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Crossroads of America

3 April 2024

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S. KONDRASHOVCrossroads of AmericaJournalist's NotesMoscow • 1969PUBLISHED BYPOLITICAL LITERATURE 32ИК64Stanislav Nikolaevich Kondrashov.К64 Crossroadsof America. Journalist's Notes. Moscow,Politizdat, 1969..208 pages.•In his essays, S. Kondrashov tells about the complex and contradictorylife of contemporary America. The Vietnam War and its various societalperspectives, the rapid growth of the African-American movement, the powerof predatory ideologies of owners and businessmen, the tragedy of the youth readers will discover many new and interesting insights on these and othertopics.1—11—5 9—БЗ—74—68 FROM THE AUTHORThe author's preface can be likened to a kind of letter of trust. Byoffering this letter of trust to the reader, I want to convey that Iworked in New York for six and a half years as a correspondent for"Izvestia" and, in that capacity, traveled extensively throughout theUnited States. In general, these were long years for me, but Iwouldn't want to shield myself with them as a protective shield. It'snot so important how many years have been lived, but what hasbeen understood. It's up to the reader to judge that.From the first days in New York, it became clear to me that inthis city and in this country, a journalist will never lack for thedaily bread of events and sensations. However, to understand this,one doesn't need to cross the ocean - it's enough to unfold almostany morning or evening newspaper. Who doesn't know thatAmerica is the world's greatest supplier of sensations?Like flashes of furious lightning, sensations tear secret images ofAmerican life out of the darkness. But where do the storms thatbewilder and sometimes terrify the rest of the world originate? Inquiet America, quiet Americans. In the social system of thecountry, dynamically torn apart by the struggle of people,antagonistic groups, classes, races. They take shape at the large andsmall, visual and figurative crossroads of America, where the goodand bad, the honest and selfish, the great and base collide and repeleach other.Americans are different people. This truth is so obvious that itborders on banality. But each of these different people are"funneled" through a complex system based on private ownershipand capitalist competition, and in turn, they refract this system indifferent ways. The longer I lived in the USA, the more the theme of the American character, its connection and interaction withAmerican reality, and the search for the everyday elements thatexplain the sensations fascinated me.The notes presented to the reader are primarily about this.I should note that these notes are far from a completeculmination of my travels, encounters, observations, and theongoing, challenging process of understanding this vast andincredibly diverse country in its hundreds of dimensions. They arelike mosaic stones, sketches for a painting that must inevitably becollective, as one person alone cannot write it—this is what I see inthese notes. Vietnam MirrorThree years ago, the police of the resort city of Miami, locatedin the state of Florida, arrested a man named Lon Show, anelectronics engineer. He had an unusual hobby. He would rent anairplane and drop homemade bombs from an altitude of threehundred meters onto city homes. His bombing runs were precise:the engineer targeted houses where, in his opinion, communist"agitators" and African American "rebels" lived. The storycontinued for nearly a year. Lon Show became so skilled atdropping his makeshift bombs that he could guarantee hittingwithin "plus or minus ten meters." At the press conference (whichwas unavoidable), they asked the arrested engineer about hismotives. "I believe I was providing a service to society," he said.How astonishing is every detail of this already forgottensensation! A press conference—isn't that evidence of democracy, asign of respect for the rights of citizens and the press? Renting anairplane, an electronics engineer—are these not indicators of ahigh technological civilization? The bombs and the motivationpinpoint the target. This is about American civilization, aboutAmerican democracy. They made Lon Show an electronicsengineer, taught him to pilot an airplane, and turned him into awild man. Can't an electronics engineer be a wild man?They arrested Lon Show, a lone anti-communist. He chose thewrong means, and his targets and authority were not approved. Butif we multiply individual and state-sponsored anti-communism, weget half a million Lon Shows, at least 3,000 military planes andhelicopters, dozens of military ships, and 12 tons of bombs foreach a square mile of Vietnamese territory, thousands and thousands ofkilled women, children, and elderly, burned villages, and destroyedcities. And, of course, press conferences, not at the police station, butin the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department. We getVietnam and the same motivation, but on a global scale: rendering aservice to the "free world." The engineer