not yet old, strong man, to whom the three at the next table are respectfully listening. Disregarding convention, he came to the restaurant without a jacket, wearing a short-sleeved khaki shirt.- Also a millionaire," Goldberg whispers. - Mine owner. He's got mines in West Virginia. Three or four million. Dad left him some, but mostly he did it himself. He's here a lot. Owns his own plane. Pilots it himself. I've flown with him a couple of times. Let me introduce you, cos, you know, he might get mad I didn't approach him.We finish our roast beef sandwich, drink coffee, bravely lift the millionaire from the table. Goldberg again reads my difficult surname on a piece of paper. The millionaire is confused by the stupidest ceremony. We shake hands, mutter "nice to meet you" in unison, and shake hands again, saying goodbye. I'm convinced that the millionaire has a firm, workingman's hand.And finally on the street Goldberg laughs goodbye: ha-ha .... depression neighbourhood?And yet, there is sincerity in what Goldberg says and does, not just diplomacy. Goldberg has one truth, and he derives it from his position and environment, from his prosperity, from the pursuit of millions and the dictation of his publisher. And a very different truth for yesterday's sullen miner - his life has stopped, frozen together with the mines, he cannot get through with his tragedy into the newspaper and the optimistic world of Goldberg.We said our goodbyes and I went back to the hotel. It's time to leave, the schedule's getting tight. Yesterday's negro carried my suitcase to the car.Goodbye, White Swan! You're doomed. I heard about it.You're about to be demoted from the hotel to the ex-personal furnishings, and soon-soon the fancy motel of the Holiday Tavern Corporation will be moving into Uniontown at the invitation of the restless Chamber of Commerce, with its paper virgin belts on the toilet lids-"sanitised!", its flashing buttons on the telephones, its state-of-the-art TVs, its nickel plumbing faucets, and its cellophane-sealed glasses-"sanitised!". There will be efficient young clerks and girls with the latest cover girls' faces - the beauties from magazine covers. They haven't learnt to smile yet, not like your sluggish old men, White Swan.I am writing this obituary at Elkins Motor Lodge, where everything is as it will be at the Celebration Tavern - sealed and sanitised, where trucks honk under the windows as the embodiment of relentless speed and ruthless American progress.Tomorrow is Washington. And the day after that, the familiar two hundred and thirty miles north. The motorway from Washington to Baltimore, the steep curves before the huge tunnel under the Baltimore harbour, the brand-new John F. Kennedy Expressway, crossing the state of Delaware, and there the humpback bridge over the Delaware River, hanging on two Herculean support towers, and the broad arrow of the New Jersey State Highway - shields began to flash every ten miles. It's 110 miles to New York... 100 miles to New York. 90 miles to New York...And the cars will fly, and the closer to New York, the faster, as if there were a giant magnet attracting them. And then there will be the overpasses near Newark, the fantastic weave of roads through which the blood of the giant city pulses at a close periphery. And the smell, the rotten spirit of Rockefeller's chemical plants. And the whitish, huge, overshadowing the horizon, the eternal artificial cloud of New York's fumes.Great are the skyscrapers, but, as one American colleague correctly noted, you first smell New York and only then see it....  DEATHKINGIt was a quiet April day with no big news, and just as quietly it passed into the evening, without promising a hurried night's correspondent work. With Sergei Losev, head of the TASS office in New York, we were sitting in the Izvestia office discussing the details of one long and rather tedious visit. Then Sergei hurried home, but I persuaded him to stay for another half hour and listen to the evening news programme on CBS Channel 2, Walter Cronkite's popular programme. Cronkite, as always, appeared on the screen at seven sharp, and in a trained, clear and succinct voice began to talk about America and the world of that bygone day.When he was nearing the end, and the news, arranged in order of importance, was getting shallower and shallower, and was about to end with some humour, Sergei tore himself away from the screen and went into the study to make a telephone call. But suddenly, at the last minute of the half-hour programme, Cronkite cut off some short, trifling telefilm and excitedly, hurriedly - his time was running out - almost shouted that Martin Luther King had been shot in Memphis, Tennessee, and that he was badly wounded and had been taken to St Joseph's Hospital.________________I jumped up. I shouted to Sergei:- "King has been fatally shot!Sergei ran into the living room. Sergei was frantic:- Bastards! Those bastards! They killed him.Cronkite precisely met his rigid half-hour and in the very last seconds, with wrinkles around his eyes and stroking the table with his hands, pressed his lips together in a businesslike manner before the traditional farewell phrase: "This is the state of affairs on Thursday 4 April 1968..."And at once the machine, saving the expensive television time, not allowing a single idle moment, switched on, and music burst in, inviting, cheerful music, and to match this music the sing-songy, stretching words: "Stre-e-etch your coffee break...". Walter Cronkite disappeared, and a cup of steaming coffee took up the whole screen, followed by an optimistic gentleman. Without wasting any time, the gentleman pulled the ribbon with a graceful gesture, freed from its wrapper a thin bar of Peppermint gum and tucked it into his fragrant mouth, as a gentleman of 1968 should. And the coffee cup squatted, yes, squatted, spread wide, stretched with inexpressible pleasure at the sight of this thin bar: Stre-e-etch your coffee break.... - Stre-e-etch your coffee break....We rushed to the garage and by car through the evening Manhattan, which had just thrown off the burden of rush hour, rushed to the TASS office, to the teletypes, which lightning, lightning, lightning of telegraphic agencies mercilessly soberly predicted that King did not live.And the echo of these thunderbolts flew Sergey's telegrams to Moscow, and I quickly returned to my corps and chained myself to the TV screen and radio - the evening had changed, turned upside down, the evening was sending a thunderstorm.At 8.40, another broadcast on ABC Channel Seven was supplanted on the television screen by the grey, repeated word "bulletin.... ballot... ballot... ballot..." and the announcer quickly, lest he be overtaken by other announcers on other channels, announced that Martin Luther King had died. Behind the announcer could be seen the television studio and in it a nervous crowd of people, workmanlike, without jackets, in white shirts, with their ties loose.And again, immediately after the bulletin, inexorably, like bullets in a machine gun that fires in bursts, came the advertisement for a Chevrolet car - hurry! hurry! - You can buy it now on a particularly favourable loan. And a young beauty with waving hair, an appetising object of such sweet, publicly admissible lust, sat behind the wheel of a favourable "Chevrolet", and with her, of course, was he, a manly and strong, neatly pressed, all fit and trim male of the 1968 model. To triumphant music they rolled along the road-alley, like a road to paradise, and the voice of the announcer explained what unusually strong tyres were here, what strength was hidden in the engine and what surprisingly easy conditions the credit had. And the couple, too, were convinced that this was the way it was. She had a radiant smile - where do these smiles come from? - and, stretching out her long legs in tight trousers, swung on a swing, then approaching, almost jumping out of the screen - here she is, ready for a hug! - then flying up to the seventh heaven. And from there, from the seventh television sky, she looked happily at her partner and at the car gleaming with nickel and high-quality lacquer.With the tragic bulletin, and then this advertisement, mixed with welfare and lust, it was as if I had been slapped twice in the face, as if I had been crossed with a scourge, and I realised, not even realised, but instantly and eerily realised that this overlay of advertising on tragedy, this unstoppable - like the rotation of cosmic worlds - mercantilism, smirking, was triumphing over King's death, just as it had triumphed over his life and struggle. There is a time to live and a time to die. And there is the longest American time of haggling: you have to skip the adverts you have already paid for, you have to praise and sell the product, no matter what happens, for everything in the world is trifling next to buying and selling.Then until the 9th of April, for five whole days, the television taught the Americans about King's death, for five days the television buried Martin Luther King energetically, actively, sometimes touchingly, to the point of tears. The advertisements moved aside (later, the merchants will calculate what it cost them to mourn and condolences), and on the day of the funeral, from ten in the morning to six in the evening, completely disappeared from the screen. But all this did not erase the first impression, the desperate feeling that nothing can change for the better as long as consciousness is broken, packaged, cut to pieces by the sharp blades of advertising "commercials", which, like professional executioners, quarter the integrity of the tragedy. Everything will be quickly forgotten, will go under the knife of other news, will be buried in the memory, and in a month or two the murder in Memphis will be hidden behind the ridges of new events. Was there a King?It was memorable for me, that evening of 4 April. The responses were swift. Shortly after the news of the death, television cameras in the White House showed President Johnson. Five days before Memphis, he had announced that he would not seek election to a second term. The country had not yet had time to chew and digest this stunning news before King's assassination pushed it to the back burner. Johnson walked swiftly from his office to the podium with the presidential eagle: a terse condolence message, an appeal for calm, the announcement that because of the Memphis assassination he had cancelled a planned flight to Hawaii to meet with General Westmoreland and Admiral Sharp. The President was disturbingly serious, allowed no questions. His back was hidden in the forbidden chambers.Correspondents flew to Memphis. The television reporters worked skilfully. They were looking for the killer, the man who had fled in a white Mustang. Memphis Negroes were the first to worry, and the governor of Tennessee immediately ordered the National Guard to enter the city.Martin Luther King... I saw him at rallies from the press seats. I knew the silence that fell over the hall when he appeared at the podium, a silence of attention and respect. One day we met briefly at the University of Chicago,^ and I felt the shaking of his hand, saw very closely the calm, serious, darkly lustrous Negro eyes, the firm big lips, and the heavy chin. I heard the restrained murmur of the baritone, which at rallies rumbled and swayed tensely like a bell, loud, reaching everyone and yet carrying an excessive, unconcealed power. Dr King was in a hurry, as usual, and was hurried along by an assistant, dressed, like himself, in the austere black coat of a Baptist parson. I asked for an interview for my paper, and King agreed. But his days were scheduled in the American way far in advance, and the schedule was not at hand, and he advised me toto write to his headquarters in Atlanta. The reply came from the secretary: King was not in Atlanta, she asked me to wait until he returned. He was forever on the road and forever busy, and after Memphis the date, alas, would not be available. I wanted to write about the living King. Now I have to write about King dead.***King was 39 years old when he was assassinated, an age when American politicians are usually just entering the orbit of their careers and looming before the eyes of the electorate, attracting votes and attention. King was not seeking a career but justice for millions of black people, and this Negro from Atlanta was known in perhaps every American home. World fame was not an end in itself for him either, and it came unexpectedly - thanks to the furious Birmingham police who unleashed no less furious sheepdogs on the participants of the freedom march in May 1963. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in December 1964, aged 35, but he did not rest on his Nobel laurels.The main recognition and heavy responsibility for him was the love of the Negro masses, who associated with him the hopes of a better life. He stirred up these hopes, knew how hard it was to fulfil them, and went to the end, sacrificing his life for them. They called him Moses, the prophet leading his people to the promised land. How colourful is this super-industrial country, if millions of its stepchildren in the second half of the twentieth century still have the religious ecstasy of people who trust only in God and miracles! It is easy to laugh at their naivety. It is more important to realise that in it, as in a drop, the sea of suffering of the 23 million Negro people of America is reflected.His life - and especially his political life - was short, but it was extremely intense, and King himself had long been prepared for it to be violently cut short. Narrating this life is not easy, because the narrative inevitably degenerates into a history of the Negro movement in recent years. In some ways King was a mirror of that movement, with all its successes and failures, its hopes and disappointments, its strengths and weaknesses.The great-grandson of a slave, great-grandson and grandson of sharecroppers on the cotton plantations of the South, and son of a Baptist pastor, Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on 15 January 192J in Atlanta, Georgia, into a comparatively well-to-do family. His father, Martin Luther King Sr. was a Baptist pastor and enjoyed great prestige among the four thousand parishioners of Ebenezer Church at the intersection of Jackson Street and Auburn Avenue. King Jr. graduated from high school and Negro Morehouse College in Atlanta, where, following in his father's footsteps, he took up theology - in the context of segregated churches, a Negro minister is spared, incidentally, from the competition of fellow white Christians. He continued his studies in the north - at the theological seminary of Chester, Pennsylvania, and at Boston University, where he defended his dissertation and received his Ph.D. in 1955.King Sr. did everything he could to get his son out into the world. But what does it mean to go out into the world? Even a PhD doesn't qualify you to be a man if you've lived in the American South and your rights are checked by a white racist. King learnt this long before his dissertation.You enter the school of life in early childhood. For the Negro child it is a special school. Five-year-old Martin learned his first lesson when he lost the friendship of two white boys, the sons of the neighbourhood grocer, who played with him in the street. They suddenly began to shun him. He ran up to the house and called out to them, but their parents replied, without any overt hostility, that the boys were simply not there or that they had no time to play with him. Puzzled, he went to his mother's house and, sitting on her lap, learned for the first time - and what more could a mother do? -about slavery, about the Civil War of North and South, about the fact that he was born black and his friends were white, and what followed.What could his mother do to comfort him? Lifting on the child's shoulders this terrible burden of past and present, which she had long borne herself, which undergirds every American Negro, she said: "You are as good as any other..."And that was true, but it did not cancel out the facts of life, and they made themselves known at every turn. King remembered another scene from his childhood. With his father, a big, strong, respected man, they went into a shoe shop to buy boots. The dollars were the same whether they came from a black pocket or a white pocket, and the salesman was ready to serve them, but they sat down in the chairs for the whites, and the salesman asked them to go to the back of the room where the "coloured" shoes were being tried on.- What's wrong with these places? - King Sr. said. - We're comfortable here.- I'm sorry," said the polite salesman, "but you'll have to pass.- Either we buy these shoes here, or we don't buy any shoes," King Sr. said angrily.The salesman threw up his hands, and father and son left with nothing to eat. When a father is humiliated in front of his son, it stings both of them, and both of them remember it. Little Martin had never seen his father so furious. King Sr. resented: "No matter how long I have to live under this system, I will never accept it.The educational power of humiliation... They didn't go to waste.One day my father ran a stop light in his car. "Park aside, boy, and show me your licence," said the policeman when he saw a Negro behind the wheel. "I'm not a boy, I'm not a boy," the father retorted. - I am a man, and until you call me by that name, I will not listen to you." He demanded dignity - a big dare in Atlanta in the '30s. King Jr.'s fearlessness was, you might say, hereditary. The father single-handedly waged the kind of struggle to which the son raised many thousands. His father boycotted buses, having once witnessed the brutal massacre of Negro passengers. He led the campaign for equal pay for Negro teachers, and pushed for the desegregation of the lifts in the local courthouse.The wait became impossible in December 1955, when yesterday's seminarian Martin Luther King was already pastor of Dexter Church in Montgomery, Alabama.Rosa Parks, a resident of Montgomery, a seamstress in a department store there, boarded a city bus on the evening of 1 December 1J55. The bus was crowded at the end of the workday. The driver ordered Rosa Parks and three other Negroes to get up and give way to the white passengers, who habitually obeyed. Rosa Parks stood up - she was dead tired for the day, her chafed leg was aching. И... how many times! She was forcibly dragged off the bus and arrested.The buses in Montgomery, as elsewhere in the South, were not spoilt with Negro cents, but the Negro first paid the driver from the front door, then, in order not to "stink," got off the bus, and - if the bus had not left in the meantime, which it did - got on again through the back door. Finally, even in the back, he had to give up his seat if the bus was full and another member of the gentlemen's race entered.There were about 50,000 Negroes in Montgomery, one in three, and most of them, understandably, preferred the bus to the taxi or private car. The arrest of Rosa Parks overflowed the cup of patience: it was decided that we really couldn't wait any longer. The idea of a one-day boycott of Montgomery buses was born. Young King, who was one of the first to support it, offered his church to meet the organisers. The boycott was scheduled for December 5, hoping for the support of at least 60 per cent of the Negroes, but they were unwittingly played into the hands of the local police chief, who urged the Negroes to refrain from the boycott and pledged support for the Streckbreakers. On 5 December, each bus was followed by a police motorbike, and even the compliant Negroes, seeing this escort, were afraid of trouble. To the surprise of the organisers, the boycott turned out to be almost 100 per cent successful.At six o'clock in the morning young King, who had not slept much the night before, gripped by the excitement of the first fight, was drinking coffee in the kitchen.- Come here quickly, Martin," his wife Coretta called out to him.Below the window, at the bus stop, it was empty. And a bus passed by, completely empty, though at the early hour it was usually filled with blacks - maids, cooks, caretakers - going to work for the white owners of Montgomery. Another bus-empty, completely empty. The third had two passengers, white. They had both front and back seats. They could have danced on the bus, but, unseen by them, the pastor of the Dexter church was dancing in front of the window with joy and excitement.That morning Rosa Parks was tried and fined $14. In the afternoon King was elected head of the boycott committee and declared a boycott until victory. King was chosen only because, new to Montgomery, he had no opponents yet among the authorities or among rival Negro groups. What was needed was a man acceptable to all. "And what we got was Moses," E. D. Nixon, the Negro activist who floated the boycott idea, later said.Yes, they got more than they expected.The boycott lasted not a week or a month, but 381 days.Threats, lawsuits, attempts to divide the Negroes failed. According to the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, since 21 December 1956 the blacks of Montgomery were given the right to sit anywhere on buses and not to jump up and down in front of white residents.The young minister who led the unprecedentedly long and successful boycott was noticed. He was now known in the town, and along with fame came the first respect of some and the hatred of others. He learnt that hate is more tangible and effective than love. On 30 January 1955, when the boycott was two months old, racists threw a bomb at his house - the first bomb. It exploded on the veranda; his wife and young daughter were unhurt. At the time, King was speaking at a rally. He had experienced fear and was not ashamed to admit it, but fear was the prelude to fearlessness, only sharpening the choice: there was no turning back.The life of a fighter was beginning. He learnt to get little sleep, to see his family at intervals, to prepare political speeches rather than sermons, to take his rightful place in the front rank of the freedom marches - a tempting, visible target. He understood the power of organised thousands and learned the basics of mass action, testing and developing tactics of non-violent resistance for American conditions.His teacher was the Hindu Mahatma Gandhi, who used the method of civil disobedience in the struggle against the British colonisers.Why non-violence? King has explained it many times. Here is the latest explanation, published in The Onion Already after the Memphis assassination. "In the South, nonviolence was a creative doctrine because it paralysed rabid segregationists looking for opportunities to physically crush Negroes," he wrote. - Direct nonviolent action allowed Negroes to take to the streets in active protest and at the same time diverted the oppressor's rifles, for even he could not kill unarmed men, women and children in broad daylight. That is why there were fewer human casualties in ten years of protest in the South than in ten days of rioting in the North."King's non-violence did not mean non-resistance to evil. "Passive co-operation with an unjust system makes the oppressed as vicious as the oppressor," he emphasised.King refused to recognise racist segregation laws and stormed them with mass marches, boycotts, sit-ins. He engaged in open but nonviolent confrontation with the racists, deliberately creating crises and tensions in the South as a means of moving to negotiate the repeal of unjust laws. He relied on the masses, and this was his difference from the moderate bourgeois-liberal Negro leaders who sought to destroy the system of segregation in the courtrooms. King favoured "direct action" and chose an arena of confrontation in full view of the country and the world - the streets and squares of American cities, large and small.So Rosa Parks and 50,000 Montgomery Negroes could occupy the front seats on the bus, even though the angry looks of whites forced them to reach for the back seats the old-fashioned way. But on restaurants, cafeterias, motels, public parks, signs hung as before, "Whites Only." I saw them in Montgomery in December 1961, six years after the famous boycott.Just as my companion and I were travelling through Georgia and Alabama, experiencing Southern mores for the first time, King urged President Kennedy to issue the Second Emancipation Proclamation, one hundred years after the first, signed by President Lincoln. In those days, he led freedom marches in the city of Albany, Georgia. The marchers sought desegregation of city parks, hospitals, libraries, buses, and equal employment for blacks in city institutions. Direct mass action tactics were countered by Lori Pritchett, Albany's police chief, with mass arrest tactics. King went to prison, too. He was already 32 years old, but the jailers called him a boi, a boy.What had changed? All of America knew him, but in Americus Prison the racist was just as stupid, arrogant, self-righteous, and all-powerful.He knew all 13 Southern states like the back of his hand, had travelled them in dozens of courageous "freedom raids". The weight of the baton on his back, the spit in his face - he had experienced it. The black pastor's suit had been torn more than once under the heavy hand of a policeman, the piercing coldness of the cement prison floor, the blue southern sky shaded by the prison bars. Every night brought danger to the modest home in Atlanta where he had moved to preach with his father at Ebenezer Church and where he founded the headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Kukluksklan crosses flashed on the front lawn of this house, warning that the family of a recalcitrant "nigger" was in trouble, and the eternal wanderer King checked from afar, with phone calls, to see if his wife and children were alive and well.But "heavy mlat, crushing glass, forges bulat".He was made of the very rare metal that goes to the ascetics, the heroes, the conscience of a nation. When he was assassinated, even the bourgeois press praised him as a great American, as a man who had a dream. He did have a dream, and he told of it in his most famous speech on 28 August 1963 on the steps of Washington's Lincoln Monument, in front of 250,000 participants in the grand march of freedom. Exploding with the passion that rumbled in his booming voice, Martin Luther King charged his dream to a huge audience, beyond which the white dome of the Capitol rose in the distance, deaf to that dream.- Although today and tomorrow we will face challenges, I still have a dream," he said. I dream that one day this nation will rise up and realise the true meaning of its creed: "We take for granted the truth that all men are created equal..."He was quoting the Declaration of Independence the political bible of American freedom, proclaimed in 1776. But the Declaration did not abolish slavery, and most of its framers did not regard Negroes as human beings.The year 1963 was a very tumultuous one. The May events in Birmingham, Alabama, proved how alive American racism is and how disgusting it is. The police poisoned blacks with dogs, shot down with tight jets of icy water from fire sprinklers. King took the usual route - from the front of the march to a prison cell.The Kennedy administration had learnt a lesson from the Negro revolution, which was advancing against racist resistance: either give Negroes rights within the walls of Congress, or they would respond to police violence by trying to take them in the streets. The Civil Rights Act was sent to Congress. It promised anew the Negroes the much-abused right to vote, as well as the abolition of segregation in public places - restaurants, cafeterias, hotels, motels, movie theatres, concert halls, sports arenas, the prohibition of discrimination in hiring, etc. The Secretary of Justice was given the power to prosecute lawbreakers. The bill stalled in Congress for a long time. John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963 before it could be passed. It took almost a year before the bill, emasculated by the obstruction of Southern racist senators, became law.There were murmurs of a new era. King, a recent Birmingham prisoner, was honoured as the mastermind behind this constitutional blow to racism. In Oslo in December 1964, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize - as the man who had proved that the struggle for equality could be won without violence. But the evidence was weak; it was refuted by life.Giving to the needs of the struggle, every last cent, Nobel 54 thousand dollars, King already in January 1965 elected his "interlocutor" Jim Clark, a police sheriff in the town of Selma. The laureate took his men to the streets of this small Alabama town, launching a protracted campaign for the right of blacks to register to vote without discriminatory tests of literacy, property, loyalty, and so on. In Alabama, blacks made up more than 40 per cent of the population, but their political weight in elected office was zero.Jim Clark was as violent as the Birmingham racists, and Selma was indifferent to the truths proclaimed at Oslo - about the efficacy of non-violence. Police ferociously dispersed marches, racists murdered a white housewife, Viola Liuzzo, and a white priest, James Reeb. The laurels were replaced by thorns."When the Norwegian king took part in awarding me the Nobel Peace Prize, he certainly did not think that in less than 60 days I would be back in prison.... Why prison? This is Selma, Alabama. There are more Negroes in prison than on the voter rolls," King wrote while behind bars.The road to justice and equality was lengthening. Negro people are united by the colour of their skin, but it is a tenuous unity, for they are stratified by class. The removal of discriminatory "Whites Only" signs benefited mainly the Negro bourgeoisie, for whom questions of social prestige were acute.I recall another trip to the South, to the state of Tennessee, which later became fatal for King. It was in the spring of 1964, during the climactic days of the struggle for desegregation. After looking at the dilapidated coops of the Negro suburbs, we asked the white liberals of Nashville: what would be done when Nashville restaurants were open to "coloureds" and racial animosity and racial oppression remained? This question stumped them. They assumed it would come down to signage. It was there in Nashville that we met the Negro radical Paul Brooks. He rejected the bone of desegregation, he wanted to be recognised as an equal human being and would not settle for less. Paul Brooks scoffed at the tricks of corporations that place one Negro in high office to deflect the charge of exploiting thousands, at television that employs one Negro, preferably a lighter one, to smear himself in the civil rights movement.As the primary goals of desegregation were achieved, the Negro movement and its supporters became increasingly divided. The difference between the dominant current of conciliatory liberalism and the radicals, who had become more active, was increasingly marked and principled. The former opposed racial inequality but favoured the preservation of the foundations of capitalist society. The latter attacked the very foundations of society, seeing Racism as a form of capitalist exploitation, rejecting the ideals of this society as a lie designed for the gullible.Where was King? The son of a priest, from a bourgeois family, he began as a liberal offended by the daily indignities of racism. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Black Voting Rights Act of 1965, passed after clashes in Selma and other Southern cities, were largely to his credit. But he became a symbol of lost hope when it was discovered that these rights left the poverty, unemployment, and uneducated Negro poor untouched. In early 1965, King bitterly remarked, "What good is it if you have the right to dine in a department store diner if you can't buy a cutlet?Meanwhile, the centre of the liberation struggle was shifting from the rural South to the urban North. In the North, which a century earlier had gone to war against the South to abolish slavery, the situation of the Negro was no less desperate than in the South.In 1910, 91 per cent of America's 10 million Negroes lived in the South. By 1966, the Negro population had more than doubled to 22 million, and the number of Negroes living in cities (with populations over 50,000) had more than quintupled (from 2.6 million to 14.8 million). The number of Negroes living in the North increased 11-fold from 880,000 to 9.7 million, with 7 million Negroes concentrated in the twelve largest cities in the country. (Already, Negroes are in the majority in Washington, D.C., and Newark, and projected for 1985 they will also be in the majority in Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Gary, Cleveland, Oakland, Richmond, and St. Louis.)According to official figures, unemployment among blacks was twice as high as among whites. 40.6 per cent of "non-white" Americans live below the official "poverty level," nearly half of them in large cities.Thus both Negro masses and Negro despair are concentrated in the cities of the North. This double concentration provides the critical mass for ghetto explosions. Sparks? There are plenty of them in the heated atmosphere. Above all are the atrocities and even the very fact of white policemen in black ghettos. One country, and all blacks and whites are its citizens by law, but a policeman in the ghetto is like an occupant in a foreign territory.Behind him is the power of the police and legal machine, but he is alone and surrounded by hatred. Warningly playing with his baton, he swivels at his post like a radar detector detecting a threat. Danger breeds fear, fear breeds swift action. It's ten times easier to discharge a colt at a Negro than at a white man, easier to get away with it. But Negroes know how cheap their lives are to the "cops," and every act of police brutality explodes the hatred built up over generations, replenished every day.Ghetto bombings ... By the mid-60s, their frequency and force had increased tremendously.1965. August riots in Watts, the Negro ghetto of Los Angeles, sparked by a police officer's rampage. Fires, raids on shops, indiscriminate shooting by cops. 34 dead. Hundreds wounded. 4,000 arrested. $40 million in property damage.1966. On the hot afternoon of 12 July, an outbreak in Chicago. 3 blacks killed, dozens injured, 533 arrested. Racial riots in Cleveland, Ohio.1967. A record year. Spring riots in Nashville, Jackson, Houston turned into the "long hot summer," the longest and hottest on the racial front. Tampa, Florida ... Cincinnati, Ohio ... Atlanta, Georgia ... On 20 June, an unprecedented explosion in Newark, on the side of New York - 23 dead, hundreds injured, fires, the introduction of the National Guard, fear, as if the sparks would not fly into New York Harlem.The culmination of 1967 was many days of riots in Detroit. For the first time in the post-war years, regular troops, who had been through Vietnam, were deployed to subdue the rebellious ghetto. 43 dead, 7,200 arrested. Fires for miles....On a scaled-down scale, Newark and Detroit were repeated in dozens of American cities. The country teetered on the brink of civil war.I give only a meagre chronicle, confining my task to notes on King. The Negro riots qualified as insurrections. Indeed, they could not be called insurrections, for an insurrection implies the existence of an organisation and authoritative leaders, a programme and coordination of action. In the ghetto, however, the elements of desperation were raging, but far more determined and unconcerned than Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat on the bus to a white man. The weapons of despair were cobblestones, bottles of flammable liquid, and, more rarely, revolvers and rifles. The targets are police officers and white exploiters in the ghetto.After Detroit, President Johnson appointed a special commission chaired by Illinois Governor Otto Kerner to investigate the "race riots" and their causes. The commission issued its report in February 1968. This document, coming from eleven loyal, moderate, presidential appointees himself, sounded a slap in the face to the American social system."Our nation is moving toward two societies, black and white, segregated and unequal," was the commission's main conclusion."Segregation and poverty have created destructive conditions in racial ghettos totally unknown to most white Americans," the report said. - White Americans have never fully understood, and Negroes have never been able to forget, that white society is deeply responsible for the emergence of the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it, white society tolerates it."The report, among other things, gave a characterisation of the "typical rebel" based on a detailed study of the riots in Newark and Detroit and interviews with hundreds of Negroes.Here is that characterisation:"The typical insurgent of the summer of 1967 was a Negro, unmarried, male, between the ages of 15 and 24 .... He was born in the state where he lived and had lived all his life in the town where the insurgency took place. Economically his situation was about the same as that of his Negro neighbours who did not take an active part in the rebellion.Although as a rule he did not complete high school, he was in some respects more educated than the average urban Negro, and for some time at least attended high school. Nevertheless, he is usually an unskilled labourer, employed in manual or dirty work. If he worked, it was not all the time, and employment was often interrupted by periods of unemployment.He strongly believes that he deserves a better job and that he is excluded from it not because of lack of qualifications, ability or aspirations, but because of discrimination by employers.He rejects the white man's prejudice-based view of the Negro as ignorant and volatile. He is very proud of his race and believes that in some respects Negroes are superior to whites. He is extremely hostile to whites, but his hostility is more a product of social and economic class (to which he belongs. - S. K.) than of race; he is almost equally hostile to middle-class Negroes (i.e., the Negro bourgeoisie. - S. K.).In political matters he is considerably better informed than the Negro who did not take part in the insurrections. He is usually actively involved in the struggle for civil rights but is extremely distrustful of the political system and political leaders."This evocative characterisation by the Presidential Commission essentially paints a portrait of an untrained soldier in an as yet unformed army, yet displaying a spontaneous class sensibility, rejecting the dominant system, distrustful of the institutions of society, from the President to the policeman, ready to declare war on that society even alone.By provoking active reactions in the country, the new type of Negro sharpened the positions of other social figures, removing vague half-tones. The outspoken racist, pointing his finger at the "typical rebel," affirmed his credo: mercilessly deal with Negroes. The more mass category of apolitical ordinary people swayed in the direction of the outright racist, ready to see in the desperate Negro a criminal attacking "sacred property" and the safety of citizens. The bourgeois politicians, who register the sentiments of the mass of the common people, if only because they hold millions of votes in elections, began, playing along with these sentiments and fuelling them, to promote the thesis of "crime in the streets", which had a clear anti-Negro orientation.The common man was preparing for both "self-defence" and attack. A network of rifle clubs was growing in the country, and Dearborn housewives, supported by instructors at their elbows, were learning to shoot at targets. The bourgeois white liberals, those unreliable fellow travellers, hesitated in their sympathy for the Negro movement, believing that the Negroes were "in too much of a hurry."Among the Negroes, on the contrary, the "typical rebels" enjoyed growing sympathy. Representatives of the bourgeois Negro strata like Roy Wilkins, head of the "National Association for the Advancement of Coloured Progress", and Whitney Young, president of the "Urban League", were losing credibility among the masses by exposing themselves as conformists. Organisations such as the Racial Equality Congress and especially the Student Nonviolent Coordinated Action Committee (SNCC), who had previously collaborated with King in freedom marches and raids, were moving towards radicalism, criticising methods of non-violence, and seeking more active forms of struggle. Young SNCC leaders Stokely Carmichael and Rapp Brown called for an armed "guerrilla war" against the authorities and racist America. Their calls appealed to young people.King realised that the ghetto riots symbolised a crisis in his strategy of non-violence. In the face of growing polarisation, he was growing into a tragic figure at the crossroads of the two Americas, trying to prevent a clash and reconcile the irreconcilable. His position was ambivalent. He condemned the ghetto riots, believing that they only hardened the resistance of racists and authorities and provided a pretext for physical violence against blacks. From this perspective, he considered violence simply "impractical." But realising the validity of the desperation and growing impatience of Negro youth, he concluded that non-violence must become more militant and pursue more radical aims.Racial unrest was increasing in frequency amid the escalations in Vietnam. There was a connection between them, increasingly obvious. The same force, the same two-faced Janus of American imperialism was sowing violence in the rice paddies, in the jungles of Vietnam, and through the police Colts and carbines of the National Guardsmen suppressing Negroes. Protesting white America, concentrating its energies in the anti-war movement, was less interested in the Negro struggle than before. On the other hand, many Negro leaders, locked in their own problems, did not immediately recognise the anti-war movement as a natural ally.King, too, did not realise this connection immediately. But from late 1966 to early 1967 he spoke out more and more strongly against the war. In April he travelled to New York City, walking the streets of Harlem, and "desperate, rejected, angry young men" asked him point-blank how he could dissuade them from violence against an America that oppressed black people and sowed violence in Vietnam."Their questions hit home," King said, "and I realised that I could never raise my voice against the violence used by the oppressed in the ghettos without clearly pointing to the greatest bringer of violence in the world-our own government.In mid-April he was seen alongside Dr Spock - in the ranks of an anti-war march down New York's Fifth Avenue.Opposition to the war was dictated by practical considerations: the more billions that went to exterminate a distant people, the fewer millions Washington released for the ghettos. King saw that Johnson's so-called 'great society', which included programmes to help blacks, was 'shot on the battlefields of Vietnam'. Then he saw the unjust, imperialistic nature of the war. Fearlessness morally is a quality higher and rarer than fearlessness physically. King's new anti-war stance alienated many moderate-liberal supporters. He was accused of splitting the Negro movement, in anti-patriotism, donations to the fund of his organisation sharply reduced. But in disassociating himself from imperialist America, King moved forward.He said:- The war had so increased the desperation of the Negroes that urban unrest had become a terrible feature of American life. How can a government angrily condemn violence in Negro ghettos when in Asia it gives such an example of violence that shocks the whole world? Those who use naval guns, millions of tonnes of bombs and outrageous napalm have no right to tell the Negroes of non-violence.... I don't want to be misunderstood. I am not equating so-called Negro violence with war.The acts of Negroes are incomparably less dangerous and immoral than the wilful escalation of war .... They destroy property, but even in rage the great majority of Negroes direct their anger at inanimate things rather than at human beings. If present events are deplorable, what can be said of the use of napalm against human beings.        These are words from King's speech in Chicago in November 1967. He flew there to address an anti-war conference of union activists, to cheer them on and to hurl a bitter, just indictment of most of the labour bosses who openly or tacitly supported the war. It was a powerful speech. It was met with applause. King was reviled, as were those union activists gathered in Chicago who felt the clasp of George Meany, president of the AFT-CAT, a hard-core ultraconservative, around their necks.Sensitive to the audience, the Negro leader at the end of the speech deviated from the text given to the correspondents in advance. He spoke slowly, harshly, angrily, condemning politicians who justify meanness with considerations of practicality. There are times, he emphasised, when it is necessary to state directly where you stand, whether others like it or not. Let your popularity diminish, but there are principles from which a departure is tantamount to moral suicide ....This was said weeks before Senator Eugene McCarthy, disregarding career considerations, openly defied Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic leadership by announcing that he would run for president as a critic of the Vietnam War. This was months before Senator Robert Kennedy also decided to run against Johnson.The Atlanta priest, assassinated at age 39, was guessing great potency for political stature. Beginning with bourgeois-liberal views seductive in their breadth, he arrived at precise, though less popular in America, formulations. Late King set the task of the Negro revolution to "transform from within the structure of racist imperialism."From fighting for the desegregation of buses to fighting against the domestic and foreign policies of US imperialism, this was his path. The last campaign he was preparing was called the "Poor People's Campaign" - black and white, for King was already speaking for all the disadvantaged of America. The last act he intended to wrest from a Congress that he said was waging a war against the poor was the Economic Rights Act. This act was to guarantee jobs and income for the poor.So, after twelve intense years, King was entering the final year of his struggle, more aware than ever of the difficulties and the modest - compared to the unresolved tasks - scale of the successes achieved. As determined and courageous, he looked at his country more soberly and more proudly. "America is sick, the disease has struck it much deeper than I thought," he confessed to a friend shortly before his death.And behind the familiar faces of his foes - Birmingham Public Safety Commissioner Bull Connor, Selma Sheriff Jim Clark, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who had derailed a protracted campaign to improve housing conditions for blacks - loomed the dry, sharp, unflinching face of the criminal killer James Ray, the last enemy the "apostle of nonviolence" never saw in person.***At the end of March it was rather quiet on the racial front. They were waiting for 22 April - the signal of the battle in Washington. King had been preparing it since the autumn. Actually, not a battle, but a protracted, several-month war called the "Poor People's Campaign" and under the slogan "work or income". It was necessary to shake up the Washington bureaucracy, which had forgotten everything behind the Vietnam War. Two and a half dozen billion dollars to exterminate another people, pennies to cure ghetto ulcers. How do we get them to have an epiphany and change the order of appropriations?Three thousand activists, mostly from King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference, were to arrive in the capital, set up a plywood tent city near the monumental pseudo-classics of the ministries. And then, with pickets and deputies, to block their work, to pour protest sand into the wheels of the soulless mechanism, so that it would creak, stall, and think: do the American poor, black and white, have the right to a guaranteed job or income?On 15 June, as a culmination, a march of hundreds of thousands of black and white Americans was planned.King and his associates had been training a cadre of activists since the autumn.- Why would you want to disrupt and upset the lives of Washington?- The lives of the poor are disrupted and upset every day, and we want to put a stop to it.This was the response recommended in a special questionnaire given to activists. King himself saw the campaign as a last determined attempt to extract major concessions by non-violent means. Another "long hot summer" was coming, promising more Newarks and Detroit.And at the end of March there was a lull. Only in Memphis, Tennessee, were the city's caretakers on strike. Tennessee is the gateway state of the South. Memphis, standing on the Mississippi River, has 550,000 residents. Not 40 per cent - over 200,000. It's a city like a city. It's steeped in Southern traditions, but its white owners have typical excuses: blacks are even included in the police force, 13 blacks are on the city council, the public schools were desegregated back in 1961, and - mind you! - without scandal. Negroes, like everywhere else, complain about low wages, high unemployment, poor housing and the police, who do not miss a chance to "grab a black head with a baton or shoot a black body".Taking rubbish off the streets is a black job, and it's almost entirely done by blacks. They are hired by the municipality. Their supreme boss is Mayor Henry Leb. The 1,300 strikers demanded that the mayor give them a wage increase and recognise their union, which would mean that no workers could be hired or fired without his consent and that the scabs would be outlawed.The strike began on a holiday - Lincoln's birthday. But the mayor didn't take that hint. For more than forty days the strike dragged on without a chance of success. It was known only in Memphis, where firefighters were more often than usual on call - citizens were burning fires of rubbish.        King came to Memphis, announced a solidarity march - not unreasonable, by the way, a rehearsal for the battle in Bashington. He used his long-standing method of dramatising the situation, creating a crisis in the city, or, as he put it, "constructive tension" that would force the authorities to negotiate with the cleaners and make concessions.He sometimes referred to himself and his supporters as gadflies disturbing white fellow citizens. The average citizen may be uncomfortable with the fact that there is a ghetto somewhere nearby, but above all he cherishes the peace of his home and city, the social status quo that is in his favour, the "law and order" that suits him.In a famous letter from a Birmingham jail in the spring of 1963, King gave a perceptive assessment of such Americans. "I have almost come to the sad conclusion," he wrote, "that the greatest obstacle in the Negro's path to freedom is not the member of the White Citizens Council (racist organisations in the southern United States. - S. K.) or the Kukluksklanowitz, but the moderate white man who is more devoted to order than to justice, who prefers a negative world, meaning the absence of tension, to a positive world, implying the presence of justice.On 28 March, a week before the fatal shooting, the "negative peace" in Memphis was cracked by a march of protest and solidarity. From the morning, thousands of people moved down Beale Street, along pawn shops and cheap shops. King, resolute as a battering ram, is in the front row, brotherly under the arm with Ralph Abernethy and Ralph Jackson. In front and on the sides of the column came the policemen. Batons at the ready, colts on their hips in open holsters, portable woki-toki transmitters with needle antennae in the palms of their sergeants' hands. Helmets, crags on thick calves, numbered plaques on their chests.... White Memphis cops, stout and picture-perfect enforcers. Guardians of the marches. Witnesses to the marches. Punishers of the marches. They were like trigger-happy. Walking, groping the marchers with their eyes. They were waiting for their moment. And it came.Where did they come from, these sprightly and desperate Negro teenagers? Hamilton High School. There were three or four dozen of them. They ran out of class and wanted to join the marchers, but they didn't. The police escorted the convoy as convoyers of the Genii, there was no room for outsiders. And as a gust of wind blew over Beale Street, where renowned jazzist Wu Handy once created his blues. But it's not the sweet longing of the blues, it's a mad tap dance. And bricks into policemen, pawnshop and shop windows, and glass splattering.....Hooliganism? Revenge? Or the brief reckless rapture of temperamental young men who suddenly thought that this Beale Street, with its pawnshops and white bloodsucker shops, belonged to them for a moment, since there were so many black people around? But the moment was intercepted by the stakes. And the cops threw themselves into that dance, that stoned, deadly twist that ghetto streets are so often beaten with.Oh those twisted, fear-wrenched bodies dodging whistling batons..... Oh that trembling and sweating under the muzzle of a colt..... Oh that veil of tears on faces shrouded in the acrid fumes of tear bombs.....The next day, Mr Earl Lanning, president of the Memphis Insurance Board, announced his business tally. Windows had been blown out, he reported, in 155 commercial establishments. The police reported: one killed, a 16-year-old Negro; 60 wounded; 200 arrested.The Tennessee legislature immediately gave mayors the power to impose curfews. From 7 p.m., Memphis streets were empty except for four thousand National Guard soldiers mobilised by Tennessee Governor Buford Ellington. Another eight thousand soldiers were on standby. White Memphis armed itself in case of a black explosion. But the explosion didn't happen.And the march was disrupted, dispersed. King was hustled into a car and taken to an unknown destination. His friends kept him safe, but the authorities also had their own self-interest: if anything happened to King, a mass explosion would be hard to avoid.King wasn't expecting a mad tap dance with bricks at police officers and bullets in response. "If I had known there was going to be violence," he rendered the next day, "I would have cancelled this march.On 29 March, the strikers went on picket lines. In a long, sparse chain they marched down the street. In the same chain, but motionless, stood the National Guardsmen, bayonets drawn. And the shadows of the bayonets stuck into the placards on the chests of the strikers, on which were two words: "I am a man.But they were talking about something else,-about the Negro "anarchy" which had again made itself known in Memphis, and which "must long ago be put an end to."The veins of anger swelled on Washington's forehead. Robert Baird, a senator from West Virginia, proposed banning the "poor man's campaign." "If this self-appointed ataman is not prevented, the cause may turn to violence, destruction, plunder and bloodshed in Washington," he blasted King. Edward Brooke, the only Negro among a hundred U.S. senators, questioned King's ability to keep the protest within the bounds of nonviolence. Any spark could cause an explosion in the "highly inflammable conditions" of Washington, D.C., where two-thirds of the population was Negro, and who would vouch, Brooke asked, that such a spark would not be given off by the mass of participants. President Johnson warned three times during the day that he would not tolerate "mindless violence," urged "the forces of law to act firmly and without fear," and promised federal aid if needed.So the familiar slogan of "law and order" was being raised again to overturn King's slogan of "work or income". It was time to arm and put them in their place, and that was the prevailing mood during the months when the factories were fulfilling orders from the authorities for special armoured cars, for the miracle gas "mace" that upset the nervous balance of the "rebel," and for other gifts for the "long hot summer."The shadow of what had happened at Memphis was falling over the Washington operation, and there was no retreat.- 'We are determined to go to Washington,' King said on 29 March. - 'We believe it is absolutely necessary.In Memphis, too, he counterattacked by announcing a second solidarity march, eager to prove to his critics and detractors that he could ensure a peaceful march. The march was scheduled for the next few days, and, putting aside Washington business, King flew to Memphis again.And the march took place, peacefully, just as King had dreamed. The march was more massive than he had anticipated - 35,000 black and white Americans from all over the country. They marched through the streets, through the empty streets of Memphis. Shops were locked, and not even residents looked out of their windows: the windows had been closed by order of the police. The National Guardsmen were frozen on the pavements. And they marched along the pavement through a formation of tense soldierly stares and carried placards, many placards with the same inscription: "Let's honour King - end racism!" There were eight men in rows of eight, and in the first, as on 28 March, walked Ralph Abernethy and Ralph Jackson.And the familiar, stocky, resolutely solemn figure was no longer with them. Martin Luther King lay in a coffin in his native Atlanta.His widow Coretta walked with the marchers. She was like her husband and knew that he wanted effective mourning intertwined with struggle.The solidarity march with the scavengers that King was preparing became a memorial march in King's memory. It was held on 8 April, four days after the assassination. But the Memphis caretakers were not forgotten: on 16 April they won. It was King's last success, and he paid for it with his life.....So, on 3 April, he flew back to Memphis, unaware that he was flying towards death.The flight out of Atlanta was delayed. The pilot apologised to the passengers on the radio:- We apologise for the delay, but the fact is that Dr Martin Luther King is flying with us. So we had to check all the luggage. To make sure that nothing would happen to the aeroplane, we checked everything very carefully....Planes were usually checked if King was a passenger, and by the way, he and Coretta never flew together for fear of leaving their children as orphans.On the evening of 3 April, while delivering a sermon at a Negro church in Memphis, King recounted the episode on the plane and reflected aloud on life and deathHe said:Well, here I get to Memphis. And here they say I'm being threatened, that our sick white brothers might do something to me. Well, I don't know what can happen now. We've got some tough days ahead of us. Like everyone else, I'd like to live a long life. A long life has its advantages. But that's not what I'm worried about right now. All I want to do is fulfil God's will. He let me climb the mountain. And I looked down and saw the promised land. I may not get there with you, but as a people we will reach that promised land. And so I am happy tonight. No one bothers me. I'm not afraid of anyone...Then these words were declared prophetic. If he was languishing in foreboding, it was for the last, but by no means the first time. Almost every day he received anonymous threats, and he had this urge to speculate aloud about the possibility of premature death, and in his speculations he mixed a touch of religious mysticism with political realism, because he knew the country in which he lived the dangerous life of a fighter. But he could not live otherwise, he had long been ready for everything, and his fatalism was not affectation, but a sober awareness of the constant real threat. And King preferred to talk about death rather than courage - it was implied.His friends got him a room at the Lorraine Motel, where the owner was a Negro. Room 306 was on the first floor. Its door led out onto a long balcony with green-coloured railings. To get downstairs, one had to walk across the balcony to the stairwell. Saying he was not afraid of anyone, Martin Luther King returned to room 306 of the Lorraine Motel.That same evening or the next morning, James Ray knew where King was staying, that his room was on the first floor, and that he could not get past the balcony, and thus would be caught in the crosshairs. All he had to do was to find a path for the bullet.There was a car park in front of the balcony below, and beyond that a narrow Mulberry Street and a wall about two metres high, with bushes and grass on its crest. And further up the hillside were trees, and beyond them was a wire fence and the unsightly, wasteland-like back yard of the two-storey house which fronts South Main Street. There the lonely old men lived out their days in furnished rooms. And there, on the 4th of April, at half past four in the afternoon, a rather young man in a black suit came in. He said he wanted to rent a room for one day. Mrs Brewer, the landlady, took him to a room facing north, but the stranger did not like it. He would have preferred a room on the south side. So he was given a room that overlooked the Lorraine Motel. The stranger paid up front - $8.50.The Lorraine Motel had an even better view from the shared bathroom. From there, a Remington rifle's telescopic sight showed the metal numbers 306 nailed on the brown door of one of the rooms. And by right of a guest wishing to shake off the road dust, a man with a southern drawl soon locked himself in the cottonmouth. It was about seventy metres to the numbers 306 from there.....King spent the entire day in his hotel room taking care of business. Alas, Memphis was taking time away from preparations for the Washington confrontation, and the situation was complicated by the fact that the Memphis authorities had obtained through the courts an injunction against a second march. All day King conferred with his associates. He was invited to dinner by a Memphis negro minister, Kyles. He arrived at 6 p.m. to take his guests to his home. Also in the room was Abernethy, King's right-hand man, an inseparable associate from the by now distant days of the bus boycott in Montgomery. When he was going to visit, King would tie a black tie with a gold stripe around his powerful neck in front of the mirror.