merely borrowed it fromWashington and narrowed it down to his own peril. We get theAmerican world that the film director Stanley Kramer famouslyreferred to as the "crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy world."Of course, this is just a figurative description, coming from aperson who avoids dull political terminology. But it is veryexpressive. If we continue this parallel, the Washington style couldbe called surrealism in the spirit of Salvador Dali. The famousSpanish painter not only declared himself paranoid but also actedaccordingly. In one of his noisy visits to New York, this artist with awild look and upturned mustache carried reporters into the city'ssewage pipes, and snobs into the fashionable "Philharmonic Hall,"where he demonstrated the art of instant painting inside a largeinflated plastic ball, and then relaxed on stage in front of theaudience. Funny, isn't it?And there was a time when President Johnson often proclaimedhimself a revolutionary, seemingly oblivious to the ironic glances ofhis millionaire colleagues. Especially during the period when heordered an air war against North Vietnam and the deployment of20,000 Marines in Santo Domingo, where in 1965 they discoveredeither 55 or 58 "unconfirmed" later communists.A fourfold crazy world is the world of imperialism. BourgeoisAmerica is as terrified of the revealing power of this word as of fire.At the end of 1967, the progressive West German poet Hans MagnusEnzensberger was invited to give lectures at Wesleyan University inConnecticut.He stayed there for only three months and left before his term wasup, believing that the very fact of his presence in a country engagedin an aggressive war compromised his anti-war stance. Upon leaving,he published a sharply critical letter in an American literary journal.He astutely noted that in a society where there are no taboos on usingthe most indecent words in print, there is a taboo on another group of words, expelled "by common consent from polite society: words like'exploitation' and 'imperialism.'"It's not surprising that with such a taboo, it's easy to manipulate theminds of Americans. There are countless examples. Here's one rathercurious instance. One day, the New York architect Robert Nicholsnoticed a situation that was clearly not humorous. A specialist inlandscapes, Robert Nichols served as a paid consultant to the WhiteHouse on a commission for "beautifying" America, overseen by thepresident's wife. With some delay, it occurred to the architect that hisfellow countrymen were embellishing Vietnam in a very differentway. He demanded an explanation from the political surrealists inWashington: how to reconcile the deliberate destruction of crops inSouth Vietnam by American aviation with the president's promise toincrease yields in South Vietnam. Emphasizing the seriousness of hisquestion, the architect took refuge in the Judson Memorial Church inNew York and declared a hunger strike until he received anexplanation.They sent it to him on the eleventh day of his fast. The StateDepartment can explain anything! They explained to the architectthat the "deforestation" program in South Vietnam was necessary toprevent guerrillas from hiding in the dense jungle, and that ingeneral, "it is necessary to distinguish" between the practice ofdestroying rice fields and the words about increasing yields. Theysaid, "it is necessary to distinguish." Poor Nichols and his moraldilemma received the highest public sympathy. "It is regrettable thathe has chosen a path that threatens his health to express hisdissatisfaction," said a statement from the State Departmentrepresentative.The naive architect stopped his fast. However, was he really thatnaive? After all, he only demanded an explanation, not the cessationof barbarism, or he would have had to die of starvation. He onlyremembered the rice-killing herbicides, forgetting the bombs andnapalm that killed the producers of that rice. But how splendidly theyrelieved his moral ailment. Democratically. In public. How theycared for the physical and moral health of a citizen of the empire!Since then, the logic of "it is necessary to distinguish" has gone muchfurther. In February 1968, the Americans completely destroyed thecity of Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta, killing no fewer than a thousand civilians and injuring one and a half thousand, all to rescuetheir garrison of forty people besieged by guerrillas. After thisVietnamese Guernica, a certain lieutenant colonel told reporters, "Itbecame necessary to destroy the town to save it." Destroy tosave—that's how they "must distinguish."I cited the example of Robert Nichols, remembering that much canbe revealed through a small example, in this case, substantialhypocrisy.America, given to us by history as a social and political antipode,is a country that is both simple and complex. It ranks first in thenumber of automobiles and mentally ill, the number of gangsters andNobel laureates. Technically, it is devilishly advanced. In recentyears, even at the household level, you can see how it becomesincreasingly