- Isn't your wife a little young? Will she be able to cook us soul food? - King mocked Kyles as he tied the tie. - She's only 31, isn't she? How could she know what soul food was at those ages?In fact, he was young himself, but only in years.- True," Abernethy joked. -"We're not here for filet mignon. We want vegetables. Food for the soul. Does Gwen know how to cook our food?Don't worry, Kyles assured them, knowing it wasn't just a joke.King lived modestly, and his immoderation even in food seemed to him a deception of those poor people who followed and trusted him. When, after the assassination, the major political figures of the United States rushed with condolences to his home in Atlanta, they were struck by the modesty of the dwelling. A small note in the newspapers, reporting that after King's death his family had only five thousand dollars in savings - a pittance on the American scale, says more about this man than many touching obituaries. One has to know America, where involvement in any public cause does not prevent bourgeois politicians from making dollars and fortunes, to appreciate this unselfishness of King.At last King and Kyles left the room. Abernethy lingered. Kyles went straight downstairs and King lingered at the green railing of the balcony. It was six o'clock in the evening. It was beginning to get dark. There was a chill in the air.At the last moment his premonitions must have deserted him, and King did not look beyond the scalloped wall on Melbury Street, a little way up and to the right, at the sunlit east wall of the two-storey house. He looked down at his comrades ready to leave. Down by the balcony was a black' Cadillac, sent for travelling by the owner of the Negro funeral home. Waiting by the 'caddy' were the helpers - Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young and chauffeur Solomon Jones. They were ready for "soul food," table talk and jokes, and a rally set for late in the evening.King was standing by the green railing, waiting for the hesitant Abernethy.- Do you know Ben, Martin? - Jackson asked him, pointing to Ben Branch, a Chicago Negro musician. Ben was to perform at the rally.- Well, of course," King smiled, leaning on the railing, "Ben's my man....- Sing for me tonight," he turned to Ben. - "Sing me, please, 'Oh precious God, take my hand.' Sing it better.- I will, Martin," Branch said. He knew that sad Negro spiritual.- It's getting chilly. Hadn't you better put your coat on? - the chauffeur advised King.- That's right. I will," replied King, and as he said these two words he bent slightly over the railing, as if he wished to be nearer to these dear people who loved him, cherished him, were proud of him, cared for him as one cares for older, respected, wise, but absent-minded comrades.He leaned slightly towards them, holding his hands on the green railings, and at that instant a bullet struck him, his friends heard the sound of the shot, and the deadly force of the swiftly flying nine grams of lead toppled his stocky figure. Spreading his arms, King collapsed backwards onto the cement floor of the balcony. Blood spurted from his neck. James Ray was a first-class killer. The bullet struck the right side of his neck, penetrating the cervical vertebrae.King's wide-open almond-shaped eyes stared at Abernethy, who ran up.He could not speak.He had been clinically dead for an hour, but he had said goodbye to life the minute the bullet had toppled him, and his friends had rushed to the balcony and surrounded the body, pulling his arms slightly up and to the right, in the direction of the sunlit wall from which the sound of the shot had come.Already the police cars were honking. Already the cameras were clicking, the film cameras were whirring, but the ambulance had not yet arrived, and he was still lying on his back - legs bent at the knees, arms outstretched, black suit and face covered by a white towel, and the blood was spreading on the cement floor near his head....***The poet is right: grief is frantic, especially in the age of television. America was like a person who suddenly faced a formidable, unquestionable judge, shook him by the scruff of the neck so that the husks of current affairs fell away, and ordered him to look into his soul. Can't you see what's going on there?Waves of shock and mourning rolled through the country, though millions, yes, millions - who would dare to deny it? - had a vengeful joy, a satisfied anger: at last this annoying troublemaker, this "nigger" who needed more than anyone else, got what was long due him. And somewhere, having eluded the Memphis police, James Ray was riding his white Mustang, listening to the frantic chatter of the newscasters and grinning, convinced that the job was done, and done well.In the White House, fear ruled over mourning: how would the ghettos echo? The echo, however, was not difficult to guess. It was necessary to pre-empt it or at least weaken it. The President, facing the television cameras, called on Americans to "reject the blind violence that struck Dr King, who lived a life of non-violence". So dominant America has found the right amplitude: violence - non-violence. Violence - non-violence....These words were repeated millions of times during the days of mourning on the airwaves, on newspaper pages, heard from television screens. What violence? What non-violence? In the name of what? Murderers condemned violence, not to abolish the system's hourly violence against the underprivileged, but to dissuade them from violence. Commentators, like Navajo shamans, talked, talked, talked the intolerable Negro pain away. But the authorities knew the weaknesses of verbal therapy. Memphis Mayor Henry Leb and Tennessee Governor Buford Ellington were the first to catch on. Doctors registered King's death at 7.05pm Memphis time, but from 6.35pm Mayor Leeb imposed a curfew in the city. Governor Ellington appeared on television to begin with a condolence message and ended with the announcement that four thousand National Guardsmen, who had been brought into Memphis only the day before, on Wednesday, had been deployed. The National Guard planes were carrying police officers specially trained in riot control. The area near the Lorraine Motel was cordoned off and surrounded by police barriers. The area became dangerous, attracting grief-stricken blacks like a magnet. They went there to straighten themselves out in anger.Black grief was driven from the streets into the houses, crushed, dissected. At night, police cars were shot at from rooftops. One car had a bullet shatter the windscreen, and two policemen, scratched by shrapnel, were taken to the same hospital where King's body lay. In some places, bricks were thrown at the police.There was fear over the official mourning, anger and rage over the Negro mourning, but the kind of rage that betrays powerlessness. I remember a rally on Friday afternoon in New York's Central Park. The denunciations were angry, but how to retaliate? Thousands took to Broadway, moving towards City Hall. The NYPD kindly suspended vehicular traffic. But thousands are used to thousands, thousands can't get through to anyone, you need the action of millions, rallied around a core of thousands. There were none.Friday morning, Stoely Carmichael called a press conference in Washington. In the Negro district, on North 14th Street West, where the walls of houses were already papered with portraits of the "apostle of nonviolence," excitement was electrifying from the rushing clumps of black people and the first bricks flew into the shop windows of white merchants. Stockley Carmichael, thin, porky, with the light brown face of a mulatto, thought the hour had struck. His words were smoking bickford cord stretched to the dynamite of 14th Street, to the capital's half-million Negro population. They were not questions and answers, but calls to action, a seething hatred of white America.- When white America killed Dr King yesterday, it declared war on us ... The uprisings now taking place in the cities of this country are a mere flower compared to what is about to happen. We must avenge the deaths of our leaders. We will pay our debts not in courtrooms, but in the streets. White America will cry for killing Dr King. Black people know they must get guns. Black people are dying every day in Vietnam. Well, let them take as many white people with them to the other world as possible....Get the guns. That was the most feared of all. In those mourning days, it was not only the ruling America, but most of the Negro leaders who hexed the Negroes from violence. Roy Wilkins and Whitney Young, speaking obituaries on television, were deader than King - the ghetto did not recognise "white Negroes". But even New York activists of the "Congress of Racial Equality," which aligned itself with Stokely Carmichael in its radicalism, took to the streets of Harlem, calming the agitated crowds. In New York, the storm clouds were defused by the efforts of many. Mayor John Lindsay, displaying considerable personal courage, walked the streets of Harlem and the Brooklyn ghetto for three days and nights, coaxing, coaxing, coaxing....But Washington was smoking as early as Thursday night and exploded on Friday. By three in the afternoon the smoke of the fires hung like mourning flags over the Negro quarters of the capital, and the spring wind pulled them towards the centre, towards the White House, towards the Potomac River. In the ghetto, white merchants' shops burned, police were stoned, and gunfire was heard.Sparks of rioting flew into the centre of the city and panic raged there. Thousands of government employees fled their offices before the end of the working day. It seemed that the ship was tilting and about to sink, that in the panic, fires and gunfire the flagship of the American empire would sink.Thousands of cars, bumper to bumper, slowly left the city, wary of the ghetto. Serving Washington defected to the neighbouring states of Maryland and Virginia. Officials and businessmen, unable to find taxis, unable to get on crowded buses, hurried across the Memorial Bridge to the other side of the Potomac, away from the Negroes.It was an unprecedented symbolic exodus of the kind of America that Dr King had wanted to shake with his poor man's march, and which was now scared to death by the violent and mournful element of the ghetto.Oh, if King had seen what contradictory and expressive symbols of grief, hypocrisy, and protest filled the American capital! Soldiers in helmets and marching uniforms stood at machine guns on the broad steps of the Capitol, which remained deaf to his demands for jobs or income for the poor. The White House, the main house of white America, looked out over black puffs of smoke, the guests of black America. The flag was lowered over the White House, and 75 soldiers, spread out in a chain, guarded its gates - a double reaction of mourning and caution.Everything was twofold, and twofold in a contradictory way. On 5 April, the president issued two proclamations: for national mourning on Sunday 7 April, and for the immediate entry of regular troops into the capital. Two thousand soldiers took up positions outside government buildings, outside foreign embassies. From Fort Myer, near Washington, 500 soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Regiment were transferred. Tall and stately, they were kept for honour guards and ceremonial meetings. Now they're dressed in everyday khaki to meet the common people. Two thousand more National Guardsmen were put on alert.Walter Washington, mayor of the city and, incidentally, a Negro, imposed a curfew from 5.30pm to 6.30am.At noon there was a funeral service at Washington Cathedral. The church choir sang the same Negro spiritual that King had ordered Ben Branch to sing: "Oh precious God, take my hand, lead me, let me stand, I'm tired, I'm weak, I'm exhausted.Through storm and night lead me to the light, O precious God..."There were four thousand people in the cathedral, led by President Johnson. There were more whites than blacks. At the police stations, the reverse was true: two thousand Negroes arrested by the end of the first day of the riots. Five killed - by this figure the police were proving their moderation.The official mourners armed themselves to the teeth and marched ten abreast - rifles drawn, gas masks like pig's patches on the soldiers' faces. The official mourning was thunderous, nervously shouted by the sirens of police and fire trucks, the screeching of brakes, heard in the radio voices of police dispatchers. On Saturday night, additional troops were called to the capital - parts of the airborne division that had pacified Detroit's Negroes in July 1967.Negro mourning stretched for miles with the smoke of fires, charred ruins. The surviving steel girders gleamed black against the orange sky.The mourning protest was blind, unbridled and hopeless. Criminal behaviour was added to the grief. Suits, hats, ties and coloured televisions were looted from the shops. They were, after all, children of their "consumer society", fuelling a passion for things and closing the way to its fulfilment."We are very sick. The country is sick if, on hearing of the murder of a Nobel Peace Prize winner, everyone is afraid that his death will signal violence and arson and that his first memorial will be children running out of burning houses," wrote columnist Murray Kempton.From dozens of cities came mourning chronicles - church services, fires, flags lowered, the crackle of gunfire, silent marches, howling police and fire sirens, black-framed portraits, tear gas, wailing Negro women, the frozen smiles of naked mannequins thrown out of shop windows.... The ghettos wept and exploded for five long days, until 9 April, the day of the funeral, when there was finally a silence in which bells rang and thousands of voices across the country sang "We Shall Overcome"--the anthem of the fighters for equality. Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Kansas City, Newark-more than a hundred cities erupted in protest. They were extinguished by police officers and 61,000 National Guard troops - the largest number of soldiers ever deployed in American cities. 39 dead, 2,000 wounded. More than 10,000 arrested...And perhaps only one man in two hundred million black and white Americans was at peace these days. Delivered by plane to his native Atlanta, he lay in a brown coffin with bronze handles among chrysanthemums, gladiolus, and lilies. He lay in a glazed coffin-black pastor's suit on the white upholstery of the coffin, a sloping forehead, a stiff brush of short Negro hair, rough bumps on his cheeks, thick, firmly closed lips of a large mouth."The Apostle of Nonviolence" did not know what a hurricane his death had caused. He lay quietly, and in the Southern View Negro Cemetery the words were inscribed on a large white grave stone: "Free at last. Free at last. Thank you, God Almighty, I am free at last." And a queue a mile and a half long lined up to the coffin in the chapel of the theological college, girdling blocks of streets. It moved day and night, never shortening, and it was full of poor blacks saying goodbye to their Moses.And on the television screens, on the pages of newspapers and magazines, the face of the living King appeared memorialised - the strong, tense yawn of a mouth, the yawn of a formidable, furious tribune.He was buried more solemnly and widely than any Negro in American history. 150,000 people followed the coffin four miles from Eby- niser Church, where he was pastor, to Morehouse College, where he had graduated 20 years before. At the funeral service at his church, the nobility mingled with the common people, from Vice President Humphrey to parishioners of the deceased. King's widow and his four children. Ralph Abernethy and close friends and associates. King Sr. who survived his son - when he first saw the dead King Jr. he fainted. Jacqueline Kennedy, widow of the slain president. Robert Kennedy, not yet assassinated, unaware that death awaited him two months later in Los Angeles. There were all the other contenders for the White House-Richard Nixon, Senator Eugene McCarthy, Nelson Rockefeller.They had declared a mournful pause in their campaigns and were now campaigning by the fact of their presence at King's coffin. The Negro vote won't hurt in the election....And the people in the church where King Sr. and King Jr. had preached, and where Pastor Ralph Abernethy now conducted the service, heard once again King's passionate, mystical, but also earthy eloquence. It turned out that this man, who had long walked beside death, had spoken at this church in February about what kind of speech he would like to hear over his coffin. A tape recorder was switched on, and King's words rang out over King's coffin, trembling like the throbbing of a naked heart:"I suppose that from time to time we all think realistically about the day when we fall victim to the common denominator of life, what we call death....I want you to be able to say on that day that I tried to be fair. I want you to be able to say on that day that I tried to feed the hungry. I want you to be able to say that in my lifetime I tried to clothe the naked. I want you to be able to say on that day that in my lifetime I have tried to visit those in prisons. And I want you to say that in my lifetime I tried to love and serve humanity.Yes, if you want, say that I was a drummer. Say I was a drummer for justice. Say I was the drummer of peace. And the rest doesn't matter. There will be no money left after me. There will be no luxurious beautiful things left after me. But I want to leave behind me a life of dedication.And that's all I want to say..."His voice rose and fell, and the words throbbed in the ears and hearts of the motley audience.Yes, it was an impressive funeral and something strange. What was the strangeness? What was the patina of unreality that didn't have long to exist? Strange in that the America that had created the atmosphere for the Memphis shooting now came to King's coffin with the intention of canonising him in its own way, of securing him posthumously, of taking him away from the dispossessed, in the name, of course, of "brotherhood and unity of the nation". At the coffin, the struggle for King's legacy continued, and next to the true heirs, false heirs appeared, smearing him with the ostentatious oil of the system against whose vices he rebelled more and more fiercely in his last days.These false heirs could not be driven away from the coffin, but they met with a silent, firm rebuff. Not in a solemn hearse, but on a pair of mules drawn in a simple farm wagon with high wooden sides, carried the coffin from the church to the college, where the funeral meeting was held. On mules, that labouring draught of the sharecroppers of the American South, who had little to gain from their country's automotive affluence. And Andrew Young, Jesse Jackson, other friends of King's dressed emphatically in farmer's overalls, shabby grey among the black mourning suits.It was a sunny day, sharp shadows on the pavements. The wheels of this strange wagon, taken from the dusty country roads, jingled in the silence. And in it lay a coffin, and on its sides were friendly, devoted hands. And the same hands were leading the lop-eared, peaceful mules.The TV companies had set up their posts all along the route. The watchful tele-oco would suddenly catch senators who had forgotten about the mourning with trained, smart and tired smiles, and then they, with the sixth sense of politicians feeling themselves on the TV screen, would submit to the imperious controller and hastily wipe the smiles off their faces. But walking in broad strides behind the casket were tens of thousands of Americans who had travelled from everywhere to Atlanta to challenge racism at King's coffin."We shall overcome..." - this song flew over the column, which seemed to have no end. That song ended the mourning rally on the Morehouse College lawn. It was the first time since the march on Washington in August 1963 that such an untold mass of fighters for equality, black and white, had gathered. And holding hands, swaying to the tune, they chanted sadly, proudly, resolutely, "We are not afraid. We're not afraid. We're not afraid tonight. Deep in my heart I believe that one day we will overcome.***President Johnson had scheduled a speech before both houses of Congress for April 8, signalling that he would announce a major programme of aid to the Negroes. Then, when the ghettos were pacified and Congressmen objected to the "rush," the President's speech was postponed and cancelled altogether.A week after King's funeral, I had a chance to visit Washington. The smoke of the fires no longer clouded the April blue sky. The troops were gone, the "rebels" awaiting trial or in hiding. Law enforcers were showered with compliments for their moderation. On 14th Street, collapsed walls lay in uneven piles of bricks along the pavements. Passers-by hurried about their business as if nothing had happened, immersed in themselves, not looking back at the fires, at the ruins. How quickly the "average American" gets used to everything!A few days after the assassination, the bitter rightness of New York Mayor Lindsay, who called the national mourning a "one-day spectacle of conscience," was already evident. The time for moving obituaries to the "apostle of nonviolence" was quickly passing. The conversation about the fate of the ghetto was being drawn into the familiar framework: to shoot or not to shoot Negroes when they encroached on property?Ralph Abernethy, King's successor, knew that the best memorial to the late leader would be a "poor man's march" on Washington. Preparations for the march were being finalised, but it was already clear that things were not going well and that Congress, the White House and, of course, the Washington police were strongly opposed to the march.I visited Washington once more in the second half of June, just before I left the United States. At Arlington National Cemetery, grass was breaking through the loose rough slabs on the grave of John F. Kennedy and his two children. And to the left, on the hillside, a modest white cross already stood among the grass, marking the grave of Senator Robert Kennedy, not yet monumental. A tourist crowd in sloppy summer clothes clicked cameras. And on the other side of the Potomac, at the foot of the Lincoln Mausoleum, where sits, putting his long, skinny arms on the armrests of the chair, a marble stern lumberjack, who grew into a president - the liberator of the Negroes, was spread a tent, boarded, plywood town of the poor. If you go beyond the fence of this town to the rectangular long pond, shrouded in granite, on the left, from above, Lincoln looks at you, and far to the right, the dome of the Capitol floats victoriously in the air. But Lincoln has long been silent, he has long been an intercessor. And Congress was angry at the plywood and sailcloth ugliness spoiling the capital's best view.As we approached, a man with a broad, dark face, dressed in a farmer's robe, stood by the pond, surrounded by a bunch of reporters. Ralph Abernethy. He was saying something to the reporters. They were few in number. The town had been ransacked more than once by the police, the sensation was becoming monotonous, they were losing interest. Pickets of the poor in front of the ministries, deputations, kindly listened to by the ministers, gave no practical results. The authorities threatened to call off the campaign, citing unsanitary conditions in the town, which, God forbid, would infect official-sterile Washington, and the fact that the permit had expired. Abernethy did what he could, but a note of confusion crept into his resolve. King's absence was telling. There was no mass of participants, no dynamism, no widespread support.I returned to New York and a day later, looking through the paper, saw Abernethy's broad face behind the bars of a police van. The poor were dispersed with batons, their little town ransacked and burned. In the rapid machine-gun blast of newspaper headlines, two caught my attention: 'House committee cold to Johnson's call for strict controls on gun sales', 'Abernethy given twenty days; disorder in capital reduced'.Thus ended the poor man's march.....Will they overcome? They must overcome. They cannot but overcome. They will overcome "some day," as the song providentially stipulates.  FIERCE CALIFORNIA1- Vasya, old man, - I shout into the phone, “and also order a millionaire.”And I hear Vasya’s hoarse, energetic, mocking voice:- What, brother, do you want a millionaire?..It’s not so difficult to order a millionaire if you travel around the States with letters of recommendation from a familiar editor of Business Week and, moreover, you yourself are a correspondent for the Economic Newspaper, which Vasily Ivanovich Gromeka was. Then, in America, according to the data of the Federal Tax Administration, there are ninety thousand millionaires, more than, for example, dentists, although no one in the world is accustomed to taking care of their teeth and smiles as much as Americans. Finally, I order a millionaire from Los Angeles, from Southern California, where this human subspecies is breeding, perhaps, even faster than in the oil fields of Texas.Vasily Ivanovich has been on the road for several weeks now - with his wife Tanya and a Fury car, a product of the Chrysler automobile corporation. On a transcontinental route. Now he is in Texas and from a motel in Houston he is encroaching on the estimate of the New York bureau of Izvestia using the “collect call” method, that is, a telephone call for which the person called pays.________________  When the operator asked if I was ready to pay for Mr. Gromek's call, I answered: yes, I am!I don't mind.I'm crying.On the California leg of his long journey, he takes me third in a dark blue Fury, fury, noble, purposeful fury of two hundred horsepower.Sitting at my desk in New York, I envy Vasya, who seems to tease me with calls from different cities. I, too, have long dreamed of such a leisurely transcontinental journey across America. The routine, the squirrel-like rotation of a daily newspaper correspondent in the orbits of the country, where events catch up, overtake and overwhelm each other and the people called upon to monitor them, interfered. The fear of encroaching on the time that belongs to the newspaper prevented me from doing so. And, to hide it, I was deceived by the eternal, unreasonable, but ineradicable Russian feeling that everything is ahead and there is nowhere to rush. And now six and a half American years are behind us, and only a month is ahead, the departure dates have been agreed upon, the successor is sitting in Moscow on his suitcases. A long-time dream is no longer achievable, but something is better than nothing, and I happily jump at the offer to drive around California - from Los Angeles to San Francisco through Yosemite National Park and the resort town of Carmel on the Pacific Ocean.A millionaire ordered by phone is a touch of the program. It's hard to do without California if you're seriously interested in America. It is the fastest growing and most populous of the fifty states. Ten percent of all Americans live there, and many of them are confident that it is California, and not decrepit New York, that will lead in the last third of our century and will be the first to touch the 21st century like God by the beard.2And so on May 21, 1968 - let's determine the exact time - I'm flying to Los Angeles on flight number one of Trans World Airlines. I'm flying, not driving - four thousand kilometers in five hours. And is America beyond the oval porthole? The heavenly clouds - eternal wanderers - covered with a whitish cosmopolitan carpet all the national signs of the earth lying below.But in the belly of DC-8 is America in its two popular guises of comfort and advertising. The comfort is modest, tourist class - clean, but a little cramped, you can’t stretch your legs, you hold your right elbow, keeping the boundary with your neighbor on the common armrest of the chair. In a word, like in Aeroflot. But this sparingly measured comfort is touched by the baton of advertising and with a minimum of costs brings a maximum psychological effect, turning ordinary comfort into extra. What is needed, however, is your consent to some operation, your participation, albeit subconscious, in some ritual sacrament of the modern cult of service. And now you are already in the area of uplifting metamorphoses.So, you are flying tourist class, and the annoying worm of inferiority is stirring inside you. What nonsense, however! An easy psychotherapy session, and there is no tourist class, although the same cramped chair remains and the neighbor’s elbow still crawls on the narrow demarcation line. Everything behind the curtains of first class, which was offensive second and frivolous tourist, became a neutral “coach” - a carriage, a stagecoach, a second-class passenger carriage. Strange, but romantic and even respectable. And the sweet girlish voice, for which you ordered a ticket over the phone, elevated you to the status of passengers on an air stagecoach, and also intriguingly connected you to the club of the elite, whispering in your ear: “This will be a flight with a foreign accent. Along the way, enjoy a three-course lunch and the movie “The Day of the Evil Revolver.”And so on May 21, 1968 - let's determine the exact time - I'm flying to Los Angeles on flight number one of Trans World Airlines. I'm flying, not driving - four thousand kilometers in five hours. And is America beyond the oval porthole? The heavenly clouds - eternal wanderers - covered with a whitish cosmopolitan carpet all the national signs of the earth lying below.But in the belly of DC-8 is America in its two popular guises of comfort and advertising. The comfort is modest, tourist class - clean, but a little cramped, you can’t stretch your legs, you hold your right elbow, keeping the boundary with your neighbor on the common armrest of the chair. In a word, like in Aeroflot. But this sparingly measured comfort is touched by the baton of advertising and with a minimum of costs brings a maximum psychological effect, turning ordinary comfort into extra. What is needed, however, is your consent to some operation, your participation, albeit subconscious, in some ritual sacrament of the modern cult of service. And now you are already in the area of uplifting metamorphoses.So, you are flying tourist class, and the annoying worm of inferiority is stirring inside you. What nonsense, however! An easy psychotherapy session, and there is no tourist class, although the same cramped chair remains and the neighbor’s elbow still crawls on the narrow demarcation line. Everything behind the curtains of first class, which was offensive second and frivolous tourist, became a neutral “coach” - a carriage, a stagecoach, a second-class passenger carriage. Strange, but romantic and even respectable. And the sweet girlish voice, for which you ordered a ticket over the phone, elevated you to the status of passengers on an air stagecoach, and also intriguingly connected you to the club of the elite, whispering in your ear: “This will be a flight with a foreign accent. Along the way, enjoy a three-course lunch and the movie “The Day of the Evil Revolver.”And how strange, how blasphemous, damn it, that I am not fascinated by the promising idea of film distribution on an airplane, which, over time and with a certain delay, will come, I think, to Aeroflot, but for now here, in the American skies, and even on transoceanic routes, it is developing the great advertising concept of life as pure pleasure and entertainment? Is it because this reactive film distribution is akin to a loudspeaker in a city square or a transistor in the hands of a stupid enthusiast killing the silence of the forest? On the road, no matter how short it is, you want to be with yourself the old fashioned way, without film actors Glen Ford and Arthur Kennedy, and even without playing penthouse. Or maybe I’m just tired of advertising stuff, having lived in a country where people are fed and fed with all sorts of, but mostly commercial, information? Or maybe the whole point is in this stupid film, in the contrast between the vulgarity of tastes and the dynamism of technological progress, which routinely threw film distribution into the belly of a regular airplane - if the prevailing taste had been different, the film would have been different.I put the headphones in a plastic bag, brought by the flight attendant, into the seat pocket and take out a notebook with old notes about Los Angeles. However, this couple in gray pants against the backdrop of beautiful yellow sands, blinding sun and remote Mexican buildings haunts me. I glance at the screen, but don’t put on headphones and vindictively condemn the couple to muteness. They silently open their mouths, silently shoot, drawing their revolvers - which one is evil? - they suffer silently, tied to stakes, stretched out flat on the burning sands under the scorching sun. By my will, they do everything in silence - they save captivatingly helpless white ladies with children from the Indians, kill the redskins, and then the insidious and corpulent Mexican villain in a sombrero, and then even a corporal of the American army, and everywhere until they come out unscathed from the movie theater in the desert...The old notebook contains few notes about Los Angeles.In April-May 1962, a friend and I crossed America by train from New York to Seattle, where the 21st Century International Exhibition was opening, and then went further south to Portland (Oregon), Reno (Nevada) and San Francisco and Los Angeles. During the three days of travel to Seattle, more was revealed from under the glass dome of the one-and-a-half-story “observation car” than is now possible in five jet hours. The well-groomed fields of Iowa, solid buildings, church domes of silos and the deserted desolation of the Wyoming plateaus were also striking, refuting the traditional idea of a completely inhabited, densely populated and super-industrial country. In the provincial town of Green River, passengers practically jumped from the running boards into the waiting cars, and from the pages of the local newspaper there was a dull, albeit self-confident melancholy. Leafing through the old notebook, I remembered how strong was my naive and, of course, biased desire to mechanically compare everything and everyone. America overwhelmed with multiple signs of superior technological progress and material abundance, but the more keenly and joyfully I recorded the areas of our leadership, recording, for example, that in terms of the clarity of railway traffic we were ahead of the Americans - trains were always late, and ignoring the dialectics of capitalist competition, which threw the railway back into yesterday and even the day before yesterday with a surge in cheap and maneuverable road transport.Los Angeles had two light tourist days before returning to New York. We were greeted by the Council of International Affairs - a public voluntary organization with an overly big name and businesslike hospitality for foreigners in transit who decided to catch a glimpse of local wonders. What was Los Angeles for us? A pitiful rival to the charming San Francisco. An unknown and faceless city that shelters the famous Hollywood. And just as in Cairo they go to the great pyramids of Giza, so we went to the “Chinese Theater”, where since the late 20s, on the slabs in front of the entrance, handprints, shoes and boots of Hollywood movie stars were immortalized in concrete - an extravagant, already out-of-date fashion, a short-lived way to fade into history. A friendly lady from the council took us to Beverly Hills, an oasis town for thirty-five thousand people, on the green hills of which there were once beavers (Beverly Hills Beaver Hills), and now - movie stars, TV stars and millionaires of other profiles. For our lady, their mansions were museums of an ideally happy life. Having asked permission from the servant of a movie star friend, who was temporarily absent from her home for some business, she led us through the rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, kitchen to the pool. In a rich house, luxury flaunted lightness, an abundance of light and glass. Our lady envied her movie star selflessly, begged us for admiration, and we did not skimp on admiration, as well as consolation, when in an old Buick she brought us to her house for a cup of coffee, apologizing a hundred times for its modesty, although it was her house was quite good by our standards.On the picturesque street of Olvera, in the Mexican district of Los Angeles, the evening was crowded and nice. Americans adore the exotic, and there there was plenty of exoticism at hand - the exoticism of handicrafts and spicy, peppered food in a country of industrial flow and bland "hamburgers", the exoticism of sombreros, castanets, wicker baskets, beautiful folk songs and dances. Exotics of warmth and simplicity. The American likes to say “amigo” (Spanish for friend), renouncing the dry “Mister” for a couple of hours. And when the guitarist with a dark face and blue-black hair, who is also an entertainer and an expert on the world repertoire, found out that two amigos from Russia were sitting in his restaurant, cooling off spicy food with Mexican tequila, “Hey, let’s go!” May Day evening became fun in Los Angeles, which was unaware of the holiday.I remember another episode, but of a different order - a visit to the Los Angeles headquarters of the John Birch Society. Our new acquaintances from the Council of International Affairs did not know the address of the Berchists, considering them a noisy, but worthless and insignificant group of extremists. After much questioning, we found the address in the simplest way - in the thick telephone book that is provided with all the rooms of all hotels and motels in America. The premises at 618 Serana Street were small and empty. On the table and shelves there is literature—twenty issues of the Birch publication “American Opinion,” which denounces communists, liberals, Africa, Asia, Latin America and much, much more. In the bookcase, behind glass, there was a portrait of the nondescript Captain John Birch, after whom the society is named, and the indispensable Stars and Stripes flag - to the flag everyone, from the extreme right to the extreme left, swears allegiance. The Blue Book - Mein Kampf by the society's president, confectionery manufacturer Robert Welsh - had a shiny blue cover.In the second room, a young lady, quite attractive, was chatting on the phone. Having collected some brochures, we approached her, and when she hung up, my friend, without wasting time on psychological preparation, said: “This may surprise you, but we are Soviet journalists.” This surprised her, so much so that crimson circles appeared on the face of Jeannette McLoskey, the beloved daughter of a small businessman from Colorado, who sat here at the table not for the sake of dollars, but by vocation. But never underestimate the endurance of an American, especially an American whose occupation deals with the press. Jeannette McLoskey quickly got over her excitement, although a lovely May afternoon brought upon her a colossal problem: how to jump from theoretical hatred of enemies to concrete hatred of two young, amiable, decent, as they say, people who do not inspire much fear? In her life, Jeannette only saw a living American communist once, and even then only briefly.Nevertheless, without forgetting to smile, she loaded us up for free with the complete collection of Birch literature, as well as the “Communist Manifesto” in the publication of the John Birch Society.“We study those we fight against,” Jeannette said. — Maybe you will learn something from our publications.That’s where we parted – not only with Jeannette McLoskey, but also with Los Angeles, because we were in a hurry to get to the plane. We raced through the streets, along the Hollywood Freeway and Harbor Freeway, and behind us, changing places, jumping out of cross streets, making difficult turns, were three cars with FBI agents, and, for the sake of authenticity, I wrote down the license plates of two of them. There were six people in the cars, and each of them, due to their professional training in sedition and the zeal of the “witch hunters”, was suitable as a mentor to a young burchist: when they retire, full-time detectives often become activists and agitators for the “John Birch Society”...With this honorary escort, we rushed to the airport, happy that the trip ended safely and that by evening we would be in New York with our families, while the May heat flowed over the freeways and young people in their underpants, in open sports cars, reminded two people in a hurry foreigners that they have not tasted anything of the delights of Californian life, that this is the blessed south, that the Pacific Ocean and the famous beaches of Santa Monica are nearby.We flew to New York on an American Airlines plane. There were no film shows in the air yet, and flight attendants did not transform into the hostesses of Manhattan penthouses. In the advertising brochure, Mr. Smith, the president of American Airlines, lured passengers with flattery that was primitive in modern times and too frontal. Outlining the company’s philosophical “credo” in relation to its clients, he wrote: “Passengers have intelligence, because only smart and progressive people use air transport.” The advertising fantasy did not go further than oral certifications of flight attendants who had undergone six-week special courses, after which they could “even make it easier for you to vomit,” but - only due to their busyness and tight working hours - they would not undertake to feed your baby and change his diapers. “Flight attendants must be attractive and intelligent,” Mr. Smith reported. “Weight from one hundred forty to one hundred and fifty pounds, height from five feet three inches to five feet nine inches, age from twenty to twenty-six years, good health, good figure, unmarried.”Having fed and watered the passengers, the charming flight attendants of American Airlines sat in the back, near the restrooms, radiating smiles learned in special courses towards those rushing to relieve themselves...Meanwhile, at the Manhattan Penthouse, the evil revolver's day was drawing to a close. And, having hidden the notebook, I am surprised to see that the story is heading not towards a “happy ending”, but towards a tragic denouement. That tramp, played by experienced movie cowboy Glen Ford, has an evil revolver. And when the two of them finally overcame the desert and came to a small dusty town, his comrade (the famous dramatic actor Arthur Kennedy) decided to kill Ford. But at the last moment he himself was struck by a bullet from an evil revolver. Kennedy was smitten and expertly spun around the town square, rose up in his dying breath, then bent over superbly and finally collapsed, throwing back his long legs in hiking boots.So the passengers whiled away an hour and a half and a thousand and a half kilometers, and before they had time to drag Arthur Kennedy, my dear, in the dust by his long legs through the imperturbable crowd on the square of the cinematic town of the last century, as under the wing of our “DC-8” enchanting electric stoves (if you remember metaphor of Andrei Voznesensky) the lights of the evening Los Angeles of 1968 danced - the running lights of freeways, the neon rhythmic flashing of advertisements and signs, and the lights of homes, and the illumination of home swimming pools. The plane's dazzling searchlight added its own element to this feast, and among the host of lights the pilot, without missing a beat, found the blue squat lights that bordered the darkness of the landing strip, and softly landed the car on the concrete of the airfield, streaked with heavy landing gear, which handles fifteen million passengers a year, and, rocking us in the waistbands belts, as if to a home garage, taxied to the area of ​​the airfield complex, where the letters TWA were shining everywhere, reported the local time and weather, thanked us for resorting to the services of TWA, and, saying goodbye, asked us not to forget the three magic letters when need or hunting will call into the air again.And the letters multiplied, becoming fixed in memory - on the sides of the luggage cart that jumped up to the cargo hatch, on the pockets, backs, helmets of workers in white linen overalls, on the accordion of the sliding corridor, which moved like a quadrangular mouth towards the opened door of the plane. And, having said good-bye to two girls in golden dresses, who were tiredly finishing their role as hostesses at the door, I stepped onto the accordion-style carpet of the corridor under the flowing of quiet, melodic, gently soothing music from out of nowhere, which inspired: on this everyday journey there was no, as you saw , it’s okay, but if you are still worried, listen, shake off the tension, because you are on earth and, although, alas, you are leaving our care, we hope that everything will go well for you, everything will be just as calm and as safe as the skies between New York and Los Angeles.After the pre-landing ban, the first, earthly, sweet cigarette. A conveyor belt drops suitcases onto a slowly rotating wide metal circle. There's my yellow suitcase, once elegant, bought before that trip to Seattle, now with fringe on all four corners. Loud laughter, kisses and punches from some reunited friends. Jealous. And you are alone, deprived of the tutelage of TWA and not yet determined in the place where you once were and where, however, everything is new - a wary stranger. It’s okay, you don’t expect any provocations or attempts, you don’t even notice a passing professional glance - none of those guys who last time accompanied you almost to the gangway meet you. But there is still this feeling of alienity that does not go away.However, somewhere among the sea of lights that opened up from the side of the plane sliding down, there should be one friendly light. And you take a taxi and tell the young Mexican taxi driver, “1775 La Cienega Boulevard South.” The taxi pours a drop of light into the evening mystery of the freeways and, through millions of other particles of light, carries its drop to the blue and red neon of the Anne's Motel, to the sign that, in concise language for the motorist, announces “vacant rooms, TV, background (telephone), heated pool — the height of comfort at reasonable prices.”My colleague chose the Annae Motel near Beverly Hills while still in Texas: he travels the American way - with the Three A's (AAA - American Automobile Association) guidebooks, which contain all the necessary information about all the more or less decent hotels and motels in almost all American cities. In addition to the AAA directory, Vasya also had to study a map of Los Angeles - it is an open city, in which, however, there are many areas closed to fellow citizens. You move around there with an eye on the map. Beverly Hills is fully open. The mansions in the lovely Beaver Hills have their secrets, of course, but not the same as the aircraft factories and missile bases that litter Los Angeles County and Southern California.Here it is, the modest little motel that we were looking for, sticking out the neon letters “Anney” above the entrance to the cramped parking lot for the guests’ cars. The old man on duty replies that yes, a couple with a strange surname has already arrived and that the next room has been reserved for a person with an equally strange surname. The old man doesn't check his documents. Having filled out a short form and received the key, you cross the asphalt car park, notice the Fury in the dark, and up the stairs to the second floor gallery, a suitcase and briefcase at the door of your room, impatiently knock on the next one, from where a hoarse bass voice responds in Russian: “Is that you, brother?”Vasya at the door - skinny, with lively eyes, drowned in energetic wrinkles, mocking and just out of the shower - in rubber slippers on his bare feet, with damp curls. They have just traveled - all day on the road - four hundred miles across the Nevada and Californian deserts through the sands that I saw on a tiny screen over dark America, under the same hot sun, but without an evil revolver, but with an endless, seductively beautiful ribbon of road, above which there was a glassy haze, the same as the air trail behind the wings of a jet plane that turned on its engines and rolled towards the starting strip...And on the table in my room, for starters, I put a bottle of hunting vodka and a can of minced sausage - that’s the little thing I can do to console a colleague who is yearning for a domestic product in road cafeterias in America.3The next morning, as soon as we had visited the corner diner, finished the spaghetti-like omelet, and leafed through the most worthwhile of the hundred and fifty pages of the plump weekday Los Angeles Times (the Sunday edition of this thriving newspaper has at least five hundred pages), as a semi-sporty, squat Mustang pulled up to the Annes Motel. Out came a man of average height, over forty years old, youthfully light and nimble, with a sharp, as if slightly charred face - Tom Self, head of the Business Week office in Los Angeles, our main guide and one-coon. Five minutes later we were each other’s Tom, Vasily, Stanislav, without surnames or prefixes “Mister”—friends connected by one thing. (By the end of the first day, we realized that we were lucky. Tom was not only a smart correspondent with considerable connections, but also a friendly, pleasant guy who was generous with his time, hanging out with us from morning to evening.) And the first thing Tom, of course, pulled out from his jacket pocket a piece of paper folded into four - our program. The millionaire was listed on the paper, as was everything else ordered over the phone. A sunny morning beckoned to La Cienega Boulevard, but the program dictated haste and speed.Once you have agreed to live according to the law of American efficiency, you blame yourself: your day will be planned out in such a way that you will not be able to escape, and walking, loitering around an unfamiliar city is a whim, in the opinion of business people. We obediently got into the Mustang and rushed off, leaving Tanya with the boulevard with the sonorous name of La Cienega.We jumped onto the freeway. Tom increased the gas and moved the car to the left, fastest lane. The Mustang's tires rustled over the ribbed bumps that mark the medians on Los Angeles freeways. The cars were moving in four rows in both directions. There were no New York speed warnings, and the minimum was fifty miles, or eighty kilometers.And on the huge green billboards - signs of exits, entrances and interchanges, the names of neighboring cities flashed, like some kind of memorial to Catholic saints, proving that the first Europeans to explore California were Franciscan monks: San Fernando, San Gabriel, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Ana, Santa Monica, etc. But did I make a mistake about the neighboring cities? We crossed the border of Los Angeles, entered another city, but there was nothing in between that resembled the countryside, the same cityscape continued, flashing to the right and left - with houses, factory buildings, steel mesh of oil refineries, gas stations, shopping complexes.One endless city stretched on and on: a megalopolis - a multicity.And so it went. After a trip to Santa Monica, where the RAND Corporation is located, again on the freeway, again going seventy miles, and on a date with millionaire Henry Singleton in Century City. Back on the freeway, and the end, about thirty miles, is at the Atlantic Richfield oil refinery. Back on the freeway and to Tom’s office in the city center.For four days there were crazy freeways and various offices, and when the schedule of our trip, approved by the State Department, dictated separation from Los Angeles, we said goodbye to cheerful Tom and, remembering the Pacific Ocean, rushed along the coast, hastily catching the iodine, bitterly refreshing smell, and Interstate 27, like a catapult, threw us back into the interior of the continent, four hundred miles from Los Angeles. And only there, in the peaceful village of Fish Camp and under the redwood trees of Yosemite Park, time stood still, and, replaying these crazy days in my memory, I seemed to pat myself in my pockets: had I forgotten something?I forgot almost the most important thing - to see Los Angeles through the most reliable eyes of a pedestrian in the world. The city flashed past the car window. Like the brevity of the acquaintance, this look from the “Mustang” and “Fury” undermines the confidence in me among the meticulous reader, who likes not only to inspect everything, but, if possible, to feel it. However, I have allies - Los Angeles residents who perceive their city from wheels. Shouldn't a visiting person look at Los Angeles the same way its residents do?As you know, in the small and not-so-small cities of automobile America, the pedestrian has been crowded out as an anachronism since the late twenties; outside business and shopping centers, sidewalks are overgrown with grass or absent altogether - pedestrian paths are not needed, people have moved to the pavements and into cars. But in such giant cities as New York and Chicago, in such “compact” cities as San Francisco, residents have not yet forgotten how to walk on sidewalks, if only because there is nowhere to park a car, paid parking lots are expensive, and public transport is quite developed. Among large cities, Los Angeles, the third most populous, is an exception. Pedestrians there are a rarity.So what's wrong with watching Los Angeles the L.A. way? Date with a millionaire? We dove into the Century City underground garage and took the “musicified” elevator straight from the dungeon to the office on the seventeenth floor. The Richfield Atlantic oil refinery was inspected from the director's car, with the director himself at the wheel; they walked only to the control panel room, because the car did not fit through the door. In front of the campus is a light, glass-enclosed checkpoint booth. A university policeman, drawing with a pencil on a map diagram, explains how to get to the desired building and where to leave the car. On La Cienega Boulevard you roll up under the canopy of the restaurant, the key is given to a boy in a branded cape, he will take care of the car, take it to the parking lot for guests, and when you have lunch, he will bring it to the entrance.True, at Disneyland we were separated from Tom’s Mustang for a couple of hours, trying to better remember the row and place in the huge parking lot for thousands of cars. Tom Self suffered. Anticipating a long walk on motorized legs, I grabbed a pair of worn-out light boots.The amusing kingdom, founded by the famous Walt Disney on the site of orange groves in Orange County, annually receives five to six million visitors, mostly children - you need to see the happy faces of girls and boys, ready to meet all sorts of miracles. Disney died several years ago, but his kingdom lives on and is worth about a hundred million dollars: in addition to Disneyland, there is a film studio that produces animated and other films, an animatronics corporation, a kind of industry that reproduces the “living world” - mechanical imitations of animals and people, from dinosaurs to the red Indians and Caribbean pirates. Disney animatronics have become a household name for clever, pretty and cheap imitations of wildlife.By the way, as Tom Self said, people come to Disneyland not only to have fun, but also on business trips, to gain experience in crowd management - crowd management. The ability to let tens of thousands of people through as quickly and in an organized manner is important in the age of mass spectacles and large crowds of people. It turns out there are scientific and unscientific queues. Even without knowing the theory, it is not difficult to guess that scientifically organized queues are queues that cannot yet be avoided, but can be made to move quickly, saving the time and nerves of those standing. Unscientific queues do not need to be characterized and, alas, are known to us too well. The simplest example is when the work of the seller behind the counter is organized, as it was decades ago, the products are not packaged - a luxury that in the States is available only to stores designed for rich gourmets - and the antediluvian cash registers are not trained to automatically display the amount knocked out and change (which has long been their counterparts do in America), forcing the cashier to click on antediluvian bills and spend three to four times more time on each customer than in a rational line.There was a modern queue for the Caribbean Pirates Cave. The huge tail was quickly drawn into the row of people moving between two metal barriers. There were hundreds of them, but no more than twenty minutes later we got into the boat and rushed along an artificial underground river, in the spray of rapids - the splashes were natural - in the grave coolness provided by the "er air conditioners". There were vines, stalactites, and tropical aromas, various cockatoos croaked, the wreckage of wrecked ships was piled up, human skulls, bones and completely complete artificial skeletons gleamed with a dull shine, and forged chests, open wide, flashed with piles of pearls and diamonds. And drunken, one-eyed pirates sat on wine barrels, waving pistols and crooked sabers - they were so similar, so close to the gliding boats that even adults forgot that these were just animatronic masterpieces...But let me return to my Los Angeles impressions. Moscow has the Kremlin, New York has the 102-story Empire State Building, Athens has the Acropolis, Paris has the Eiffel Tower, and San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge. What is the distinctive sign of Los Angeles?Wilshire Boulevard? This central avenue, wide, elegant, lined with huge banks and corporations, is known on the West Coast of the United States in the same way as New York's Fifth Avenue or Madison Avenue is on the Atlantic. It is prestigious to have an office here; the cost of land is second only to that of Manhattan. But no, this is not a symbol of Los Angeles.But maybe Hollywood? Maybe, but only for visiting eccentrics who live by the inertia of old ideas. Los Angeles residents reject this symbol, not mixing life with cinema. They expect their guests to always ask about Hollywood and answer it with an indulgent smile. Hollywood's golden age was short-lived and over, but Los Angeles, the fastest-growing major American city, sees itself on a first-name basis with the future. In terms of population (three million in Los Angeles proper), it ranks third after New York and Chicago. It overtook Chicago in terms of industrial output back in 1964. There is only New York ahead, and the capital of Southern California is pressing on the “imperial” city, stepping on its heels. Against this background, what are the once popular signs of the Hollywood “memorial” - the footprints of movie stars preserved in concrete and the names of the “greats” on the slabs of Hollywood Boulevard? Physically, Hollywood in the wilds of Los Angeles is as invisible as the river that gave its name to the city. Economically, he survived by entering into a humiliating deal with his worst enemy, television, as a junior partner, adapting his soundstages and workforce to produce TV shows and TV movies. Ethically, its falseness and vulgar beauty, pandering to cheap taste have been debunked, and the phenomenon of “independent cinema” that has arisen in recent years is not accidental. No, Hollywood is not suitable as a symbol of Los Angeles.So, maybe “Century City” is the “City of the Century”, which they talk about a lot, which they like to show? According to the plan, this micro-city, worth half a billion dollars, will consist of 28 administrative buildings, 22 residential buildings, a hotel with eight hundred rooms, and a large shopping center. Century City was mostly built at the time of our visit - an elegant prototype of those cities of the future that usually beckon only in drawings. Pencil silhouettes of people there have already come to life and are off shopping in the elegant inner square, decorated with fountains and abstract sculptures. Something like the Los Angeles version of New Arbat.It is called the “City of the Century,” although the history of Century City itself warns against familiarity with the future. More recently, the owner of the land on which this micro-city stands was the Twentieth Century Fox film corporation, which believed that the 20th century belonged to cinema. She had no idea how long it was, this century of technological progress. Train stations in many American cities have been overwhelmed by airports, and huge, luxurious movie theaters languish half-empty as entertainment lovers sit on the sofas of their family television screens. Twentieth Century Fox turned to big-screen super-action movies based on biblical stories, but things didn't get better. It was necessary to sell the land stored for future use, and the successful aluminum corporation "ALCOA", having bought two hundred and sixty acres of land from movie magnates, has now built its own "Century City". But he is just a touch of Los Angeles.Recently they created a magnificent complex “Music Center”. Frustrated by long-standing accusations that Los Angeles residents were vulgar businessmen with no taste or love for art, wealthy patrons invested millions in the Music Center. A remarkable and not isolated fact that speaks of the craving for culture in a pragmatic country. This is one of the last, but by no means the main attractions of Los Angeles.Enough of the mysteries, though. The symbol of Los Angeles cannot be found among its houses, streets, and architectural complexes. I agree with those who see a symbol in the famous freeways - in the roads. A strange symbol for a city, but these roads are unusual, the city itself is unusual, and the century into which it is the first to look in America is also unusual. These powerful strands of freeways are photographed from the air when they want to convey a visual image of Los Angeles. Millions of people drive along the main Los Angeles landmark, it falls under the wheels of millions of cars...4The name of Los Angeles was given by the Franciscan monk Father Creoli. He arrived in these once roadless and remote places with the Spanish expedition of Gaspar de Portola, which explored the Pacific coast of North America for the glory of the Catholic Jesus Christ and the fear of the Indians. Directories report that on August 2, 1769, Father Creoli christened the river flowing near the camp long, eloquently and peacefully: Rio de Nuestra Señora La Reina de Los Angelos (in a shortened Russian translation - the River of the Queen of Angels). If you were to call a long-haired Franciscan from heaven, ride a police helicopter over the freeways and drop him on the current crazy chaos of Los Angeles, he, firstly, would hardly find his river among the crowds of houses, cars and freeways and, secondly, for sure would have renounced his godson as an obsession of the devil, although his mission was completed successfully by his descendants - not a trace remained of the Indians, and Los Angeles, in general, was ruled by the late Christians.New York is not the slowest city. When the New York pace still lives in a person, Moscow seems like an oasis of calm. And Los Angeles is amazingly fast even compared to New York. He was lost among his roads, it is difficult to “connect” an essay about him.But the more difficult it is to rationally summarize it, the more you value one through-and-through feeling that connects everything - the feeling of speed and pace, the running of powerful cars, freed from the shackles of traffic lights. And one more feeling - as if you, against your will, were included in the vast, equal to the elements, mechanically fast movement of those like you. Where will this element take you?Of course, you can talk about Los Angeles with statistics. But numbers, although you have to resort to their help, are dead if they reflect a different, unfamiliar reality. It is difficult for the reader to relate them to his own experience.Not for the sake of a catchphrase, two metaphors came to mind. People merged with their machines. People on freeways are like centaurs - not mythical, but extraordinary. Here they are rushing behind, and in front, and on the sides of you, with their heads bent, hanging over the steering wheel, merging with the body of the car, pushing the windshield shield forward. But if the mythical centaur was, as it were, on the verge between an animal and a person, as if growing into a person, separating from the animal, then the Los Angeles centaur is already “outgrowing” a person. What?And another metaphor born of freeways. Within a day or two, the feeling of permanent speed so permeates you that it seems that you will not be at all surprised to see, behind the next smooth bend, a fantastic cosmodrome with a rocket aimed at the zenith, and - you are fully prepared for this miracle - you will fly, without slowing down, into a spaceship, and everything else will be just a detail, not a new quality, but only a quantitative increase to the second cosmic speed. And you will dissolve in the Universe. You'll get scattered. You are atomizing... In the name of what?Father Crespi's sky, hanging over the unknown river near the strange Indian wigwams, was a low, motionless blue gadfly. And his current fellow countrymen, it seems, are already trained for cosmic heights and distances, and the point is not only that spaceships and lunar modules are being assembled nearby.However, am I at a loss? I admit it. But even the old-timers do not hide their confusion - confusion of delight, hostility, even fear and inevitable surprise.