saturated with "computers" – electronic machines.People's connections with corporations take the form of perforatedcards. Electronic machines keep track of your bank debit-credit,record your magazine subscription and when it expires, and send youthe telephone company bill.In a test, electronic machines in some places are entrusted withorganizing college love affairs. Enterprising Harvard graduate JeffTarr coined the amorous slogan of the electronic age: "We're notstealing love from love. We're making it more efficient." Data onhundreds of thousands of individuals of both sexes are stored in themachine. Paying $3, you instantly receive at least five potentialcandidates for a date and further, non-electronic, closeness. "Iremember the magical moment: you appeared before me," wrote thepoet. Of course, this new form of love is still in the experimentalstage. But sometimes it manifests itself through electronic mystery,uniting two previously unfamiliar people for better or for worse.American politicians openly operate under the assumption that theaverage voter has fewer wrinkles in their brain than semiconductorconnections in an electronic brain. Preparing for the 1966congressional elections, the Democrats installed an "IBM 1401"machine in their Washington headquarters, an electronic deity namedLyndon (after the president). This "Lyndon" stored the names of sixmillion Americans in its memory and could print a "personal" letterfor any of them within six seconds, bearing the signature andfacsimile signature of a Democratic congressman and a personalized greeting like "Dear friend," or more formally, "Dear Mr. Jones," orvery familiarly, "Dear Bill." This solved the complex problem ofindividual interaction with voters.Electronic brains evaluate political situations for the StateDepartment and the military for the Pentagon. In the Pentagon, thesebrains are more expensive, complex, and sophisticated, and evenRobert McNamara, the former Secretary of Defense, came as close aspossible to the finished product of the electronic age. But why wasMcNamara "asked" to leave the Pentagon? Why do machines oftenfail? The blame lies not with the machines but with the programmers.The paradox is not of the man but of the system, which consists ofthis: the closer McNamara got to his electronic ideal, the more oftenhis predictions didn't come true in the jungles of South Vietnam. Inthe end, he left the Pentagon, and the famous humorist Art Buchwaldwrote a satire about an electronic machine that "failed." McNamara isnot mentioned, but there is probably no more deadly politicalobituary for Robert McNamara.Buchwald writes about a machine into which they input all thePentagon's information about the Vietnam War in 1968, asking it:"When and who will win the war?" The machine replied that the U.S.had won the war back in 1966. McNamara didn't say this, but the"electronic brain" retroactively copied McNamara's predictions,which, based on the same Pentagon information, forecasted in the fallof 1963 that the U.S. would win in Vietnam within two years.The errors of electronic machines and electronic people can beexplained by the fact that the worldview of programmers lags behindtechnological advancements. This is dangerous, and the danger isgreater, the more potentially dangerous the technology is.Inside America, machines cannot solve one problem: where toplace people displaced by machines. Outside America, its leaderswant to use technological advancement to refute the fact of globaldevelopment. This is evident once again in Vietnam and theunprecedented concentration of American weaponry in the jungles.Excluding nuclear weapons, they used everything that the generouslypaid military-industrial complex had developed over the years. Forinstance, sensitive electronic gadgets that detected even slighttemperature fluctuations on the ground within a few degrees. Werethese fluctuations caused by a guerrilla bivouac or a nomadic refugee camp? For those who operated the bomb-release levers, these wereidle questions.My thoughts cannot help but return to Vietnam. The years ofescalation I spent overseas were like a mirror reflecting Americansociety, including the honest people who deeply cared for theircountry, enduring its shame, the fervent chauvinists who adhered tothe principle, "Right or wrong, it's my country," and the complacentmasses living in a state of lethargic sleep, saturated with comfort andselfishness. The dirty war exposed all the nooks and crannies ofAmerican life, all its astonishing contradictions. There are statisticson the fantastic material wealth accumulated in America: about thegross national product, which exceeded $800 billion per year, aboutnearly 100 million registered cars, about 70 million televisions, andso on. This is remarkable statistics. But it's one-sided statistics. It isimpossible to express a person and a society in numbers, whether it'sbillions of dollars or millions of cars. This statistics might satisfyonly the cold residents of other worlds looking for signs of materialcivilization on Earth. It does not provide synthesis. But there is onesynthesized figure that reflects not only America's wealth but also itsimperialist policy. "The New York Times Magazine" once providedthis figure. By comparing expenses and "income," the magazinecalculated that in 1965, the American war machine spent $351,111 tokill or capture one South Vietnamese partisan. If you consider the"collateral damage," meaning the civilians killed "accidentally," thenumber rises to half a million.That's wealth!And here's how it's being used!These are very meaningful half a million. You can construct veryserious moral and philosophical treatises about American civilizationusing them. For example, a comparative treatise on the half a millionspent to kill one defiant patriot and the paltry cents that Washingtonspends on the daily ration (the "survival") of each of the 4 millionVietnamese refugees, as well as the $53 spent per year on each of the30 million officially recognized American poor.The search for truth, the search for proper proportions, is alwaysdifficult. The years of escalation in Vietnam became years ofunprecedented rise in the anti-war movement in America, and itsparticipants, in the noblest sense, are upholding the honor of their country, which appeared before the world in the guise of animperialist predator. Peace marches, university teach-ins thatenlightened tens of thousands of Americans about the true natureof the dirty war, thousands of draft cards torn up in protest,hundreds of young people going to jail rather than put on militaryuniforms, the Senate opposition of Fulbright, the pre-electionbattles of Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy, who spoke outagainst Lyndon Johnson on a platform of criticizing the war, andthe genuine anti-war uprising of students—there has never beenanything like this in America.This true essence of American soil loudly and promisinglydeclared itself in the early days of the election year 1968. Theactions of honest Americans, their energetic efforts to establish thetriumph of reason over madness, were observed with sympathyand hope by all honest people of the world. Unfortunately, hope iseasier to arouse than to justify. The political big year turned out tobe a leap year of gloom, and its outcomes are not comforting.People who embodied hope for change were either rejected orphysically removed. Martin Luther King Jr., a man who arguablyhad more right than anyone else to be called America'sconscience, was killed twice: first by a deadly bullet in Memphisin April, and then by ten million votes cast for his opponent andarch-enemy, the fervent racist George Wallace, in November.Robert Kennedy was removed from the political scene with thebullets fired in Los Angeles at the very moment when he wasrising to offer principled criticism of the Vietnam adventure andAmerica's internal evils. Eugene McCarthy came close to tearsduring the August days of the Democratic National Convention inChicago when the party machine rolled over him, and the policeruthlessly crushed his young and enthusiastic supporters.It turned out that the years of escalation, national division, andpainful search did not affect the traditional rotation of thetwo-party system of the ruling class, and by November, it offeredthe voter two of its very loyal pets: the Republican Richard Nixonand the Democrat Hubert Humphrey. To the White House, Nixonwas led by the quiet American provinces and prosperous suburbsdemanding "law and order," implying a conservative social statusquo. What happens next? We'll live and see. We'll see what lessonsthe new president will draw. He cannot abstract himself from thefailures of his predecessor, which helped him come to power. Wewill see, in particular, how the Vietnam mirror reflects hispolicies.For now, without succumbing to the ever-changing waves ofpolitical currents, let's not forget what has already been seen inthis mirror. BUTTE'S CHROMOSOMESA mile up, a mile down, and all level.The motto of the town of Buteut, MontanaMr. Tom Weigle of the "Anaconda" company, upon seeing us onthat beautiful morning, became wary, and a shadow of annoyancecrossed his face: as if he didn't need these "reds" now! But Mr.Weigle is a "public relations man," which means that getting alongwith the public and the press, no matter what their color, is hisdirect business. He stepped out for a moment into the adjacentroom, and when he returned, we noticed that he had composedhimself. His face now displayed the famous "flash smile" – youknow, that professional smile that flashes and fades like a cameraflash, always ready during business hours – from nine to five. Thevery same "flash smile" that the kings of toothpaste and chewinggum put into mass production.So, we descended together from the famous sixth floor wherethe "Anaconda" office is located, and in Mr. Weigle's car, we doveup and down the famous Butte Hill – the cradle of "Anaconda." Atthe cut-off top of the hill were mine heads, mine yards, railwaytracks, and dusty roads. On the slopes of the hill lay the town ofButte, but the mines lorded over it, invading the town unexpectedlyand flickering behind the