“At three in the morning our roads are as busy as at three in the afternoon,” you hear from them. And in the intonation there is an alarming pride from belonging to a special, vigilant detachment of the human race.Through friends and in bookstores, I looked for books about Los Angeles. There are reference books, economic reports, but I have never been able to find books that would try to summarize the city in its human, psychological aspects. The book by journalist John Chapman, published in 1967 by the New York publishing house Harper and Row, is perhaps the only, although not entirely successful, attempt of this kind. “Impossible Los Angeles” is the title of this curious book, full of American facts, sensations, curiosities and characters. Incredible - this can be translated as incredible, improbable, incomparable, impossible. This is how parents talk, not without coquetry, about their child—a tomboy, but also a darling.The book is dedicated to the memory of another Los Angeles patriot, Max Schumacher. An experienced military pilot, upon retirement he took up an unusual business. Every day, from seven in the morning, he hung like a dragonfly in a helicopter above the pulsating freeways, spotting traffic jams, accidents and disasters and, through one of the local radio stations, informing motorists deprived of visibility of what awaited them. This was not a police duty, but a private business and earnings for Schumacher. One of the pioneers of helicopter patrol of America's highways, a shepherd of automobile herds, in love with the kaleidoscopes of freeways, he died while serving over them.But what, more specifically, are freeways, this material and symbolic image of Los Angeles? Freeway - free path. Free from traffic lights and other speed restrictions. Free also from security guards, to whom a motorist hands out his cents, or even dollars, from the window of a stopped car, from metal mesh machines that must be appeased with a quarter in order to light up the green permissive eye. The freeways are free, unlike many American highways. Free in the literal sense that you don’t have to pay to drive on them - they are paid for with taxes on road construction and gasoline.From a builder's point of view, these are very fundamental, first-class concrete freeways with an average price of three million dollars per mile (sometimes the freeway between downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica costs twelve million dollars per mile). The cost of construction is covered by the state of California, federal funds, motorists paying a six-cent tax on every gallon of gasoline purchased, and other special taxes.Los Angeles freeways are not unique - in terms of quality, quality, width, they have many competitors in a country that is not surprised by freeways, highways, turnpike, expressways, etc. Many American cities are subject to drafty traffic-light freeways. But nowhere, perhaps, do freeways invade the boundaries of a big city so boldly and freely, nowhere do they set the tone so imperiously, nowhere do they rule so much.It is difficult to explain this with an example, since we do not yet have such highways. But for clarity, imagine, suppose, the Garden Ring in Moscow. Extend it to eight hundred kilometers (by 1980, the length of freeways in Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange counties will be two and a half thousand kilometers, $5.2 billion has been allocated for the entire system). Cut it into unequal sections and, joining them with powerful interchanges that take off or dive underground, send them to all four cardinal directions.Remove the traffic lights from this Americanized Garden Ring, and let the speed of 70 miles (112 km) per hour be an ordinary speed. Sweep away, break, align in a row everything that interferes with the rapid rush of the freeway into space, move the survivors further away from it, forming a wide exclusion zone - during the construction of the 27-kilometer Santa Monica Freeway, for compensation of 95 million dollars, 4,129 residential buildings, banks, businesses, churches, stores, etc.In the center, instead of a reserve lane, build metal barriers, the task of which is to absorb the blow of a car that has lost control and prevent it from crashing into oncoming traffic - the worst possible catastrophe, and along the sides - the same barriers and metal mesh, over which a naughty child or unreasonable dog; It wouldn’t even occur to an adult to set foot on the freeway. The free path is absolutely free of all living things not placed on the wheels.Line this flowing concrete river, seventy meters wide, into eight rows - four in each direction.Give freeways a dozen sonorous names of neighboring cities and counties! Santa Monica, Ventura, Pasadena, San Diego, Harbor, Long Beach, Hollywood, etc.And finally, throw a powerful network of these arteries over a small part of Southern California. The area of Los Angeles County is ten thousand square kilometers. And in this square, Los Angeles itself reigns over almost a hundred younger satellite brothers, over a chaotic conglomerate of cities, towns and cities.Everything is so intertwined that even old-timers won’t be able to tell where one city ends and another begins. Their borders are also bizarre. Beverly Hills, for example, is considered a city, although it is surrounded on all sides by Los Angeles.We know about the humorous experiment of one San Francisco journalist, an ill-wisher of Los Angeles. He rushed along the freeways all day, passing Bel Air, Brandtwood, Santa Monica, Posadena, Encino (cities in the vicinity of Los Angeles) and, summing up the vengeful experiment, said: “But I never saw Los Angeles.” A strange city - freeways, connecting it with satellite cities, simultaneously dissect and fragment it, turning it into a kind of “roadside parking lot”.Three million people live in the “parking lot”, and in Greater Los Angeles, that is, in this entire conglomerate metropolis, there are seven million. And four million cars. The highest concentration is in the USA, and, apparently, in the whole world.Los Angeles became a major city during the era of the mass automobile that came to America in the twenties. Since 1910, the population of New York and Chicago has less than doubled, and Los Angeles has increased almost tenfold. Old cities, which had formed even before the advent of the automobile, could not help but develop public transport, building subways and overgrounds. Los Angeles essentially started with the custom car. There were more and more cars, the city grew not in height, like New York and Chicago, but in breadth, and then it was the turn of the freeways.Multiplying people, cars and roads, we get truly cosmic figures for motorization. On the freeways of Los Angeles County, named after the city, and the neighboring counties of Ventura and Orange, cars travel forty-three million kilometers per day, which is the distance equivalent to fifty trips to the moon and back, and this figure has become outdated. Machines are multiplying faster than people. In any case, from 1950 to 1964 in Los Angeles County, the number of passenger cars doubled, and the population grew by 65 percent (also, however, a colossal increase). Three out of every four people drive their own cars to work. Many residents, between work and home, travel a hundred or more miles a day, not out of love for their car, but out of necessity. A scattered city, economically closely tied to the surrounding area, forces increased mobility. And the network of freeways gives the resident a certain independence: he can live tens of miles from his place of work. He is mobile not only in choosing work and housing, but also on vacation. Mountains, ocean beaches, stadiums and racetracks in neighboring cities are all within reach: if his home is not far from one of the freeways, then, having entered this freeway, he is already connected to their entire network.Of course, you have to pay for mobility. It is estimated that the average Los Angeles resident spends more than a thousand dollars a year on a car and all its operating costs. By the way, he thereby pays for the lack of developed public transport. After the famous riot in the Los Angeles black ghetto, Watts, which occurred in August 1965, wrote, in particular, about the direct relationship between black unemployment, the dispersion of Los Angeles and the poor city transport. Here is one of the harsh paradoxes of motorized America: a person must have a car even in order to look for a piece of bread or a job. Carless blacks are immured in their Watts, even if the newspaper ad columns offer jobs outside the ghetto. Freeways seem to block their path to the “society of abundance.” The Watts uprising also showed another facet of Los Angeles life: the insignificance of social spending. Among the inhabitants there are about half a million people from Mexico (the so-called Mexican Americans), about four hundred thousand blacks. Many are poor. Compared to the huge sums allocated for the construction of freeways, assistance to the poor is small. The phenomenon is typical. The authorities are more willing and generous in spending budget money on various services (including services in the form of highways) for the “middle class” than on the vital needs of the poor for work, food, and housing. This approach, oddly enough, is justified by considerations of fairness: the “middle class” is larger than the poor, pays more taxes, and if so, then its “tax dollars” should go to satisfy its needs.(I’m still not sure whether the Watts area is open to Soviet correspondents. But one day, having completed the day’s cycle of meetings, we were returning to the motel and Tom Self said intriguingly: “If you want, I’ll show you Watts.” We remained intriguingly silent: he must ventilated this idea with competent persons, and, in the end, what are the military secrets in Watts?We left the freeway and, like city dwellers on forest paths, wandered for a long time and uncertainly along some back streets and access roads, until we found ourselves in a quiet kingdom of unkempt streets with one-story houses, with black plump matrons, so different from the lean ones, watching the weight of white compatriots, black impulsive, rhythmic children and black tired men. We didn't stop or get out of the car. It was like reconnaissance on foreign territory, although we were led by a native Los Angeles man, and all around, if you look at it, were his fellow countrymen.Black fellow countrymen - that makes all the difference.Tom was looking for traces of fires three years ago, those places where the editors forced him to shake off his reporter's antiquity, but he had not been here all these three years, and in the meantime the traces of fires had disappeared, turned into vacant lots and new gas stations, and we, silent, drove along Watts, where for mile after mile there was not a single white face. And our guide joked quietly, tensely: “The natives are acting calm now.”We had already become friends, but in his intonation there was also a different kind of frankness - the trust of a white man counting on the understanding of other white people, and in the word “natives” there was hidden not only an ironic, but also a serious meaning - he perceived blacks as carriers another, primitive and potentially hostile civilization, which have not matured to the dominant civilization, do not fit into it and therefore cause a lot of trouble. Driving around with Tom, I became accustomed to his complaints. He did not like the growing number of poor blacks and Mexicans in the Los Angeles area: they floundered helplessly in a harsh industrial society, they were forced to receive various types of social security, they were looked upon as dependents. Handouts to the poor are unacceptable to many Americans, and their views, although incomplete, were clearly summed up by a roadside banner we once saw with a picture of a bearded Uncle Sam and the inscription: “It’s your uncle, not your father”).America is unthinkable without roads, the dynamics of big cities and, of course, cars. Los Angeles seems to be an extreme, almost absolute synthesis of these three physical elements of American civilization, an urban monstrosity, woven and torn apart by concrete highways and high-speed cars. America looks into it as if into a magic mirror, trying to guess the future, and... often recoils in shock. Why does “impossible” Los Angeles have so many ill-wishers who are afraid of its rapid growth and contagiousness? They call it Rhodesville - Dorogograd. But this joke is gloomy, and in the anthem of the freeways roaring day and night there is not only rapture, but also anxiety: how to live in a city on the road?5How to explain that excessive motorization of life also brings with it problems, and considerable ones? Explain to the reader, who most likely dreams of owning a car? How to explain to a person who doesn’t know what it’s like to try to take a deep breath on the corner of 50th Street and Americus Avenue at five in the evening in July, that Moscow air, which is by no means clean, seems countryside after New York? Or what are nerves like when you are late for a business meeting and are circling the streets cursing, trying to put your Chevrolet somewhere, and the cars are parked bumper to bumper and to the left and framed at the edges of the sidewalks and there are free places only where the pillars with prohibitive signs, and queues of cars even at underground paid parking lots? Or that you cannot feel the greatness of the Hudson flowing under the windows of your New York apartment - “you look and don’t know whether its majestic width is moving or not” - because the greatness is interrupted by the incessant roar of cars - day and night, day and night - on the coastal highway, and you are no longer in the mood for greatness, but, exhausted, would you just plug your ears with cotton wool and sleep at least at night in relative, unreliable silence? And one day you will escape from New York on a journey for silence, but the American wilderness is entirely filled with cars, and in provincial motels you will be haunted - day and night, day and night - the rustling of tires on the asphalt, the clicking of doors, the squealing of brakes, the aroma of exhaust gases and the devilish, blow-to-the-head whistling of “trucks”—heavy diesel trucks with trailers.And like a moment of happiness, saved in memory for a lifetime, a certain rendezvous with, my God, an ordinary March snowy meadow among quiet birches and under the quiet, thoughtfully cloudy sky of Pakhra near Moscow, will emerge - on vacation from New York: “I want silence , silence... Are your nerves burned or something?..”But isn’t this problem of silence an individual one, and doesn’t the author, whose nerves were apparently giving out, want to impose his empirical unscientific feelings? No, it is not individual, and science is already rushing to the rescue with its decibels, because millions of alarmed empiricists are calling on it as an authoritative judge. Decibels are the units in which noise levels are measured. Eighty-five decibels is a dangerous limit, the crossing of which, according to scientists, can threaten deafness if the noise is constant, as well as diseases of the cardiovascular system, endocrine glands and respiratory tract, nervous disorders and increased irritability. Over the past sixteen years, the noise level, with which the American urban dweller is surrounded has doubled. And experts studying the issue on behalf of New York City Mayor John Lindsay came to the dramatic conclusion that noise in New York City "has reached a level of sufficient intensity, continuity and persistence to pose a threat to the lives of city residents."Let's not, however, make a scapegoat out of the car. He takes only numbers, but in the sense of “skill” he is far from a jet plane, which during takeoff raises the noise to 150 decibels, and breaking the sound barrier, thunders with cannonade, capable of waking up, if not the dead, then the unborn - causing nervous tension in a child, located in the womb.The mass individual automobile is not today, but tomorrow for us, and in this case, as in many others, our problems are of a completely different nature than those of the Americans. It is needed, without a doubt, like good roads, it is already planned in factories under construction and reconstruction, although it will take many years and even decades to approach the American saturation with motor vehicles, if at all it can be a standard (according to official statistics of 1966, 79 percent of families in the United States had cars, and every fourth had two or more).A mass-produced car is needed, and yet the answer to the question of whether a car is good or evil is more categorical and unambiguous in our country than in America, which loudly moans to the whole world that cars oppress people, although it is not going to give them up. The phenomena of technological progress are monochromatic blue only in theory, but in their practical uncontrolled development, blueness is often obscured by thunderclouds of so-called side effects, clouds that are truly poisonous. This topic is too vast for travel impressions; in the last two years, America has elevated it to the level of universities, congressional commissions, concerned governors, special presidential addresses and, most remarkably, a growing, informal but widespread social movement. Protecting the environment from human encroachment has become a topic of national debate and effort (in January 1970, in his State of the Union address, Richard Nixon declared: “The great question of the 1970s is whether we must come to terms with our environment, or will we make peace with nature and start paying reparations for the damage we have caused to our air, our land and our water?Eighty-odd million cars on American roads now produce more than ninety million tons of exhaust gases a year - this, in particular, is the problem, this is, in short, a side effect of motorization. If we take air pollution - air contamination in arithmetic terms, then sixty percent of the blame falls on automobile engines, that is, sixty percent of toxic gases, and they poison the air at the level of the human nasopharynx.The Los Angeles example is striking. Not so long ago, its dry, warm climate was recommended for pulmonary patients. Now, for such a recommendation, a doctor could rightly be deprived of his diploma. Clean air is killed by cars and industry, and Los Angeles smog - this, in a witty expression, visible air - is much more famous in America than London's. Smog was first recorded on September 8, 1943. Since then, the thick brown fog has been considered a “climatic component” of the lowland, in which emissions from four million cars interact with the rays of the southern sun, creating a photochemical oxidizer, as smog is scientifically called. It causes leaves on trees to wither, corrodes rubber, cotton fabrics and lungs (emphysema is the fastest-growing disease in the United States), reddens the eyelids of irritated eyes and, as scientists warn, the famous fertility of California soil is decreasing, since the content of nitrogen oxides in the air has increased almost one and a half times, and this affects the quality of light reaching the ground. Because of it, physical education classes are often canceled in Los Angeles schools - in the intensely contaminated air, the command “take a deep breath” is inhumane, and exercise is hardly appropriate when approaching a gas chamber.A reluctant connoisseur of New York, I had not tasted the Los Angeles smog. There were only conversations about him. With us, the sky behaved decently, and our acquaintances, having received a respite - as this word sounds pristine in Los Angeles - did not so much complain as joke, looking at the sky. Later, from space chronicles, I learned that from a divine height of forty thousand kilometers, the crew of Apollo 10 saw a dirty spot where Los Angeles was supposed to lie.“Seventeen years ago there were few cars, there was no smog, the subway worked, city transport was alive, the skies were clear, blue, irresistible. This truly was the promised land. Nowadays, clear skies are so rare that when you see them after the rain, your heart is heavy with memories of days gone by,” these words of a Californian old-timer, a famous writer about Bradbury, emanate sadness and fatalism.And here’s another purely Los Angeles sadness from actor Jack Lemmon, who is concerned about destroying the beauty of the Golden State: “They want to put a freeway through Beverly Hills, and that’s like shredding a Rembrandt painting. They say that laying a freeway underground is much more expensive. Okay, let it be more expensive, but leave the beauty alone. I don’t think there is anything more beautiful in the world than the shortest distance between two points.”These complaints against heaven and earth can be multiplied and multiplied. At first glance, there is a touch of snobbery in Jack Lemmon's statement, but it would be reckless - from afar and out of ignorance - to put him in the category of those who are furious with fat. He is not alone. Many people feel trapped by cars and freeways. Many have a keen critical eye.I met one of the patriotic critics first in absentia, having bought his just published book “How to Kill the Golden State,” and then in person at his house. Journalist-photographer William Bronson was born in California, works for a small magazine called California's Cry, and his book and more than three hundred photographs published in it are full of this cry. The beauty of his beloved state dimmed before his eyes, like the blueness of the sky from a veil of smog, like the harmonious shape of an eggshell scattered under the beak of “progress”; Bronson colors this very word with irony, believing that it is used as a cover for shameless businessmen, making it synonymous with profit no matter what no matter what. For this Californian, freeways are like a Juggernaut, leaving behind concrete deserts in place of forests, fields and human settlements, thousands and thousands of billboards flashing like a palisade along the streets and roadsides - “trade in the sky”, which encroaches on the sense of beauty and on moral standards , since it is based on bragging, or even outright lies, which “illegally violates our privacy and our right to travel through our own country without being harassed by obvious calls: “Buy! buy it! buy it!”Bronson has harsh words in store against those “making money in the process of poisoning and destroying the estates of California.” His starting point is a critique of “consumer society.” “California was the first in the world to enter the age of mass affluence and became a clear example of man's unlimited ability to desecrate and destroy everything in the search for an ever-higher standard of living,” Bronson writes. “I question the value of more and more goods if those goods come at the expense of clean air, fresh water, birdsong, uncluttered horizons and, ultimately, our own health.” I’ll make a reservation: a rare statement for 1968, but by 1970, Richard Nixon was already asking William Bronson’s question from the presidential rostrum.When we met in Berkeley, near San Francisco, in the Bronsons' old-fashioned stone mansion, the owner was affably suspicious. He was flattered that almost the first reader of his book was a foreigner. But he intended the picture of the murder of the “Golden State” for his compatriots, and the unexpected international resonance made Bronson wary - lest it be used against California and America. In conversation he was more careful than in the book, as if he disavowed his own criticism. The sarcastic fervor against business and other enemies of Californian beauty was no longer on the lips of the man sitting opposite me in the heavy chair.Then he resorted to counter-arguments taken from Soviet newspapers and magazines, and among them was the impressive counter-argument of Lake Baikal. To be honest, it was difficult to object to him, and it was Bronson’s lack of awareness rather than a lack of examples that saved the matter. In the end, or rather, at the beginning, the question began not in the verbal sparring on Clermont Boulevard, but in the ability to actually protect Mother Nature, and in this sense, we have yet to realize the great advantages of socialism over the private property element of capitalism. It was necessary, as they say, to leave the resolution of the dispute to the judgment of history, although each side proved that it had more reasons for optimism.But I digress from Los Angeles and the indictment its residents present. There are almost elusive things from the field of psychology. They complain that there is no community in the city—community, community, neighborly connections, human community relations. When an American journalist is given an assignment by an editor to write about the reclusiveness and alienation of Americans, Los Angeles immediately comes to mind—its established reputation. And he is guaranteed to find what he needs, as, for example, the Newsweek correspondent found it for an issue about the “sick, sick cities” of America. Here is a comment from a 32-year-old Texan, a certain Robert Kerr, who moved to Los Angeles for a big dollar and a good job: “The impression is like a slap in the face - the determination of the traders to put their hands in your pocket and no friendship.” His wife agrees: “Loneliness is the worst thing here. We have lived in many cities, but here for the first time we cannot make friends. It’s the same with the neighbors.”John Chapman, defending his “impossible” favorite, writes apologetically that “a city is a collection not of individuals, but of family units”, that in the conditions of Los Angeles “a family is able to achieve a greater degree of self-sufficiency and greater resistance to external pressure.”It's not just Los Angeles itself that is torn apart by freeways. In a metropolis along the road, the warmth of neighborliness, friendship, and friendship is torn apart. This is an all-American phenomenon, and the Kerr spouses’ longing for their Texas friends perhaps only illustrates a surprisingly capacious wisdom: it’s good where we are not. But in Los Angeles there is an even wider amplitude between extraordinary mobility, which would seem to remove the very concept of isolation, and the hermitism of modern hermits, huddled in family shells. The toxic radiation of alienation cannot be measured by any Geiger counters, but it is an indisputable and massive fact. Lostness, loneliness and restlessness increase in direct proportion to the accumulation of human masses, complexity, high pace and mechanization of life, multiplied by the capitalist organization of society. The city itself takes so much energy from its residents that less and less is left to the share of loved ones....One day, after another meeting, we rushed along the San Diego freeway to the city center, to Tom Self's office. It was six o'clock in the evening - rush hour, herds of cars were raging on the freeways, hurrying to their homes. Tom, who was sitting behind the wheel, pulled off the freeway and stopped at a red traffic light. To the left, right at the intersection, stood a wrecked car, freshly wrecked—the shattered windshield had powdered the pavement, the hood was raised and flattened, the radiator was dented, the engine innards were exposed. A police car had already pulled up from the side, and behind it stood another one, also battered.“Thank God, there were no casualties,” said Vasya.They gave the green light and we set off. I glanced at the expanded stage. There was a victim. Behind the last car, a man was lying on the sidewalk, carefully, submissively. There was a victim, and she was seen from cars on the intersecting street when we were standing on red and they had green. There was a victim, but the cars did not hesitate, did not stop. Alienation associated not only with traffic rules, haste, the pressure of other cars, but also with the fact that everything is familiar, with extensive experience, with a huge amount of information - including the most dramatic - that befalls a person every day, finally, perhaps , with the law of self-preservation, with saving mental and brain energy. Was he wounded or killed? Wounded, killed—they thought no more about the unfortunate man on the sidewalk than about the man killed in pretend on the television screen. And is it possible otherwise? A huge city is not a village with rare incidents that people gossip about for years. Car accidents are common. Damn, you see a policeman ordering you to slow down, a short glance at the victim, and again your eyes on the road, your hearing on the radio news, which the brain has already equated with the “unit of information” that you have just obtained as an eyewitness. By the time you get home, the unfortunate person on the sidewalk will already be out of your mind. You can’t bring it to a conversation with your wife at the dinner table...But doesn’t this happen in New York, doesn’t this also happen in Moscow? Yes, it happens, it happens. In Los Angeles it seemed even more natural, more logical, more normal, directly consistent with the appearance and pace of the city.A day later at the University of Southern California we talked with Professor Louis Davis, the head of the new “socio-technological” department, not only in time, but also in idea. This branch, the first in the United States, opened a year before our visit. Scientists - half natural scientists, half humanists - are struggling there with a specific problem: how to apply the mathematical methodology of “control systems” in solving social issues. How, for example, can English shipowners be helped to introduce improved methods of loading and unloading if this is met with psychological resistance from the stevedores' union? How to ensure high labor productivity in an aluminum smelter built in a rural area if the rural area for some reason has a detrimental effect on productivity? American and foreign businessmen pose such problems to the professor and his employees, and they take on them, concluding paid contracts with clients. Professor Davis, a dry, amiable man, spoke self-critically about the difficulties of a new undertaking, that “physical systems,” unfortunately, do not mechanically superimpose on “social systems,” that much must be comprehended, that one has to look closely at the “biological guidelines” that explain behavior of human individuals.He also used a local example: how to use “control systems” in case of accidents on the roads, how to help victims faster and more efficiently in conditions of heavy traffic and traffic jams on freeways?Remembering the episode at the intersection, I thought about the amplitude of Los Angeles: from the freezing victim on the sidewalk to the “socio-technological” specialist for whom this victim is just an element of the equation being solved. Old-fashioned help to a neighbor in trouble is disappearing, firstly, because there is no time or energy left for it, and it is not at all consistent with the way and pace of life. Secondly, it is ineffective, handicraft, unspecialized - the efforts of random individuals in an age when car accidents are a regular occurrence. They are being replaced by “socio-technological systems” that link the reactions of people and machines, science, and mathematics. Yes, the solution is in science. But she does not control the elements of cars and freeways. She takes upon herself the modest task of smoothing out and equalizing the most extreme, harsh manifestations of this element.6- What is happening today in California will happen tomorrow throughout the world, or at least in the USA...Here is an example of Californian self-confidence, or more precisely, the self-confidence of a Los Angeles businessman, intoxicated by the extremely rapid development of his city and state. The Oracle's name is Don Muchmore, he is 45 years old, has a youthful face, an energetic mouth, beaver hair, and horn-rimmed glasses. Reclining in a rocking and swiveling chair, playing with a gilded knife for cutting envelopes, he pronounces his prophecy without pathos and exaltation, in the everyday hasty voice of a busy man, as a matter of fact - stating a fact and not really bothering himself with arguments: why arguments? haven't you seen the dynamism of Los Angeles?Don Muchmore is a pollster, a person involved in public opinion polls (the American political language, very easy on new word formations, produced this word, which is difficult to find the same short equivalent in the Russian language; from the word poll - survey). Doya Muchmore is the most famous pollster in California, Californian George Gallup. He runs Opinion Research of California. Her 250 paid employees bring in about half a million dollars a year in revenue by knocking on California doors and soliciting opinions on issues ranging from the popularity of a political figure seeking election to a particular brand of coffee to the market chances of a new brand of coffee. The company has a solid reputation, many clients (it has conducted hundreds of surveys since its founding in 1948), and great accuracy. In 1966, Muchmore's client politicians, taking into account the results of polls conducted on their orders, won 84 of 86 electoral contests. In the 1964 US presidential election, Mr. Muchmore was wrong by only 0.6 percent when predicting how many California votes would go to Lyndon Johnson and how many would go to Barry Goldwater. Many surveys are confidential, and Muchmore treats his patients with the condescension of a doctor who knows and protects other people’s secrets. He considers himself a moderate conservative, but views polls as pure business.“I don’t care what kind of guy approaches me—a Birchist or a New Left guy,” says Muchmore. “If he comes to me, it means he just needs help.”And he provides help for money. Sometimes the most unexpected help, because, as Newsweek magazine noted, Don Muchmore is “equally quick to advise his client what glasses to wear or what position to take on property taxes” to please the largest number of voters. Pierre Salinger, the former press secretary of John F. Kennedy and a cigar lover who ran for US senator from California, was advised by our pollster, for example, to irritate voters less with his cigars, and he heeded the advice; abstinence did not help, but Don Muchmore also predicted Salinger's defeat.What is this joke about the cigar and glasses? The American passion for sensational detail? Not only. These are sophisticated, often successful attempts to manipulate the voter, taking into account his tastes, emotions, and susceptibility to advertising. These are touches from the vast area of image making - creating the image of a candidate.Don Muchmore also sits in the chair of the senior vice president of the credit and financial association, but his calling and passion are in polls. He sees them as “both science and art, based on many years of practical experience.”Due to his occupation, he keeps his finger on the political pulse of California and is obliged to know the mood of different groups of the population: erroneous assessments would undermine his reputation and reduce his clientele and income. He speaks of Californians as a very restless and enterprising tribe.— Most of the inhabitants came to California in search of earthly paradise. And they are still looking for him. One third of the population changes their place of residence every two years. I don’t want Pasadena - there’s smog there, I want Long Beach, where there’s an ocean breeze, I want Santa Monica, where you can find a good job - that’s their psychology.— In their political views, Californians are distinguished by their independence. People are in a new place, they are not bound by traditions, they do not look back at their parents. Mom and Dad don't live close together like they do somewhere in Indiana. Only half of young people vote for the same party as their parents, while in the East 75 percent of young people vote with their parents. This is where the decline of the two-party system in its traditional form began. Of course, the Democrats, with their mass base, remain the first party in the country. But California proves that the second place comes out to the idiosyncratic independent party, that is, voters who choose an individual rather than a party and care little whether it is Democratic or Republican.Muchmore judged his opponents in the upcoming June 4, 1968 California primary election in a sober, practical manner, noting the strengths and weaknesses of each. Looking ahead, I will say that Don Muchmore was right in his forecast. Robert Kennedy defeated Eugene McCarthy, but on election day, or rather night, he was mortally wounded. He was a client of Don Muchmore, but what polling firm would undertake to determine where and when any American politician might be assassinated? The wind of the future, your impulses are inscrutable even for professional predictors, and it would be stupid to blame them for this… Don Muchmore is one of the lucky ones in Los Angeles. There are many of them, and here is another one.Michael Tenzer, 37, is tall and massive, an elegantly charming brunette. Beautiful large face. Noble gestures. He gives the impression of an aristocrat, although where does aristocracy come from? Michael's American ancestry begins with his grandfather, a Polish Jew who moved overseas. The grandson was born in New York, studied at a private privileged school, and has friends with influential names. After school I took up art photography. Then the Korean War, where Michael was a front-line cameraman. Having taken off my military uniform, I discovered that there was “no demand” for artistic photography. I moved here to the West Coast five years ago. I feel sorry for the friends who remained in New York: “I can’t find such friends here anymore. People here come together through work, but live far from each other.” In order not to lose friends and old connections, Michael visits New York twice or thrice a year. But in everything else...He is vice president and sales director of the Larwin Company, the largest family corporation in the United States for the construction and sale of residential buildings: about three thousand individual houses a year costing from 15 to 35 thousand dollars each, almost all on credit, in installments up to 30 years old. The buyer's creditworthiness is checked by a government agency. Under existing rules, Tenzer says, a client's monthly payment should not exceed one-fifth of his actual salary, that is, his salary from which the amount of his obligations on other previously taken out loans, such as monthly payments for a car, has been subtracted. Having determined the client's earnings in this way, the company determines the type and cost of the house that he can afford. The business is very profitable. The Los Angeles area is rapidly developing, and the government is taking over the guarantee of penalties. Michael says almost bashfully about his income, without giving figures: “Very significant.” He works sixteen hours a day, takes papers home from the office, but has the appearance of a man who is not in a hurry.The big Cadillac barely turns in the cramped parking lot of our motel. The Cadillac smells as refreshing as first class on a transatlantic plane. The owner is sitting behind the wheel, with a telephone at hand: “I once spoke to Australia on this phone.” The black Cadillac slowly rustles along La Cienega Boulevard, along Hollywood Boulevard - to Michael's house in Beverly Hills. The skyscrapers are behind, the streets are quieter and seem more provincial, the houses are rarer and more luxurious, better hidden on large plots, behind trees and bush fences. And even before I hear the quiet confession of very significant income, I understand that Michael Tenzer is not an unimportant California bird.He rolls the car into the stone gate, and we are in the family world, in the peace and quiet of the fortified house, as if there were no freeways, patrol helicopters and high speeds in the world - that’s why Michael left New York and his friends. Jackie's wife. Two bright 12-year-old twins, “one four minutes older than the other.”The great American ritual of the “home tour” begins. First we are taken to the lawn behind the house, and by the size of the lawn, by its openness, I try to determine how much the house costs. The price jumps in my mind when I see how the lawn is located - behind it there is a slope and a spacious, through the hidden valley below, a very expensive view of the mountains, over which the sun wearily passes. In the morning, when the family gathers in the cheerful breakfast room, decorated with flowers and country furniture, the sun will hit these mountains with its early rays. Now it casts a soft light on the well-groomed greenery, on the trees and on the border bush fence, over which two rows of barbed wire hang insignificantly and almost imperceptibly.The twins, apparently remembering their school political literacy lessons, look at us warily, without the sweet ease of parents who wait for the enthusiasm for the sun, mountains and lawn to dry up before leading the guests to admire the house. Living room with a piano - Jackie has a musical education. Dining room... Children's... “Dark” room with a set of expensive photographic equipment - where the twins make homemade rockets; space age children, at twelve years old, they wonder why the United States and the Soviet Union do not join forces on lunar expeditions. Library - on the walls, as usual, half a dozen framed diplomas and certificates, not a lot of books, but in solid bindings. The kitchen is full of refrigerators, a gas stove with an alarm clock, a thermometer and other automation, two braziers behind heat-resistant glass - this unit is famous for the fact that it automatically cleans and washes itself...The old-fashioned East Coast style home costs $125,000. And again, as if apologizing, Michael confidentially says:“Few people live like me and my family.” But, believe me, I have not forgotten the political convictions that I had in high school. I know that many Americans live in poverty. As a student, I once worked in a mine for a month. I haven't forgotten what it is...By conviction, Michael Tenzer is a liberal and, in fact, that is why we are visiting him. A liberal of the familiar New York type with all the appropriate set of views. He is against the war in Vietnam and quite resolutely - even to the point of demanding the withdrawal of American troops, even to the point of clashes with fellow businessmen. For Soviet-American rapprochement; he believes that socialism has “justified itself” in the Soviet Union: “In fifty years, economically, you have achieved what it took us a century to achieve.” He accepts Fidel Castro and the revolution in Cuba. He is ashamed of the disasters of blacks and mining families in Appalachia, of the genocide in Vietnam. In 1960, when the title of Democratic presidential candidate was contested by John Kennedy and Adlai Stevenson, Michael was for Stevenson, the favorite of many liberals who saw Kennedy as an upstart and an opportunist; now he is for Eugene McCarthy, considered to some extent Stevenson's spiritual heir.Here is a man who misses New York and finds success in Los Angeles.7It’s hard to surprise Tom Self, an experienced journalist, a seasoned professional who has been in the business world of Los Angeles for almost twenty years. He is mocking and ironic. But now we are going on a date with Mr. Henry Singleton, and Tom is filled with loving admiration. He has a typical American attitude: hats off to the man making the big buck, to the miracle of enterprise in the era of late capitalism and the domination of giant corporations, when the seats at the table are occupied - elbow to elbow - and there is no crowding into the pie. We are going to the miracle worker, and Tom’s delight is pure and unselfish: he can’t create a miracle, but who will take away the right to worship a miracle, if, moreover, the miracle worker is among your good friends? No, I, colleagues, did not carry out your order for the Los Angeles millionaire in the worst possible way. Henry Singleton is that same, now personified, ordered by telephone, millionaire. Tom estimates that Mr. Singleton is personally worth about thirty million dollars. How and when did it start? And what else is to come?Henry Singleton is the founder, president and chairman of the board of directors of Teledyne Corporation, a manufacturer of complex electronic and semiconductor devices. Which? For what? Electronics are part and parcel of the military industry, and we have no right to ask unnecessary questions. We are not going to the millionaire for military secrets, and he did not agree to the meeting in order to share them. Bombs and airplanes—“routine work,” as Henry Singleton disdainfully put it—are not what his corporation does. Her specialty is advanced electronic systems and devices. For airplanes? Yes. For what else? Singleton says he does a lot of business with the Pentagon. Then I found Teledyne on a newspaper list of the hundred companies that had received the largest orders from the Pentagon. True, at the end of 1966 its place was rather modest - 68th. The first belonged to the Californian aviation corporation Lockheed Aircraft. The first smells of billions of orders. Sixty-eighth, apparently in the tens of millions. But Mr. Singleton had only recently made his way to the order table.An experienced engineer and a good connoisseur of electronics, he founded the Teledyne Corporation in 1961. One - hit or miss! - at the risk of going broke, he invested all his savings - three hundred thousand dollars. Now it is not a personal, but a joint stock company, and its shares can be purchased on the New York Stock Exchange. (In 1968, it sold more than eight hundred million dollars' worth of products.)... We dive the Mustang into the Century City underground garage and exit the elevator on the 17th floor into a respectably impersonal reception area with wall-to-wall carpet, a walnut desk with a secretary, heavy leather armchairs, nickel-plated ashtrays on legs, glossy covers of advertising brochures. A young man with an intelligent face shifts shyly from foot to foot. Tom manages to whisper: “A very capable physicist. Works for Teledyne.But we have no time for physics anymore. The miracle worker himself appears at the door of one of the rooms facing the elevator landing and walks across the carpet towards us.At the risk of repeating myself, I will say that the caricature of a pot-bellied rich man in a tailcoat, striped trousers and a bag of gold is hopelessly outdated. Millionaires are no longer fat: they want to live longer. In a country where they never made a cult out of food before, but now profess a cult of diet and weight control, millionaires have athletic figures beyond their age, and, by the way, in everyday life they do without gold or even green cash, saving gangsters from unnecessary temptation and for all occasions by presenting personalized credit cards sealed in plastic.A tall, courageous-looking handsome man appeared before us. Forty-seven to forty-eight years old, but youthfully straight and slender. Not a wrinkle in his clothes, not a trace of flabbyness, and only the slightly dull skin of his face, wrinkles on the bridge of his nose and around the eyes, and beautiful gray hair in his short-cropped hair betrayed the young man’s age.We are again in the elevator, and then the four of us walk along the elegant square to the restaurant of the Century City Hotel, and the millionaire walks, slightly moving his arms pressed to his sides, maintaining a sort of boxing stance as he walks, feeling our eyes on him. It’s lunch hour, the restaurant is crowded, but the table is reserved, and the arrival of Henry Singleton did not cause a stir. The service is good and fast, but not better or faster than others, without lackey fuss and servility: are there not many millionaires in Los Angeles?Over a dry martini, pieces of lamb with rice and coffee, we asked Singleton. Tom was silent, watching his colleagues in action. The torture, however, was delicate, the questions were simple. He also answered simply and briefly.Telidine Corporation has two dozen factories, thirty-five thousand workers, a thousand engineers. The workers are not unionized. Factories are geographically scattered, and it is no coincidence - the dispersion of the workforce is beneficial to the entrepreneur and prevents the creation of a trade union, and therefore strikes. The union is a liability, and Singleton doesn't hesitate to tell us so.He personally now has three percent of the corporation's shares, more than anyone else. Is three percent enough to control your own creation? He replies that he exercises control not through a percentage of shares, but through his position as the founder of the corporation, technical and administrative authority.— Who has the rest of the shares?The trend now is that the largest shareholders are not individuals, but foundations and other corporations. First, insurance companies, they are rich and invest in shares of industrial corporations. "Matched funds" - secondly. Their capital is formed from contributions from individual investors, who alone are not able and not so profitable to purchase shares. These people participate in the stock market game of sharing, creating “joint funds.” Pension funds come third. They are made up of pension contributions from trade union members and entrepreneurs—the latter, under collective agreements with the trade union, are required to contribute to pension funds amounts equal to the contributions of their workers. To increase capital and, accordingly, pensions, pension funds often buy shares and play on the stock exchange. These are elements of the so-called “people's capitalism”, which introduces part of the working people to the game of economic forces.As for the employees and workers of the Teledyne corporation itself, they are also tied to this game, for example, by a system of benefits when buying shares: for every four shares purchased, they are added a fifth for free.For hundreds of top people - people holding senior positions in the corporation, there are extraprivileges that secure the loyalty of skilled and necessary specialists. Each of this top hundred has the right to purchase a certain number of shares at their current exchange price, but without paying a single cent at the time of purchase, as if on credit. He will pay later, in the future, when the value of these shares rises, say, from ten to thirty thousand dollars. He will pay the same price - only ten thousand.- Do you, Mr. Singleton, make sure that no one has more shares than you? Are you afraid that someone else will take control of your corporation?This is a question in violation of unwritten rules. The business world has its own superstitions, and in asking this question, I apologize in advance. A shadow of irritation on the face of the millionaire. He shook his beautiful head slightly, looked sharper and more firmly, but his hands lay just as calmly on the tablecloth, and in the answer there was a hidden challenge. No, he’s not afraid, and if they take control, well, nothing deadly, he’s ready for it.— It will be difficult to buy Telidine: now it will cost, perhaps, a billion and a half...Perhaps a billion and a half... These carelessly dropped words thundered over the table - a note of pride, a certain intermediate, but significant result of life. One and a half billion... After all, for this fantastic sum - without going far for examples - you can buy this restaurant with sofas and chairs in red morocco, with a head waiter and waiters, but what kind of little things - a restaurant, no, the whole hotel, the whole complex Century City, with dozens of elegant buildings, is the pearl of Los Angeles. And I suddenly realized how prominently Henry Singleton stood on this earth, and his beautiful head rose above the skyscrapers. About a billion and a half... Try to buy it!Schadenfreude is directed at competitors. They were and are, this outwardly calm man - in the tension of the market struggle, although his story is simple, epic like a soldier. The main thing, he tells about the origins of the miracle, about the first months, was to offer not a completely new product, this happens extremely rarely, but a product that already has demand in the market, but is promising and of high quality. Extensive acquaintances and connections in the Pentagon and with other customers helped. He was known as an excellent specialist and was trusted. But the competitors were not asleep either. They persuaded buyers not to take Henry Singleton’s “product”.— So they directly persuaded you not to buy?- Yes, they whispered directly: don’t buy from this guy, he’ll cheat you. Nonsense like that..."Telidine" could not be strangled in the cradle. Now try it!.. The corporation is thriving, the share price is growing fantastically, the position is stable, the product has a good reputation, and it is one of the largest in its field. Singleton has a knack for retaining valuable people, and stock lures aren't the only ones. It is very important to attract talented young people. Youth are the future. How many times have I heard this aphorism from the lips of American businessmen! Youth are the future big profits in the age of rapid technological development. Investments in inquisitive, unsour young brains are among the most profitable; this is the yeast of business. And Mr. Singleton says Teledyne emissaries are traveling to universities, looking for, recruiting and enticing brilliant students all over the country. Study the grades. They ask professors...Dealing with an advanced industry, with a skilled workforce, with the talents of scientists and engineers, Henry Singleton does not skimp. A specialist himself, he knows how profitable real specialists are. Saving dollars on their salaries is like going fishing with a rotten net. The new breed of businessman values science, does business on a large scale, and understands that low wages mean low quality workers, low profits and, ultimately, bankruptcy in the fierce competition.“Dynamic, capable, business people came here to make their way—that, in his opinion, is the reason for California’s prosperity.”Like Don Muchmore, he views his country as a kind of huge and complex enterprise that must be managed by economic businessmen and political businessmen....The coffee cups are empty, lunch and questions are over. Showing the waiter one of his credit cards, Singleton crossed out the bill. Water gurgles in the fountains on the elegant Century City Square. We return to the mid-size skyscraper where the president and chairman of the Telidine Corporation presides over the 17th floor. Here he is, next to me, his elbows pressed to his sides like a boxer, and the people scurrying around the shops do not suspect that it is a miracle worker walking. Great world...- Mr. Singleton, I recently read in the Wall Street Journal that corporations are having difficulty recruiting graduate students. That students don't want to serve the military business? Is this true?- No, that's wrong. You never know what they write in the newspapers. Don't trust them.To be honest, I don’t want to part with this millionaire just like that, I’m tempted to somehow snag his polished surface, and not out of mischief, God forbid! - but out of a desire to turn a person into another facet, to overcome this business one-dimensionality. evoke some emotions in him - they were missing in our conversation. I'm getting the professional itch. And I feel how the handsome man walking next to me tensed, that he was irritated again. He believed that the usual ritual of communicating with the press, this time the red press, was successfully completed, that these two unfamiliar guys, in general, behaved normally. But there's a catch in the last question. He mistook us for business people, but this question smacks of politics and propaganda. It’s as if some kind of reproach is being thrown at him.“What about Dow Chemical?” I’m not far behind.“You mean that noise about napalm?” - he turns to me.I confirm: yes, I mean this noise, these protests in universities against the Dow Chemical Corporation, which supplied napalm to American troops in Vietnam, these sieges of Dow Chemical recruiters on university campuses, these escapes through windows to the hooting of students.And then not to me, but to the side, still sparing me, as a person not involved, as, finally, a foreigner with whom one must be polite, towards those who disgrace his country and dare to refute him, Henry Singleton, principles and miracle , he makes a quiet, angry remark:— Bunch of educators!“Bunch of educators”, which literally means a handful of educators, a bunch of professors, but in an angry hostile intonation it sounds like a gang of moralistic humanists.Well, I thought to myself, you achieved your goal, achieved emotions, for a moment pissed off this reserved man and realized that further conversation was useless, because he drew an uncompromising line and you found yourself on the other side - with those whom this millionaire rejects, and you consider it the hope of America.Bunch of educators... To Henry Singleton, all these moralistic humanists, these saboteurs trying to block the freeway of business, which, of course, will sweep them off the road, are funny and absurd.Bunch of educators... It was like a blow from a whip, like a click on an endangered, but still noisy and annoying autumn fly, like a businessman’s hatred for snotty humanitarians, for all these opponents of the Vietnam War, who squeal about conscience, besiege the recruiters of the Dow Chemical corporation “, interfere with the established production process and, what good, if they are dissolved, they can take aim at his brainchild, working for the war. “The business of America is business,” said President Coolidge. Business, and nothing more. And if this principle collapses, then he, Henry Singleton, will fall from the top rung of the hierarchical ladder.He was ready to chat with us in his office, but, alas, we were in a hurry to the next meeting with other business people, and to the melodic tinkling of the doors of the musical elevator gently came together, hiding the Los Angeles millionaire, ordered by phone from New York via Houston . In the car, as usual, we gossiped about Henry Singleton, neutrally agreeing that he was a strong and large man, and Tom Self said that he was also a pleasant person in all respects and that, oh, how difficult that miracle was, oh which he so simply told in the Century City restaurant.And then because of Henry Singleton I even suffered a little. “Why is he so handsome?” - said one editor. Or more generally: “Where do these handsome millionaires come from if capitalism is rotting?”These small perplexities speak of the strength and corrosiveness of long-standing stereotypes. I can imagine Singleton's grin. A man from another world, he perceives us as competitors - strong and therefore worthy of respect. What weight would be lifted from his shoulders if he knew where our confusion began? It is dangerous when a very complex, contradictory, but also very viable country is judged at the level of such stereotypes. It is dangerous for many reasons, in particular because, when shattered by reality, stereotypes can give rise to illusions of a completely different, opposite nature. Indeed, why doesn’t Henry Singleton look like the immortal Kashchei? And if there is no universal physical ugliness, then compromising details must certainly be revealed, such as: a thief's, running away look, hooked fingers, a thin and sharp Adam's apple - you never know what you can find.I remember how one comrade, who met with Robert McNamara, then US Secretary of Defense, reproached our brother journalist, who, as you know, did not spare McNamara. Seeing a reasonable, sensible, even liberal man, he came to the conclusion that we, correspondents, were caricaturing McNamara. It is difficult to defend against a reproach, especially since it is not without foundation. But excuse me, dear comrade, did you imagine McNamara with horns?There are different McNamaras. Climber McNamara. Family man McNamara. Lover of poetry. Hard worker. Advocate of strategic weapons restrictions. And McNamara is the creator and main executor of the escalations in Vietnam; it is no coincidence that this dirty war was called “McNamara’s war” for a long time. There is McNamara, the accountant of death, who calculated jungle kill rates and applied the cost-effectiveness principle to extermination, that is, more blood for every dollar spent. Only McNamara, the villain from a children's fairy tale, is no longer there, but this does not mean that a politician who plays a very definite role, functioning as a piece of the state machine, is abolished.Man is a social being; it is unthinkable outside the economic and political system. What Henry Singleton does has social consequences. He is the owner of a corporation that is number 68 on the Pentagon's list of contractors. He can be an example as a production organizer. As a defender of Dow Chemical, the manufacturer of napalm, I reject him.Dow Chemical is far from the first spoke in the military-industrial complex chariot. In that same list, she stands at the end, at number 98, but her product, which turns living people into terrible torches, has become a symbol of the inhumanity of business and a war far from American shores. In defending Dow Chemical, Henry Singleton is defending himself, his morals and reputation, his purpose on earth, the nature of the miracle he performed in turning three hundred thousand dollars into thirty million personal capital and into a large corporation worth one and a half billion.Among Dow Chemical's products, the share of napalm, which is cheap to produce, is negligible, less than one percent of the turnover. Why are they shouting about napalm? - Dow Chemical executives are perplexed. Why do they forget about something else, why don’t they celebrate the conveniences that we bring to millions of American homes? Go to the supermarket, right here in Century City Square, and you will find Dow Chemical products - the thinnest, strongest transparent plastic strips. In rolls of two hundred or more feet long, they are laid in cardboard beams, and a fine-toothed saw is passed along one of the edges of the beam—the tape breaks off on the teeth, as much as you like. A “chicken sandwich” is wrapped in ribbon—a chicken sandwich that fits into a schoolchild’s schoolbag. This tape is indispensable for the home, for the family: jars of juice, plates and bowls of food, ham, butter, vegetables are wrapped in this convenient plastic to keep them in the refrigerator longer. But saran wrap is a clear, fire-resistant paper made of plastic that can withstand the heat of the oven. Chicken, leg of lamb, piece of veal, wrapped in saran wrap and thrown into the oven, roasting in its own juices.So, a distant man across the Pacific Ocean, in convulsions, peels off flaming napalm jelly from his skin. The chicken simmers deliciously in the oven of an American housewife. Napalm and saran rap are produced in neighboring workshops, or perhaps in the same one. Having extracted a crispy chicken dripping with juice from its hot captivity, they eat it, perhaps, in front of a television screen, onto which, through the efforts of television correspondents, living human torches were delivered.Dow Chemical's recruiters are haunted by universities, and the company needs young people (youth are the future), and corporate management is said to have developed guidelines for its recruiters. They are harassed with the word "napalm" and they must shout back "saran rap." Napalm! Saran rap! Napalm! Saran rap! A product is a product, be it napalm or saran rap. Any product is legal as long as there is a demand for it, because American business is business, and is it really Dow Chemical’s fault that those distant, black-haired, small people without an American smile on TV were not born in the country that drops napalm? and in the one on which napalm is dropped.In the kitchen of my New York apartment, I saw an elegant cardboard block, and on one of its edges there were small letters “Dow Chemical”. I threw it into the garbage chute and told my wife to be more careful and not buy anything with a shameful stigma. But, despite the noisy protests, Dow Chemical's profits are growing, and not due to napalm - there is still great demand for its peaceful products.In 1965, as Alabama racists rampaged through the rampage, the late Martin Luther King called for a nationwide boycott of Alabama products. Nothing came of it. Now the boycott of Dow Chemical is failing. An American values ​​conveniences, even small ones, and what a whim it is to ostracize a corporation that is doing its job, and a “patriotic” cause. If a pilot dumps napalm canisters without remorse, why should a napalm manufacturer feel remorse, much less a saran-rap buyer? Everyone is busy with their work, everyone does their own thing, wants to live and have a piece of bread, spread with American butter of the second half of the 20th century, that is, a car, a house, and a color TV, picnics on weekends, holiday firecrackers on the 4th of July, Independence Day, children in college and money for summer vacations to fly to old Europe and poke the ancient stones of the Colosseum with the boot of a man from the new empire. And why give up the small comforts of Dow Chemical, which is making its modest contribution to American prosperity?And all this is contained in Henry Singleton’s short remark about a bunch of educators.8Henry Singleton is not the only miracle worker, he is a small fry next to the new billionaires like the oil magnates Getty and Hunt, but his miracle is typical of the 60s and happened in a place where there is a lot of miracle work - Los Angeles, in Southern California. Let's take a closer look at the background against which our millionaire stands and the carousel of Los Angeles freeways spins and spins for days and years. They contain the dynamism of the main US military forge.The history of economically developed Los Angeles knows several magic words. The railroads, which in the era of the development of the Wild West followed the pioneers in wagons, fastening the steps of progress with lines of sleepers... Then oil, discovered in the nineties of the last century and transformed Southern California from an agricultural to an industrial region. Antediluvian but functioning oil pumps are still visible right on the streets, near restaurants, in the vicinity of rich mansions. However, our own oil is no longer enough for a powerful local industry.In the twenties, the word "airplane" was more romantic than magical. Aircraft factories began to be built in California, because the warm climate made construction cheaper, and the eternally clear skies did not delay product testing. A man was rushing into the sky - not only Californian and not only for peaceful purposes. Californian aircraft manufacturing expanded dramatically during and especially after World War II. By the end of the fifties, rockets and electronics entered the industrial arena. A language that loves brevity has acquired the word aerospace. In the practical context of Los Angeles, aerospace refers to a modern, primarily military, industry in which aircraft, rocketry, and electronics are closely intertwined. Los Angeles has shouldered the burden of the arms race with delight, for it is a sweet burden—the military orders have strengthened the shoulders of the California giant. However, they are not talking about a burden, but about a powerful economic incentive.Bank of America is the first in terms of capital in California, the United States and throughout the capitalist world. Its old-fashioned headquarters are located in San Francisco, which has retained its reputation as the financial center of the West Coast, but its main operations and 270 branches (in Los Angeles County) are in Los Angeles. Who has the most power, opportunity, and direct accountability to oversee the economic health of Los Angeles County? Who has more information about the reasons for local prosperity? The bank has an extensive service. A lot of information and assessments are contained, in particular, in a special semi-confidential report prepared by its economists, “In Focus on the Greater Los Angeles-Long Beach Area.” We were kindly given a copy of this report during our visit to Bank of America's San Francisco headquarters. It summarizes and systematizes trends in economic development during the post-war period, and quite frankly, being intended for business people.The level of employment and the associated influx or loss of population is perhaps the most important indicator of economic conditions for an American. The fish looks for where it is deeper, the man - where it is better. From 1945 to 1965, Los Angeles County's population nearly doubled (from 3.7 million to 6.9 million), and its real income more than tripled (to $24.3 billion in 1965). The population grew twice as fast as the national average and faster than any major city—three percent average growth per year. Two-thirds of the increase came from intranational migration, from Americans moving to the Los Angeles area from other parts of the country.“Los Angeles County is the economic center of the southwestern United States,” the report says. —Only seven of the fifty states in our country exceed this county in population... Only a quarter of a century ago, the county was known mainly for its film industry, agricultural production and tourist attractions. Today it has acquired a worldwide reputation as one of the leading industrial, financial and commercial complexes of our country. Few areas of the United States experienced such dramatic changes during this period. Favorable natural resources, the availability of labor and capital, an expanding regional and national market - all this contributed to the economic growth of the current giant metropolis. After the Second World War, all major economic sectors, with the exception of agriculture, contributed to the economic recovery of the area, but the pace was set by the rapid expansion of the defense industry.Here is a brief description of the general Los Angeles miracle, in which the individual success of the new millionaire Singleton is an insignificant touch.“The most important of all attractions attracting new people to the Los Angeles area is Long Beach (Long Beach is a city in Los Angeles County, population about four hundred thousand people, shares a harbor with Los Angeles and economically constitutes one area. - S.K.), there was work, the report says. “With the growth of the defense industry, Los Angeles has gained a reputation as a place where you can find well-paying jobs. Of the total increase in California's labor force between 1950 and 1965, this county accounted for 44 percent."Further: “Without a doubt, the aviation industry has been a major key to Los Angeles' success in the national defense and space market. The area was one of the first important centers of aircraft manufacturing in the country and by 1950 held a commanding position in the area. Naturally, manufacturers in this area received a large share of the increased volume of contracts for military aircraft... The decrease in purchases (of military aircraft - S.K.) after 1957 forced entrepreneurs to search for a variety of products. This accelerated the shift towards rockets and electronics. Thus, four corporations that were the largest aircraft manufacturers in 1950 are now the creators and manufacturers of rockets, electronics and space equipment.”In the modern world, held together by multiple, not always direct relationships, there is no place for isolated miracles. From the report - I apologize for the quotes, but they are the strength of the document - it is clear that the economic situation in Los Angeles depends not only on the general state of the American economy, but also on the world political situation, on the military strategy of American imperialism, which affects the size of the military budget of a particular year. (In addition, there is a reverse, extremely powerful connection - the pressure of the "military-industrial complex" on official policy.) Here, with references to the authority of the bank, the elements of this relationship, a step-by-step history of the economic miracle of Los Angeles."Fastest employment growth" - 1951-1953, during the Korean War. At the same time, record population growth due to migration from other areas of the United States.“Another period of rapid growth” was the mid-fifties, as “the rocket and electronics industries took center stage.”Employment growth slows after 1957, when “the number of jobs in the aviation industry began to decline.”There was an even greater slowdown from 1962 to 1964, “primarily due to job losses in defense and space-related industries that followed the completion or termination of large rocket programs.”The “highest level of employment” was in 1965, when “the production of civilian aircraft increased, as did government orders for defense and space products.”The latest data in the report is for mid-1965. In February, the air war against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam began; at the end of July, the White House made the first major escalation of the ground war, increasing the number of American soldiers in the jungle from 50 thousand to 125. Encouraging prospects opened up - a half-million-strong expeditionary force in South Vietnam, the need for thousands of combat aircraft and helicopters, up to thirty billion dollars a year in Vietnam War costs, a total military budget that President Johnson promised to “freeze” at $49 billion in 1965 and which President Nixon inherited at $80 billion. A new bonanza was opening up for Los Angeles.Are the report's authors confused by this background to prosperity? There are no emotions in the report, just numbers and conclusions. If you look for an emotional charge in numbers, then the report is an enthusiastic confession of a sinner who is glad not to repent, but to sin again and again.The California Reference Almanac provides brief information about cities in Los Angeles County. The register is impressively unambiguous. Burbank is the center of the aviation industry. Culver City - Hughes Corporation aircraft factories. Gardena - electronics and aircraft parts mixed with a casino. Inglewood - aircraft factories and Los Angeles International Airport. Long Beach is a naval base, a shipyard, and an annual international beauty pageant. Lingwood - electronics and aircraft parts. Monrovia - electronics and food processing plants. Polmdale is a large Edwards Air Force Base. Pasadena - the famous Jet Propalish laboratory associated with flights to the moon, electronics, precision manufacturing. Pomona - missiles, aircraft parts. Santa Monica - RAND Corporation, aircraft factories, electronic laboratories and the annual Oscar Awards ceremonies for the best films, film directors, and actors.The main military forge of modern America has insured itself from different sides. I didn’t ask to go into closed areas, I didn’t see military factories, but I know that along their assembly lines Southern California is driving the Cold War, and small wars, and preparation for nuclear war, and the space age, closely linked to the needs “defense”, and lunar expeditions, because of the 24 billion spent on leaving traces of Neil Armstrong’s thermal boots in the waterless Sea of Tranquility, a lot went to the same people whose products are plowing the rice fields and jungles of Vietnam with bombs. And if so, aren't the astronaut heroes strung along the same long chain of American life as their compatriots who don't reject the goodness of Saran Wrag because Dow Chemical produces the evil of napalm?But let us leave the Moon in its shaken peace. Getting acquainted with the history of the Los Angeles miracle, I mentally correlated the frantic rhythms of the freeways with earthly images, with the dull, apologetically humiliated appearance of towns in the coal regions of Appalachia - hotbeds of chronic depression and unemployment. There is no present miracle, there are only memories of past miracles. In Hazard, Eastern Kentucky, World War II was described to me as an era of prosperity and prosperity. The thunder of war, the death that hovered over Europe, Africa, the Pacific Ocean, breathed life into the Appalachian towns because the demand for coal returned. The return to peace was a return to economic desolation. No, no, the war will be remembered as a happy time of childhood. Poor pockets of depression in the Appalachians, you only knew boom times during the World Wars. Your resource of maneuverability and adaptability is small.Taxpayer money for the arms race is collected throughout the country, but is disproportionately funneled to California. niya, to the “Golden State,” whose gold is no longer in oranges and sunshine. One-tenth of the country's population lives there, but California's military-industrial corporations receive more than twenty percent of the Pentagon's primary military orders and more than half of all space-related orders. In 1965, California received more than a third of the total federal appropriations for scientific, that is, mainly military-scientific, research ($4 billion) - three times more than the state of New York. As for Southern California, centered in Los Angeles, experts estimate that sixty percent of the people employed in the area's manufacturing industry work in military factories.An ebullient, ultra-dynamic, super-American city, where people come for earnings and happiness, where the future appears in the form of self-sufficient speeds, where even girls with viciously burning eyes from striptease are on. Boulevard La Cienega rotates his buttocks at a general, mechanically detached pace, and dried leaves, lumps of earth and almost village dust near the deserted Mexican fences suddenly resonate in the heart with a sentimental longing for the small town near the Tesha River, in which your late father and mother gave birth to you , - this Los Angeles makes you think hard about the complex metamorphoses of the century. The traditional image of death - a bony old woman with a scythe - is more suitable for the times of the monk Crespi, and does not fit in with the sharp edges of modernity, with the rapid roll of concrete on the highway. And of course, American wealth comes from the country's resources and history, the ability to work, spurred by fierce competition, and not just from a profitable arms race, but the main undeniable background to the post-war economic miracle of Los Angeles is the business of war, working for the old woman's death. $3,530 average per capita incomePercent more than the national average) how many of them are from contracts with bony? One hundred thousand home swimming pools, 125 thousand private yachts, how many are subsidized by the harvests of death in the hills of Korea, in the jungles of Vietnam? From Los Angeles, the world is visible as a manufacturing plant with a conveyor belt spanning the Pacific Ocean, at one end of it a miserable bowl of rice is knocked out of a person’s hands, and at the other there is a beautiful house in installments for another person, a swimming pool, the car of the latter brands.Mary McCarthy, a famous writer and critic who is called the grand dame of American literature, cites one episode in her book of essays and essays on Vietnam:“When I was flying to Gue on a big C-130, I heard the pilot and co-pilot discussing their personal goals in this war, and they were to go into the real estate business in Vietnam as soon as the war was over. While keeping an eye on the Vietnamese from the air, they considered different options and decided that Nga Trang, where there are “beautiful sandy beaches,” suits them better than Cam Ranh Bay, which is a “desert.” They disagreed on where to make more money: the pilot wanted to build a first-class hotel and villas for sale, and the co-pilot believed that the future lay in cheap residential buildings. For me, this conversation was like a hallucination, but the next day in Guay I met a Marine colonel who had put on his uniform again after retirement. He fought the Japanese, then made money from land projects in Okinawa and invested the profits in importing frozen shrimp from Japan, which he supplied to restaurants in San Diego. They look at war, this cheap form of mass tourism, through the eyes of businessmen.”By coincidence, symbolic but not accidental, Mary McCarthy's interlocutors were dynamic Californians, children of a civilization that had learned to convert other people's suffering and blood into dollars and was accustomed to the permanent props of the arms race. Her circle includes directors of the largest aviation corporations, a worker from a plant producing Titan or Polaris rockets, millionaire Henry Singleton, a merchant of ladies' dresses (and Los Angeles is famous for women's fashion and large clothing factories), not at all interested in where they come from. dollars from his charming customers, professors from the RAND Cooperation giving scientific advice on “counter-insurgency warfare,” congressmen busying themselves with new military orders for the enterprise of their district. And a pilot, a businessman at heart, who, having trashed the Vietnamese land, dreams of decorating it with first-class hotels and villas, of course, for his own benefit.9“The Quiet American” by Graham Greene was published in 1955, when the French had already broken their foreheads in Vietnam, and the Americans were just testing the quagmire by sending CIA advisers and agents disguised as employees of economic aid missions to Saigon. I read this novel ten years late, at the time of Johnson’s escalations, and marveled at the writer’s artistic and political vigilance. In the “quiet American” Pyle, the son of a professor - an expert on water erosion, a Harvard graduate, an intelligence officer who relies on the “third force” of General The and does not know what to be more upset about when the explosion he staged in Saigon Square occurred at the wrong time - a legless stump twitching like a slaughtered chicken, a dead child in the arms of a disconsolate mother, or his boots spattered with blood (“I’ll have to get them cleaned before going to the envoy”) - in this Pyle accurately captured the type of the new missionary. “He was covered with an impenetrable armor of good intentions and ignorance,” says the English journalist Fowler about him. Precisely impenetrable armor. It was precisely good intentions - after all, he naively but sincerely wanted to make the Vietnamese happy with American democracy. And precisely ignorance, but ignorance of a special kind - learned, scientific, and therefore even more self-confident and dangerous. Remember Pyle's admiration for one York Harding, a "serious" political writer? After Pyle is sent to his forefathers, Fowler examines his bookshelf, on which the complete works of 1 Arding - "The Threat to Democracy", "The Mission of the West", "The Advance of Red China". Pyle had no need to look closely at someone else’s life; it was thoroughly studied and classified by his learned compatriots: “He saw only what his ears were buzzing about in lectures, and his mentors fooled him. Even seeing the dead man, he did not notice his wounds and muttered: “Red danger” or “Warrior of democracy”...Green saw in embryo one of the ugliest features of the American intervention in Vietnam - its scientific nature. Then half a million Americans, no longer quiet, descended on Vietnamese soil and began the massive re-education of the Vietnamese on the recommendations of their quiet compatriots - learned professors, and began experiments on an entire nation.To emphasize this insight of Graham Greene, I will cite one fact. This fact is well known in America, but I will refer to the aforementioned book by Mary McCarthy, who, judging by her caustic essays, went to Vietnam both in order to see with her own eyes her compatriots in the role of interventionists, and at the same time in order to refute John Steinbeck with his praises for American pilots: he compared them with the famous virtuoso cellist Pablo Casals, admiring how they did their job, and not wanting to see what that job was.Referring to the background of the Dirty War, America's first "scientific" war, Ms. McCarthy writes: "The behavior of the enemy was studied under university microscopes, the samples were defectors to the free world. However, practical experience was lacking until the Vietnam War created a laboratory for testing new weapons - the academic version of the B-52 or the Lazy Dog ball bomb... Immediately after the Geneva Accords, paramilitary professors began to frequent Vietnam, and the first one of them was Wesley Fishel, a professor at the University of Michigan, who is considered the inventor of Ngo Dinh Diem... However, it took “new frontiers” (the election of John F. Kennedy as president - S.K.) to modernize American “thinking” about Vietnam . A fresh look at the situation thrown by Kennedy's people proved the need for completely new tactics with completely new terms: counter-insurrection, special war... In 1961, the year of the creation of special units (better known as the Green Berets - S.K.), Stanford University economist Eugene Staley, whose name is now associated with the idea of strategic settlements, developed his plan...”McCarthy goes on to describe this plan, worthy of York Harding, the inspiration for the "quiet American" Pyle:“Staley's plan could not, of course, have occurred to the average Washington official... With a professorial love of diagrams, he divided the country into yellow zones, blue zones and red zones; yellow zones controlled by the government (and available for American assistance), blue zones dubious, and red zones Viet Cong. His plan was to move the population, if it could be moved, into Prosperity Zones, which would begin with fifteen thousand model settlements, heavily fortified and surrounded by barbed wire. With the ardent cooperation of General Maxwell Taylor, some two and a half thousand settlements a la Staley were built. Life in them was diagrammed down to the last detail. Each resident was required to buy and wear a special uniform—four different color combinations depending on age and gender—and have two identification documents, one for moving within the settlement, the other for going outside it. The guards closed the gates at seven in the evening and opened them at six in the morning. People who agreed to move to strategic settlements had their houses burned and their fields sprayed with toxic chemicals to leave a scorched area for the Viet Cong—the first widespread application of the science of chemistry to political struggle. The American government, of course, paid compensation.Those who did not agree to leave their place of residence were moved by force, and their villages and crops were still burned and sprayed; Some of the peasants and village elders who resisted were executed by the Vietnamese army as a warning to others. Strict political control was maintained within the settlements, and executions also took place. The settlers were subject to special duties and other mandatory taxes, in many cases without compensation. They were ordered to bring in all their relatives who were in the red zones within three months; they were punished if they failed. Professor Staley is undoubtedly not responsible for the excesses of his program; he only developed totalitarian blueprints for Vietnamese and American advisers, based on his own experience in that country.”What happened next? The Staley Plan, as Mary McCarthy noted, turned out to be “the greatest gift the United States has given to the Viet Cong.” Residents set fire to strategic settlements, rebelling against American-style camps, and when Ngo Dinh Diem was killed by Saigon generals, the monstrous fruit of the armchair mind was completely destroyed, and Professor Staley, as well as Ngo Dinh Diem’s “inventor” Professor Fishel, were consigned to oblivion, giving way to other professors and other plans.Stanford University, where Eugene Staley drew his diagrams that resulted in burned villages, poisoned fields, barbed wire and executions, is located in Northern California. It is a private university with a reputation for being a solid academic institution, and of course there are many famous and respected scientists who have made great contributions to true science. The most distant things coexist side by side, it happens that even under one roof, a fly in the ointment will not spoil a barrel of honey, but, however, depending on what kind of spoon and what kind of tar, Professor Staley’s tar can disgrace both the university and the whole country. Mary McCarthy's criticism is directed against that arrogant political science - and is it even a science? - which is not fertilized by a humanistic idea, brings not good, but suffering to people, and if Professor Staley is not visible in the pillory, this is probably explained by the fact that that it was not his compatriots who suffered, but the Vietnamese peasants, who did not know to whom they owe “strategic and settlements.”Since Harvard, if we return to Greene’s novel, sent its pet Pyle to Saigon, much has changed in America, which has learned the lessons of the Vietnam War in complex ways. Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia University in New York, dozens if not hundreds of colleges and universities across the country have seen student uprisings against the “Pentagonization” of science. But the problem is not solved. Washington is not short of assistants ready to experiment on entire nations. An episode from the life of Professor Staley is just a hint to the history of the RAND Corporation, which I would like to briefly talk about.This establishment in Santa Monica, half an hour from the center of Los Angeles, is surrounded by an aura of worldwide fame. Some find there oracles who see the 21st century, others find imperialist alchemists. In any case, a visit there is a must, although for me personally it gave me little besides the “effect of presence.”We arrived at two unremarkable standard modern buildings connected to each other. The tufts of palm trees in the parking lot, blown by the wind from the Pacific Ocean, are an ocean a block away from RAND and seem to give the corporation an additional global dimension. Bare corridors, cubes of modest offices, long tables and coffee tanks in conference rooms. Here's the milk. Do you want some sugar? The employees have ties that are askew, overthinking foreheads and the looks of intellectuals; instead of cigarettes there are pipes, jackets are hung on the backs of chairs and other university patina. The jargon is scientific, technical and political, and many of the newest terms like multi death or overkill were born within the walls of RAND and similar institutions. The conversation is academically calm and reasonable. The tone is even, passions are banished, emotions are archived or left only for home consumption - they are biased. Randians value fact, cold logic, and unfettered mental play and expect the same qualities in their guests.In a word, there is nothing special, there are not even fences or bars on the windows, although this is one of the most secret organizations in America.But at the entrance - not at the door itself, but in the lobby of a five-story zigzag building - we were met and beckoned from behind a table by a burly security guard, looking like the kind you meet on the premises of American banks. I called a man in civilian clothes who was responsible for security by phone. Temporary passes were put on our jackets, and a man in civilian clothes escorted us through the corridors, offices, everywhere. There are a lot of secret papers in the offices, but employees can leave them on their desks: Randians value the air of universities, the signs of academic freedom. And trained people take care of their secret ideas, like security guards in banks take care of money.We spent an hour and a half talking with employees, but the conversation was neutral, away from the main orientation of RAND. But - oh, American courtesy, organically linked with advertising! - We were provided with brochures and magazine clippings with general information.In two buildings (in the basement, by the way, there is a large computer center with rich electronic memory and direct access to clients), 1,140 people work, of which 524 specialists - 145 engineers, 82 economists, 75 mathematicians, 60 physicists, 51 programmers, 32 political experts sciences, 57 experts in the field of meteorology, history, psychology, linguistics, physical chemistry, sociology, etc. This is a think tank, which means a reservoir of thoughts, a brain trust, a mental repository. The method of work at RAND includes both research by individual specialists and group, cumulative, so to speak, interdepartmental efforts of people of different profiles gathered under one roof, and the latter is especially important and promising - this is, in fact, what the main idea of the mental repository. The increasing complexity of the age and the explosion of information dictate unprecedented speed and memory of electronic brains, as well as attempts to overcome the necessary but also constraining specialization that fragments human knowledge into many isolated compartments. At RAND, people's talents are not separated into industry silos, but rather pooled and mixed. At the intersection of specialties, with the free play of the mind overcoming the barriers of specialization, bold ideas run like sparks. To the spotlight that hits one point, a locator has been added that scans the entire horizon. To a certain extent, think tanks deliberately encourage the amateurism of professionals, training them as suppliers of ideas.Getting acquainted with the materials about the RAND Corporation - and my correspondence acquaintance began long before the visit - I experienced an ambivalent feeling, familiar to Soviet people who have visited America, an extremely inventive and by no means frozen country: on the one hand, the spirit of invention and various the kind of innovations that Americans are very opposed to any inertia, on the other hand, you are surprised, and sometimes horrified, by the purposes for which these innovations are used.The RAND Corporation is considered the first think tank in the United States, but let us temporarily leave California and move near New York, to the picturesque town of Croton-on-Hudson, where another think tank is located in idyllic silence on the green hills tank - Hudson Institute. The director there is Herman Kahn, RAND's most famous pet. I take this mental flight to explain the idea of a think tank in more detail. The visit to the Hudson Institute was more detailed.“We,” said Max Singer, president of the institute, “are independent intermediaries between the government and various kinds of experts.”Independence is the key word in his explanations, but independence of a special kind, aimed not at undermining the foundations of the capitalist state and ideology, but at strengthening them. These are servants of the government apparatus, which feeds them with orders, pays for their ideas from the federal budget, but retains their independent opinion and independence from the administrative, hierarchical ladder. According to Singer, the strength and effectiveness of the Hudson Institute and other think tanks is that they are “outside government”—private corporations of experts and thinkers. Without being in a relationship of official subordination, without fear of discontent from those in power, without fear for their place, that is, freed from the qualities of government officials, they can express a variety of points of view to the government and its various departments. In addition, as already mentioned, the employees of the institute, being specialists in their fields, consciously develop the view of outsiders, as if moving away from their professions, striving for a broad and uninhibited view.So, independence and breadth are a kind of technical motto of mental repositories.“The key is,” Singer emphasized, sitting in an office littered with papers, where a warning slogan hung on the door of the safe: “Have you forgotten anything?” “the key is to maintain a distance from power.” And of course, the government and its leading representatives understand the benefits of an independent view and independent criticism. We try to be objective, although this is not always possible. We are not subordinate to other institutions, and in our judgments and conclusions we do not experience the oppression of loyalty.Although think tanks were already being created in Western Europe, Singer insisted that it was a purely American institution. In Western Europe, he said, specialists do not want to give up their privileges, and in addition, they do not risk asking discouraging questions to their governments.Defending the principle of an unbiased and fresh look, Max Singer cited examples not only from the Washington sphere: the institute’s clients include industrial corporations and city municipalities. Take, for example, the largest steel corporation, United States Steel, or another large corporation, he said. Its top administrators are too busy with routine, they physically do not have time to look into tomorrow. Who is entrusted with this most important task? Experts, corporation consultants. Let's assume that they came to important, correct and courageous decisions. But who will listen to them? They don't have enough authority. Institutions like the Hudson Institute have great authority. First of all, this is the authority of its head and director Herman Kahn.The Hudson Institute, founded in 1961, employs only a few dozen people. It claims to be more elitist and take a broader approach to issues of “national security and international order” than the RAND Corporation.“Although Hudson Institute reports often contain detailed recommendations, our emphasis is on developing broad working concepts within which sound and successful policies have a greater likelihood of developing,” the institute’s official self-certification states. The institute considers the following to be the main goals of its research: to stimulate and expand the imagination; clarify, define, name and argue the main problems; develop and explore alternative policy combinations; improve intellectual communication and collaboration using historical analogies, scenarios, metaphors, analytical models, precise concepts and appropriate terminology; strengthen the ability to recognize new situations and crises and understand their significance; provide “propaedeutic” assistance.Let's return, however, to RAND - not only to the method, but also to the goals. And to the question of who draws from this reservoir?It was no secret in 1946, when the astute Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, General Arnold, called the "architect" of the American Air Force, decided to somehow preserve the group of scientific specialists created by aviation during the Second World War. General Arnold guessed that American bombers armed with atomic bombs would play an important role in the postwar world. But which one? The answer required the minds and eyes of scientists. Thus, in March 1946, the RAND Project (an abbreviation for Research and Development) was created to “continue a program of scientific study and research for the purpose of recommending preferred methods, equipment and means to the Air Force.”In the civil service, salaries at that time were too low to entice scientists, and therefore, at first, General Arnold attached his brainchild as a branch of the Douglas Aircraft Company aviation corporation. Its owner, Donald Douglas, whose daughter, by the way, was married to the son of General Arnold, received the first ten million dollars from the Pentagon to buy brains for the Air Force. The first report coming out of RAND immediately grabbed the future like a bull by the horns. “Preliminary design of an experimental spacecraft orbiting the Earth” is its title. The Randians are proud that the report appeared ten years before the first satellite, although the Americans, as we know, were late with the experimental spacecraft itself.Much water has flown under the bridge since that time. The idea of professors in the service of the Pentagon turned out to be infectious, and dozens of brain trusts proliferated in the United States. RAND itself, back in 1948, became an “independent non-profit corporation”, more durable than its parent Douglas Aircraft Company, which recently merged with the McDonnell Aviation Corporation. RAND has produced a galaxy of so-called strategic thinkers; critics call them enlightened cannibals, but they also have followers in different countries. In its list of achievements, RAND lists, for example, the history of studying the issue of the deployment of strategic bomber bases. Economist and statistician Albert Wohlstetter in the early fifties questioned the concept of the Strategic Air Forces Command emphasizing overseas bases. Having studied this issue at different levels, RAND recommended that the Pentagon concentrate existing strategic aviation bases in the United States, assigning overseas bases the role of transshipment and refueling stations. The recommendations were not heeded immediately. It is estimated that Wohlstetter and his colleagues held about one hundred meetings with military and government officials before their advice was accepted.For the strategic thinker Herman Kahn, about his meeting with whom I will tell you later, the Air Force’s boundaries were too small. Implementing the principle of thinking about what is impossible to think about, Kahn with icy equanimity developed a scale of victims of nuclear war, metaphors and escalation scenarios, subjecting even a nuclear apocalypse to logical analysis.But on the whole, the RAND Corporation remained faithful to the aviation generals. “As in the past, the Air Force remains our major client, to whom nearly seventy percent of the corporation's research efforts have been devoted,” I read in the official 1966 RAND report. It also reports that a new five-year agreement has been concluded with the Air Force, under which RAND receives orders worth $75 million. 23 percent of the “effort” is allocated to the Pentagon and NASA, the government space agency. On behalf of its clients, RAND prepared 335 memoranda and eight reports in 1966 on issues of strategic, tactical and “counterinsurgency”, political (from the “cultural revolution” in China to agricultural development in Peru), scientific and technical (including, for example, the question of the patterns of propagation of ocean waves caused by near-surface or underwater nuclear explosions), through communication systems, etc.The “strategic studies,” the report says, covered a wide range of issues, from new concepts of strategy and force posture to practical recommendations for increasing the effectiveness of nuclear and aviation capabilities. Particular attention was paid to the issue of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, which, apparently, was of keen interest to Washington in connection with the negotiations on the now concluded agreement.More from the field of strategic studies:"...We continued to study the ballistic missile tests that were being conducted...In addition, while studying methods to increase the accuracy of these missiles, we examined and compared some of the advanced guidance systems."“... RAND studied the biological and environmental consequences of nuclear war... the extent of initial casualties among the population based on hypothetical attacks of various sizes, the consequences of uneven survival of different population groups for their activities in the period after the attack... "Other studies have looked at the possible extent of damage to forests from fires and radiation, health problems that may arise from the spread of infectious diseases in disturbed environments, and possible long-term genetic damage from radiation."Research on tactical issues:"For the most part, these studies dealt with specific issues of combat operations, suppression of defenses, air superiority, command and control, intelligence, weapons for conventional warfare, and communications systems."“...Because small arms fire is a significant cause of aircraft loss in air support operations in Vietnam, we also studied possible new aircraft designs equipped with a range of protective capabilities and compared the cost and vulnerability of these aircraft with conventional aircraft having the same operational capabilities. possibilities"."Counterinsurgency Studies" was, naturally, dedicated to Vietnam:“...Our focus has necessarily been on Southeast Asia, but our counterinsurgency research program is also intended to be applied to other areas where insurgencies may occur, with a view to drawing lessons from the Vietnam experience that can be applied there. areas.The study of Viet Cong policies and practices greatly intensified during 1966. A number of analytical studies were almost ready by the end of the year, including studies of Viet Cong operations at the village level, Viet Cong recruiting practices, the role of the Communist Party in the National Liberation Front...Research currently underway includes studies of the activities of several Viet Cong battalions in the Mekong Delta, the behavior of refugees, the effects of herbicide use and deforestation operations, the economic strategy and activities of the Viet Cong. Other work on the insurgent forces included a detailed study of the structure and military operations of the Viet Cong organization in Dinh Tuong and Quang Ngai provinces, the Viet Cong communications system, and the political and economic infrastructure supporting the main forces and guerrilla units. Finally, we analyzed the costs and benefits of refugee movement during uprisings, trying to determine how the loss of civilian support affects the insurgent organization."What can be said about these excerpts, in which the essence of the matter is neutralized by the bird's professorial language? “By expanding the imagination,” we see dozens of Eugene Staleys, restless, cool, organized. And what else? From nine in the morning to five in the evening at work, and then in the car and on the freeway, home, to my wife and children, to the blue mirror of the home pool or into the rolling ocean wave, to evening cocktails with colleagues. -More whiskey? Should I add ice? Thank you, doc...How many people - additionally and cheaper - were killed on their recommendations? Who knows. RAND does not yet have a method that would determine its utility ratio by accounting for Vietnamese lives lost versus American lives saved. But an atmosphere of public ostracism hung over militarized science. RAND needs a civilian disguise to smooth over its scandalous reputation and, moreover, to survive. The magazine Air Force Space Digest noted the new trends among Randites: “Without the lure of modest research in non-military fields, RAND is unable to withstand the competition in the intellectual market for new blood, without which it will grow old.” We are again talking about young, gifted people, and with the current uprisings against the militarization of universities, they are becoming increasingly difficult to get. The Old Testament principle still works: vengeance is mine and I will repay...Just a year after a short visit to RAND, I learned from the American press that six of its employees publicly, albeit as private individuals, opposed the continuation of the Vietnam War, even insisting on the unilateral withdrawal of American troops - not for moral reasons, but convinced that military victory is unattainable, and the war itself is politically unprofitable and inexpedient. Now RAND, without changing its main customer, advertises its initiatives in the field of peace. One of them was an order for six hundred thousand dollars from the mayor of New York with instructions to apply complex methods to New York problems, to make recommendations on fire, police, health, housing, and RAND equipped an expedition not across the Pacific Ocean, but on the Atlantic coast of the United States, opened a mobile headquarters on Madison Avenue, and the head of the group, with characteristic, confident casualness, said: “If you say that New York is betting on us, I will have to agree.”New York relies on their “methodological art.” While they were studying guerrilla operations at the Vietnamese village level, a lot of problems accumulated in American cities: neighborhoods were burning during the days of black riots, the police were powerless to deal with crime, it was becoming increasingly difficult to breathe in the poisoned air and to get through traffic jams. In the 1968 RAND report, military problems were followed by "domestic ones," and the mayor of New York was on the list of clients for aviation generals.10I had the opportunity to meet Herman Kak shortly before my trip to Los Angeles. On the day of the visit to the Hudson Institute, the director was away, but Max Singer, president and chief administrator, promised a meeting with the patron and kept his promise. German Kahn is generally willing to talk with Soviet journalists, although he knows from experience that our brother does not spare him - a “strategic thinker”, author of the books “Thoughts about the Unthinkable”, “On Thermonuclear War”, “On Escalation”, “The Year 2000: a framework for assumptions”, above these trifles. And besides, Americans are often indifferent to the nature of fame: scandalous, but so be it! Coming from the enemy, she will not interfere, but rather will help in receiving orders, and our futurologist and thermonuclear screenwriter is working on assignments. For example, his book “On Escalation,” which horrified many with its meticulous calculation of all the possible forty-four steps to hell - from the “imaginary crisis” to the final “spasm,” presents the end result of an order from the Martin Marietta Corporation.We, together with Georgy Nikolaevich Ostroumov, executive secretary of the Izvestia editorial board and scientific popularizer on attraction, were received by German Kahn in the Manhattan mansion of the Center for Inter-American Relations. The center is headed by banker David Rockefeller, one of five brothers who oversee Latin America on behalf of American capital and government. Kahn consults for this center, as well as a number of other organizations, adding fees to the annual director's salary of 35 thousand dollars at the Hudson Institute (he himself believes that he could make twice as much money, and indeed, by American standards, the amount is small for a person of his fame ).The brick mansion at 680 Park Avenue was occupied by the Soviet Mission to the UN until 1962. The last time I went there was when the dealership had already moved to a large house nearby; the mansion was in disrepair; the dark corridors were filled with the spirit of communal apartments. As is usual in New York, which is experiencing a construction boom, they wanted to scrap this still strong house to make way for a multi-story profitable modernist building, but a compassionate and rich lady was found - a lover of non-ancient American antiquities, who did not regret one and a half to two million dollars. And now everything shone with magnificent lordly cleanliness, inside and outside it shone more than ever. The Hispanic doorman demonstrated the good intentions of David Rockefeller. Throwing back the velvet rope that blocked the way to the spiral staircase under the red carpet, he led us to the second floor into a familiar hall. In the room on the left - a polished copper fireplace grate, soft yellow antique chairs, soft velvet-upholstered armchairs and two shining mirrors - a hospitable and friendly gentleman rose from a table in the corner to greet her.A jacket over the back of a chair, a belly like a mountain, belted with a strap along the crest, arms spread out to the sides, as is the case with fat men, eyes sharp and very lively, head unexpectedly small - undressed, bald, obscured by a voluminous belly. Herman Kahn. At five in the evening he has a meeting downstairs on the first floor, but a busy man does not waste time, and he was writing something, perched on the edge of a chair in this old-fashioned, quiet office. And in a simple black suitcase with a metal clasp - when you see a person for the first time, you involuntarily put on your impression everything that you have heard and read about him - and in the simple suitcase, of course, are new scenarios, metaphors and predictions with which Herman Kahn will surprise the world.He is not even fifty, a three-hundred-pound lively man - without a beard and majesty, not at all a hermit, not a contemplative. Where are you, ancient sages?We sat in the corner. together on the sofa, he opposite on a chair, huddled under a heavy carcass. The fat man radiated a readiness to answer all the questions, and his cheerful, even mischievous look said: come on, come on, guys, your seeds...And the first “seed” came from Ostroumov - about the reality of the forecasts, about whether there are examples confirming their reliability. Kahn answered soberly, convincingly, revealing erudition and intelligence.— There are various kinds of predictions, the most reliable ones in the field of technology. For example, the power of a laser and the size of the memory of electronic computers were correctly predicted five years in advance. The main difficulty is in determining the speed of technological progress, in how the emergence of something new will affect the current one. Economic predictions are also difficult. We do not undertake to predict the business cycle with its ups and downs. Production capacity under conditions of full employment can be predicted. The number of employees is easy. Productivity is more difficult, and I already mentioned the reason: because it is difficult to predict the pace of technological progress in general. To some extent, it is possible to predict the amount of working time. In the United States, the number of working hours decreases by an average of one percent each year, currently by one-third of one percent. Now the average working week is forty hours, two thousand hours per year per employee, which is quite enough. According to my forecasts, by the end of the century the American will work 1000-1500 hours per year. Conservative estimates give 1800 hours, radical ones - 800. I am a moderate optimist.Then he entered the shaky realm of politics, social climate and sentiment, shifts in psychology, human habits and lifestyles, and here the strokes became broader, more careless, more “abstract”; such “details” as the organization of American society, corporations, trade unions, social groups, and only a certain human race remained in the person of that tribe that lives in North America between Canada and Mexico. Outside the window, it was a time of student unrest that invaded the mathematical thinking of Herman Kahn, and he included “human looseness” in his reasoning, explaining it by the high standard of living, by the fact that an elementary piece of bread does not require the same effort, that the load of “social Darwinism” is lightened, and the authority of the government in this atmosphere noticeably declines. The picture was not without interest.— We are most interested in political predictions. - he said. — In the current plan, our forecast regarding the United States is quite optimistic, although we do not exclude internal shocks, in which the main factor is the absence of a threat from the outside. An external threat unites people and accustoms them to reality.— Now in the USA you can physically live, or rather survive, on ten dollars a week, five hundred dollars a year, of course, if you are ready to sink to the level of a hippie. If you want, you can find an unskilled and easy job for five hundred dollars a year and be a hippie. Go to Lower Manhattan, for example, to sort mail, and the people there are half black and half hippie. Hippies, as you know, live in communal apartments, in “families” of twenty people. They work, so to speak, in shifts: one month works, another month, etc. And they feed the rest, giving them the opportunity not to work. The fact of their existence proves that survival is now relatively easy.— In the 19th century, government was viewed as an instrument of oppression and a source of distribution of wealth. Americans now tend to see government as a source of stupidity. This attitude is growing rapidly. People don't just want better government, they want perfect government. If peace continues, these trends will intensify. Any restrictions imposed by the government will cause new resistance. In most countries, a similar process is hindered by national security considerations. But we predict an increase in nihilism and cynicism unless something happens that will bring people together and unite them.“Nowadays people think less about national interests and more about personal, earthly ones. About forty years ago - let's take the standard literature of that time as evidence - if the heroes had a conflict between family and work, then it was resolved, as a rule, in favor of work. Today - in favor of the family, which, by the way, is reflected in the literature of this kind. Now an American can live in the city and have a good job, but if his children are not feeling well, he will most likely change his place, move to the suburbs, where the children are better off...A reservation is necessary: in his works Herman Kap is much more complex than in this shortened retelling of one of his conversations, wider and at the same time more detailed, his imagination, based on remarkable erudition, is rampant, but directed not in one direction, but in different, and from all directions he is protected by the armor of options - it may be this way, or it may be another. I would like to convey, at least to a small extent, the way of thinking of this walking phenomenon. He is a mathematician who serves politics, but is not bound by ideology, or rather, by the ideological dogmas of the class for which he works, and is freed from morality in the broad sense of the word. He is like a mercenary, a landsknecht from science, who, in addition to payment, demands from the employer one thing, so that his, Kan’s, mind is not idle and that he is not fettered.“In today’s world, everything that cannot be justified by science is rejected,” says Kahn and, with his usual laugh, adds: “In the end, everything is rejected.” Perhaps this paradoxical remark contains the key to Kahn, the “physicist” who denies all “lyricism” and absolutizes exact science. And yet, the world actually rejects the claims of exact science in Kahn's publication.In America, progressive people, as well as “lyricists” from humanists and liberals, despise the intellectual Kahn for his zealous service to the Pentagon and the Air Force, and see him as a scientific monster without a social conscience. You won’t meet him at anti-war rallies, but he is a welcome guest at military headquarters, corporate offices and in mansions like this one, where he receives us almost like a proprietor. In matters of military policy, he, by his own admission, is closer to the military, but in broader issues of international relations he considers his views “in greater agreement with generally accepted liberal views”, suggests a movement of America towards “earthly humanism”, and the world as a whole (for with the exception of Africa and Asia, where there is a “question mark”) towards peace, since “people are getting used to the map” and one cannot now find “two of the established states that would plan a war against each other.”He has a grudge against the intelligentsia, revolutionary and liberal, these causative agents of public discontent, as well as a fear of internal upheavals in America’s “ward” countries, and, sitting in the Rockefeller institution, he would like to destroy the revolutionary ferment, the enemy of his science. Herman Kahn conceived a new contribution to "psychological warfare", a new attempt at intellectual manipulation of human consciousness. Here is the diagram he sketched (I apologize for the long quote):“I’m going to write a work that will change all previous ideas,” said Herman Kahn with his uncharacteristic drama. — We must move from the “gap ideology” to the “progress ideology.” Let me illustrate this with an example. It is said that twenty years ago the infant mortality rate among American Negroes was twice that of whites, and now it is four times higher. This is both true and false, because such relative estimates do not show how much infant mortality among blacks has decreased in absolute numbers. Is the situation worse now? What is better for the Negro: when, I take conventional figures, two hundred Negro children die out of ten thousand born, and one hundred among whites, or when twenty Negro children die out of ten thousand, and five among whites? In fact, the situation of the Negro has improved tenfold, although, compared with the figures for whites, infant mortality among Negroes has doubled. Here is an example of a wrong ideology that emphasizes the gap. It must be replaced with an ideology that emphasizes progress. After all, people want not so much to close the gap with others as to improve their situation. The “gap ideology” is put forward for political reasons.- Here's another example. My father was poor, worked with his hands, I remember his calluses. And I work with my head. I get money easier. But maybe David Rockefeller looks at me as a poor man. He's probably a thousand times richer than me. Maybe he thinks that I am jealous of him, that I want to take his money. Why do I need his money, because I don’t consider myself poor. However, David Rockefeller doesn't think so. “I know him, he’s a good person,” Ken makes a reservation, apparently afraid that we will take him too literally. “But many rich people are afraid of the poor.” Same with nations. Americans think they are envied. And the Soviet Union is now quite a rich country...— “The Ideology of the Gap” explains the guilt complex of rich Americans: do they deserve their money, is it too easy for them? Hence the feeling of guilt. But when you go to India - and I was there - you will find that Indians do not hate Americans, but their neighbors, for example, the Pakistanis. When an American feels guilty, an Indian becomes hostile: if you feel guilty, it means you have robbed me.— If we take Latin America, then, except for intellectuals, few people are concerned about the gap in the position of the haves and the poor. The Latin American peasant does not compare his life and income with American ones.He defines his position by comparison with how his father lived, how neighbors live in the village, compatriots in the city. Cities are growing faster, countryside slower. A man who comes from the village to the city lives in the slums, but is silent. He is constrained by tradition, in particular religious. But if his children, that is, the second generation, also remain in the slums, expect trouble, discontent, and unrest. Revolutionaries take advantage of this discontent. Students from rich families, having a guilt complex, go to the villages, to the people, but there they do not recognize the “ideology of rupture.” The peasant is stable, non-revolutionary, rejects urban ideas...So, to separate the revolutionary intellectual from the peasant or worker, or rather, to kill this revolutionary in the bud, while still at the university, to convince him through learned treatises that the “guilt complex” is unjustified, irrational and unnecessarily burdens life. And the revolutionary spirit was removed, the fermentation enzyme was destroyed. And, mind you, it’s easier for everyone - the student, confused by the “ideology of the gap,” the peon, who, according to Kahn, is satisfied with the “ideology of progress,” the latifundist, who is now disturbed by nothing and no one. And the Latin American investments of the Rockefeller brothers, who invited Herman Kahn as a consultant. It's easy for everyone. Everyone is happy...Herman Kahn himself, as a person who rejects everything that his science rejects, is freed from the “guilt complex.” I'm not moralizing, just pointing out a fact. But what is a “guilt complex”? Has this dried-out, learned euphemism replaced such old-fashioned concepts as compassion, living and not mathematical involvement in the pain of another person, a sense of justice, a caring heartbeat, and conscience? Wasn’t Saint-Exupery talking about a guilt complex: “To be human means to feel responsible for everything. Burn with shame for poverty, although it seems to exist and is not your fault...”God, to Herman Kahn and with such heart-warming romanticism? I'm just asking: did you have any predictions about the Vietnam War and how did they come true?He answers, and in his answers, again, there is truth and precision, there is the ability to simply talk about complex things. And yet, myopia and lies prevail, the inability or unwillingness to see the true reasons for the American failure. Yes, there were predictions. In 1962-1963, he and his colleagues assessed the situation quite correctly, but Washington did not heed their recommendations. Personally, he believed at that time that military victory could be achieved if the war was waged more effectively. No, not through escalation, although he is considered a “hawk.” How do Americans fight? He lists the shortcomings. The entire American army - and it now has 550 thousand people - is replaced every year, because according to the current situation, a soldier spends no more than a year on the battlefield. Subtract another month of vacation, which he is also entitled to. We get a new composition of fighting Americans every eleven months. Before some have time to gain combat experience, get used to specific conditions, and become mature soldiers, others take their place. In Vietnam, according to Kahn, the Americans are fighting worse than in their colonial wars at the end of the last century - in the Philippines and Cuba. Back then, hunters, trappers, cowboys, and farmers became soldiers. Now the masses are accustomed to comfort, pampered urban residents of an urban country, unsuited for the jungle, for a special, “counter-insurgency” type of war. And the generals are “not keen” on such a war, they are trained for other wars: “Generals, I’ll tell you a secret, are worse than colonels.” Another problem that plagues Vietnamese conditions is the American passion for technology. There is talk of a helicopter war, but helicopters sometimes get in the way. Here's an example: it was necessary to transfer a battalion a distance of four miles. Walk for an hour. But they called helicopters - it took three hours.He had just returned from another trip to South Vietnam. Doesn't say anything about the nature of the mission, we don't ask. In his organized imagination there are probably still vivid and violent pictures, but he has already included them in a chain of logical conclusions.Hands on his stomach - this man, who cannot be squeezed into one nickname, is also called Buddha - and a kind of good-natured, sincere laugh, in which an invitation to join.“I was on a hill with a Buddhist from the same sect, and together we watched as American planes dropped napalm on the Viet Cong below. I’m a racist in the sense that it’s better for me when it’s not the Americans who are burning, but others, - laugh... - But I was also terrified by these human torches below. “Napalm is still terrible,” I told this Buddhist. Do you know what he answered me: “I would like him to be even hotter...”Unlike Greene's American Pyle, Herman Kahn hardly believes in the mission of freedom and democracy, but he ignores the social background of the war, the moral spirit of the National Liberation Front, hatred of the Americans, as of any interventionists, and the unfair - on the American side - nature of the war. In general, he argues, the Vietnamese, despite the war, are living better than they were four or five years ago.A ballpoint pencil, a piece of paper, a massive figure above the coffee table separating us.“Four to five million in cities in conditions of relative safety now live much better,” he sums up, scribbling down numbers with a pencil. “Six to seven million villagers affected by war, villages destroyed and crops turned into refugees are worse.” Five to six million live the same way they lived before.“Of course we killed a lot of people, more than we should have.” We abuse artillery. But it is not true that we are destroying the country. It is quite difficult to destroy an entire country, even if we wanted to. Ha ha ha...I look at this pleasant fat man and think: is he really an cannibal? Or a cannibal? - a well-placed word comes to mind. A pragmatist is a cannibal, ready to obediently evolve into a cannibal, if this is ordered and appropriate. Yes, it is expedient, because practical common sense triumphs infinitely in him, sound from his point of view and from the point of view of customers, and they are powerful. But, damn it, it’s full of good nature and cordiality, it has the frankness and openness of a person who is not oppressed by anything, who is freed from all moral inhibitions, like - judging by the reviews - the ancient Roman pagans from Fellini’s film “Satyricon”.Only this 20th century pagan does not personally get his hands dirty, and will not undertake to strangle or stab someone. The supreme embodiment of pragmatism, irrational rationality.My friend, a sociologist from the largest advertising company J. Walter Thompson, is irrationally rational, trying, on the instructions of one corporation, to identify as scientifically as possible the relationship between the rebellious sentiments of young people and the prospects for demand for Pepsi-Cola. Another acquaintance, Dr. Ernest Dichter, a former Austrian socialist and now a professor of advertising on American soil, takes pragmatism to the idea of school excursions to cemeteries, which would free children from unnecessary fear and methodically emasculate in their minds the impending shock of the death of their parents, to heartfelt and again, scientific interviews with the living about which coffins they would consider more convenient and comfortable for themselves - interviews commissioned by undertakers. Herman Kahn goes further, taking into the arms of his thoughts peoples, countries, a nuclear bomb, the year 2000....We said goodbye, thanking for the science. Already hurrying to the meeting, Herman Kahn pulled out of his suitcase and handed us something like a memo that he distributed to “some people from Saigon.” A piece of thick paper that can be kept on the table, folded, put into a commander’s bag, into a briefcase. Clear, hectograph-printed text on both sides. I ran through it from one side: it listed 12 types of uprisings, their five “main goals,” four approaches to uprisings and counter-insurrections, six characteristics of a “good war plan,” etc.We walked down the carpet, exited the mansion and waited for the green light at the corner of 68th Street and Park Avenue. By rush hour the traffic was getting thicker. After the conditioned air in Kahn's office, it was more difficult to breathe in the May warmth, but still, although infected with the New York miasma, it was natural air. I turned the paper over and read the title: “The Main (and Almost Universal) Principles of Counterinsurgency Warfare.” Political principles came first:"1. Be a "winner" or at leastUsually look like a winner andNever look defeated. AnywayAppear competent, confident and strong.Target propaganda with the enemy's views in mind, not your own.Carry out selective and popular reforms, make many promises for the future.Selective, rational, consistent and “legalized” use of terror and violence..."And so on, up to point eleven.The fat man didn't want to leave us. The fat man descended from heaven to political literacy, teaching his wisdom to quiet and noisy Americans lost in the Vietnamese jungle. The fat man gave away the secrets of his popularity, his hypnosis.11Sequoia National Park. Reddish-red columns of giant sequoias. Their greenness is above, in the sky. Below, at the human level, they are naked and clean, shining reddishly in the sun, as if some benevolent beings had scrubbed these columns with their mops before handing them over as worthy exhibits to the world exhibition of earthly beauty. The sun, as in a temple, pours out scattered, gentle rays. Rising above the ferns - two dead men, two fallen warriors. Once upon a time they fell backwards into this chasm and, having broken, lie next to the living. They are gray, ashy, layered. Their roots stick out above the ground like the nozzles of ancient, defeated rockets. These roots are carried by redwoods from the past and from our day into the future. Without leaving the ground, the redwoods move through time, the rockets of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. How many have they counted, how many annual rings of reddish-purple wood have they made under this deceptively rotten bark that rubs in your fingers?The fence twists in weird squiggles to prevent people from trampling the ground over the roots. Behind the fence is “the largest living plant on earth” - a sequoia named after General Sherman. Like a questionnaire, a neat wooden tablet with numbers: age - 3000-3500 years, weight 1319 tons, height 272.4 feet, circumference at the bottom 101.6 feet, diameter 36.5 feet, diameter of the largest branch 6.8 feet, height up to first large branch 130 feet, trunk volume 50,010 square feet.The veins of the roots, which had been clinging to the ground for thousands of years, swelled. Branches the size of huge pine trees extend from the enormous column of trunk above. How many years will they still remember General Sherman, the leader of the northerners in the war with the southerners? And won’t the descendants rename the sequoia, having acquired new glorious heroes?..Yosemite National Park. The Big Three Lodge Hotel is in the southern part, near the Mariposa Grove. This is also not a simple grove, but a sequoia grove, and the Americans, with ironic warmth establishing relationships with the giants, nicknamed them “big trees.”Cafeteria tables under the shade of redwood trees. On a sunny day, we look and look at the red trunks of sequoias, at their younger brothers, not so stocky, but powerful and slender sugar pines with beautiful, scaly bark. Happy to have escaped from crazy Los Angeles to this majestic paradise.Redwoods are like aliens from another world. None of us have seen this world, everything that was in their youth has faded away, only mountains and rivers and the damp earth itself remain. Contemporaries of other breeds have long since died out and disappeared into the ground. And they carry themselves with dignity and aloofness among new and new generations, who know how to hear, saying wisely and simply: well, let's wait and see...And this touch of thousands of years reduces, but also heals. Helps to more accurately determine the meagerly measured eyelid...We drive through the park, in the shadow of forest roads - excellent, asphalt roads, catching sequoia trunks on the sides, among the pines, rejoicing that we already recognize them from afar, without even looking at the sky. However, according to our understanding, this is not a park at all, but a reserve with an area of 1,200 square miles on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada. It's Sunday and there are a lot of people in Yosemite, not on their feet, but in their cars. Road signs and signs, numerous guidebooks are peppered with numbers, various information and advice to keep the speed limit to no more than forty-five miles per hour and to allow at least one hour for every thirty miles of road. Of the one and a half million people who come to Yosemite every year, almost all of them are transit travelers for a day or two. Of the countless dimensions of time, here too they choose the traditional one: time is money. “During road tours,” the authors of the guidebook persuade them, “don’t forget to sometimes leave the car and walk under the trees and to the waterfalls, don’t forget to look at the rocks and meadows - this will be the greatest reward for your trip.”And people dismount, go to the observation platforms, so that, realizing the powerlessness of cameras and movie cameras, they become silent, leaning on the iron handrails, and from a kilometer height take in the bowl of the Yosemite Valley - forests, roads, buildings, blue mirrors of swimming pools and, most importantly, the distant, united roar of waterfalls, falling in shiny ribbons from the rocks, and the granite rocks themselves, ringing the valley. People named them, overturning their world on the sovereign greatness of nature: the steep-faced “El Capitan”, rising vertically 1200 meters above the small Yosemite river, which, having cut through the valley and created its miracle, calmly, transparently flows between two highways, “Half Dome” (height 1600 meters), “Northern Dome” (1200 meters), “Cathedral Spiers” (900 meters).The rocks are even more regal when you go down the highway into the valley, and the ribbons of waterfalls, motionless from afar, are already flying white tresses, and a rainbow is close to the ground, you can reach it with your hand.A hundred years ago, John Muir, the famous naturalist and conservationist to whom California owes much, wrote to his friend the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson: “I invite you to pray with me to Nature in the high temples of the crown of the great Sierra, which rises above our holy Yosemite. It will not cost you anything except time, and it will take very little time, because you will be close to Eternity.” 67-year-old Emerson heeded the pathetic invitation and, having overcome the then difficult adversities of the journey, visited Yosemite. In May 1871, he wrote down his first impressions in his diary: “In Yosemite, the majesty of the mountains seems to have no equal in the world, for they bare themselves like athletes in a competition, and stand perpendicular with granite walls to their full height with snow caps of freedom on heads."The rocks have remained the same, and for more than a hundred years redwood trees have not been cut down in Yosemite. Freed from human encroachment, large trees can rely on their unrivaled vitality - immunity from pests due to the rich tonin content of the wood, and invulnerability to fire from the heat-resistant bark of asbestos. Sequoias are a rare gift, nature gave it only to California. The “monarchs of the forest,” which make even the baobabs look like teenagers, are scattered singly and in groves in Central California, along the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, at an altitude of four to eight thousand feet. Every year in February - March, when the snow still lies in the mountains, bright yellow flowers bloom in the sky, millions of seeds pour to the ground in small, four to six centimeters long, cones. Each seed, according to scientists, has less than a one in a billion chance of developing into a giant. However, the future of sequoia as a breed is assured.Giant sequoias have only one worthy rival - redwood trees, which also grow in California, are also long-lived and also of the sequoia species. They are inferior to giant sequoias in volume, but not in majestic beauty. The tallest tree on earth, according to American reference books, is the “tree of the Founding Fathers” (authors of the Declaration of Independence). It is 364 feet tall and grows in California's Humboldt Park. This is mahogany. Redwood trees grow in Northern California, along the Pacific coast.Sequoias are protected and owned by the state, behind the cordons of national parks, just like the geysers of Yellowstone, lakes in the Grand Teton Mountains, the Colorado Valley in the Grand Canyon area, Niagara Falls. In America, there are dozens of national and state parks - protected principalities of nature, open to everyone for a small entrance fee or free of charge, dissected by good roads and hiking trails, with hotels, campsites, picnic tables, restaurants, cafeterias, trash cans near each site. - stops, with toilets, photo albums, souvenirs, gas stations and even paper garbage bags that are given to motorists at the entrance to the park, and even semi-tame bears that come out onto the highway towards cars, for example in Yellowstone Park.These nature reserves are the undeniable pride of America. There, the Americans seem to be looking into the face of the land where the pioneers came, into the virgin nature that people have so difficultly, and sometimes ungratefully, transformed. There, America even rejects itself: competition and vulgar advertising in the parks are abolished, visitor services - hotels, restaurants, gas stations - are given over to concessionaire corporations, which are regulated and controlled by the National Parks Administration, subordinate to the Department of the Interior, responsible for the protection of natural resources.Yosemite Park enthusiasts consider it the nation's first park, dating back to June 29, 1864, when a bill signed by President Lincoln gave the state of California some money to preserve the "undisturbed" beauty of Yosemite Valley. The official lineage of national parks began later - in 1872, the US Congress placed the geysers, canyons, forests and cliffs of Yellowstone (on the border of Montana and Wyoming) under federal trust as “a public park... for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” It must be said that these actions were preceded by a long struggle, which, in fact, continues to this day; Never have they talked so much about violence against nature and the fact that it takes revenge ever more painfully. Many members of Congress voted against the Yellowstone bill, finding it "too expensive a luxury" and declaring that it was not the government's job to "raise wild animals."As for the Yosemite Valley and sequoias, the stunned “white man” saw them for the first time in the fifties of the last century, when, rummaging the California mountains during the “gold rush”, he set foot on the sacred land of the Indians. He gave the place a name from the Indian word “u-zu-ma-te” (grizzly bear) and destroyed the silence temporarily, and the Indians forever. Businessmen competed on how best to do business in sequoias, and two of them went down in history by the fact that in 1853 they felled the “mother of the forest” - a hundred-meter-tall sequoia with a twenty-meter thickness at the base and, having cleared it of bark, cut off a log of forty meters and transported it to show around the world for money - first to cities on the Atlantic coast of the United States, and then overseas, to the once famous Crystal Palace in London. The “Mother of the Forest” took revenge on them: no one believed that a mass of wood the size of a five-story building across was a piece of a single tree. The companions were considered swindlers. To the credit of enlightened Americans of the time, this attraction sparked protests and calls for the creation of a society to “protect trees from cruelty.” Harper's Weekly magazine wrote that redwoods were uprooted "with as much skill and enterprise as a band of jackals would show in clearing the bones of a dead lion." Vandalism gave impetus to the movement to save big trees, and ten years later it achieved its first significant success....In Yosemite Park, the many faces of California turned to us with a beautiful face.But we are also transit travelers. On Monday the park and our hotel, the Big Three Lodge, were empty; The birds sing to themselves; already in the desert, the columns of sequoias and sugar pines light up reddishly and mysteriously from the first rays of the sun. We took a walk. Not far from the hotel we found our own gorge, not indicated in the guidebooks, from where coniferous trees stretched towards us in peaks. We sat in the sun and talked, and, of course, we also talked about how we would like such protected parks with their roads, hotels and all the services.And it’s time to get into the dark blue Fury and hit the road. Tanya is behind, and I am next to Vasily Ivanovich, as a navigator, because on this land, criss-crossed with highways, we can only move in corridors authorized by the State Department, and in my hands I have the constant Rand McNally road atlas (fortieth annual publication) and maps of California, which are free at every gas station.The State Department is far away, the mountain roads are deserted on Monday, and yet it is necessary to follow the agreement and make pretzels tens of miles around closed areas.Let's hit the road! After all, we are still traveling and only two days from Los Angeles. It’s time to return to the road outline from which the author was so distracted, although much, very much lies next to the road, if you take it in not only with your eyes: suddenly it occurs to you, for example, that perhaps that very “guilt complex” that denies Herman Kahn, and helped Americans save redwood trees. And the State Department, having closed our direct route to San Francisco along the Pacific coast, doubled the mileage, but, thank God, added the temptation to visit Yosemite Park, and we made that gratifying four-hundred-mile dash to the sequoias.Now another three hundred miles from morning to early evening - first they said goodbye to the mountains, then the fertile valley around the city of Fresno, then the scorched dull plateau, gray ribbons of roads, the waving of oil pumps and the sun, which became hot and merciless over the desert of the Gabilan Mountains. We are driving, and the distance, as always, is longer than estimated on the map. We check road numbers, rack up miles, not impressions, leaving behind such rich themes as the agriculture and industry of California, its farmers, winemakers, Mexican sharecroppers, etc. Lost in the desert, an involuntary fear of getting lost, although where can one get lost on the numbered roads, up and down the hills, the sun stinging through the windshield, the hot seats and at noon the sleepy boredom of King City, where - come on, come on, three rows in one direction, three in the other direction - a dash down Interstate 101 to Carmel, where we'll stop for another day and a half...Carmel is a small town of five thousand residents on the ocean, 130 miles south of San Francisco. Another surprise, another charm, a lyrical interlude between the two de facto capitals of California. Another place where guilt and awkwardness are mixed with joy - that you saw it yourself, enjoyed it, but your wife and children are locked in a stone bag of Manhattan, your relatives and friends did not see this beauty.We rolled quietly down Ocean Avenue and the ocean came into view, slightly limited by two headlands.The ocean in Carmel is not something lying to the left or right of the road and preventing it from being straightened, not a place for a city dump.We hurried to the beach, the sand was clean and soft, but the water was cold and scalding - you don’t joke with the Pacific Ocean even in late spring. Two Amazons galloped along the sand, close to the water. The play of youth, the agility of horses and the ocean wave, ready to roll up to the hooves and splash the laughing girls’ faces with splashes.The ocean worked, sighing and rolling waves, making noise with that noise that does not disturb the silence.The ocean united, and you are no longer a Russian in a distant country, but a man among people and near the elements.The ocean ennobled everything: what beautiful, pretty, graceful people there were all around. A young bearded man in heavy hiking boots came, threw himself on the sand, spread his arms and calmed down, looking into the sky, like a prodigal son at the ceiling of his newly found parental home.Evening ritual of Carmel: people gather and gather to say goodbye to the sun. Hanging over the ocean, it blinds the eyes with its last rays. Lower and lower a melting burning piece of gold above the darkening surface of the water.At night the beach is dark and empty. The young couple returns to the car. The ocean works alone. A long white wave beats and hits the shore. The sand turns vaguely white, and against its light background one can barely discern the dark line of a human figure. The wind rustles in the coastal cedars and pines. In the darkness and silence the stars appear over the ocean. And not just the stars. Memories of youth in places far from the ocean appear in my memory... “Listen! After all, if the stars light up, that means someone needs it?..”“Carmel is a state of mind,” Mr. Plaxton tells us. A statement unexpected from the mouth of the mayor's financial clerk, but Mr. Plaxton is also unusual.- How else could I help you? It’s somehow inconvenient for me to part with you guys. It’s a pity that you have so little time, otherwise I would have arranged a barbecue for you on my veranda...Barbecue - fried bones, hospitality at the kebab level. Mr. Plaxton, an elderly man with a gray mustache, is full of goodwill and inner peace. With a grin he says that, according to generally accepted categories, he is one of the losers: he was a plumber, a sales agent, and now a modest clerk. Not rich. “Is money the most important thing?” — coming from him, this is a revolutionary discovery. He put the state of mind above the pursuit of money and found it in Carmel, where, in the words of Mr. Plaxton, one can avoid “regulation,” that is, that rigid operation of the social mechanism which, despite all the diversity of America, inexorably drives a person to his assigned shelf. according to the size of his bank account, the club to which he belongs, the neighborhood where he lives, the make of his car, the value of his house, etc., etc. And in Carmel, Mr. Plaxton slipped out of the clutches of regulation. The clerk is one of the losers, he is in some club of his own along with retired generals and big businessmen. Isn't that enough? A lot for Mr. Plaxton.I wander around Carmel and experience the most pleasant state of mind. Cozy settlement. Low houses, elegantly decorated shops, small art galleries. Streets that don't hesitate to look like cute nooks and crannies, bending the sidewalks to save the pine trees. Neon advertising is prohibited and there are not even street lights. Gas stations are hidden under idyllic tiled roofs. It’s good here for a person who is tired of the bare, deadening functionality of cities dictated by the car. Carmel is for the people, not the machines, a rebuttal to Los Angeles, albeit unconvincing when compared to their size, an envious look at Europe and an attempt to escape standard America. Where is the truth? When acquiring something important and necessary, a person always loses something, and often also important and necessary. So is salvation really that another generation comes and simply does not know what is lost?History here began with the Spaniards, with the expedition of Gaspar de Portola. In 1770 - the first Carmelite mission on the southeastern outskirts of the present town.Father Serra, its founder, now lies before the altar of the old Carmelite basilica, next to Father Juan Crespi, the founder of Los Angeles.But the face of Carmel was determined by tragedy - the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Left homeless, a group of artists, writers and musicians moved there. They decided, as the official city history says, “to preserve the natural beauty and rare charm of the settlement in the forest above the white sandy beach.” A library, an arts club, and a theater arose in the town, pine and cedar trees were planted along the shore, and in parallel there were “fierce battles between the cultural and business groups of the population.” In 1922, the first city planning commission was created, obliging it to protect Carmel from “undesirable commercial enterprises.” Perhaps the most important milestone was the invitation in 1928 of a professional urban planner, who, saving the city from the impending hegemony of the car, moved the through highway beyond its boundaries. Businessmen rebelled, overthrew the city council, demanding the introduction of a road into the city, however, in 1929, a city law was passed, according to which commercial interests were “forever” subordinated to the interests of residents.This is how this town protected its charm from the “destructive forces of progress,” which is treated here with irony and horror, because this word is monopolized by narrow-minded businessmen. The people of Carmel, the city certificate proudly proclaims, “dare to be different.”And here is lovely Torres Avenue, flowers under the windows of the Rosita Lodge Hotel; Having opened the door of the room, you are next to a pine tree, darkening against the blue sky. Bob Martin, the hotel owner and former excellent shooter, sitting at a table under bronze figurines with rifles - all his prizes - smiles and says:- Good morning! Looks like it's going to be another great day.Yes, there will be another wonderful day. You look forward to walks along Ocean Avenue and side streets, conversations with people who have a Carmel state of Spirit, a trip to the Del Monte Park for a fee, where there are golf courses, a completely deserted coastline, rocks on which the ocean crashes, a rookery of sea lions sunbathing on the in the sun and lazily wondering whether a person had approached them too dangerously, and in the evening the French Poodle restaurant, where Bob Martin, leafing through the filed menus of fifty-three Carmel catering outlets, smacked his lips - “chicken in wine will take you to seventh heaven” .“You don’t have to read the newspaper while drinking your morning coffee or tune in to the radio for the next shock injection... You don’t have to rush to work in a crowded, foul-smelling subway, hang on the phone all day, run into picket lines or police throwing tear gas bombs into a panic-stricken crowd. It is not necessary to buy a TV for children. Life here can go on as normal, freed from so many of the anxieties that are considered normal in the rest of America.” These are the words of Henry Miller. He is considered a controversial writer, but you can’t argue with him here. These words are said about Big Sur, another lovely place on the ocean, thirty miles to the south, but they can also be applied to Carmel.Carmel ran away from America, but America clings to him, and precisely because he dared to be different. Bob Martin says that during the season, from June to October, there is a crowd here: cars, bumper to bumper, from the top of Route 1 down to the beach, and the same line back. The car line moves slowly to Carmel for one and a half miles long, they will look at the miracle, sigh or marvel, and again to the standard country, but from the cars - dollar by dollar ends up in Carmel: in restaurants, in 46 motels and hotels, in stores. Seventy to eighty thousand cars then pass through Carmel every day, the mayor told us. The city makes a business out of uniqueness and artistry. Carmel businessmen, who were afraid of going broke because of their dissimilarity, were perfectly compensated.Mr. Plaxton sees the guarantee of charm not only in the resilience of the inhabitants, but also in the tutelage of certain “merciful barons.” Saying goodbye to us on the steps of the town hall, he waves his hand to the right, in the direction where Del Monte Park is located:— We have our own clique, there on the peninsula. Sam Morse - He has a controlling interest in Del Monte Properties, the company that owns the park. Fish, large landowner. Oppenheimer, also a wealthy owner. They don't let outsiders in...Fame grows, land becomes more expensive. Plakstoin’s house cost eight thousand dollars in 1944; twenty years later they paid 32 thousand for it. Artists and writers may still mean something, but their percentage is insignificant. The mayor said that about a quarter of Carmel residents are retired military officers, from major and above, and 15 percent are elderly businessmen who have retired from business.At first I neglected the figure about the retiree layer and mentally brushed it aside. Then we stopped by Montreux (the center of the county, which includes Carmel) and there, at the Chamber of Commerce, we stocked up on some brochures. I read through them, having already left Carmel and California, and it became clear to me that the Montreux Peninsula and the county of the same name are no less militarized than Los Angeles, adjusted, of course, for their size. On the peninsula, not far from the sea lions basking in the sun, there is Fort Ord (a large infantry training center, as well as a command experimental center for the "army of the future"), a school for training naval officers, a military foreign language institute, a naval training airfield, coastal border guard outpost. The civilian population on the Montreux Peninsula, according to 1966 data, is 89 thousand, the military with their families is 32 thousand.The ubiquitous Bank of America published a report, "Focus on Montreux County," the same type of report on the Los Angeles economy. It turns out that forty thousand military personnel and members of their families live in the county. Plus 15 thousand civilians working for the Pentagon and their families. Plus six thousand retired military personnel. If we take into account the families of retirees and add up all the figures mentioned, we get, as the report states, “more than eighty thousand people, that is, more than a third of the entire population of Montreux County.”Economic prosperity here is also associated with militarization, similar to Los Angeles, which saves me from commenting. I will limit myself to quotes:“Most of the business - banks, trade, services in the area of the Montreux Peninsula, where military institutions are concentrated, is very dependent on military personnel and their families. The salaries of military personnel, as well as civilians working for the Pentagon, amounted to $130 million in 1966. In addition, the military establishments themselves require large quantities of goods and services... Heavy dependence on the military could cause significant economic problems in the event of major reductions in troop levels and a concomitant reduction in the flow of federal funds. However, such a prospect seems extremely unlikely. With tensions increasing in the Far East and the importance of maintaining the US military position, some military installations within the county are now being expanded... By early 1967, the demands of the Vietnam War had increased the total number of military personnel to nearly forty thousand, far exceeding the highest level since 1945 and approaching World War II averages... Many military personnel also chose Montreux County as their post-retirement home. This area is widely known among retirees as one of the best places and several residential complexes have already been built for them.”...For the last time, the morning pines and the deep blue sky of Carmel, which retained the richness of the night. The morning shuffling of cars along the crooked streets, the faces of people heavy with sleep.“Good morning,” we hear from Mr. Martin. “Looks like we're going to have another great day.”Yes, it will, but not for us. Freshly shaven and amiable, he takes our dollars and apologizes once again for offering rooms with sidewalk windows rather than the suites with loggias, fireplaces, and kitchens advertised on his business cards.- Come back!And we console him. Everything was lovely, Mr Martin. Everything was lovely, and it’s a shame it was so short.And the Fury, with its owner at the wheel, took us along Ocean Avenue up to Road No. 1, which Carmel did not allow into its borders, advertising and road billboards flashed, the ugly boredom of the city of Montreux began - faceless, standard, killed by the dominance of freeways and gas stations. The sky has faded...From Carmel to San Francisco, it's about a two-hour drive, mostly on Interstate 101. It's a long highway through a fertile valley, well known to drivers of huge semi-trucks. The road is like a street. Crashes into cities and towns. Green fields, vineyards, and low, rusty mountains to the right. Like business cards of the southern region, signs line the road: “Fruits and Vegetables,” “Fresh Artichokes,” “Peaches,” “Wine Store, Tasting Room.” California, by the way, produces eighty percent of American dry wines, and the best varieties come from vineyards in the valleys adjacent to San Francisco.San Francisco is nice when you fly there from New York, but now the green billboards of road signs and the quickening rhythm of freeways flew towards you, like a lasso around the neck of a horse that had been pampered under Yosemite redwood trees and on the sand of Carmel beach.12"San Francisco is a city that everyone loves."“People love San Francisco because it’s San Francisco.”“People love San Francisco because it’s easy to forget.”This is a comic boast from one semi-advertising brochure that was supplied to visiting journalists so that they would not reinvent the wheel. Every nation has its favorite cities, and I have never met an American who didn't love San Francisco. “They love San Francisco because it is San Francisco,” although it calls itself “the Paris of the Pacific,” “Baghdad on the Bay,” “the gateway to the East.” The more immutable the standard, the more popular the exceptions, the stronger the American one - and only the American one? - passion for any exotic: your own, be it San Francisco or Carmel or New Orleans with a French flavor, San Antonio and Santa Fe with a Mexican flavor, or such an island of bohemia among Manhattan skyscrapers as Greenwich Village; Who knows - and hence the invasion of American tourists in Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Africa and Asia - if there were dollars for summer vacations, and more and more people have them, and they are still very willingly accepted everywhere. A person reaches out to the different in order to renew his commitment to the familiar: after tasting Toulouse sausage and a bullfight, an American will strengthen his love for his T-bone steak and the baseball players from the New York Yankees club.Who hasn't heard of San Francisco? Arriving there for the first time at the end of April 1962, I was already ready to declare my love. It was evening, and we took a taxi from the city airport terminal to the Plaza Hotel on Union Square.“Where are you guys from?” the taxi driver asked like old friends.- From New York.- Is it hot there?— When we left, it was cool. However, ten days passed.- Eh, brothers, it took you a long time to get there. I guess we met some cats along the way...Having checked into the hotel, we hurried out onto the streets of San Francisco, and the ocean sent greetings with a cool breeze. Desperate music and singing flew out of the door of the bar, and a barker in livery stood nearby. Let's go. The bar was like a saloon at the beginning of the century, the audience was in a state of pleasant drinking, and they sang a lively old song in unison. In the corner at the piano sat a broken-down guy in a hat, and astride the piano was a daring mandolinist. The ad recommended the mandolinist as “our music professor who plays whatever you want.”Thus, from the first minutes, San Francisco reminded two strangers that it is easy to forget in it - if you want. I couldn’t forget myself, but I take the blame on myself and my profession.Nevertheless, the first acquaintance confirmed the magnetic charm of San Francisco. What is so attractive about its forty hills on the ocean and a beautiful bay? The Spaniards from the expedition of the same Gaspar de Portola, who discovered the San Francisco Bay, did not think about how a modern city of almost a million would fit into the virgin nature. But the original magic of the place was not killed by urban development, in principle it remained the same - it is in the play of the hills and the mass of water. After seeing the typical American streets for miles, the San Francisco hills are like a surprise, like a mystery. Cars storm the slopes like climbers, with brakes instead of alpenstocks. What's there beyond the ridge? And you fly up to the asphalt peak, and there it is, the mystery - another panoramic view of houses, hills and a mighty mass of ocean water. The spatial power of the ocean, the element in its most heroic manifestation, enters the city, the human settlement. The ocean does not bring stifling, sweaty humidity, like the Atlantic in New York, but freshness and a good measure of coolness.At the peak of low tide, the ocean withdraws four and a half million cubic feet of water per second from the Gulf—seven times more than the flow of water at the mouth of the Mississippi. The ocean exhales, and the bright red farms of the famous “Golden Gate” are already shrouded in a damp cloud. Nature tempts man to match it, and the Golden Gate Bridge, completed in 1937, across the bay, proves that its inhabitants have not shied away from the challenge. The length of the bridge is about three kilometers. Almost one and a half kilometers of the central span hang on support towers that rise two hundred and fifty meters above the water level. Vessels up to more than seventy meters high can pass under the bridge, and more than twenty million cars cross the bridge every year. Another bridge, across the bay, from San Francisco to Oakland, has several spans and one tunnel and is considered the longest bridge in the world - thirteen kilometers. The Auckland Bridge carries about fifty million vehicles a year across its two decks.Yes, San Francisco is lucky with nature, unless, of course, you count the belated discovery that the city lies in an area of persistent seismic activity, which, if you listen to the pessimists, may raise the question of its very existence.We were received well. The interlocutors valued the reputation of a cosmopolitan, “end-to-end” city, to which foreigners are a curiosity, which has digested many of them in its cauldron (in San Francisco, as is known, tens of thousands of Italians, Mexicans, Canadians, thousands of Russians, fifty thousand Chinese - the local Tea - Ia-town is considered the largest Chinese settlement outside of Asia) and instilled a broad-mindedness characteristic of residents of port cities, where tolerance is simply dictated by the laws of trade communication.The new acquaintances were different: the militant leader of the West Coast longshoremen's union, Harry Bridges, the president of the American-Russian Institute, a longtime friend of our country, Holland Roberts, the conservative Mr. Ransom Cook, the president of the large bank Wells Fargo, who saw attacks on American wealth everywhere in the world, assistant auto mechanic Evgeniy Voronkov, a Russian born in China and coming to the United States through Argentina, he spoke about his ordeals and the dream of getting to our country, which he had never seen, but considered his homeland, to liberal lawyer Robert Fehlen.The young scientist Don Rea took us to the Muir Forest, to the younger sisters of the giant sequoias, telling us along the way his story of a Canadian who accepted American citizenship: he likes San Francisco, and there are more opportunities for scientific work here than in Canada. Another volunteer guide took a tour boat around the bay to the prison island of Alcatraz. Under the blue sky, among the water, the walls and buildings of the famous prison looked sadly gray, and the sightseers peered with cruel curiosity at the solidly gloomy structure: would the face of the prisoner flash through the eyepiece of the binoculars? Opposite Alcatraz, at the noisy and popular Fisherman's Wharf, heavy stationary binoculars stood on metal pipes, which for ten cents gave those who wished the opportunity to safely approach the prison. By the way, the prison on the island has now been closed. Keeping prisoners there was prohibitively expensive, and perhaps the authorities realized that people were not being put behind bars to entertain tourists.Perhaps most memorable was the conversation at the house of doctor John Ryan. He invited us to lunch, and then, over coffee and liqueur in the living room, together with his friends, we took on the vast bulk of worldly philosophy. I vividly remember one unexpected aspect of the conversation that turned into an argument. The owner and his friends, also doctors, discussed the question of whether it is possible to forcibly sterilize women and men who do not have the means or the ability to raise their children. As a person not yet accustomed to cold “intellectual” debates in America, I was stunned by the topic, and especially by the tone - calm, without emotion, with a consciousness of one’s own right and superiority, and the superiority was that the participants in the conversation and their wives Of course, they won’t have to be sterilized, since when they give birth to children, they check their household receipts and expenses books. So what, the reader will say, we don’t live in heaven, and, as the comparative level of childbearing proves, we compare better than the Americans. That’s how it is, but what would it be like if someone checked for you, thinking that you couldn’t really check yourself?I don’t want to pile up excessive horrors; our host was not a Nazi, and perhaps his hand would have trembled if the conversation had come to the point. The discussions were theoretical, but with practical implications. Our interlocutors were concerned, both as doctors and as citizens. In San Francisco, the number of families who cannot properly support and raise their children is growing. They are seen as a threat and a burden to society, since civilization implies its minimum of humanity, which boils down to at least the social security taxes that wealthy city dwellers have to pay. The conversation thus came down to money. Wouldn't it be better to sterilize the parents? More radical, more rational and more economical.Where do these children come from? Dr. Ryan explained that people are divided into classes based on the lack or presence of "ambition", vitality and vitality and that below there is a kind of genetically programmed abyss, dropouts and discards who are not responsible for themselves, and therefore a society represented by the "average" and The “upper” classes, in their reasonably understood interests, must control them, limit the possibilities of their reproduction, for example, by forced sterilization.There are, of course, real differences between people - in moral, mental and physical potential, in the maximum ceiling allocated to the stupid and the genius. There is “inequality of development” - the strongest of inequalities, according to Herzen’s clever remark, and it occurs not only due to the fault of objective circumstances, the social environment and opportunities for development, but also due to the fault of nature. People are not the same and will be different, but what kind of society is it that naturally leads its members to talk like what we heard in Dr. Ryan's living room? I will return to this topic because San Francisco itself is swell with vengeance against the theorists of forced sterilization and has prepared some answers to the old controversy....At the end of that first visit to San Francisco, we visited then-mayor George Christopher. An American from the Greeks, he had a spiritual weakness for the Orthodox, although they had become atheists. His calls for good relations between the United States and the USSR were often heard in those years, and in a conversation with us, the mayor lamented that “there is no progress in the science of understanding man by man.” Christopher handed us personalized keys to the city. The generous mayor probably gave them out in dozens, if not hundreds, but attention is expensive. The key is made of gilded plywood, and on its tongue is written: “Please come back!”And I returned - in July 1964.We flew in from New York. The first San Francisco resident with whom we exchanged a few words at the airport turned out to be a student from Berkeley working part-time at the Budget car rental company. Handing over the keys to the Mustang, the student said, “I hope, gentlemen, that you sweep Goldwater away. Everything here is against him.”Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater was swept away by American voters in November 1964, electing Texan Lyndon Johnson as president. And the student was right: the majority of San Francisco voters voted against the Arizonan.But this happened in November, and in July charming San Francisco was the scene of Goldwater's triumph. The Republican Party convention was held there, nominating a demagogue and ignoramus as a candidate for President of the United States. In inviting the congress, the San Francisco authorities were thinking not about politics, but about business, or rather, about business in politics. The city contributed $650,000 to the election coffers of the “elephant party” for the right to get its delegates, fill their hotels, restaurants, cabarets and airlines with them and earn millions of dollars from guests. In the booklets that correspondents who came to the congress received at the press center, this arithmetic was explained with all frankness. In 1963, about two million different guests spent $111,225 thousand in the Greater San Francisco area (this area, located along the shores of San Francisco Bay, in addition to San Francisco proper, also includes Richmond, Oakland, Berkeley and Daly City) . Participants of all kinds of conferences, symposiums, festivals, congresses, who do not forget to have fun, are more willing to shell out money than others. In 1964, the Republican Convention promised the biggest prize, and San Francisco hit it with two and a half thousand delegates and alternate delegates, five and a half thousand correspondents accredited to the convention, and thousands of guests, lobbyists, observers, and so on.Of all the San Francisco attractions, our brother found the cable trams the most useful back then. Bulky carriages are pulled along the hills of Powell Street and California Street on underground chain-cables, the leaders masterfully operate clutch levers, archaic but reliable brakes and their own voices. "Go!" - they shout with the delight of children sliding down an ice slide, and the trailer, which had strained to climb the hill, rushes down, clearing the way with a ringing sound. The patriots of good old Frisco, sparing no muscles, turn the trailers around on the turntable and vigilantly guard their fun. (In its 91st year of existence, the cable streetcars were designated a “National Historic Landmark” and could only be abolished by a citywide referendum.)On this mobile "monument" we climbed the steep Nob Hill, where the fashionable Mark Hopkins Hotel, with a royal view of the city, bay and ocean, the seventeenth floor was rented as apartments and headquarters for Barry Goldwater, and the sixteenth for William Scranton, the Arizonan's rival, the millionaire Pennsylvania governor, who in those days represented the hope of the moderate wing of the Republicans. On the Goldwater floor, the wires of a private telephone network with a hundred and twenty numbers, with a guarantee against eavesdropping, hung from the ceiling, and burly fellows from the Pinkerton detective agency were walking around.Goldwater had a lot going on then. For example, five hundred “Goldwater girls” - volunteer loud agitators; In terms of feminine charms, they, however, lost to the “Pepsi-Cola girls,” who provided delegates and correspondents with a branded drink for free. An entire election industry was born, proving the unrivaled agility of American business. They sold hollow glass canes in which golden-colored water shimmered (goldwater translates as golden water), boaters, brooches, beads, badges, tie pins with the same magical name. The bubbly, grey-haired enthusiasts, not old enough to be Goldwater girls, adorned themselves with large round badges: “If I were 21, I would vote for Barry.”In the best days of his life, Barry Goldwater even had permission from San Francisco authorities to fly by helicopter from the Mark Hopkins Hotel to the Cow Palace in Daly City.There, in the suburbs of San Francisco, among the red Californian hills, in the Cow Palace, built in the early thirties under Roosevelt's program to combat unemployment, in the intermission between the annual cattle show and the tour of the four shaggy Beatles from Liverpool - there The main performance was being played out. To the credit of American journalists, they are very ironic about the pre-election congresses of their two leading parties, but even though I had been warned, I was struck by the booth at the Cow Palace. And booths are different. Then there was a dangerous booth of ignorance and hatred - a global and universal hatred of liberals, moderates, blacks, communists, the welfare program, Cubans, Panamanians, Vietnamese, socialist countries, De Gaulle, Johnson, "East Coast millionaires", the New York newspaper time”, etc., etc. Fundamental hatred of all the complexity of the world, in which, as Goldwater’s supporters imagined, their America was being encroached on from everywhere, where traitors, apostates and “softies” were everywhere.The climax came when Goldwater was nominated at the Cow Palace, and state after state, with few exceptions, supported it. What was being done? Noise. Whistling. The stamping of feet. Dance of posters. Balloons. The hysteria of enthusiasm, which the Goldwater chairman vainly wanted to channel into an orderly channel. Indians specially brought from Arizona - in feathers and almost naked. A girl in a gilded leotard, like from a striptease, but with a portrait of Barry. The correspondents silently watched this coven from the platform near the podium, and some gray-haired bastard stretched his mouth into a smile with his fingers and shouted “Sauté it!” - “Come on!”, showing my dejected neighbor how to smile and rejoice.Goldwater walked to victory like a steamroller, the votes were in his pocket, behind the wild enthusiasm stood the controlled machine of the Republican Party, blind discipline broke the critical mind, and how could the reproaches from the letter of the confused Scranton affect the arrogant triumphant: “With open contempt for dignity , to the integrity and common sense of the convention, your aides are essentially saying that the delegates are just chickens whose heads can be twisted any way you like... You have too often and thoughtlessly prescribed nuclear war as a recipe for solving the problems of a troubled world. You have too often been irresponsible on the serious issue of racial catastrophe... In short, Goldwaterism has been reduced to a crazy collection of ridiculous and dangerous views... "Goldwater sent the letter back.Nelson Rockefeller, the New York governor and the most famous of the five billionaire brothers, experienced moments of public humiliation. Being one of the contenders, he, however, stayed on the sidelines, shielded by Scranton, on whom the “eastern capital” was betting. This tactic did not save Rockefeller from hostility and hatred. When he appeared on the podium, he was booed and not allowed to speak. “We want Barry! We want Barry! - the Goldwaterites chanted. "Lousy libertine!" - a certain blonde screamed: Rockefeller divorced his wife and entered into a second marriage shortly before the event described. “This is still a free country, ladies and gentlemen!” - Rockefeller exhorted the crowd, but it was not to be. Grabbing the edges of the podium, he could barely restrain himself, but he had to restrain himself, only with endurance could he win in the eyes of millions of television viewers. He was grayer than usual, the muscles of his face and large, unpleasantly mobile mouth had difficulty maintaining a trained smile that easily reached his ears.It was a most interesting scene: the Rockefellers are not often humiliated in public. However, if we calculate its political dividends, the governor most likely won. Many people did not like the hysteria in the Cow Palace.A person unfamiliar with American intricacies may be puzzled by this criticism of the Rockefellers from the right. The Rockefellers, of course, remain capitalists to the core, but there are different points of reference in the American political stripe. Having looked into the headquarters of the ultra-right organization Independent Americans for Goldwater during the convention on Mission Street, I learned that Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller’s political beliefs are an “international socialist” ...13And here is the third entry into San Francisco.Carmel is behind us, already blown away by the speeds on Interstate 101. Green road signs provide directions to motorists. I'm looking for acquaintances among them. Bah, off to Daly City! And here is a sign to the Cow Palace. It's like the right to memories.Where are the old passions? Where is he, Napoleon of the 1964 stamp, who watched his Austerlitz on TV from the Mark Hopkins Hotel, and the next day appeared in person at the Cow Palace - through the back door, because demonstrators were raging at the front door, inclining his name in their own way: “ 1964 - Golden water! 1965 —Hot water! 1966 —Bread and water!”The short-term triumphant did not get into the White House, even lost a senator's tit while chasing the presidential crane, and for more than three years now he has been modestly sitting in his Phoenix home - a haberdashery merchant, as well as a photo, radio and aviation enthusiast. “We Americans can think better of ourselves because we belong to the society that gave birth to Goldwater!” - one speaker exclaimed then. And then, in its eternal bustle, America forgot Goldwater faster than abroad, which does not assimilate all American phenomena. He rarely appeared in New York newspapers and was no closer than the tenth page, although his statements contained the legitimate offense of the victim of plagiarism - Johnson pursued in Vietnam the very policy that Goldwater had promised. He no longer dreamed of the White House, but of returning to the Senate (which was destined to come true in November 1968, when the Arizonans again sent him to Capitol Hill).And the American carousel is spinning, and how easy it turns out to be to see it from a height of only four years. It’s an election year again, but it’s not San Francisco, but the resort Miami Beach that has engaged the Republican convention. The Democrats, having made a mess of the Vietnam escalations, helped the Republicans somehow hold together the party, demoralized by the defeat of Goldwater. Johnson refused to run for a second term, giving the “elephant party” an additional chance to get their man into the White House. But Goldwater is out of the question. Scranton left the circle without sufficient energy or ambition. Nelson Rockefeller and his wife Happy have not yet healed the wounds of San Francisco humiliation, and although the billionaire belatedly “ran,” they do not believe in his success, and his weight in the Republican Party is still small. Others are on the Republican front, including Ronald Reagan, the former film actor and unlikely product of Hollywood unemployment. During the show at the Cow Palace, Reagan was still playing cowboys in movie theaters, and now the governor of California was playing the role of Goldwater in 1968. But the Republicans' main contender is Richard Nixon, also a Californian. He was beaten twice - by John Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election and by Edmund Brown - in the California gubernatorial election in 1962, and was completely eliminated from the count more than once, but “unsinkable Dick” is again the favorite in the presidential race.Political passions have returned to California soil in a tentative, albeit momentous, manner with the upcoming June 4 primary. Focus on two Democrats - Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy. As for the Republicans, Nixon considers it tactically unprofitable to challenge Reagan's influence in California. .All this flashes through our minds as we rush under the green sign directing those interested to the Cow Palace. We don't want it!What we need is not a palace, but a hotel, and not a cow, but Mr. Lamb, although by a strange twist of fate his surname translates as “sheep.” Hotel and immediate telephone contact with Mr. Lamb, who has already prepared the program for our meetings today and is probably worried because he is not used to being late for meetings, probably grumbling about the Russian eccentrics who did not book a hotel in advance - an absurdity for an American who is making the most of telephone number, which in their country can be used to contact any city without hanging up, and from directories that indicate prices and locations of hotels.“The city limits of San Francisco. Population 756,900” - we passed this road sign, and Vasily Ivanovich scoured the streets, and I scoured the pages of the AAA guidebook, debating the names and prices of hotels. Unlike Los Angeles, “everyone’s favorite city” is entirely open to Soviet guests, but the last lines of the short annotations turned us away from the bourgeois temptations of solariums on the roofs, from life on sophisticated Nob Hill. The last lines were full of those famous squiggles with which cartoonists mark the sides, backs, cuffs and top hats of American moneybags. We rejected hotel after hotel until we reached the Governor. Aurally? It sounds good. Place? "In the heart of San Francisco." Room price? From nine to twelve dollars for one person, from eleven to sixteen for a couple; "The finest reasonably located hotel in San Francisco."And we chose "the most beautiful" - a brick parallelepiped on the corner of Turkey and Jones streets. The carpet in the hall, alas, did not spring under the sole, and the chairs were only leather-like. But at the front desk, a promise of the many joys of San Francisco, lay stacks of colorful brochures. "Have fun!" - under this slogan, the booklets offered nightly excursions to nightclubs.To the left at the entrance there was a bar and a cafeteria, straight ahead there were elevators to the floors. How many floors are there in the “Governor”? Ten, twelve? I find myself caught in the snobbery of a New Yorker who doesn’t count floors if there are fewer than fifty of them.It was more difficult with a car, the hotel does not have its own parking lot, and San Francisco is not Carmel, leaving the car on the street means running into a fine. But that's it? Yes, there is a garage next door, and we found it on Turkey Street, and then we unloaded, went up to our rooms and hurried down to the materialization event of Mr. Richard Lamb, chief of the San Francisco bureau of Business Week magazine.An elderly gentleman in a light brown suit got out of the car near the Governor's canopy and, crossing the sidewalk, pushed the door handle with his hand.— Mr. Lamb?- Mr. Gromeka?- And this is Mr. Kondrashov.— It’s a pleasure, Mr. Kondrashov.- I'm very glad, Mr. Lamb.It's finished. Mr. Lamb materialized, as did his car, for it is not without reason that the American is said to be married to a car. Three clicks of well-adjusted doors, and poor Tanya is again alone in an unfamiliar city, and we, through a tangle of streets, along the lower tier of the Oakland Bridge - on the sides there are ripples of the bay, and cars from all sides, even overhead, on the upper tier - are going to Berkeley, to the University of California, to meet with two professors and one dean.Mr. Richard Lamb did not become Dick to us, as Mr. Tom Self, his former student, became Tom. He remained Mr. Lamb - reserved, dry, without a trace of flourish, more a businessman than a journalist. And very neat - from the important, small-scale gait to the hat that protects the parting on the head, to the manner of speaking, chewing every word with his lips, as if tasting it.“There are different attitudes towards your country, different - from love to hatred,” he says leisurely.And after carefully chewing his lips, checking the words so that they were not too offensive, but also not evasive, he adds:“I’ll tell you frankly that communism is not my concept of happiness, although I don’t know enough about communism. As for peace issues, then, of course, I am for peace. I will not hide that I had suspicions about your country and they did not completely disappear. However, after the Cuban Missile Crisis, people of my views realized that when the Soviets talk about peaceful coexistence, they mean business.Mr. Lamb is a country gentleman. A rare fact for people in his circle: he has never been abroad, except for Canada and Mexico, but what kind of foreign country is this for an American? Two adult children, grandchildren already gone. Now lives on campus in Palo Alto. Typical hassles associated with a car. He travels to his San Francisco office by train, because by car there are traffic jams and nerves. Looking at the long line of cars running along the Oakland Bridge, he fantasizes about the idea that it would be nice to take people’s cars away and give them cheap public transport in return. And another typical concern is blacks.- Why hide it, I live like few Americans. Significant acquisitions. House. Car. Dear wife. Dear children. Even if I don’t feel the Negro problem here - a hand on my heart, chewing my lips - I, how shall I say, understand them - and the fact that they have been pressed from different sides for so long, and the fact that now they threaten my position.Here is Mr. Lamb - in the circle of the chosen, knowing his social opponents, with a humanism identical to self-preservation.And I also read resentment in the eyes behind the glasses and in the neatly sagging, senile cheeks. The resentment of the current plan is against us and against the situation that connected him, Mr. Lamb, with us. I realized that he had given us the price back in the lobby of the Governor Hotel, at that moment when, for a short two days, we rose in front of each other from mutual oblivion. His gaze ran over Vasya’s curls, which are biologically incompatible with the appearance of a businessman, and over our wrinkled trousers - oh, the revealing national habit of walking around in unironed trousers! And along the lobby of the Governor Hotel. Most excellent? Mr. Lamb, an old resident of San Francisco, did not know this hotel and did not want to know, which he immediately gave us a feel for. He winced slightly, disgustedly, when he saw the nakedness of the “Governor”, covered with fig leaves of booklets. And it was then that I read the offense in his eyes and his quivering, saggy cheeks. An almost childish resentment of a respectable man who did not cherish his concept of happiness so that in his old age, for the sake of some fashion for international communication, he could become an errand boy for two relatively young eccentrics in rumpled trousers, who came from a foreign and incomprehensible country.We unwittingly added to his grievance because our first meeting booked at Berkeley was with two English professors specializing in control systems. Agree that it can be an insult: when you arrive in San Francisco, you force an old-timer there to take you on a date with two more foreigners. But Mr. Lamb, putting his hat on the table, silently sat out our conversation with the English on the sun-drenched veranda of the professor's cafeteria. And a day later he organized a meeting for us with two senior economists from Bank of America and provided us with some reference literature. And politely but coldly saying goodbye, he made it clear that there could be no talk of friendly ties and that he was again choosing non-existence, ceasing to exist for us. And he left for the weekend, to his place in Palo Alto.And we stayed in the “Governor”.The hotel has an excellent location - its advertising does not lie. Everything is at hand, everything is within walking distance. The municipal center - with City Hall, where the city government resides, with administrative buildings of various departments and services of the state of California and the federal government, with a public library and a meeting and convention hall, with an opera house and the Veterans Building, which houses the San Francisco Museum of Art. A two-minute walk is Market Street, the central thoroughfare that cuts the peninsula on which San Francisco is located from southwest to northeast. Market Street was in chaos of destruction and creation, on wooden walkways across the dug-up pavement - the San Francisco subway was being built, which would also pass under the bay.Nearby is the station of the Greyhound bus company and the city air terminal.And the eternal bustle of Union Square with hairy hippies, with debate circles and preachers preaching from folding chairs and granite barriers next to the St. Francis”, where the world of Richard Lamb, where people, shop windows, and things are all charming, excellent, magnificent. Not far away are the skyscrapers of business Montgomery Street, which are inferior in comparison to those on Wall Street, but still have the largest stock exchange after the New York Stock Exchange.Finally, you can quickly get to Dolores Street, where among the standard houses, a small adobe church neatly whitens in an old-fashioned way. After passing through it, you find yourself in a charming patch of the cemetery-museum. Among the flowers and trees are lopsided, mossy tombstones—relics of San Francisco, the city that began on October 9, 1776, with this Franciscan Mission, Dolores. It was founded seven years after the expedition of Gaspar de Portola saw a bay so beautiful and majestic that it was christened after St. Francis.However, near the Governor Hotel itself there were some attractions that were not named on the city’s “Welcome Card”. Having walked around the neighborhood, I understood why Mr. Lamb was wincing with disgust, as if he had been stuck with his nose in sewage.And the streets, as you know, have their own social status. With some skill you can solve it quickly. There was an Arab Club on Turkey Street near our hotel, and Arabs in America are always in cheaper places. A little further away is a “tattoo studio” with dusty windows. A cinema where a film “for men only” was shown. The Sound of Music bar seemed suspicious, with no advertising display window looking out onto the street. So, they don’t count on random passers-by? Decorative streams of water flowed down the wall that separated the small lobby from the area with the counter where drinks were sold. We stopped by. Behind the counter, men sat in pairs, cooing to each other. There could be no mistake: homosexuals. We retreated when heads turned lazily and languidly in our direction.On Jones Street, in the lobbies of cheap almshouses, silent old men sit indifferently in armchairs, looking through the windows onto the street. "Women's Hotel" is a shelter for lonely old women.In the cafeteria of our hotel, the waiters are Filipino; you, the gatekeeper, who is also a porter, are a Mexican type, a bellhop, - of course, a black woman. A one-armed kiosk on the corner - something you wouldn't imagine near the St. Francis". And along the sidewalk, in an abnormal proportion, there are shabby people with the living decaying faces of alcoholics and outcasts, submissive inhabitants of the American bottom, not rowdy and not rowdy in public places.And you don’t need to ask anyone - everything is clear. Their faces, like the surrounding establishments, revealed the simple secrets of an area in which life was compressed by poverty, old age, loneliness, loss, internal surrender, and vice.The Governor Hotel stood like a stone oasis above these poor and seedy places. He was still kept on the surface and on the pages of the AAA directory, which certified his belonging to decent America, but he will be erased from these pages, expelled from this America, if these houses and establishments are not demolished, the outcasts are not evicted and the entire area is not rebuilt in the next rush commercial activity.“Here you go,” I mentally gasped, looking out of the window of my room at twelve o’clock at night, at the end of the first day. Interesting scenes played out between the corner store and the Club 219 bar. A long-legged black woman was walking at this distance, and the men who approached her apparently inquired about the price. Having turned off the light and pulled back the curtain, it was as if I was watching from the eighth floor some kind of experiment in overcoming alienation for a fee. One human atom attracted and repelled another. Three white prostitutes approached, acquaintances of the black women, judging by their behavior. I didn’t notice any racial hostility, but they took separate positions at the visor of Club 219 and on the corner, near the store. More and more girls appeared, disappeared with men, and I realized that “Club 219” was one of the local “joints”, the night San Francisco stock exchange...And in the morning there is no trade, an empty sidewalk near Club 219. In the bar-club with a smeared counter and tattered stool seats, there is an undissipated stench of cheap vice, and some kind of apocalypse emanates from the advertising huge, semi-pornographic picture on the wall.In San Francisco, by the way, they invented their own version of striptease - the so-called “topless”, which begins with “no top” - an open bust, nudity from the waist up.In night and day establishments, not only dancers, but also waitresses at the tables flaunt this look. The first “topless” establishments established themselves through scandals and despite the attempts of the authorities to put an end to the new attack on public morality. Experimental restaurateurs were deprived of trade licenses, but private initiative won here too, and high-profile scandals in newspapers provided publicity for the initiative, which took root in other cities. The service is not limited, you can look at topless girls even during lunch break, and then the steak will be served by a topless waitress, it’s just that the steak will be more expensive.At the bar we went to on Powell Street, the “topless girls” justified the markup not on the steak, but on the beer. On a small stage, shifting from foot to foot, a young black woman danced, waving her ugly breasts. She worked - this word suits her perfectly - without enthusiasm, to the music from the machine. We ordered beer, sitting down at the counter, and, looking sideways to the left at the black woman, we did not immediately notice another stage - on the right, at the very entrance. Also on duty and reluctantly, a very young blonde was shifting from foot to foot. There were only five people behind the counter, including two girls who, having thrown off their dresses, then climbed onto the stage - their turn came.The affair was organized economically (jukebox instead of jazz) and fairly, in compliance with the famous principle of equal opportunity: the dancers rotated so that the client could view them from any place.When the music box fell silent and his mechanical hand changed the record, the girls covered their bare breasts. With music it was work, without music it was indecent nudity. Then the black woman was replaced by a middle-aged white lady, heavyset, like a sea lion on the coastal stones of Carmel. The first two, having dressed, were already sitting at the bar, drinking water, smiling and smoking cigarettes - like workers on a smoke break. It is unlikely that the craft did not touch their souls, but there is a psychological barrier - this is a job that is not very decent, but almost as legitimate as the work of secretaries or fashion models, as long as there is a demand for it. Among the dancers there are students, and some are married.“Topless” went on stream, like any consumer goods. Mechanized, rationally organized distribution of sex, as accessible as Woolworth's dime stores.14I'm back in Berkeley, without Mr. Lamb, without two Englishmen who secretly complain about the uninteresting American life, but, however, have found use for their talents here.Berkeley is a city with a population of about 150 thousand people, which, like other cities along the bay, is part of the economic region of Greater San Francisco. However, to the outside world, the word “Berkeley” is associated more with the university, picturesquely located on the hills of the city outskirts. Or rather, with part of the University of California, with one of its campuses. I walk around this campus with a map, which anyone can get from the press and public relations office. Without a map, you will probably get lost among dozens of hall buildings.The University of California has nine campuses scattered throughout the state. It is a public university in the state. Its president is approved by the so-called regency council - made up of 24 people. Two-thirds of the regents are appointed by the governor for a term of sixteen years, which gives them a certain independence. The remaining regents are the governor himself, his deputy, the speaker of the state legislature, the president of the university and four other people occupying important positions in the California official hierarchy.Since its founding in 1868, the university has prided itself on providing free tuition. Alas, it was recently abandoned, and now students pay six hundred dollars a year. This step is explained by financial difficulties arising from the rapidly growing costs of the university (now about a billion dollars a year).It can be said that the growth of the university outpaces the growth of the state: during the sixties the number of students doubled, exceeding one hundred thousand, from 1958 to 1966 the number of professors and teachers increased from 4125 to 7429. Money comes from the state treasury, as well as - and increasingly - from the federal government and from various foundations and industrial corporations that enter into contracts with the university for numerous, including military, research. Here's a stark comparison. In 1939, the Italian physicist Enrico Fermi, who left his homeland, where the Duce ruled, and found refuge at the University of Chicago, barely managed to obtain six thousand dollars for graphite for his rio nuclear chain reaction experiments. It took the famous letter of Albert Einstein, who warnedPresident Roosevelt that the Nazis, having taken possession of the uranium deposits of Czechoslovakia, could begin work on an atomic bomb, and strongly advised to get ahead of them. Six thousand dollars was an unthinkable amount for a physics laboratory at any American university. A quarter century later, Washington was giving $246 million a year to maintain three large nuclear reactors at the University of California. And this did not surprise anyone in a country where annual federal allocations for science exceeded fifteen billion dollars and where they are already talking not just about the military-industrial complex, but about the military-scientific-industrial complex.Berkeley, the largest and most famous campus of the University of California, has about thirty thousand students. This is a whole world - a young tribe, not entirely familiar to adults and not fully aware of itself, but open, impetuous, searching. It’s interesting to wander around there and stand and take a closer look. Boys and girls - with books under their arms, or even in backpacks - walk and ride between the halls on foot and on bicycles. Open shirts, rough sweaters, faded jeans. Many are barefoot on the heated asphalt and rough gravel paths. Not tolerating the condescension of elders, simple but also complex youth are like an embryo cramped in the womb of its mother. Who will he straighten up into? What will grow in his cool head?Official brochures about Berkeley contain academically solid, discreetly laudatory, and largely substantiated self-assessments. What other university in the United States, or perhaps in the whole world, counts nine Nobel laureates among its professors? Didn't the American Council on Education call the Berkeley campus the most outstanding university in the country?But there is something else - which you will not find in brochures and which, however, is well known to Americans. It's the students, not the professors, who have made Berkeley famous in recent years. The students became teachers, and their lessons, not fitting into the framework of academic programs, confirmed the wise saying of Ibsen’s hero: “Youth is retribution.” Apparently, it is no coincidence that the sixties reaped a bountiful harvest of this retribution in San Francisco, with its militant trade union traditions and the spirit of radicalism. Here at Berkeley, America entered a period of violent student unrest, which within a few years spread to campuses throughout the country, heralding the emergence of a new, active, mass force in the socio-political arena. Next door, in Oakland, the Black Panther movement was born in 1966. Finally, San Francisco was chosen as its capital by the hippies - these unique young critics of the soulless “technotronic” society.The new streak chronologically began on September 14, 1964, when a foolish administrator closed the only place on campus where Berkeley students could raise money for off-campus political activities and engage in campaigning and recruiting supporters. The answer was the Freedom Speech Movement - a movement for free speech. Soon the police were dragging eight hundred participants of the sit-in and their leader, 22-year-old philosophy student Mario Savis, out of the administrative Sproul Hall by the hand and foot. A few weeks later, UC President Clark Kerr returned the students to their forum, but could not restore calm because it was no coincidence that a free speech movement had arisen.Behind the growth figures of the university, students saw losses; behind the multiplying numbers, they saw quality defects and attacks on personality. As Clark Kerr so aptly put it, the university has become a multi-university—a vast factory in the knowledge industry. The learning process was bureaucratized and depersonalized; professors, loaded with paid tasks from corporations and the state, did not have enough time for students. In order to remember and not lose, the student was put on a punched card and entrusted to the memory and care of the computer. On the coveted threshold of adulthood, young people, who had imbibed the ABCs of bourgeois freedom and individualism from school, saw how they were being sucked in by some indifferent machine, hewing, leveling, stamping - producing specialists, like an assembly line product in the Detroit auto factories.“Last summer I went to Mississippi to participate in the civil rights movement. Now I am involved in another phase of the same struggle—this time in Berkeley. To some, these two battlefields seem completely different, but this is a misconception. In both places we are talking about the same rights - the right of citizens to take part in the life of a democratic society... Moreover, this is a fight against the same enemy. Mississippi is ruled by an autocratic, all-powerful minority, suppressing through organized violence a vast, virtually powerless majority. In California, a privileged minority manipulates the university bureaucracy to suppress student speech. Behind this “respectable” bureaucracy are financial plutocrats hiding.”This is from an article by Mario Savio in December 1964. Then hundreds or a few thousand would have signed his words. 'Four years later, two-fifths of the six million American students had participated in the protest movement in some way. Most did not share Mario Savio's radicalism, but for many the parallel between university administrators and Mississippi racists no longer seemed too bold. They could also join in with his other words:“Many students here at the university, many people in our society are wandering without a goal... These are people who have not learned to compromise, who, for example, went to university to ask questions, to grow, to learn... They have to suppress their creative impulses are a precondition for becoming part of the system... The best of those who enter here must wander aimlessly for four years, all the while asking themselves why they are on campus at all, doubting whether there is any meaning to what they are busy, seeing ahead a meaningless existence and participation in a game where all the rules have long been established..."It is well known that for American students the first school of citizenship was participation in the struggle for Negro rights. In summer expeditions to the South, in helping the surrounding ghettos, volunteers found more meaning than in educational programs - they found involvement in a socially useful cause. When they unleashed their youthful protest on the enlightenment bureaucrats, their target at Berkeley was Clark Kerr, although by the official scale he was considered one of the most respected, active and liberal university leaders. US presidents more than once resorted to his arbitration in disputes between trade unions and entrepreneurs, but he never got along with the students, and then was scandalously expelled by Ronald Reagan, who sat in the governor's chair in 1966.The Vietnam War brought unprecedented scope and passion to student protest, as it extended the chain from Mississippi racists and university bureaucrats to Washington. They were marching not only in Berkeley I; not only at Sproul Hall, but in Washington - at the Pentagon and the White House. And in Berkeley, the police are such a frequent visitor that they don't need maps to guide newcomers.But again I was distracted from my immediate impressions. In those days it was quiet in Berkeley, exam time, and in his world I chose not the square in front of Sproul Hall, but. the emphatically constructivist lines of Wurster Hall, where the College of Urban Planning is located.Professor William Wheaton, the 53-year-old dean of the college, came across as a smart and large man. A prominent expert in his field, he graduated from Princeton University and received his doctorate from the University of Chicago for ten years. directed the Institute for Urban Research at the University of Pennsylvania, and was director of the Department of Regional Planning. at Harvard, American representative to the UN Commission on Housing, Construction and Planning, an authoritative consultant to the State Department and a dozen different departments, committees, and groups related to the problems of American cities. Now, from an office on the second floor of Wurster Hall, Professor Wheaton runs the largest college in the United States, which sees its mission in the study of "the environment" and the training of architects, planners, economists, public administrators - "public administrators", people trying to organize human tangles in cities governed by the laws of private initiative.These tangles are becoming more and more tangled, attempts to curb the elements are becoming more urgent, and William Wheaton is satisfied, like a man who in his youth chose an obscure field of application of forces, and now, when the “crisis of big cities” has grown into the largest American crisis, he is convinced how successful his choice. The first master's degrees in urban planning were awarded by Harvard in 1928. In 1940, there were seven higher schools of this kind at different universities, and they graduated about a hundred people a year. Now, Wheaton reports, about forty schools produce a thousand masters of urban planning a year.“Gifted young people are increasingly drawn to social sciences,” says my interlocutor. — The halo that surrounded physics, chemistry and other exact sciences in the post-war years is disappearing. Young people go into social sciences. Hence the unprecedented interest in our college.In 1967, the college's four departments employed more than 1,200 people—twice as many as three years earlier.Professor Wheaton follows the pulses of American cities like a professional who operates in broad categories.Los Angeles?— Planners view American cities as chaotic and dispersed. Architects find them aesthetically ugly. But astute economists see that they are productive, and Los Angeles is the most efficient of all. Los Angeles' economic base is the aerospace, electronics, and related scientific and industrial research industries. This business fluctuates, pulsates with government contracts, and the entire city is in a state of swinging balance. Its skilled labor force has stable employment, although the location and even the type of work may change. But the resident says: I am ready to spend 30-40 minutes to get to my place of work in my car, but have a good home and a good job. Unlike banking centers like New York and San Francisco, Los Angeles does not have to be compact.Acute urban problems?— We are lagging behind with housing. We build one and a half million housing units (houses and apartments - S.K.) a year, but we need to build two million. Government subsidies for housing must be increased by at least five billion, to $25 billion over twenty years. Doesn't matter with public transport. And there are big problems in the development and planning of urban centers. Wealthy residents, as you know, are fleeing the center to the suburbs because the cities are crowded, dirty and unsafe, and taxes are rising; they are needed, for example, to cover the costs of the police. But in the suburbs, residents are groaning under high school taxes, while in cities, the tax pressure is pressing harder and harder on the poor as the stratum of richer, more solvent people dwindles and flees to the suburbs. It turns out that the federal government's progressive income tax is essentially offset by regressive local taxes that hurt the poor more than the rich. We need to correct this situation.- Now American cities are populated according to the principle of concentric diverging circles, and, contrary to traditional concepts, the poor live in the very center, which is rotting.San Francisco?— These concentric circles are clearly visible in San Francisco. Also in the Greater San Francisco area, which includes cities along the bay. Look at the map: San Francisco itself, across the bay - Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond. The entire area is now 13-14 percent black. In Berkeley there are about 25 percent of them, in Oakland - almost every third resident. So, if you squeeze the bay, then again in the very center you will find the poorest residents, who settle closest to the shore.— The authorities began clearing slums on Fulton Street and other streets in the black district. But now this operation has been slowed down,” the professor interrupted his confident speech, turned the ruler in his hands, choosing a precise and academic word, “because of the racial situation.” What should residents do after clearing? We have to take their protest into account. Efforts are now focused on slum rehabilitation and renovation.— As you know, there are huge problems with blacks. For example, the shipbuilding and manufacturing industries are moving from San Francisco proper to Richmond and Oakland. What about the blacks who were employed in the factories being moved? Another example: the General Motors automobile assembly plant was moved from Richmond to wealthy Fairmont. Some of the black workers promised to keep their jobs in the new place. But not everyone wants to leave the ghetto, where there are blacks all around. On the other hand, white residents of Fairmont are not happy with the neighborhood of blacks - because of racial prejudice, because of possible losses such as falling prices for land and houses, which usually occurs when an all-white area becomes mixed, because of extra taxes on schools . And in the ghetto, views change. Some black leaders are against integration; they see it as a betrayal of the race. To rise from the bottom, all together, and not alone - this is the ideology growing in the ghetto, no longer liberal, but rather a type of Marxist...In passing, Wheaton criticizes fellow Soviet planners he met at international conferences.“I told your people and the Japanese: why are you, friends, refusing to look twenty years ahead, building houses that last forty years.” Why don’t you create garages and parking lots? How can there not be a mass-produced car?! Nonsense! It will be, it will certainly be!Of the sixty urban planners who receive master's degrees from Berkeley each year, a third are foreigners. Of the foreigners, half, as a rule, remain in the States and do not return to their homeland. Professor Wheaton says that this fact does not make him happy, it causes anxiety and something like remorse, although it is not his fault.— Almost all of them remain Hindus. Why? Because here, with such qualifications, a decent job and a decent life await them. He can find a job for ten thousand dollars a year. And in India, two thousand dollars a year await him, the lack of a car, which he is used to here, and worst of all - officials with whom it is impossible to cope. In addition, according to life expectancy statistics, he will die in twenty years. In short, I decided not to accept Indian graduate students if I see that they do not have a guaranteed job in their homeland. I don't want to ruin this country.At the last words, he grinned ironically, and I thought about some of the origins of American supermanship. Of course, it is not within the power of William Wheaton to ruin or not to ruin India, but even through his office there is a stream of “brain drain” to America from many countries of the capitalist West and the “Third World”. And he is free to open or close this gateway. For foreigners without a strong sense of homeland with the views of individualists and bourgeois, America provides many attractions - in the form of high salaries, in the form of at least this attractive game of young forces on the Berkeley campus; spectacles of highways and a host of cars, wealth rushing from everywhere, so stunning for an Indian graduate student that it obscures American poverty in his mind, especially since American poverty seems prosperous next to Indian poverty, with people dying on the streets of hunger. America also attracts with its field of application of forces, advanced technical and scientific thought, vigilant attention to new ideas, because new ideas bring profit. You have to pay for this with moral betrayal, refusal of patriotic responsibility to your people and country, moments of acute melancholy and years of difficult adaptation to the norms of someone else's life. Alas, there are people - and judging by the statistics of the "brain drain", there are many of them - who are willing to pay this price for the right to individually get into the developed industrial society of the second half of the twentieth century, because they realized that during their lifetime they will not get there there together with his country and his people. They sell their brains, enriching America and prolonging the lag of the people who gave them life...Professor Wheaton played the chaos of California like a familiar game of solitaire, and it is impressive. A critical look came later: the strategist organizes the elements primarily in his brain. City planners are empowered to add only small touches to the kaleidoscopic picture painted by private initiative. The state of California, for example, does not have a central planning authority that regulates urban development. Wheaton's dreams are modest - to strengthen public control over urban planning, to give local authorities at least some levers of regulation on the scale of the "metropolises" adjacent to large cities. This dream is not about direct administrative regulation, which Wheaton denies, believing that the dynamics of progress are best ensured by private initiative. He means regulation through government subsidies for housing, for schools, for the appropriate location of industry, which would soften today's opposition of poverty and wealth and reduce the growing reserves of social dynamite in the cities....In the evening I pull back the curtain again and from the eighth floor I look at the short, flattened human figures from above, reduced to heads, shoulders and legs, to soldier’s caps and boots, to the fluffy hairstyles, and patent leather boots of prostitutes. The experience of overcoming alienation and the formation of fragile molecules continues at Club 219. And I think: how long a chain must social medicines travel before they reach the street prostitute from the professors?15The boundaries of the ghetto are not demarcated, and the concentric circles bursting San Francisco with the force of internal tension do not have geometrically correct lines - William Wheaton simply has a craving for figurative formulas. House No. 1360 Turkey Street is quite decent and stands at the remote edge of the ghetto, and not at its seething epicenter. This small house houses Dr. Carlton Goodlett in all his guises - the doctor’s office indicates his medical profession, and the cramped editorial rooms indicate that he is the publisher and editor of the Sun Reporter newspaper, “the largest Negro newspaper in Northern California.” The word “largest” should not be separated from the word “Negro”! The Sun Reporter has a circulation of ten thousand. In addition, Dr. Goodlett is a member of the World Peace Council and chairman of the California Christian Leadership Conference, a Negro organization affiliated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which was founded by the late Martin Luther King.Dr. Goodlett has a lot of energy and little time, as I was convinced of when I walked up to his office and saw a man who was already nervous near his car and was already late, since he had two duties on a non-working Saturday - presiding over the Black Today symposium and organizer of the boycott of the television debate between Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy; in the morning, both senators flew into San Francisco with their retinues, flashed like comets through its streets, canvassing voters, and at four in the afternoon they met in a local television studio for a half-hour lists in front of the nation.Dr. Goodlett, as the reader guessed, is a Negro, and this dominant explained his anger and sarcasm on Saturday morning, June 1, 1968: both senators hunted for the votes of Negroes, did not skimp on words about their pitiful lot and on promises of a better one, and yet , among the three correspondents who were supposed to interview the senators in the television studio, there was not a single black person. Once again white people will talk and ask about blacks. Carlton Goodlett wanted to give both senators a hard time by setting up black pickets outside the television studio. And organize a public scandal: let them try to cross these pickets...But the chairman's seat awaited him at the "Black Today" symposium, and Dr. Goodlett shoved me into his little lived-in car and, releasing some of his energy and anger through the accelerator pedal, raced through the streets and freeways to Daly City, where on the grounds of San Francisco College the aforementioned symposium took place.So, I'm back in Daly City, but not in the Cow Palace, but on the grounds of San Francisco College - a completely different story. The glass doors of the Arts Auditorium are spinning. Together with Dr. Goodlett I find myself in a cozy room. Entrance fee is 25 dollars: the student pays for the right to take exams and tests, and the symposium is included in the dynamic program; an abstract about the symposium can be accepted as a test.At San Francisco College the black student population is larger than at Berkeley and is very active. Thorny students demand the study of “black history,” rejecting as falsification the history of SUPA from which blacks fall out. For now, the curriculum includes a “black course” taught by the black Nathan Har.In my hands I have the program of the symposium, and on it there are black smudges, black blots, as if shaken off by a careless but strong hand, shapeless and chaotic, just as the self-awareness of the American Negro is chaotic now. I read in the program: “Black today is not the same - not the same as ten years ago, six months ago, not even the same as yesterday. What does it mean at this moment in history to think like a black, feel like a black, and be black? They believe that anyone can speak for black people. But now here are some of the most famous black thinkers in the country - theorists, teachers, students - and they speak for themselves. This is one big fist that affirms today’s blackness.”It was not the black poor who gathered in the hall, but the intellectual elite, groping in different ways for bridges to the masses. Dr. Goodlett at the chairman's table. On the platform is Dr. Nathan Har, a handsome Negro with a strong face, an American Negro in a blue African robe flowing from his broad shoulders; and this is the challenge and the beginning of self-affirmation, a break with another America.The challenge is in speech too.“I see a number of familiar faces here,” he begins, looking around the room and pausing, “from the FBI, the CIA and the KKK (Ku Klux Klan)...He pronounces abbreviations for organizations of investigation, espionage and violence with hatred.A challenge in thought: Dr. Har divides blacks into blacks, that is, real, righteous, our own, and into “white blacks”—compromisers and servants of white America who have betrayed their race.- To think is to live. To think like a black person means to live like a black person, and, most importantly, to act like a black person... As a child, my mother scared me: if you drink black coffee, you will become even blacker. This is how the black self is destroyed.I listened and read such words and always felt a mixed feeling of sympathy and irritation: they are ultra-radical, but their effect is like a spell. When one does not go beyond verbal radicalism, this is just another form of hopelessness and hopelessness, just like black racism.But here is another speaker - Benny Stewart, the leader of the Black Student Union created at the college.Black thinking, he emphasizes, must be specific, realistic and goal-oriented. An example is Patrice Lumumba. Black thinking must be optimistic and constructive.“If we want to destroy today’s America, then we need to think about what will happen in its place.” If we want to destroy capitalism, then we need to think about what kind of system we will create...Dr. Goodlett disappears somewhere, probably to the telephone. Afraid of losing him and being left without a car, I get up and walk out of the hall, into the corridor, feeling the checking glances on me. Everyone here knows each other, but who is this white stranger with a notepad? Is it one of those organizations that Dr. Har listed?There are two tables in the corridor, with “black literature” on them. I'm leafing through a brand new anthology of black poetry. And there is a whole world here - suffering, anger, passion. There is a whole world in every drop, and life is not enough to delve into these new and new worlds. A familiar name for Langston Hughes, the recently deceased bard of Harlem. I remember his response to the outcome of the Harlem riots of 1964. “Be a good girl, Harlem! Get down, Harlem! Behave yourself, Harlem! “voices are now heard from which Harlem could not even expect a friendly greeting,” the poet wrote then. “It’s unlikely that they will help calm an emotionally shaken psyche or bend the tail raised on end and make it wag obediently again. Harlem has been wagging its tail in gratitude for the bones for so long that it is time to throw Harlem not a bone, but a piece of meat.”Harlem has stopped wagging his tail, but will he rip out a piece of meat? And in San Francisco they have not forgotten Hughes’s poems and the fate of Lumumba - hunted and helpless, he was killed in Katanga, but is resurrected with vengeance in America.The student cafeteria is sparsely populated on a Saturday. I knock out a ham and cheese sandwich from a machine and a carton of orange juice from another. Then, almost a year later, already in Moscow, one photograph will reach me and the path between the Arts Auditorium and the student cafeteria will emerge in my memory. I will see in the photo a young black man armed with a cushion from a chair - isn't it the same chair on which I sat, washing down my sandwich with orange juice? And next to the black man is a young white bearded man, and in his hands he has a metal frame of a chair. Both are like amateur discus throwers, like the vanguard of an excited crowd looking somewhere. Where to? Another photo, another news from San Francisco College, a frame delivered by a time machine: two policemen in dapper dark blue uniforms, with Colt guns, cartridge belts, and all sorts of master keys, and sheaths for batons, and gas masks on wide belts, and helmets on their heads , transparent plexiglass visors on their faces. They are dragging a huge black man. Dark smudges, dark blots on his shirt and a large dark spot on his stomach - like a transcript of those abstract blots that the artist threw on the program of the Black Today symposium. They are dark only in a black and white photograph; in life they are red. It was once again black college students and their white allies who rose up and met the police with bricks, bottles and dismantled furniture from their cafeteria.In 1968 and 1969 there were many massacres on the lawns of San Francisco College, and its president, Hayakawa, did not hesitate to resort to the argument of police batons and tear gas. These events were sold out across the front page of San Francisco newspapers, and then shrunk in size on the pages of New York newspapers, because newspaper space was also needed for events at Columbia University, at the City College of New York, at Harvard, Cornell, in dozens of other universities - no matter which university you point your finger at, almost everywhere there were battles with the police and seizures of the rector's offices.San Francisco College reached Soviet newspapers with meager five- to ten-line notes. But it’s another thing when you were there and saw one link on a peaceful Saturday. Though the chain is long, it is forged from the same material, and in its retrospect the Black Today symposium looked like a verbal rehearsal before action...I drove back with Dr. Goodlett, all around was the city under a cloudless sky, and to me, a guest of San Francisco, my guide told about the symposium as a new attraction, albeit not as famous as the Golden Gate, but by no means less interesting.In his views he is just a liberal, but...— Have you heard how the young people perform? They are more militant than me. But I understand them. Just imagine what they see in front of them, these young blacks - unemployment, discrimination, abuse. They are ready for riots. For them, dying is the easiest way.In terms of financial status, he is a wealthy bourgeois, but...— Freedom is relative. I was able to use the opportunities of this society. But what freedom does a person have who doesn’t have a job, a home, or the means to feed his family?! But in a certain sense, it is this person who determines the degree of my freedom.They “limit” his freedom because they are getting their way, because in the overall balance his freedom, like Mr. Lamb’s freedom, like the freedom of Dr. Ryan, who, over coffee and liquor, discussed the issue of forced sterilization of America’s losers, is achieved at the expense of the freedom of others. If we take the extreme points, then, on the one hand, the solution is seen in forced sterilization or in Goldwater in power, and on the other, in riots, and the vengeance of the disadvantaged breaks out in the fiery lava of social dungeons, shaking and tearing all concentric circles of society.Dr. Goodlett is a reasonable, enlightened egoist, a black liberal who understands that we must hurry, because the question formulated by Martin Luther King after the Negro riots of 1967 looms large: “Where do we go from here - to chaos or to community?”...In his office on Turkey Street, Dr. Goodlett was waiting for his white secretary, Eleanor, a funny, gaunt old woman. He didn't waste a minute. He rushed headlong into the room and began dictating slogans for the picketers’ posters. It was a familiar thing, slogans came easily to him:McCarthy and Kennedy! Will you cross the picket line?“No debate without black representation!”-You need votes! Do you need blacks?Eleanor wrote in a notebook, and then, laughing at her hectic boss, began making posters on sheets of Whatman paper. The little workshop of American democracy was in full swing.Dr. Goodlett, meanwhile, sat down at the telephone in a tiny office where his medical diplomas hung on the walls interspersed with letters of commendation to the Sun Reporter newspaper. He called the mayor's office, the black organizations, the headquarters of the two candidates, the newspaper offices, dramatically warning that he, Carlton Goodlett, would show the damn American motherfucker to two eminent senators and disrupt their televised debate, which the whole nation was waiting for. When he hung up, the calls were ringing back. The mayor's office reported that picketing is permitted. The newspapers were interested in how many picketers there would be. Goodlett himself did not know how many, but always be confident, and he said about a hundred.“We’ll ask Bobby Kennedy how he feels about McCarthy’s proposal to fire Dean Rusk and J. Edgar Hoover,” he answered someone while standing by the phone. —Which black correspondents do we suggest? I could ask these questions to the candidates myself. We can find someone else...He hung up, glad that his calls were already making circles. Casually, but proudly and not without vanity, he said:- This is from McCarthy's headquarters, his main organizer. They are, in general, ready to agree if the ABC television corporation has nothing against it. We must, we must put Bobby in his place...Putting Bobby in his place meant forcing him to answer directly whether he, like Eugene McCarthy, was ready to fire Secretary of State Dean Rusk and longtime FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover if elected president.The handsome Dr. Goodlett liked to be in some kind of spotlight, and at the same time show the red reporter how it was done in America. A cheerful, almost boyish excitement and challenge made its way through the serious expression.Meanwhile, from under Eleanor’s quick hand, homemade posters popped out one after another, and her boss looked at his watch more and more often: it was time to go.He folded the posters into a pile and carried them to the car. I walked along empty-handed, suppressing the desire to help this urgent matter. I am just an observer, and above politeness is the sacred principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of another country. Internal affairs in this case consisted of picketing the building on McCallister Street, which houses the KG O television studio, the San Francisco subsidiary of the ABC television corporation. What if some local “witch hunter” sees me taking posters from the Sun Reporter editorial office? And Dr. Goodlett will be given such a label that he will curse the June day when fate brought him together with the red reporter.Dr. Goodlett is so relaxed about this, but this thought also came to him - this is telepathy in international relations! True, he dropped me off almost to the Governor Hotel, which is very close to the KG-O TV studio, but he parked the car in an alley. and taking the posters from the back seat, said:“And now, perhaps, it’s better for us to part.” They may not understand...And with his cheerful gait he went around the corner, to the building, where behind the police barriers a crowd of McCarthy supporters and Kennedy supporters and just onlookers were already making noise - from the “third world” non-aligned, who are always present everywhere.I went to the “Governor” to return to the television studio a little later.When we arrived, the crowd had already filled the entire space between the police wooden barriers and the wall of the opposite house. People stood densely near the studio building itself, and the police guarded only the passage to the doors, over which they were hanging to cry! “Let’s get clean with Gin!” and “Bobby for President!”I didn’t see Goodlett’s picketers: there were probably many fewer than the promised hundred.We made our way into the lobby with the help of our New York press cards, and there, too, was a crush of various ladies and gentlemen and, of course, journalists: McCarthy was accompanied on his election travels by a plane full of journalists, and Bobby, perhaps, two.-Have they arrived? — that was all that could be heard in this vestibule crowd of filtered, admitted people. I was at the elevator when a rustling sound swept through the crowd, and all the heads turned in one direction and continued to turn, following someone's movement, and from behind these heads, two steps away from me, the familiar head of Robert Kennedy appeared - with sharp according to the years, wrinkles on the forehead, with drooping edges of the upper eyelids, under which light eyes gleamed coldly. A cold look, ready for a quick reaction and, however, a shy smile and, nevertheless, calculated gestures of a man who is used to “giving himself away” to the crowd and being the idol of many, although internally, perhaps, he has not gotten rid of surprise that it is so easy become an idol. He was wearing a dark blue suit with white pinstripes - the family color, the color of John Kennedy. And his famous forelock was carefully combed, as if glued to his forehead, and therefore his asymmetrical hooked nose stood out more strongly and more predatory on his face. The forelock of blond hair falling over his forehead captivated young voters, but for older voters it was proof of the senator’s unforgivable youthfulness, and therefore, after weighing the pros and cons of this forelock, they apparently decided to remove it for the period of the televised debate with McCarthy, who looked more respectable than his opponent. Next to the senator was his wife Ethel, pale from pregnancy and makeup, who in the turmoil had already been hit by enthusiastic fans with a poster.The crowd was shrinking, making way for the senator to the elevator, and many looked at him as if without even looking, because a direct look would have conveyed some kind of challenge, and what kind of challenge can you, a mere mortal, throw at this man. The senator turned the back of his head towards me, and I was struck by how carefully, hair to hair, that narrow back of his head was combed.But then the figure of Doctor Goodlett suddenly emerged from the crowd with his sloping forehead and funny mustache on his oval Negro face and forced Bobby to turn in profile to me with an insistent address: “Senator!” And the crowd now looked at both, wondering what could happen, and a variety of looks ran over the black man in a brown suit, among them the looks of people who have protruding pockets and armpits and who in such situations, as if by chance, stroke your shoulders almost to the knees: don’t be offended, with these debuggings you pay for the right to be close to those they are talking about.- Senator! Dr. Goodlett said again, and the reporters unceremoniously pushed the other people aside. - Why didn’t you agree to allow a black man at the debate table?Dr. Goodlett was worried. He had to go to the end, although he already knew that the matter had failed. Now it was necessary to say some more words that could end up in television news and newspaper reports. And, losing his voice, letting the rooster fly, he nervously shouted:“You need black votes, not concerns about blacks!”Everything took seconds. In this scene, the senator had to prove his quick reaction, which he did dozens of times a day. Of course, his assistants had already informed him about the possibility of pickets and had even prepared the necessary words. And, without betraying his annoyance, he answered something to Goodlett, calmly, without raising his voice, and said something else, so that they would not think that he was in too much of a hurry and wanted to evade, and only after that he moved towards the elevator, not forgetting to let him go ahead his wife.- What did he say? What did he say? — correspondents asked each other.“What about the Mexican Americans?” that’s what the senator said. And there was logic in his answer: if you allow blacks to the debate table, then why not allow Mexican Americans, who are no less numerous in California than blacks. What if other national minorities also demand participation?On the third floor, the corridor and rooms were also crowded and noisy. Most of all, our brother correspondent - not only American, but also English, French, Japanese, West German, Italian and others, and others, because, although San Francisco is far away, everywhere they follow what is happening in America, especially in election year, especially with two people, one of whom, God knows, could become President of the United States for the next four years.There were no less than two hundred of them, everyone was ready to critically evaluate the performance of the two senators in their roles, and we also joined this mobile, experienced army. We were assigned to Eugene McCarthy's press retinue, since there was nowhere for an apple to fall in the room allocated to Robert Kennedy's press - after all, of the two, the New York senator was considered the more likely.In our large room there were both newcomers and old-timers, their editors attached to McCarthy since the March days of his victory in New Hampshire, which, in fact, marked the beginning of the violent political upheavals of the year, revealing the scope of anti-Johnson sentiment and largely predetermining the other two sensations — Kennedy’s decision to “run” and Johnson’s refusal to “run” for a second term. They all sang in different ways, studied the object of their observation, some liked McCarthy for his philosophical nature, disdain for politicking and professorial manners, others accused him of messianism and mysticism of the DeGaullian type, were sarcastic about his love of poetry and his friendship with the poet Robert Lowell. Now - straight from the buses, straight from the rallies on the streets of San Francisco, tired of the eternal rush and bustle - they crowded around the coffee tank, refreshing themselves before a new shake-up, sailors in the oceans of information, today here - tomorrow there.Elevated above the people, tables and chairs, the still-empty screen of a color TV dimly gleamed from the front wall.McCarthy arrived before Kennedy, both senators disappeared into the television studio, where only five correspondents were allowed.The screen came to life, everyone was ready. A table appeared on the screen, and behind it, in color, were two senators and three correspondents from ABC - not a single black and not one from San Francisco, three aces from the New York headquarters of the television corporation.“Good evening,” began Frank Reynolds, the main one.It was still day in San Francisco, but Frank said “evening,” and he was right. He was addressing television viewers on the Atlantic coast, where it was already evening. The program was shown to them “live”, and for San Francisco and the entire Pacific Coast it was recorded on videotape in order to be played later, during prime television time.- Good evening. Today, two Democratic presidential hopefuls are in the same room, in front of the same television cameras and radio microphones, engaged in a debate, or debate, if you will, on the issues, challenges and opportunities facing the American people this year. . This meeting comes at a significant, and perhaps critical, moment for both Senator Robert Kennedy of New York and Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota.In Tuesday's primary elections, California Democratic voters will choose one of the two. Both senators are running in this state, and both campaigned broadly and vigorously. We will ask questions to each of the candidates, and the one who was not asked a particular question will have the opportunity to comment on the answer of his opponent. At the beginning of the discussion, I address my question to both. Before the broadcast, we played the turn with a coin, and Senator McCarthy will answer first. So, Senators, you stand before the American people and the voters of California today as candidates for the presidency. If you were President, what would you do for peace in Vietnam that President Johnson is not doing? Senator McCarthy?Senator McCarthy reached towards the table:“If I were president, I would do or at least recommend two or three things.” I would de-escalate the war in Vietnam by reducing some of our forward positions, although maintaining strength in Vietnam... I think the following important points should be emphasized: first, de-escalate the war, second, recognize that we must have a new government in South Vietnam. I don't really care whether it's called a "coalition" or a "merger" or a new government of some other kind. But we must recognize that this government must include the National Liberation Front. I consider this a prerequisite for any negotiations...— Senator Kennedy?And Robert Kennedy immediately entered the fray with his sharp Boston accent, which immediately evoked the image of the assassinated John F. Kennedy; The brothers' voices, as it happens, were almost the same.- Well, I would continue negotiations in Paris. - At the same time, from the government in Saigon I would expect negotiations with the National Liberation Front. I would object to Senator McCarthy's position, if I understand it correctly, to the imposition of a coalition government on the government in Saigon, to a coalition with the Communists even before negotiations begin...In addition, privately and publicly, I would demand an end to the corruption, the official corruption that exists in South Vietnam, land reform that would make sense, so that they (the Saigon allies - S.K.) would gain the support of the people. I would withdraw troops from the demilitarized zone. I believe that this is an important area, but I would allow South Vietnamese troops to remain there rather than American troops, because that area accounts for a third of our losses, even half. And I would put an end to the search-and-destroy operations carried out by American troops and place the burden of the conflict on the South Vietnamese soldiers and troops. And over time, I would have the South Vietnamese increasingly shoulder the burden of the conflict. I just can't accept that here in the United States we conscript a young man and send him to South Vietnam to fight and maybe die, while in South Vietnam a young man, if he's rich enough, can buy his way out of call...“Smart guy,” someone muttered loudly, grading the first round. From the noise that ran through the quiet room, it became clear that many agreed with him.Yes, the New York senator probably won the point. Both were in favor of de-escalating the war, but in a practical manner. Kennedy more accurately hooked the TV viewer-voter: you won’t end the war right away, no American politician will agree to “surrender,” and let the Vietnamese die - after all, it’s their war, after all, but emergency measures are important to save American lives, to immediately reduce losses - “de-Americanization of war.” Coffins under the Stars and Stripes, transported by planes and ships to their native soil for burial in national cemeteries - this is what hurts Americans the most. There are more and more fresh graves, and here in San Francisco, the ground is being intensively opened at the military cemetery near the Golden Gate. So, the de-Americanization of war, Robert Kennedy was perhaps the first to put forward this slogan. Everyone is fed up with an unprecedentedly protracted war; it is simply not in the nature of an American who is accustomed to quickly solving his problems, but a war without American casualties, with additional elements of economic prosperity, is that bad?..Meanwhile, the five at the table continued their conversation calmly and even casually - some regular telesymposium, but for two it was a battleground, a test of endurance, maturity, wisdom and experience - after all, they were fighting for the presidency in the missile-nuclear-electronic age.The press in our room recorded the points, generally dividing them equally. Both senators are physically attractive. Both are Catholics, with Irish ancestors. Kennedy bases his bid for the White House on three years of activity in the National Security Council and as Secretary of Justice, McCarthy - on twenty years in Congress. Both are on a platform of criticism of Lyndon Johnson and his Vietnam adventure. They compete in this criticism, and Kennedy says that in terms of experience he is a senior critic, that he began to criticize Johnson earlier, and McCarthy, on the contrary, claims that his opponent has a mug in the cannon, since the initial steps into the Vietnamese swamp were made under John Kennedy and not without the participation of Bobby, who, I remember, was then the Minister of Justice and his brother’s closest adviser. However, both gentlemen, there is no vulgar squabble, parliamentary polite. Both, of course, are for the civil rights of blacks, but against riots, for law and order. Both are for selling fifty Phantom fighters to Israel: after all, there are incomparably more Jewish voters than Arab voters. Both do not want to see the United States as the “world policeman,” rushing without looking back to restore order everywhere—Vietnam alone is enough! — but nonetheless for some reasonable American fidelity to its “global obligations.”Kennedy is more calculating, but, in general, both are political balancing act, and are now on a tightrope in front of an audience of 25 million. They sympathize with blacks, but in such a way as not to scare off whites; they agitate for Smith, but in such a way that Brown does not get offended and that Jones does not think that his views are not taken into account.A great mystery shines in the impassive pupils of television cameras: not a single senator knows how many votes he won by appearing on television for a discussion, and how many, God forbid, he lost. And the Joneses, Browns and Smiths on their living room sofas, with Saturday beer cans in their hands? What about their wives and disobedient adult children? Can they, after sitting for an hour watching TV, decide who is better, determine for themselves the winner and the loser?About the mysterious transformation of democracy in the age of omnipotent television, public polls and commercial advertising, whose methods politics borrows! “Millions of uncoordinated citizens are within easy reach of magnetically attractive individuals who are effectively exploiting the latest means of communication to manipulate emotions and control reason,” says Zbigniew Brzezinski, a political science professor and German Kahn analyst.An hour passed, the television screen switched to another program without a second of respite, and from the smoky room the correspondents rushed into the corridor to the telephones, to the tables, to which they were bringing pages of transcripts one after another. In the next, even more smoky room where the “Kennedy press” was located, surrounded by colleagues stood New York Times columnist Tom Wicker, a respected plenipotentiary of the famous newspaper, who was allowed into the studio itself where the debate took place. Looking at his notebook, he shared some details. Tom Wicker is a serious and intelligent journalist, but there were little things that, however, also go into action. McCarthy, he said, wore light makeup; Kennedy did without it. And the correspondents made a knowing noise: of course, all the Kennedy brothers are photogenic and telegenic, and at the famous television debate of 1960 between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon, the latter had to invite a certain Stanley Lawrence, a beautician at Revlon. McCarthy kept himself more casual, Tom Wicker said, but drank water when the cameras turned to his opponent. Kennedy felt more constrained, but did not touch the water.- Tom, how did both guys evaluate the results of the debate?And it was in Tom's notebook. Kennedy said he thought the debate was excellent, but that it was difficult to say how it would affect the outcome of the election - "that will be up to the voter to decide." “I’m not going to analyze how I played my part,” McCarthy responded, but added: “It was like a boxing match with three referees, but it’s impossible to decide who won.” McCarthy was also asked if he was ready to repeat the televised discussion, to which he replied: “No, we’ve gotten tired of each other.”- Tom, repeat what McCarthy said?I also listened to Wicker, but I knew that my newspaper was not interested in either McCarthy's light makeup on his face, or an untouched glass of water in front of Kennedy, or in general the television debates that had caused a stir. The meaning of events changes with distance, when crossing state borders, which is great in San Francisco, can be imperceptible in Moscow.We didn't wait for the last pages of the transcript and went to the hotel...The next day, my friends got into their Fury and disappeared around the bend, beginning the transcontinental run back along the northern route.I stayed four more days to report the results of the California elections to the newspaper.16— Primary elections are better for killing candidates than electing them.Eugene Lee, a young Berkeley professor, told me this, not knowing how literally his words would come true. He simply meant that in the primary elections, candidates are eliminated.The reader cannot guess the suffering of the correspondent, who has not sent anything to the newspaper for two weeks. At the kiosk on the corner I bought newspapers and magazines in the morning and evening, preparing ahead of time for my two or three pages about the primary elections.A lot of events took place in San Francisco: unknown persons blew up high-voltage transmission line supports, leaving three hundred thousand houses without power for a couple of hours; the municipality was financially unprepared for the decision of the US Supreme Court, which declared alcoholism a disease, not a crime; a survey at Woodside Elementary School revealed a generational conflict: parents were most concerned about the black issue, as well as “population explosion” and the communist threat, and children were most concerned about nuclear war, “population explosion” and relations with Asia; restored and opened as an art gallery the only building in San Francisco designed by the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright; fog enveloped climbers on the steel structures of the Bank of America skyscraper under construction; 22-year-old David Harris, former student president at Stanford University, husband of the popular singer Joan Baez, received three years in prison for refusing to go as a soldier to Vietnam; a certain Vidal Sassoon developed and successfully marketed a new ladies' hairstyle, and hosiery manufacturers ushered in the “era of crazy legs” by advertising stockings with a pattern of typographical letters. But two senators - aliens from other states, working almost around the clock in the feverish last days, crowded out all the other heroes and all other events on the pages of newspapers, on television screens, on the air, even on the fences and walls of houses. They spared no effort and money to shake up the 4,347,406 registered Democratic Californians aged 21 and over, for the political fate of two senators depended on these Californians. The winner received the 174 delegates that the state of California sends to the Democratic National Convention.Of course, experts almost unanimously agreed that this California fuss would yield nothing to either Kennedy or McCarthy and that at the Chicago convention the Democratic candidate for president would still be elected Hubert Humphrey, who, as Johnson's successor, had control of the party machine in most states. But the tactic of the two senators, and especially Robert Kennedy, was to achieve reputation; “vote collector”, voter’s favorite and impose his candidacy on the party bosses. Kennedy defeated McCarthy in the Indiana primary, but the last primary in Oregon brought McCarthy victory. The polls showed Kennedy leading in California, but he needed a really big lead over his opponent to erase the shock of the Oregon defeat.He even resorted to a desperate step, hinting that he would quit the game altogether if California turned out to be unresponsive. The sarcastic McCarthy called it "a child's threat not to breathe unless you appease him." The candidates offered themselves, like any corporation offers its product, and, to put it precisely in American terms, they sold themselves to the voter - their appearance, views, biography, promises, wife and children, religion, pedigree. But who will buy this product without advertising, who will even know about its existence in a country where there are so many different products? Of course, both were known, more Kennedy and less McCarthy, but it takes relentless publicity to keep oneself in the minds of the busy American. We need money for political advertising - not only for it, but most of all for it.And the money flowed like a river, and for Kennedy this river was much wider. The newspapers wrote that the campaign in Oregon cost McCarthy three hundred thousand dollars, Kennedy four hundred thousand. In greater California, McCarthy, or rather his well-wishers, left at least a million dollars, and Kennedy, as they believed, more than two million. The best evening television time in San Francisco and Los Angeles was selling for more than two thousand dollars per minute, and Robert Kennedy was buying it up with all his might. The television screen in my room on its various channels did not part with the New York senator - his half-hour propaganda film was broadcast a dozen times a day.There is always heightened attention to big money. They protested against the “steam roller” with which the middle brother wanted to crush the senator from Minnesota in the same way as the older brother John crushed another Minnesota senator, Hubert Humphrey, in the 1960 primary election in West Virginia. Critics heard an answer from Robert’s mother, Rose Kennedy, unexpectedly aggressive from the mouth of a seventy-eight-year-old matron: “This money is our own, and we are free to spend it as we want.That's what it is, an election business. When they have money, they spend it to win. And the more you have, the more you spend.”And yet, by all accounts, the son of a Boston multimillionaire should have won with the help of the poor - the votes of blacks, Mexican-Americans and others. He was popular among America's stepchildren, and managed to convince them that, like his murdered brother, he was sincerely concerned about their fate and would do everything to alleviate it. He was warmly welcomed in the ghetto, at meetings of Mexican sharecroppers, and on Indian reservations. And he vowed to eradicate poverty in America.McCarthy emphasized his independence and integrity: “Man against the machine.” The students who brought him to the forefront of the election campaign, who came to him as voluntary agitators, chanted: “Let's get clean with Gene!” He was supported by many of the “middle class”, the intelligentsia, people of science and art.Philosopher Erich Fromm published a paid appeal in the San Francisco Chronicle to vote for Senator McCarthy. “Sometimes a voter votes, feeling that the candidate has convictions, that is, that his words do not just come from his head, that they are organic for him, that he has that core that is able to resist the temptations of opportunism. “I see this core in Senator McCarthy,” Fromm wrote. - ...We are moving towards a completely new form of society, when a person becomes part of a machine and is programmed with the following principles: 1) one should do only what is technically possible; 2) the basic values consist of maximum production efficiency, maximum consumption and a minimum of human qualities... Many Americans in different political and religious groups more or less clearly see the danger not only of nuclear war, but also of complete alienation and dehumanization of man, they understand that the humanistic principles that gave the vitality of civilization are disappearing as reality and turning into mere slogans that are manipulated in the interests of consumer culture.”On the eve of Election Day, free pre-election editions of Robert Kennedy's book In Search of a Renewed World were distributed on the streets of San Francisco. At McCarthy headquarters I was loaded with badges and literature. Torn between phones and student volunteers, Mr. Holstinger passionately convinced me that McCarthy was “a breath of fresh air,” “the promise of real change,” and “a symbol of what young people are looking for in society.” He sold school furniture, but the Vietnam War angered him, and after turning the business over to a partner, Mr. Holstinger devoted his time to serving as a senator from Minnesota.Life, in general, was going well, but it is so big that it all depends on which side of it you take. In conversations with Californians, even those who are professionally involved in politics, I have not noticed excessive excitement. But the newspapers thundered with cannonade. The famous columnist James Reston, traveling through California in those days, wrote: “Radio voices, university debates and campaign speeches all want to fix something or improve something. Every minute we are encouraged to “upgrade” to a Chrysler car. or side with Kennedy, end muscular dystrophy or “get clean with Gene.” Everyone has a “new idea,” and everyone from Henry Ford to Richard Nixon encourages us to “see the light.” Maybe life won't change from all this introspection and self-improvement, but there is something inspiring, even majestic, about these noisy debates. Whatever may be said about America today, it takes on the great questions of human life. She asks: What is the meaning of all this wealth? Is poverty inevitable or can it no longer be tolerated? What kind of America do we ultimately want to see? And what is its relationship with the rest of the world?For many, it was indeed a time of self-critical questioning and hope, but it ended as far from exalted politicians had foreseen from the very beginning, namely, a choice between Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey, and in November it was made in favor of the former.17This day was memorable, and I want to tell you more about it.On the regular calendar, Tuesday was June 4, 1968.On the political front - the long-awaited election day in the state of California.And it was just a stormy day outside. In the morning, the Great Ocean overtook the old-age clouds over San Francisco, and a tedious rain, whipped by the wind, sprinkled the gray streets, oozed like some kind of water clock, as if nature, with its secret intention, crushed and slowed down the flow of time, hinting that the day would be long.But for how long?After five in the evening it seemed to me that the day was waning. At five in the evening I saw the black dull shine of a parabellum, which a burly boy suddenly took out from under his pea coat to show off his toy in front of his sweet girlfriend. A sort of mustacheless sucker... The condescending word, however, came to my mind belatedly, and not when, in the muted light of a gray day, the toy was emitting its dull-blue reflections around. After all, one can be captivated by the dull shine of a parabellum in the hands of a stranger, especially in an unfamiliar apartment, and moreover, in a city that is also not very familiar.But the reflections were without flashes. The guy even gave me a lift in his truck to the hotel, generously waving his hot young hand goodbye and leaving a dramatic “well, well!” in my brain.And the impressions seemed to wane, and with them a strange day. When, according to the calendar, it was supposed to end, it lasted unprecedentedly. Stormily docked into the night, “the twelfth hour fell, like the head of an executed man falling from the block.” For at midnight, another man, not in an unknown San Francisco apartment, but as if in front of the whole world, also met a young stranger with a pistol. And there were not reflections, but flashes, and the man fell - as if in front of the eyes of the whole world...However, in order.In the morning I took the bus and along Fulton Street, past the shops of black junk dealers, headed towards Golden Gate Park, which with its green area overlooks the ocean plain. Residents of San Francisco love this spacious park - with lawns and groves, enclosures for wild animals, with car alleys, which are a pleasant escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The subject of special pride is the “Japanese Garden”. Decoratively scattered stones, murmuring streams, flowers and cherry bushes skillfully recreate the harmony of nature.But a few years ago, the Japanese Garden, like its incomparably more powerful competitor, San Francisco's Chinatown, lost their monopoly on the exotic. Exotics of domestic origin have gone, walking and wandering.San Francisco became the "hippie capital of the world." This capital is geographically small, located at the intersecting Haight Street and Ashbury Street and resting the tip of its cross on the Golden Gate Park.I went out onto Haight Street, lined with low-rise and not new houses, and on its sidewalks the inhabitants of the unrecognized capital by the UN, not embarrassed by the drizzling rain, showed themselves in an extravagant American way with long unkempt hair, bare feet, biblical mantles and Mexican ponchos on their shoulders, blank frock coats a la Jawaharlal Nehru, decorative myni-chains with brooches on the smooth pillars of youthful necks. Pronounced—is it durable? - subspecies A kind of protest party.They were beautiful, at least at first glance, beautiful with that strength of life that accompanies youth. But they also laid claim to significance. Among standard houses, standard cars and standard dressed people with their young beards and biblical mantles, they aimed at the title of religious teachers and prophets, and then a critical question arose about their mandate and powers.A guy of about twenty-three stood in a niche of one entrance, gracefully touching the wall with his shoulder. The face of Superman from the TV screen is a firm, beautiful chin, a straight Roman nose, a beautiful oval face. The guy stood very distantly, looking into the distance, and this prevented me from talking to him. Hesitating, I looked at the next window, behind the glass of which, aware of its own greatness and high price, were super-high-quality heavy boots - a successful copy of the original of the last, and perhaps the century before last, and rawhide sandals, also heavy and also successful, because they Probably, they were on the feet of the biblical shepherds off the shores of the Dead Sea and between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. And the guy, majestic, like a time-tested product in a window, cut me down in size until today’s hectic day.Two hippies walked by. Quietly, like a password, the guy threw some words at them. A cigarette passed from hand to hand. He struck a match for a long time, turning away into the depths of the entrance, and when a beautiful profile appeared in front of me again, I stood on the step and said:I am a foreign newspaperman. I would like to ask a few questions.And then he slowly turned to me, looked at me with an unseeing, smoky, empty gaze of gray eyes. And he didn’t answer.— I'm a foreign newspaperman...But the look remained the same charmingly smoky and empty.- Hey, buddy, I'm a foreign newspaperman...The guy was floating on his own, strictly individual, coded, undetectable waves of drug trance.“Turn on, tune in and drop out” - “Turn on, tune in and drop out.” Turn on and tune in - through drugs - and fall out of the despicable reality. The hippie formula, not without ridicule, borrowed the technical jargon of the time.I left him strangely alone and walked on down Leith Street. American powerful cars rustled along the pavement. American fire hydrants stuck out like cast iron on the edges of the sidewalks. American general drug stores intercepted customers at crossroads. But American boys and girls, dressed as Indian dervishes and gurus, as African blacks and Russian artisans of the beginning of the century, denied their country.The small shop was called "Wild Colors" - a cooperative shop of hippie artists. Huge pillows, half the size of a mattress, echoed in the heart with sweet pictures of childhood under the auspices of grandmother, and the nirvana of the East emanated from the brightest yellow-violet-red variegation of the pillowcases. Huge twisted candles canceled out the electric light and encroached on the furniture, for the place for such regal candles was on the floor, near the regal pillows. Shimmering kaleidoscopes of psychedelic posters encroached on the television screen and painting at the same time. Clusters of chains and beads, he is ready to actually commit suicide, just to disrupt the ticking clock of a meaningless, albeit prosperous life.“And recently, just as unexpectedly as you, three black guys came here,” the boy continued. “And they put a knife to my chest.” It was a strange feeling. Strange... After all, I may have sacrificed my career to participate in the civil rights movement. And they came - and a knife to the chest.“I understand them,” he seems to apologize for the guys with the knife. “I know how guilty white America is.” But I’m for them, I always sympathized with them...Even then, in a hurry, wanting to get ahead of this knife at his chest, he whispered to them about his sympathies. They listened and laughed sarcastically, but did not touch our hippie and did not take anything except this little thing. Unlocking the glass display case above the counter, the boy took out a brass brooch - a badge of the Aldermaston March, a popular symbol of supporters of peace and nuclear disarmament.- Why did they take this particular thing?“I think it was a symbolic gesture...The three blacks spared him, but, having removed the symbol of peace, they cruelly hinted that there would be no peace here, among the deceptive freemen of Haight Street, while the ghetto lay nearby.Those same concentric circles that Professor Wheaton spoke dispassionately passed through the water, a wave from the great American sea rolled up to our boy’s shelter, and now the blond hippie looks more sharply at the door of his shop when, with a melodious bell, warning of clients, it succumbs under whose - with your hand. And, without having yet drilled irreparable holes in himself, he is already ready to find a bridge back and was already looking for a safe premises for “Wild Flowers” in the downtown - city center. But the landlords there, seeing his long hair, were afraid that other hippies would follow and the rent would fall, because other tenants would run away from such a neighborhood, like the plague or blacks.Now he’s thinking: shouldn’t he throw everything to hell—both this shop and this country? Shouldn’t we go to Mexico, since it’s not far away and the border is open?Having bought a photo album in which dancing hippies looked commercially acceptable to the average American, I wished good luck to my new acquaintance and went to where the three with a knife had come from - to the black ghetto.And soon portraits of Martin Luther King appeared on the walls of houses as road signs - traces of long mourning for a man who dreamed of a brotherhood of blacks and whites in conditions of equality.It was pouring rain, the streets were deserted and almost carless...This blond boy is curious: fear and sincerity, gullibility and suspicion, solidarity with other inhabitants of Haight Street and, however, loneliness.Bohemia of the nuclear age. Generation of love. Prodigal children of cybernetic society. American gypsies... As soon as they are not called.Once in New York for about two weeks I became acquainted with hippies and their psychedelic practice of “expansion of consciousness.” I met with members of the Diggers sect, who distribute clothes and food to the needy and, by the way, have a soup kitchen here on Haight Street. I met one hippie who was very successful in selling the music of his fellow hippies - they said that by the age of twenty-two he would have made his first million. Gangsters and drug dealers were already lurking among the gullible, naive and pure guys. But it is not so much drug addiction that destroys them, but commerce, against which they rebelled and which skillfully adapted their protest to their needs, developing a business in fashion, music, and original hippie colors.“Hippies who fled the wealthy suburbs to protest the worship of money and property found that money was talked about more on Haight Street than on Wall Street,” writes San Francisco writer Earl Shorris. —Hippie jazz flies first class and buys extra seats for their instruments. Chester Halley of jazz's The Family Dog claims to earn a quarter of a million dollars a year; the owner of a large hippie dance hall acquired a bunch of financial advisors; those who make posters got rich; jazz hippies are ready to make music for commercial advertising... In the era of race riots, the Vietnam War and the hydrogen bomb, hippies were able to shake the confidence of the generation in power, the “evil generation”. Of course, they have raised valid issues, but they have failed in the solutions they propose."Meanwhile, Fillmore Street began - the central, straight as a sword street of the ghetto. Another song, so to speak, began, another protest - not from the offspring of the bourgeois, but from the children of the disadvantaged. Rivals appeared on the walls of Martin Luther King's houses. Portraits of the apostle of nonviolence stood side by side with portraits of people who said that only violence could correct America. Under the portrait of Stoly Carmichael, a frantic young man with a chocolate-colored handsome face, there was a defiant, defiant caption: “Prime Minister of Colonized America.”Another black guy looked out from the portraits. Belted with bandoliers, with a rifle between his knees, he sat in a chair: “Hugh Newton is the Minister of Defense of Colonized America.” From his pose, the throne-like chair, and the rifle instead of a scepter, there was an air of defiant mischief, almost amusing and desperately revolutionary.And finally, there were numerous portraits of a girl with a thin, beautiful face and childishly frowning eyebrows: “Kathleen Cleaver. He is running for the 18th State Assembly District as a Peace and Freedom Party candidate. Also a candidate of the Black Panther Party. Put Kathleen Cleaver on your ballot!”It was this girl I was hurrying to meet—to 1419 Fillmore Street, to the headquarters of the Black Panthers. On a business date. The beautiful girl was married. Eldridge Cleaver, a talented journalist and writer, as well as the "minister of information" of the same government, was in prison, accused of attempting to kill a policeman. And San Francisco stores sold his book “Soul on Ice,” a collection of angry essays, the fruit of a previous prison stint. (He would later be released on bail, and, rejecting American justice, Eldridge Cleaver would illegally leave the United States. Then Kathleen would join her husband and they would both appear before reporters in African clothing in July 1969 in the city of Algiers, at a cultural festival of the peoples of Africa, - more two self-imposed exiles from America among the growing number of those who choose their African homeland as a second home, following the example of William Du Bois. How long can a soul endure on ice?)“What do we want?We want freedom. We want the power to determine the destiny of black people.We want full employment for our people.We want an end to the white man's robbery of our black population...7. We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of blacks...10. We want land, bread, housing, clothing, justice and peace.What do we believe?We believe that black people will not be free as long as they are denied the ability to determine their own destiny.We believe the federal government has a responsibility to give every person a job or a guaranteed income. We believe that if white American businessmen will not provide full employment, then the means of production should be taken from the businessmen and given to the public so that each community can organize itself and provide jobs and a high standard of living for all its members.We believe that this racist government has robbed us, and we now demand payment of a long-standing debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules were promised a hundred years ago as reparation for slave labor and the mass extermination of black people. We will accept this payment in cash, which will be distributed among our many communities. The Germans paid reparations for the genocide against the Jewish people. The Germans exterminated six million Jews. The American racist has murdered over fifty million black people, and therefore, from our point of view, we make a modest demand...6. We believe that black people should not be forced to fight to protect a racist government that does not protect us...7. We believe that police brutality in black communities can be ended by organizing black vigilante groups whose mission is to protect black communities from oppression and police brutality. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution gives us the right to bear arms. Therefore, we believe that all blacks should arm themselves for self-defense.”These are the fundamental points of the Black Panther program. That is why the government refuses, of course, to take this program seriously, and Edgar Hoover never tires of calling the “Black Panthers” the most dangerous subversive terrorist organization in the United States.Many, many Americans are frightened by the steps of the “black panthers,” although the “panthers” claim that they never attack first, like their prototype, that they only insist on the right of armed self-defense, protection from atrocities and police persecution. Yes, on the sacred American principle of debt repayment. Yes, on the great “right of the people to change or eliminate” a government that does not provide citizens with “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” - this is already from the Declaration of Independence, the authors of which did not imagine with what accusatory echo their masterpiece would echo two centuries later.Surrounded by hunters, the “black panther” is not harmless, and the precarious line between self-defense and attack is determined by its opponents from the police and the white-faced lady Themis. The result?"Minister of Defense" Huey Newton behind bars.Eldridge Cleaver's soul did not thaw within the prison walls.And 23-year-old Kathleen bravely, but in vain, strives to make the voice of the "Peace and Freedom Party" heard in San Francisco's 18th Congressional District on Election Day...I saw the first Panther at the door of 1419 Fillmore Street. The young black man was wearing a Castro beret, spotted parachutist trousers and a black leather jacket, belted with a wide white belt, like a military policeman. There's a baton on his belt. Not a homemade product, but a high quality factory product.The club on the Negro's thigh struck me as words from the enemy's vocabulary strike in the mouth of a comrade,I entered and came across blades of glances. Pressed into my face, they warned: “Not a step further!” They asked: “Who is this? With what intentions? And I tried to retract these blades, answering with my gaze that my intentions were the most peaceful, nothing more than benevolent curiosity. The looks still pricked me: after all, there is also the curiosity of onlookers at the zoo.Kathleen Cleaver had an almost fair complexion, the contour of her chin was not Negro, her lips were thin, but her face was crowned with the banner of race by a shock of coarse black curly hair. Leather jacket with a round “Free Hugh!” badge. Black high boots. The abundance of black redeemed the unexpectedly bright face and gray eyes of the leader of the Black Panthers. A surprised, cheerful, almost childish expression, as if out of forgetfulness, often visited her face. Then she came to her senses and brought her thin eyebrows together on the bridge of her nose.Things were not going well for the young candidate of the “party of peace and freedom.” In the morning, newspapers reported that Kathleen Cleaver was an impostor, not officially registered as a candidate for the State Assembly from the 18th congressional district, and that votes cast for her would be invalid. Kathleen avoided television studios and editorial offices, proving that she had registered in compliance with all formalities and paid the required $160. But there was a vacuum everywhere, like on the airless Moon, where it is impossible to hear a simple, so to speak, natural human voice, and the astronauts, even standing next to each other, talk on the radio; such a special connection was had on election day among politicians who did not encroach on the foundations, and the voice of the “black panther” did not reach the voter without amplifiers on television and newspapers.So, after apologizing, Kathleen disappeared to go about her business. I looked around the room. On Fillmore Street they disowned society not with things, as on Haight Street, but with heroes, portraits of the famous revolutionary bearded men of our days - Ho Chi Minh, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro. From the center of the San Francisco black ghetto, threads stretched—albeit more emotional than consciously political—to those areas of the planet where the imperialist American spit broke off on the basalt stones of resistance.Kathleen returned. Bearded Eldridge Cleaver looked at her from the wall with inflamed eyes.“We measure our strength by the size of the opposition and the degree of support. Both are growing. The black community supports us well, the so-called big press curses us. What's bad? But our main task is organization, organization and organization...The conversation was constantly interrupted.“Let’s go to my house,” Kathleen suggested. We walked out with a stocky white girl who was a reporter for the Berkeley Barb student newspaper. She drove us to the Cleavers in an old green pickup truck.In the apartment, simple and clean, there were also portraits of revolutionary heroes and a pretty, carelessly barefoot, white girl was talking on the phone - I was pleased that Kathleen’s acquaintances refuted newspaper judgments about the racial intolerance of the “Black Panthers.” And again, with his bloodshot eyes, he looked at his wife Eldridge Cleaver, and this time from the cover of the book “Soul on Ice.” Approaching the shelves, I discovered Dostoevsky - “Notes from Underground”, “Crime and Punishment”.“My favorite writer,” the leader of the San Francisco “Black Panthers” recommended Dostoevsky and, smiling, added, “with the exception, of course, of Eldridge.”I accepted the praise of my great compatriot.“He revealed the soul of the Western man best,” Kathleen said with conviction. — All the others did not add anything significantly new.“But isn’t he too hopeless?”And then Kathleen took Dostoevsky under her protection and said to me with challenge and reproach: “Is there really hope for Western man?”Western man is a “man of the West,” and according to the meaning she put into these words, a man crippled by an anti-humanistic bourgeois civilization. Dostoevsky convinced the leader of the Black Panthers that her view of America was correct.Meanwhile, the long-haired white girl, looking up from the phone, told Kathleen another unpleasant news: a policeman was standing at the entrance to a polling station and urging voters not to vote for the “Peace and Freedom Party,” since they are communists.Cursing, Kathleen headed towards the door, telling me with her eyes: see? What hope can there be for Western man?The elevator clicked, and I was left alone with the girl, who was again on the phone. Looking at how the raindrops softly touched the glass, I thought that, apparently, nothing great, true, ascetic is in vain - neither the desperate heroism of Che Guevara, nor the great pain of Fyodor Dostoevsky, that the winds that blow through the world carry seeds across continents, years and even generations and give unexpected shoots in the most unexpected places.Once again the white girl interrupted her telephone watch and, as if she had just seen me, asked: are you American?I answered.“Russian?” She was not at all surprised and asked ironically: “How do you like free elections in America?”And then the bell rang. Opening the door, I saw a burly white guy - I have to note the color. And he saw the stranger alone with a girl—his girlfriend, as I soon guessed—and a shadow of suspicion flashed across his good-natured face. I tried to erase it, returning to the same waiting position. In this apartment, people did not introduce themselves to each other from the first words, as is customary in AmericaNow there were three of us. The girl left the phone alone. He stood near the TV, carefully leaning his elbows on the fragile structure. She turned to him, straightened up in her chair, throwing her long straight hair back, stroking the floor with the bare soles of her beautiful feet. They were conducting a business-like, skeptical conversation about the same free elections, and in the presence of a third person they wanted to look like adults, wise, but underneath the top layer of their conversation, another, deeper layer was so obvious. With words they touched each other tenderly, as lovers touch with their fingers.She interrupted the conversation with a minimal test of her authority—instructing the boy to go buy some cigarettes. And then, unable to bear it any longer, he unbuttoned his jacket and pulled out a brand new black parabellum. It was with him that he hurried to the girl, and he wanted to show off with him.Suddenly there were four of us in the room, and matte blued reflections emanated from the fourth, and the three of them silently looked at them, trying to decipher the future - with such a thing, the flow of the future can be dramatic and intermittent.I won’t lie, I felt uneasy. And not only because you can’t hold back the thought that suddenly jumped to the surface of your consciousness: what will happen if the glittering pupil of the parabellum turns in your direction? But also because I, a foreigner, was not supposed to be present at such a secret demonstration of weapons.The boy broke the silence.- Nothing like a toy, huh? - he said in a voice deliberately careless and breathless with excitement. - Good at cops, huh?And he handed the parabellum to the unflinching girl, who put it near the phone.- Hold me while I run for cigarettes!He wanted to show off the toy and, at least for a moment, to free himself from its terrible weight.How could the missing Kathleen add to this sudden Parabellum interview? When the guy returned with cigarettes, I began to say goodbye. He volunteered to give me a ride to the hotel. Parabellum, blinking farewell with the reflection of the trunk, disappeared into the depths of his jacket. We went down to the street, to the guy's truck.On the way, he talked about himself, about the shipyard where he works, about the “sons of bitches” from the union who shout about patriotism, justifying the Vietnam War, and about the fact that there are, after all, yes, there are some fighting guys and in general, their number is growing.“They think we’ll just sit in front of the TV all the time.” Hell no!We said goodbye at the crossroads near the Governor Hotel.It was five in the evening.18Having said goodbye to the boy, I was left alone with my disturbing impressions and with the correspondent’s workload for the evening - I had to report to the newspaper on two or three pages about the results of the Californian competition between Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy.Parabellum, of course, tempted me: I should write about it.But the evidence of the eccentric Haight Street and Fillmore Street was refuted by the big, solid, shady America.Do you see the fear of the hippies or the dangerous rush of the boy with the parabellum on these streets, where people walk and go about their business, where, having said goodbye to the boy, you went out to cool your heated head? There is no trace of them.All was calm in the basement German restaurant, where I refreshed myself before the vigil in front of the TV. The men sat at the tables not in leather jackets, but in jackets, not long-haired and not at all frightened, but calm and self-confident. Of course, their companions were not thinking about shocks and revolutions. The owner was setting up the TV he had saved for Election Day so customers could keep an eye on Bobby and Gene's chances without rushing to pay.In the seedy surroundings of the Governor Hotel, black and white prostitutes in short dresses independently walked along the sidewalks, and in the halls of cheap boarding houses for the elderly, the inhabitants had already taken their usual places, staring indifferently through the glass at the street, affirming with the free girls the principle of peaceful coexistence based on complete indifference to each other.The rain stopped by evening.Having stocked up on cigarettes and cans of Coca-Cola at the Mexican corner store, I retired to my room on the eighth floor, preoccupied with two or three pages.And at eight thirty in the evening, my assistant and eternal companion in America appeared on the television screen - Walter Cronkite, chief supplier and news coordinator for the CBS channel, without whom, as they joked later, during the lunar epic of Apollo 11, doubly empty and lonely even in space.Proud, I called him my assistant, and he is like a god - omnipresent, all-seeing, all-knowing. Available to everyone and having access to everyone, and why are there small examples if I saw how Cronkite’s desperate reporters put the cord of a portable microphone around the neck of the US President himself, and he, on a split screen for the occasion, appeared before Walter, who was conducting the coverage of events from his small studio on 57th Street in New York. And he was pleased, because almost half of all Americans know Walter Cronkite - more than anyone from the superpower of the press and television, and his evening news program is listened to by at least twenty million television viewers - keep in mind, this is with eight working television channels. You won't find a politician who wouldn't be flattered—and good for his career—to appear on Walter's program.He has a serious reputation, long-term fans, and, frankly, during my years in America there was almost not a single evening when I would not devote half an hour to Walter - from seven to half past eight, when I would cheat on him for the sake of the popular couple David Brinkley and Chat Huntley from NBC, two of its most stubborn competitors.Unlike these talkers, Walter usually delivers hard news.So, sitting on the bed in front of the television screen in the room at the Governor Hotel, I called Walter Cronkite, and he appeared in front of me in the form of an elderly, leisurely gentleman with a substantial mustache, which he had grown before the fashion for mustaches, wrinkles around his eyes - they had multiplied in six years our acquaintance, with an energetic, captivating and pleasantly tired expression on his face.This time Walter was broadcasting from his New York studio, but does distance exist for God? — the waves brought him to the Pacific coast without interference. He was in New York, and the elections were in California, on the other side of the continent. Nevertheless, it was from Walter that they expected the latest, most up-to-date information - not only by ordinary television viewers, but also by journalists, politicians, even the two main characters of this latest American odyssey - Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy, who were also probably sitting in front of their televisions.This god is not three, but dozens of persons. Radio waves reach his throne from a highly professional army of reporters and cameramen stationed in the Los Angeles headquarters of two senators, in various California cities and counties, at polling stations, and in his reserve are full-time and freelance commentators, political science professors, directors polling institutes, etc., etc., ready to immediately process the raw materials of statistics into semi-finished products of analysis and forecasts - right up to the presidential elections in November.Walter appeared and, spreading his hands across his clean table, seemed to brush away all my worries.From the shaky ground of Haight Street and Fillmore Street, from some pathetic hippie, from the leader of the Black Panthers and the guy with the parabellum, he easily transported me to the world of big American politics, where everything is placed in its usual places, where you can even look ahead , and not to look at it at random, but using scientific forecasting methods.Yes, science and forecasting are two idols of our time, and Walter immediately made it clear that they were among his faithful servants.He reported that only one percent of the votes had been counted, but—is there any interference with science?! - CBS Corporation, based on "profiles" made in 89 "scientifically selected" polling stations, solemnly predicts Kennedy's victory (he should receive 48 percent of the vote) over McCarthy (who will receive only 41 percent).Yeah, so CBS really forked out the cash by renting electronic counting machines for Election Day, and Walter Cronkite immediately threw down his big trump card, guaranteeing both the excitement and the electronic precision of that evening's TV viewing.But machines are machines, forecasts are forecasts, and the human element doesn’t hurt either.- Roger Mudd, come out! - Walter called, starting to check his army.And on the screen behind him, through some kind of technical trick, another screen appeared, and in it the face of Roger Mudd, with swollen cheekbones and eyes tired from lack of sleep - the younger colleague and faithful archangel Walter, the Washington correspondent for the CBS. Es.I was used to seeing Roger Mudd on the white steps of the Capitol steps, cheerfully questioning the next senator or commenting on the next vote in Congress. But two months ago, he abandoned his post on the Hill and the other ninety-nine senators for one thing, wandering around the country day and night on the tail of Bobby Kennedy, among a host of correspondents watching every campaign move, gesture and maneuver of the senator from the state of New York.And today Roger was, of course, at Bobby’s side, at his temporary headquarters in the Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel, tireless as always, ready for hours of reporting. Like a leaf before the grass, at the first call he had to appear before Walter. And he appeared on the screen in the screen and in an attractively familiar and yet precise manner reported that, yes, Walter, as you can see, I am at the Ambassador Hotel, the senator is currently at the country estate of one of his friends, and not in his room - a suite on the fifth floor, his retinue and supporters are understandably in high spirits, but, Walter, as you know, only one percent of the votes have been counted and, alas, I have nothing to add to the “profiles” of our almighty computers.“Okay, Roger,” Walter accepted his report, and in the friendly intonation there was an unobtrusive but authoritative parting word: “Keep your eyes open, stay alert!” Although he knew that old Roger would not disappoint.Then he called his other archangel, who was on duty at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, next to Senator McCarthy, and he just as clearly and quickly embodied behind Walter, on the screen within the screen, and reported that, yes, Walter , in McCarthy’s camp, of course, they still refuse to admit defeat, but pessimism is already gnawing at his adherents, if you please be sure, and the telephoto eye, running around another room of another hotel, found dejected faces.Thus began a large television show called “California Primary,” another demonstration of a kind of pop art - turning into a spectacle, processing into a spectacle any event that can keep an American glued to the television screen.Demiurge Walter Cronkite created current history.His correspondents flashed by, new numbers popped up on the scoreboard.The wisest machines surprised people by suddenly changing their forecasts - having driven six percent of the counted votes through semiconductor joints, they crossed out their first forecast, promising Kennedy 51 percent, and McCarthy - only 38.Ah, ah, how entertaining! How interesting!Oh, if only I had flown to America yesterday...After an hour or two, my excitement dried up, I found myself getting irritated. It grew, although I still watched and listened, because how can you leave a spectacle halfway if you also need it for work? I repeat that I respect Walter Cronkite as a professional and it is not without reason that I have proven my loyalty to him all these six years - from seven to half past eight in the evening in New York. And on our television screen I would like to see the same fully documented, operational news broadcasts. But...- What's the point of rushing? — I was angry, fidgeting in front of the TV.- What's the point of rushing, Walter? What kind of pampering is it - to rent electronic brains for a lot of money, so that at one percent they make one forecast, and at six - another? What good are forecasts if they die out in a few hours—just a few hours when all the votes are counted? What kind of children's guessing game is this, using the latest technology and in front of tens of millions of adults?However, why torture Walter with unpleasant questions. I myself can explain something, although I will have to reveal some flaw in his divinity. Look for money, not a woman! - here is the American correction to the French solution to the mysteries, no matter how banal all this matter may be. Look for money, and serious money.Hire smart machines and smart people, use Walter Cronkite's popularity and make a show of the California elections to lure millions of viewers to their television screens.And there will be viewers, and there will be corporations that will pay CBS big bucks to advertise their products during these intriguing hours.Who will win - Kennedy or McCarthy? The intricate carousel revolved around a political issue, and was impaled on the axis of commerce, for which it does not really matter who wins - whoever wins, a television viewer watching the dramatic vote count on CBS will remember in passing and something what else. What's this time?Disappearing from the screen, the famous Cronkite from time to time gave way to a certain nameless and very loving grandmother from an advertising film. Standing by a neatly painted white fence, the grandmother lamented that her granddaughter did not go for a walk with her, and her wise neighbor uttered the magic word “listeria” - an excellent remedy for bad breath. Other shots of the same neat fence, but what a change: our grandmother affectionately pats the boy clinging to her, having found perhaps the last happiness in her life. And why? And because the grandmother’s mouth is fragrant, her heavy breathing no longer puzzles or frightens her granddaughter. Listerine all over the TV screen.And then suddenly, from another advertisement, as if from life, a shaggy politician with bulging eyes was brought onto the screen - a parody allusion to the well-known Republican Senator Everett Dirksen - and in a hoarse, strained, Dirksen-like voice, this new devil who jumped out of oblivion ceremoniously proclaimed: “Great Kentucky is proud to present our candidate Colonel Sanders, who vows to give every voter fried chicken every day!”The ceremonial gesture, the waving of posters, the dancing of balloons - everything was as real as at election conventions, although, of course, not as noisy as it was in the Cow Palace. And to the delight of the crowd, the faithful paladins carry on their shoulders a handsome old man in a white southerner’s suit, with an old-fashioned, wedge-shaped, gray beard and a bow tie.Savoring the delight, bowing, blowing kisses, the old man floats across the screen."Colonel Sanders."People's favorite.The Mythical Creator of Kentucky Fried ChickenI first met him in his homeland, Kentucky, in the spring of 1965. A good-natured-looking colonel rushed at us from huge billboards. There was nowhere to hide from his wedge beard, white tie and the temptation of fiery calls to try it - for only 1 dollar 19 cents! — Kentucky fried chicken.One day, at a roadside glass shop, we succumbed to the tempter, poked the menu where he commanded, and the waitress delivered to our table something temptingly large in weight, but impossibly boring in taste - a product of factory chicken production conveyors rolled in breadcrumbs. So I put an end to the myth of Kentucky fried chicken, not forgetting to take a special napkin as a souvenir, on which there was a wide face and a wedge beard - a respectable deceiver.Meanwhile, Colonel Sanders successfully continued his crusade in the name of his broiler chicken and used to attack me from billboards around the corners of New York, and now he lay in wait on a television screen in San Francisco, adapting the election campaign to his campaign. evening and the rivalry between two senators.So the evening dragged on in front of the TV.The meeting with the colonel amused, but did not overcome the irritation. Enough of the spectacle, let's have the facts, and verified facts: who won, how and why did they win? Give raw facts for two, maximum three pages. And my brain already clicked as usual: it’s ten in the evening here, which means it’s eight in the morning in Moscow. Eleven in the evening means nine in the morning, the editorial corridors come to life,” and perhaps they have already remembered that there are primary elections in California, that our correspondent is there, and they are already grumbling: where is the information? Who wins there - Kennedy or McCarthy?Time is running out. Where is the information?The remains of Coca-Cola were rusting, piles of ashes and cigarette butts were growing in ashtrays, but the notebook was still blank, the phone number with Moscow had not been ordered.And a new obstacle, which I cannot cope with, has arisen on the way to two or three pages. The computers leased by CBS were now spinning idle because the computers leased by the City of Los Angeles were idle.The giant city, where almost half of California voters do not want to lag behind the technologically fast and accurate century, was the first American city to switch to an electronic ballot counting system, which everyone has managed to buzz about today. But the ballots were transported from the polling stations to the electronic computer center on ordinary trucks, and they hesitated, keeping the voracious computers on a meager diet, and inconsistencies arose in the center itself. Everything came to a standstill, like on a river during a timber rafting trip. The TV crews, with the enthusiasm of people who believed in progress, enthusiastically chatted that these stubborn logs were about to be dismantled, and then everything would explode and collapse like a ninth wave, which would quickly be sorted by super-operative cybernetic machines.Be patient!Will you be patient? It was already approaching midnight in San Francisco, and in Moscow it was almost ten o'clock in the morning, and the lines on the second page of Izvestia were being read much faster than the interference at the Los Angeles computer center.I cursed the failed two or three pages and regretted the wasted evening. Forecasts be damned!But the New York senator believed the forecasts.He decided not to postpone the victory speech ritual. Like the Listeria company, he needed a television audience, and a bigger one, but meanwhile it was catastrophically thinning out, scattering into bedrooms, especially on the East Coast, in New York state, where it was already about three in the morning.I suddenly saw him on the podium of the Grand Ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel. Microphones greedily stretched out their long flexible necks, television cameras peered intensely into his thin face with a sloping nose, into a smile that he held back, probably because it revealed too long teeth.Confidently tired, he extinguished the jubilation of the crowd with hand gestures.The crowd continued to rejoice, for this exaltation was the meaning of its many hours of waiting in the hot hall, heated by television jupiters.Aiming for the lenses, his assistants stood closely around, but, half turning around, without extinguishing his smile, Bobby said a few words, and they parted. A pale, painedly smiling woman with an impeccable hairstyle appeared from behind the men. His wife Ethel. Mother of his ten children.She was pregnant with her eleventh, only two months remained before giving birth, but how could one avoid the ordeals of the election campaign. A candidate's chances always increase if a faithful wife, with many children, pregnant, and selfless, looms next to him before the voter.She stood next to her husband to look at him with a shy smile and receive her share of applause.He built his victory speech in the traditional spirit - without formality, in a family way. Moderate humor, maximum gratitude. He thanked political allies—Jess Unruh, the leader of the California Democrats, and Cesar Chevez, the leader of the Mexican sharecroppers, friends in the “black community,” student helpers, the 110-pound black Roosevelt Greer, a professional rugby player and volunteer bodyguard who “will take care of everyone, who doesn’t vote for me,” Senator McCarthy for his “great efforts” in organizing the opposition to President Johnson, his wife Ethel for her fantastic patience, her dog Freckles: “She had already gone to bed because she knew from the very beginning that we would win.”He spoke haltingly, without text, based on short theses slipped in by his assistant. What he has been saying since mid-March, when he entered the fight for the White House.That the country wants change.That the last three years have been years of violence, disappointment, division between black and white, poor and rich, young and old.It's time to unite and start acting together.— The country wants to go in a different direction. We want to solve our own problems within our own country, we want peace in Vietnam...“So, thank you all again.” Let's go to Chicago and let's win there.Thus he finished his speech and left the podium amid noisy applause; There were two and a half months left before the Democratic convention in Chicago, now - he just had to get past the kitchen - correspondents were waiting for him, and then with friends to the fashionable night club "Factory" - to hide from the television cameras, escape from worries, and celebrate the victory.And television cameras followed the senator to the exit, honorably highlighting the back of his head among the backs of the heads of his entire busy retinue. The hall was turned off...The senator's victory speech swayed me, but did not force me to change my mind. The only thing that tormented me was that two or three pages were still not canceled, but only postponed until tomorrow - as if another whole day, the last one in San Francisco, would not be spent on them?The hotel was already asleep. Outside the window, in silence, like in a silent movie, prostitutes were still parading around Club 219.I sat down at the table, opened the notebook and, going through the impressions of the day that had finally passed, I thought about what to write down briefly so that it wouldn’t be lost, so that I could later revive, invigorate and decipher it in more detail in my memory.The TV was now on the right, to the side, its plastic wall facing me. I could not see the images and did not delve into the waning chatter.As soon as you press a button, the entire large world that fits in it obediently rolls down to the center of the screen, shrinks to a brilliant bright point that will shine for another moment, but in which nothing can be made out.I didn't press the button.I sat and scribbled in my notebook.And suddenly...And suddenly, to the right, in the TV box, as if the wind swept through...It was as if the elements themselves powerfully crushed and crumpled the monotonous muttering. That element that never notifies in advance of its onslaught, of a breakthrough.And I still didn’t understand what was going on, but the elements pulled me out from behind the table and forced me to jump in front of the TV and glare at the flickering screen.I don’t remember if there was anything on this screen, it seems there was nothing.And the nervous, hurried voice of the announcer, lost in professional rhythm, was heard:Kennedy was shot! Kennedy was shot...This was not Walter Cronkite, who had already said goodbye to the viewer, surrendering under the attack of stubborn computers. This was the announcer of a competing NBC channel, who did not want to spend money on scientifically selected polling stations and on forecasts of expensive electronic computers and from the very beginning promised old-fashioned suspense - old-fashioned tension that sees intrigue not in forecasts, but in so as not to get ahead of the course of events.It turned out, as they say, their way.The indomitable ninth wave was coming, but not the one that was promised: just give time to the miraculous computers.The ninth wave was coming.- Kennedy was shot! Kennedy was shot! - shouted a hasty voice, as if crossing out everything that had happened during the long day, as if erasing with a sweeping rag everything that had been so copiously written on the board.And the board was clean again, but only at the top, like a title, terribly virgin, completely different writings lit up freshly on this board...19- Kennedy was shot! Kennedy was shot!The announcer was in a hurry to fill out the board, and faster, faster, faster than his competitors, since they - as they should with their computers - smacked everything, and, of course, there were control screens in front of him that confirmed that their neighbors were lagging behind.I don’t remember exactly the words, but I remember the impressions of those minutes very well. The announcer's voice trembled with excitement, and it was twofold - the excitement of a man shocked by terrible news, and the reckless excitement of a hound dog that had attacked the trail of an unprecedented game.“John,” he said to his reporter on duty at the Ambassador Hotel, and I vouch not for the accuracy, but for the meaning of his words, “John, how did this happen?” We need, you understand, details...”And the same excited voice, jumping off the usual rails, answered him:- You understand, there is such confusion here now... It’s difficult to figure it out. Everyone is panicking...And the first voice spoke with the sympathy of a comrade, but, however, with the right of a boss and mentor, already gaining calm and with this calm, as if encouraging and disciplining the second:- We understand everything, John. We understand that you yourself are shocked. But pull yourself together, John. Try your best. You know how important details are to us.The hall was turned on. Yes, panic. The tele-eye slid over distorted faces and darting figures. Turned on the sound. Women's squeals and screams:- Incredible! Can't be! Incredible!And these cries of “incredible!” were the first to deepen the meaning of what had happened, even before the inevitable words were uttered about the “steps of fate”, about the “steps of a Greek tragedy,” for, like a distant and suddenly approaching background, the hot Texas afternoon in Dallas November 22, 1963.And then came something very recent: the early evening hour of April 4, 1968, and Martin Luther King, leaning his hands on the balcony railing of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, not knowing that he was already at gunpoint and that a bullet was about to knock him down forever onto the cement floor.- Can't be! - they shout. May be! Why can’t it be, if this is being repeated for the third time. May be! And secretly they had already foreseen this for a long time, but they refused to believe their premonition and therefore are now rushing around the hall shouting: “It can’t be”!On the podium, in front of the microphones through which half an hour earlier Robert Kennedy had shouted: “Go to Chicago!”, now stood an unfamiliar man.“Stay in your seats,” he shouted into the audience, in panic. - Stay where you are! Need a doctor! Is there a doctor here?And the Johns from television gained self-control and, one after another, dragged witnesses to the television cameras, pinching them off from the crowd that was growing near the mortally wounded senator stretched out on the floor. Hound dogs defeated the shocked people, there was a hunt for witnesses, and not just witnesses, but for those who were closer to the scene of the assassination attempt and saw more and could now, having appeared on our channel, insert a feather in the competing channel.A terrible miracle of the instant transformation of a tragedy into a sensation and spectacle took place before our eyes. And people, trembling with grief, panic and fear, who themselves had looked into the eyes of death, rushed into the television screen in the heat of the moment and cooled down, walked away, turned on some buttons of consciousness, became cold-blooded, skillful in expressions, people honored - this outweighed the rest — the honor of appearing on television and showing yourself to the public.O age, greedy for information!Well, however, I scold my faithful assistants. After all, I, too, having shaken off the stupor of the first minute, was sitting on the edge of the bed in front of the TV, and in my hands I already had a notepad, where I frantically wrote down the words of reporters and witnesses, who, like a judge, were disciplined by the cold, impassive TV eye.Now another two or three pages were needed, and I worked, knowing that they would find a place for this bomb even on the already occupied newspaper page and that now I had time, since these two or three pages would be accepted at the very last moment before publication newspapers.And now in front of me are abrupt nervous lines from a notebook, witnesses of a feverish night, the first-? true and false - scraps of information from which I stitched together my pages.“They shot me in the back, from behind.”- Several shots.— One woman was also wounded.— Has the shooter been detained? They know.— The senator is on his way to the local hospital.— Shot behind the curtain, at the exit from the Grand Ballroom.— The senator was seen lying in blood in the kitchen.Footage: a group of policemen, baring their Colts and rifles, quickly makes their way through the crowd, dragging a man in a white shirt. The man's head is firmly clamped under the policeman's arm. They put him in the car. The siren howled hoarsely and immediately at a high note.There is a special excited and upbeat intonation in the announcer’s voice: now we will be the first! to show a videotape of the wounded Senator Kennedy. Here it is, the crowning one. Someone was working, someone was turning their camera. Now we will show you! Here they are, frames taken with a trembling hand... Panic flickering of people... The camera seems to move them apart... Here they are, the last of thousands and thousands, of millions of frames that recorded the political and personal life of the senator...How many times have you seen a select few of them in the half-hour advertising film that was played endlessly on all television channels during the election days: with the brother president in times of crisis, at rallies in front of crowds with hundreds of hands reaching out to him, cheerfully playing football with children on the lawn Washington estate, running along the ocean shore in races with the shaggy dog Frekles, and again with his brother, closer to his brother, to share in his posthumous popularity, and again with the crowds, eagerly stretching out their hands to the chosen one of fate,And here they are, the latest, fresh, just recorded on videotape and delivered to you without delay. The senator lies on the floor, with the narrow back of his head facing the viewer, that hair-to-hair combed back of his head that I saw three days ago two steps away from me and which struck me in contrast with his famous unruly forelock. Let's zoom in on the back of the head. Even bigger. Calm white face. Suffering slightly touched his lips. Dark suit. Spread legs, powerlessly spread legs - oh, it’s not for nothing that the senator is lying on the floor. On the left, squatting, is an incomprehensible boy in a white jacket, in his wide-open eyes there is bewilderment that has not yet turned into pain. (It was a dishwasher from the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel. The killer Sirhan Bishara Sirhan asked him several times if it was true that Kennedy should pass through the kitchen. He - the last of thousands and thousands - was shaken by the senator's hand, and at that moment shots rang out, and the poor boy felt the senator's hand unclench in his hand.) And another man leaned over to the right. Like the boy, wanting to relieve the pain, he carefully lifts the head of the person lying down. The movement of the senator's lips, his right hand came off the floor, and - oh horror! - on the back of the hand there is a dark shiny spot, and the hand. cotton falls to the side, away from 01 bodies. And under my head I can vaguely see, or rather not see, but inevitably guess, another large spot...And someone’s wide jacket, blocking the path of the television camera, like a curtain on a stage, interrupts the spectacle. How dare he, this daring jacket! How dare he deprive us of the continuation!(I remember another popular photograph of those days, which, of course, appeared in various photo competitions throughout the year.Palm...An enormous, ugly, large, outstretched palm, ready to cover the coldly gleaming eye of the camera, and behind it, disheveled and furious, small, like an appendage to her own palm, the senator’s wife, Ethel Kennedy.She is all gone into this palm, and the palm demands air for her husband, lying on the kitchen floor, the palm shielding his last semi-conscious moments from the cameras of feverishly working reporters.A woman of the so-called high society in the noble appearance of a beast saving her child.“Don’t forget, lady,” one reporter remarked admonishingly, without interrupting his work. - This is necessary for the story.And the angry palm of a woman who did not remember herself was skillfully snapped off and put into circulation, useful for history.She would like to be alone with him, not allowing strangers into the sacrament of agony, but even in fatal moments, the senator was what he had strived to be all his life - a public property.)This videotape was played again and again, on all channels, including CBS. There, Walter Cronkite, who had missed the climax, was already sitting at the control panel, and his look, confident, although moderately mournful, said that now the confusion and voluntarism would end and the current history would again be written confidently and without blots, right on the tablets of eternity.The videotape became the refrain of that night and a sign of the high quality of television service. It served new tens, and maybe hundreds of thousands and millions of people, awakened by telephone calls from their friends, acquaintances, and relatives who had stayed late late.- Now watch this videotape!..And the operator’s trembling hand grew firm, people flashed nervously, and then parted, and - ever closer, closer to the foreground of the lying man in a dark suit, the narrow back of his head.Meanwhile, the senator was already in the operating room of the Good Samaritan hospital. His press secretary, Fred Dzankevich, said that in five minutes six neurosurgeons would begin the operation, which was expected to last about an hour.The figures of police officers and reporters could be seen near the hospital building, which was white in the darkness.The Governor Hotel, which had fallen asleep, awoke. In the next room the door was slammed and the TV buzzed. The elevator rustled.-Did you hear that Kennedy was shot? - The hotel's night clerk shared the news over the phone.America was awakening. Journalists tore sleeping politicians from their beds, demanding comments. Senator Javits said, "I'm shocked." Congressman Gerald Ford: "Unbelievable!"- Now watch this videotape...“Senator Robert Kennedy was shot in Los Angeles tonight. As you know, Robert Kennedy is the brother of President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963, and is himself seeking election as President of the United States... From conflicting eyewitness accounts, it is clear that the attacker was waiting for the senator behind the scenes... According to reports from Los Angeles, the senator is alive, but his condition is its critical... The tragedy has replaced the buffoonery that is so characteristic of election nights in America... It is still difficult to say how the assassination attempt in Los Angeles will affect the general election atmosphere and political life in the country... The police have strengthened the security of Senator McCarthy, who is at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles..."I wrote in a hurry, looking at the clock, listening to the TV and suffering from the fact that in the meager information, like water through a sieve, the main sensations went unexpressed...The world was awakening. Yes, I woke up, but not necessarily from the Los Angeles news, as I thought in the San Francisco night, but with the rotation of the Earth and the tread of the Sun - it was already morning in Europe, day in Asia.Darkness still enveloped America, and in the London kiosks there were morning newspapers with sensational full notices, and somewhere on a Moscow street an American correspondent intercepted some woman, and the television in the Governor Hotel on the corner of Jones Street and Turkey Street had already broadcast her simple comment: “What a shame you live in a country where anyone can be shot.”- Now watch this videotape!..And the hand weakly rose from the floor... A spot on the back of the hand glittered... The hand fell away, as if being separated from the body.Thirty steps from the podium, from the pose of an idol and a winner, through the double doors to the kitchen - and there is a bed on the floor. He wanted to control the fate of a powerful country, but now he could not even control his own hand. The distance was three minutes - and seconds, in which eight shots were fired from a distance of three meters. Where were the bodyguards? Why are there no frames and pictures of the assassination attempt itself? Or are photographers and cameramen not so fearless and cold-blooded?Three pages were ready, but they did not give Moscow; the operator, with the cold courtesy of a machine gun, answered that the line was not working. How can it not work if American correspondents are already transmitting their comments from Moscow, and I heard them with my own ears? Will the newspaper really end up without its own information, and will I not be a working correspondent, but just a shocked TV onlooker? I shouted at the operator, but, without stooping to an argument, the human-automatic machine repeated his words by rote, and his voice did not in any way reflect the nightmare night; Finally, after a complaint from the senior operator, she was given Moscow at three in the morning.An invisible, seemingly treacherously unreliable hair connected room 812 of the San Francisco Governor Hotel with the sixth floor of the Izvestia building on Moscow's Pushkin Square - across two continents, one ocean and ten time zones.With the telephone receiver, I hid under the blanket to muffle my voice, not to disturb the people in the next room, to save them from unnecessary bewilderment: what kind of crazy person is speaking for a long time, loudly and strangely clearly in an unfamiliar language? It was hot and uncomfortable under the blanket, sweat clouded my eyes. And in front of the attentive stenographer, my first listener and reader, I was embarrassed, because, shouting words across two continents and one ocean, I was convinced: it’s not this, it’s not that, it’s not that...I do not refuse these words. They were true in the sense that they carried a piece of information about what happened. But in their bare frame there was no difficult to express, but seemingly obvious relationship between the disturbing impressions of a long day in San Francisco, an evening watching TV and a night tragedy in Los Angeles. After all, that day I, too, walked under a thundercloud and shuddered from the blazing lightning. Lightning struck in another place, and it was not given to me to know where it would dazzlingly rip through the fabric of the storm-swollen sky, but I, too, was breathing in the pre-storm atmosphere.The six neurosurgeons were still working their magic in the operating room of the Good Samaritan, and I went to bed, using thin rolls of pillows to build a higher headboard so that I could more comfortably look at the television screen.The operation was ominously delayed.Be that as it may, the work duty has been fulfilled, and it is not my fault, but the transatlantic telephone service that words can become outdated, descending from the editorial office to the shafts of rotary machines. Someday the time for global telephone automation will come, and my successor will connect to Moscow without operators. Will his nights become calmer?..The wind came through the open window, moving the curtain, and the chill of the early morning dissipated the tobacco spirit. Newspapers scattered on the table and on the floor, a blanket thrown on a chair, ashes and cigarette butts in ashtrays and a trash can - with the eyes of an outsider I looked around at the traces of the carnage that I myself had caused, fighting with the TV, paper, time.What is it like there - a senator in the operating room? Looking through my drowsiness at the devil's box, affectionately called the “blue screen,” I waited for news.Walter Cronkite has rehabilitated himself. I was once again a slave to CBS.Roger Mudd stood ready outside the hospital. The CBS mobile force was regrouped, a new fortified post was in operation, and in the dreary tones of the early morning the tele-eye revealed a busily preoccupied figure. Roger Mudd was holding a portable walkie-talkie transmitter, apparently tuned to the Good Samaritan emergency press wave. In the same intonation as nine hours ago, when the reporting on the election results began, he reported that there was nothing new, Walter, yet. but, as you can see, I'm ready. There was a lot of new, but it had already become old, and Roger Mudd had in mind the newest new.To a person who had just turned on the television, it might have seemed that the CBS television corporation had long been busy with operational coverage of the agony of the unfortunate Senator Robert Kennedy. The emergency is over. The conveyor belt found the right rhythm and produced a high-quality product of grief, bitterness, public chest-beating and self-critical talk about a sick society....Waking up at ten in the morning and first turning on the TV, I learned that the operation was over and the senator was alive. Still alive, because a certain New York doctor Poole, who managed to contact his colleague from the Good Samaritan by telephone, drew with a pointer a diagram of the human brain and reported that the wound was much more dangerous than initially thought. vital centers are damaged and that even if the senator survives, his life will be “of limited usefulness” - in other words, the life of a cripple. And on another channel there was a commercial advertisement on the immortal theme of cash, savings, and the company that was expelling the bad smell from America played its mini-film about a grandmother and grandson, convincing that happiness is so possible: get on the level centuries - buy listeria!The Kennedy clan flocked from everywhere to the white rooms of the hospital.Commentators, avoiding the word "death" as much as possible, were already talking about how Humphrey's chances at the Democratic convention in August and Nixon's chances in the November election had improved. And what, by the way, will Teddy, the last of the Kennedy brothers, do? Will he enter the battle for the White House immediately after mourning - after all, the elections are still five months away? Or will he postpone the matter until 1972?From a presidential candidate, a man became a candidate for the dead, and in a world where it is so important to get ahead of competitors and be the first to offer a new product that is in demand, people were already in a hurry with guesses, analysis, and assumptions.And beautiful San Francisco lived an ordinary life, as if it had managed to deal with the nightly news over a morning cup of coffee. The waitress who wrote out the bill downstairs in the cafe had the same quick and firm handwriting, the same argumentative step. And the usual jingle of the cash register when the change automatically pops out along the metal chute. In a store on Market Street, a salesman knocked on the sides of elegant suitcases, eyeing me and convincing me that it would be cheaper to buy a new one than to repair my old yellow suitcase.And there was nothing unusual about pedestrians and cars, and the streets, with their three-dimensional space, their exposure to the high sky, seemed to dispel and disperse the concentration of tragedy that had permeated the hotel room during the long night.Only in the kiosks were newspapers shouting with bold hats and a photograph of a bewildered boy in a white jacket, bending over a man stretched out on the floor. Yes, on Powell Street, at the turntable of the cable tram, passers-by were hypnotized by the flickering of television screens in shop windows - here, just the day before yesterday, Robert Kennedy’s campaigners made their last election push, distributing for free a special edition of his book “In Search of a Renewed World.”Haight Street, land of the hippies, has quieted down. The “Wild Colors” store was closed, I was not able to talk with yesterday’s hippie, who in a timid whisper predicted an imminent apocalypse. Did he run off to Mexico?The next morning I flew to New York and therefore returned to the hotel early - to get ready for the trip, to the TV, to the haunting thoughts of two or three more pages.- Now watch this videotape...These words sounded less frequently—everyone was served with the videotape. Thomas Reddin, the Los Angeles police chief, had an intelligent face and a discreet, intelligent manner of speech. Having studied the “biography” of the Ivor-brand pistolJohnson-Cadet,” his people identified the attacker as Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, 24 years old, a Jordanian Arab who had lived in the United States since 1957, but had not received American citizenship. No "sinister international aspects" were found. The defendant most likely acted alone. So far he refuses to talk, but from the words of people who knew him it is clear that Sirhan was extremely critical of the US Middle East policy and support for Israel against the Arabs.I remembered the first strong feeling of those minutes when the election night farce ended in tragedy, but nothing was yet known about the criminal: Robert Kennedy energetically imposed himself on the presidency, causing polar currents of sympathies and antipathies; he was also energetically dealt with. Now they were talking about a more specific version. The senator was elected from the state of New York, where there was a large and influential group of Jewish voters. He needed votes, and of course he wanted to please this group. In the Middle East conflict, his position was pro-Israel, although, however, no more pro-Israeli than many of his colleagues. How would he behave if there were more Arabs than Jews among his voters?In Sirhan's agitated mind, steeped in Arab bigotry and American violence, Robert Kennedy had grown into a hated symbol. The atmosphere of his country, reflected in the mind of the criminal, hit the New York senator with a merciless ricochet, hitting - this was Sirhan's plan - on the eve of the first anniversary of the Arab-Israeli six-day war.How unexpectedly the world is connected! What resonated in Los Angeles was what echoed in Jerusalem exactly a year ago.Meanwhile, the votes in the California election were counted. Kennedy defeated McCarthy by a slim majority: 45 to 42 percent.Lyndon Johnson provided security for anyone who wanted to take his place - from the Presidential Secret Service.McCarthy, Nixon, Humphrey watched the ballots, preparing to announce a mournful pause in the election campaign. The inevitable—“extremely critical condition”—was growing in the bulletins.In the late evening edition, the San Francisco Chronicle peeked into the night with a huge headline: “Near Death.”This time Moscow was given quickly. The audibility was good, the operator was sympathetic. By midnight I finished my duties as a correspondent and again turned to the TV. The Joy Bishop show was broadcast from Hollywood. At the senator’s deathbed, they were toying with the old question: What’s wrong with America? -What's wrong with America?Under contract with ABC, popular actor Joy Bishop hosts a program every Wednesday night from Hollywood. A charming person, but what is this - a mourning show.What has he prepared for the future this evening? What kind of comedians, beauties, politicians, sex professors, tap dancers in tailcoats, or perhaps desperately radical ladies - bra subverters, pioneers of the latest see-through transparent fashion?Now he has the face of a philosopher and almost a martyr. He discusses the question: What's wrong with America? The same audience who bought tickets to the Hollywood hall in advance and came with the intention of having fun, but Joy Bishop’s “guests” are different - Charles Evers, the brother of the black leader Medgar Evers, killed by racists, some liberal doctor, some Catholic priest.The gray-haired doctor sincerely suffers:“It’s time for Americans to take a closer look at themselves!” We are a nation of hypocrites. We must cultivate humanism and banish violence...Charles Evers also says that it is time for America to wake up, that whites have no compassion for blacks, that the national climate is saturated with violence and racism, that in his state of Mississippi, a black man who stole a chicken is given ten years in prison, and a white man who kills a black man is released unpunished.The priest denounces “colonization, exploitation and human degradation” in clear political language.Joy Bishop, like King Solomon, decides to balance the truth. And, delivered by radio waves from his capital in Sacramento, Governor Ronald Reagan appears on the television screen. The screen is divided into two halves. On the right, former Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan plays the role of a wise, resistant statesman. On the left is actor Joy Bishop as a thinker who is confused but has not given up on his search for truth.“Governor,” asks Bishop, “isn’t it time to ban the sale of firearms, which are so cheap and accessible in America?”The governor, thickening wise wrinkles near his eyes, as if to compensate for the wretched forehead of a movie cowboy, fatherly explains to Joy that this law is not the issue, that a person will find a weapon if he wants to commit a political murder.Showing off his erudition, for some reason he remembered the assassination of the “Austro-Hungarian Emperor” in Sarajevo, obviously meaning Archduke Ferdinand.Talk about a sick America is “nonsense.” It's all due to legal laxity and liberalism.Now that young Senator Kennedy is seriously wounded, “foreign writers will ruffle their feathers” to once again denigrate America, but these are either its enemies or those who have myopically forgotten that America is saving the world from “barbarians.”He said so - from the barbarians, and at that pathetic moment applause rang out in the hall, and a shadow of satisfaction ran across the governor’s face.“Sorry, governor, we’ll have to interrupt you,” Bishop said with an apologetic, disgusted grimace, but his disgust was not addressed to the governor.Putting his hand under the table, our philosopher, with the same somewhat disgusted expression, pulled out some kind of thing.Was it canned dog food or the less dramatic drug Dristan for headaches? I don’t remember - to the detriment of the documentary presentation.But there was this little thing, and after rolling it in the palm of his hand, Joy Bishop pushed it into the center, under the television beams, placed it on his desk, said the magic word product and obediently disappeared.Governor Reagan has disappeared.Everyone has disappeared. The hall was turned off for a minute.There was a promotional film for the company that that evening was paying for Bishop’s funeral show, the angry philippics of his guests, and the patriotic rage of the governor....Towards the end of the show, Joy Bishop asked the priest to pray for the wounded senator. All four bowed their heads, and the priest recited a collective request to God to save the life of Robert Kennedy, and America from the evils of colonization, exploitation and human degradation.It was one thirty at night on June 6, 1968. Turning off the TV, I went to bed.At one forty-four minutes, Robert Francis Kennedy, 42, died without regaining consciousness at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles.Woke up at seven in the morning by a telephone call from the night attendant, who in American hotels takes on the functions of an alarm clock, I again rushed to the TV. The word death filled the room.Not yet knowing about the hour of death, I realized that, from the point of view of television, it happened a long time ago, because this terrible word was spit out calmly, and not like potatoes just pulled out from under hot ashes.I saw the heavy face of Pierre Salinger, who was President John F. Kennedy's press secretary and, in recent weeks, jumped into Robert's van as he prepared to travel to the White House. Pierre performed his last duty to the senator, laying out to the tired correspondents the program of funeral ceremonies: that a special plane sent to Los Angeles by President Johnson would deliver the body to New York today, that the list of those who would accompany the body would be announced later, that the funeral mass will take place in New York's St. Patrick, and when - they will inform later that after the mass the coffin with the body of the deceased will be delivered by special train to Washington, where he will be buried in Arlington Cemetery, next to his brother.The deceased person continued to acquire a lot of details. The last point was put on his life, and therefore large obituary films were already being produced, which were edited and pasted for future use while he was still lying on his deathbed.Moving away from the living, Bobby Kennedy memorially appeared before the crowds. Favorite gesture: downward with the thumb of the right hand. Boston patois, so similar to the patois of his older brother.20Having tied up my suitcase, which was falling apart from the decrepitude and abundant information of two California weeks, with straps, I glanced at the TV. Our goodbye was short. I pressed the button, and the entire unmourning and yet motley and dynamic world shrank to a bright point. Disappeared. My shoes and trousers were reflected in the empty window.Which hand will touch its buttons and levers today? What will run through the other brain? What images of an impenetrable future will burst into the flickering screen?I paid for the hotel and took a taxi to the city airport. The newsstand on the corner was still empty. The morning streets are gray and sparsely populated. And sad, as the streets of a city are always sad, from which you part, not knowing whether you will return. After all, if you don’t return, it means the end of that piece of life that you spent there.At the airport terminal, the first thing I did was look for the newspaper stand and hurried to it to double-check the irrefutable television information and make sure whether the San Francisco newspapers were operational. There was a pile of fresh newspapers. “Kennedy is dead,” screamed a sold-out crowd on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle. You probably can’t shout any shorter and louder. In the cry there was mourning and the hidden triumph of the soothsayer; After all, we did not deceive you when we reported in the evening edition that Kennedy was on the verge of death.And throwing ten cents to the saleswoman, I carefully, around the corner, picked up the number, glistening boldly with fresh paint.The clerks registering tickets worked efficiently, without chatter or hesitation. Passengers at check-in counters, in the cafeteria, at retail outlets, in the chairs of the waiting room behaved as people who have descended from the sky or are about to take off usually behave. How do Americans behave when they find themselves, each on their own business, in a public place: without touching each other either “physically, not with a glance, not with a word....The Boeing 707 of Trans World Airlines took off heavily from the San Francisco concrete exactly on schedule - at 10.10 in the morning. To the left, the ocean glimmered darkly and cloudily, below were the gray stripes of highways, suburban houses and, like multi-colored larvae, thousands of cars in parking lots. We left the ocean deep into the continent, jumped over the barren yellow-pink mountains and climbed high, high, where the colors of the earth fade, covered with a bluish haze, and the sun sheds its light so powerfully and tenderly, making the cabin of the airplane so light and festive that it comes by itself The formula of bliss derived from memory by Mayakovsky: “So I will drink my morning coffee in the Summer Garden...”The casually confident, homely voice of the captain reports on the radio that everything is okay along the entire route and that, apparently, we will land at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport without any worries. And then, but no longer for me, is Rome, because Trans World Airlines has merged its domestic flights with international ones, demonstrating the unity of the world.The flight attendants are gliding along the carpet of the aisle, this time in synthetic paper vest dresses that enhance the golden morning color - what they don’t do to these girls! - and the sun itself, it seems, was specially brought into the sky in such its best form.They hand out glossy menu cards, which confirm that everything is without deception, that indeed we are about to fly with a foreign, French this time, accent: beef Burgundy, or chicken in wine, or veal in sauce with mushrooms. And the black stewardess - oh the signs of progress and desegregation in the air! - He smiles sweetly with his plump lips, throwing back the table and placing a wide, stable glass of whiskey and soda on it.And after lunch, we temporary celestials will watch the comedy “What’s Bad About Feeling Good?” in the stratocinematograph. - “Why is it bad to feel good?” Trans World Airlines keeps its word. When you booked a ticket for this flight a week ago, didn’t a girl’s voice sing into the phone that the flight would be with a foreign accent, that for lunch there would be a choice of three of these exact dishes, and that after lunch they would show this particular comedy movie?What's bad?..Even if it froze on the runway, or maybe has already taken off from the Los Angeles concrete, the presidential Boeing 707 with a sealed coffin is exactly the same in appearance, but even more comfortable inside. Maybe he is already drawing the vast American sky after us. Just further south. Only without the comedy movie...What's bad? I never found out if it was bad. As then, on. on the way to Los Angeles, I put my headphones in my seat pocket and almost didn’t look at the screen, where in a standard comfortable little world, standard prosperous people silently opened their mouths, eliminating some minor humorous shortcomings in their standard happy life. Another, furious, real world demanded that it be sorted out.Half a month ago, they were spinning in the belly of an airplane, just as high above America, “The Day of the Evil Revolver” and the actor Arthur Kennedy, just a namesake, was dragged away by his long legs in the dust of the cinema town. And then in the ghetto that big, mustacheless boy showed off his parabellum like a toy to his sweet girlfriend. And then the gun really went off in the hand of Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, and Senator Robert Kennedy fell - really, so as not to get up. However, stay away from this devilry. The senator was killed, but the chain was closed only in my mind. Although, with playful optimism, TWA airlines wants to give my motley notes a plot completeness: “Why is it bad to feel good?”The plane moved smoothly and powerfully, there was no chatter, and the lines fit well into the notebook. I brought to mind a thin-legged black woman with full lips, a strato-cinema, beef bourguignon, the entire American ideal of comfort and peace, raised to a height of ten kilometers, and tried to find some kind of accusatory connection between this ideal and the spectacle of a senator lying in blood on the kitchen floor, the last public spectacle of a life suddenly ended. The connection seemed so obvious and yet so elusive. Or maybe it’s not a connection, but some kind of anti-connection. The world is not only united and connected, as I saw it on television on the night of the tragedy, but also unusually, indifferently huge and torn, and can easily accommodate two Boeings - with a coffin and with a comedy film.How to organize in your brain the confusion of the last two days and the entire two-week trip through California, the polar and yet merging impressions of a dynamic, technically extremely advanced society, where everything seems to be weighed and measured and planned in advance, and where suddenly something dark like chaos breaks through with terrible pulsations? unpredictable course of life? Impressions of a modern empire, connected to the world by a system of vengeful communicating vessels: in its global accounting it is accustomed to gaining additional wealth from the burned beggarly villages in the Vietnamese jungle and suddenly puts in the expense column a brilliant senator who applauded the Israeli blitzkrieg and therefore was struck down by the hand of a Los Angeles Arab , who frantically and blindly takes revenge for the humiliation of his fellow believers in Jerusalem.It seemed that the synthesis that I had been looking for in America for six years and despaired of finding - not a dry and rational synthesis, but passed through the heart - that it was at hand, but again it slipped out, like a fish that you accidentally grabbed in its native land. elements.I remembered Carmel, a charming town that curved its streets and sidewalks so as not to cut down the ocean pines bent by the eternal wind. In the warmth of the May afternoon, in serene bliss, I wandered through its small art galleries, and in one I was struck by the paintings of Leslie Emery, an artist of unusual and strong talent. I was especially struck by the portrait of an old man, obviously an Indian. This canvas was stretched not in length, but in width, so that the old man’s eyes took the most central place. For in the eyes was all the thought and all the power.Heavy, swollen round eyelids, a sharp network of wrinkles, bulging eyes, as if protruding from their sockets. In a glance, the history of man is like the history of the world - a man who lived for a long time, thought a lot about his own fate, suffered a lot, humbled himself, but not obediently, not slavishly, but wisely and stoically, who realized that he was mortal, but life is eternal . And in the hard-won, rational-intuitive balance of wisdom and experience, he lives out his life, knowing that he will leave, but others will come with the same eyes, the same look. There is no fear, there is wise stoicism, objective and durable, like nature itself. And part of this look, but only part, is directed at the self-confident, loud, rushing, thoughtless crowd. It’s not that this is a critical look - it is the lot of a sage, enviable and bitter. He knows that he can be crushed, but he is not afraid - and this will pass, and he will absorb this without betraying himself. It is wider and higher and therefore - that’s the whole point! - immortal.And another look came to mind—the young hippie from the Haight Street entrance. He had the handsome face of a television superman, and he would have been better suited to play a cowboy than Ronald Reagan in his youth. A strong chin, a Roman nose, a beautiful oval face and other irresistible accessories of strength, courage and confidence. But the look of large gray eyes is smoky and empty. Physically nearby, but in fact in unknown lands, in a narcotic trance. A beautiful shell from which the life managed to escape in her young years. Empty vessel.What do you need to change your mind and experience, what to see around you in order to create the eyes of an old man? Probably the same thing the guy on Haight Street saw.Then thoughts returned to Robert Kennedy and then to Martin Luther King, the first victim of the year. I felt offended for King, offended because—I felt it—his assassination was not taken as close to our hearts as the assassination of Robert Kennedy. It’s a strange insult and a strange passion at the hour when a flying funeral procession accompanies a dead body from Los Angeles to New York, but why doesn’t the ascetic and true hero Martin Luther King, who laid down his life for the great cause of equality and justice, cause that compassion, which, of course, the murder of Robert Kennedy will evoke in our man? Death sums up life, but does not rewrite it, although martyrdom facilitates the birth of a myth...It was summer hot and sweaty in New York. The extra police presence at the modernist sink of the TWA building was alarming. We landed at JFK Airport, which was still Idlewild Airport when I first landed on American soil in late 1961. The express bus, bouncing softly on the Grand Central Parkway, rushed past Queens towards Manhattan. Familiar road junctions flashed through the greenish protective glass. Passenger cars were rushing past us, racing past us. And the dust, the special, dull dust of highways, grew gray along the roadsides. Dust and occasional rusty cans of beer and soft drinks; “Don't litter the highways! Fine five hundred dollars!With a dashing rustle, the bus made its way through the Midtown Tunnel under the East River and rolled under the roof of the East Side Air Terminal. I took a taxi home on Riverside Drive. A rare case - the taxi driver was a woman, stunned by the heat and turmoil during the day. It was already eight o'clock in the evening, in the west, in the gaps of the streets, the sky was glowing at sunset, the cars had subsided, but the taxi driver continued to settle some scores, cursing crazy city, crazy people, crazy world - a crazy city, crazy people and the whole crazy world. I was quite ready for these truths, but what only bothered me was that they rolled off her tongue too easily.Well, the suitcase is at the doorstep, the warmth of the wife and children - and straight to the miracle box, already turned on, working, as if the North American continent is just the distance between two television screens.The big world was breaking into the New York apartment, as well as into the room at the Governor Hotel.A beautiful biblical sunset was burning outside the window, the sad evening Hudson was flashing through the glass, and we were looking at the television twilight of LaGuardia Airport.That plane had already arrived, was already pulling up from the landing strip, and the whistling of its engines could already be heard behind the scenes. But then he entered the frame, blown by thousands of miles of space, and a man in a white robe and headset waved his hands in front of him, pulling him towards him, ordering him to stand - an airfield worker, just as much a participant in history accidentally caught in the frame as that bewildered boy - a dishwasher in a white jacket bending over the senator on the floor.The whistle stopped and the plane froze. With burly policemen on their flanks, the greeters moved towards the plane.Now television cameras searched the fuselage, wondering which hatch would open first. The door moved to the side on its complex hinges, and, elevated above the people, a flight attendant appeared in the doorway. Why don't they serve the gangway? Ah, it’s not a ladder that’s needed, but a lift for the coffin. They meet the coffin, and it must be the first. And the lift appeared - like a covered truck body, neatly crafted, even elegant with its nickel-plated sides, stitched with lines of rivets. The senator's relatives and friends, who did not make it to his deathbed at Good Samaritan Hospital, stepped onto the lift platform. She went up to the hatch opening, to the coffin and the widow, and in the mournful light of the spotlights and jupiters I saw on the platform dapper male figures and slender legs of women in miniskirts and mini-dresses.1968—1970 гг.CONTENTFROM THE AUTHOR                                         2FACETS OF CHARACTER                                 5Throwing back the veil of mourning                         5Christmas story                                                 11Texas without cowboys                                         13He saw Hiroshima from above                                 21The Man from the East Tower                                 24DO SKYSCRAPERS CRUSH YOU?                 32Ketchum History                                                 44Beta chromosomes                                                 55PROCESS ABOUT 1.5 MILLION                        64Protest Fire                                                         70World for seven cents                                         73Broadway fare                                                 80Herostratus of Arizona                                         85OF THE NAVAJO INDIANS                                 90Hippie Grin                                                         102Cinema tour with continuation                                 109Morning at 126 Church Street                                 120Youth, year 1967                                                 122Conversation with Dr. Spock                                 127NEAR FRON NEW YORK                                 135THE DEATH OF KING                                         216FIERCE CALIFORNIA                                         249

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