turns of its steep streets.The highlight of the Butte concert by "Anaconda" is now"Berkeley Pit" – a gigantic quarry, with a steep amphitheater thatdescends into the depths. On its uneven steps, massive trucks crawllike tiny ants. These ants carry not honey but copper. Their buzzingcan be heard from behind the fence. "Berkeley Pit" is held behindbars like a dangerous beast: this is how boldly man has turned theearth.What could be compared to this pit? The Grand Canyon ofYellowstone National Park comes to mind. Tiers of colorful rockformations rising from unimaginable depths, displaying all the colors of the rainbow. At the very bottom, an emerald river withmeandering paths shimmered like polished malachite – the creatorof this wonder."Berkeley Pit" still has a long way to go before it can becompared to the Grand Canyon. But, as with a mountain river,human determination is great. A mile up, a mile down – that's howthey talk about the copper ore reserves on the hill in Butte.Geologists claim that there is more copper in the earth than hasbeen extracted, although what has been extracted is by no meansinsignificant. One Butte mine has already gone a mile deep."Berkeley Pit" stretches beyond it. In other words, Mr. Weigle, theadvertising man from "Anaconda," could be satisfied: he had woncheers of approval from the "reds."But now, sitting at my desk, I think not so much about humandetermination as I do about nature and the purpose of thisdetermination. And oddly enough, the majestic, unrefined, workingbeauty of "Berkeley Pit" is overshadowed by a 12-year-old boynamed Bobby Chase. I feel no enthusiasm for this.At that moment, Bobby Chase stood under a wooden canopy,overlooking the pit. On a small table covered with oilcloth werepieces of Butte minerals. Next to the table, there were also oresamples in a cardboard box. They were glued to neatly cut piecesof cardboard with "The Richest Hill on Earth. Butte. Montana"stamped on top. Bobby was selling all of these items."Meet Bobby," Weigle said playfully. "Two communists,journalists from Russia."Bobby glanced at us from under his Finnish cap, a look similarto the one Mr. Weigle gave us on the sixth floor of "Anaconda"during our first meeting. However, just like Weigle, he quicklyrecovered; there was business to be done. He chartered away with aboyish voice, licking his lips and touching the stones on the table.— All these minerals from Butte Hill... Butte Hill... the richeston Earth... In 82 years, from 1880 to 1961, inclusive... theyextracted copper here... 15 billion 459 million... 962 thousand 615pounds... of zinc…—Wait, Bobby, — I said I wanted to talk to the kid. But it wasn't that simple. Bobbyworked like an automaton, like a mechanical toy that won't stopuntil the winding down is finished.— 4 billion 584 million... 104 thousand 699 pounds of zinc... 3billion 667 million 17..When the winding down was over, I bought for a dollar and ahalf cardboard with glued-on samples. I realized that with thecardboard, I could buy the right to talk to Bobby. He answeredreluctantly, using well-rehearsed words for tiresome questions, hishands gluing rocks onto a new piece of cardboard, and his eyeslooking for new buyers. When cars pulled up, and people came tosee the pit, Bobby, cutting himself and us short, would startshouting his short, number-filled saga about Butte Hill. He hadalready done business with us; now, others were important. This12-year-old boy's psychology, reduced to a desire to use others forhis gain, was evident, not yet masked by the clever trappings of ageand experience. And at the same time, his round childlike face, anice cream on a stick, and he was embarrassed about that ice cream,hiding it behind his back. And in his sharp, somewhat sullen eyes,there was a disdain for the ironic looks of adults. He was occupiedwith a serious, not trivial, task, occupied with conviction. Ourirony and condescension offended him. In Butte, he was spoiledwith admiration.Before us stood a small, but well-established dealer, withdetermination that even the Yellowstone River would envy. BobbyChase's family wasn't in poverty; his father worked in the mine, hismother was a bank clerk. Since the age of three, like all Butte boys,he collected rocks on the hill. At nine, he started selling them. Henot only found rocks but also extracted them, he had his suppliers.The centerpiece of Bobby's tray was a nearly pure copper ingotweighing four pounds, bought for five dollars. Now, Bobby wantsto sell it for 25 dollars. He ordered cardboard pieces with his owndesign from a printing press. Bobby is well-known. Boys sellingrocks at the "Kelly" mine desperately envy him. Yes, Bobby Chase,they wag their tongues, earned 2,300 dollars last summer. Don'tbelieve it?... Tom Weigle, it seems, understood long ago that thestars in the American sky weren't enough for him. He speaks ofBobby with adult respect and even reverence: this one might just make it. When the "sixth floor" wanted to chase away the underagevendors from the platform in front of "Berkeley Pit," Bobbymanaged to talk to them as a dealer with dealers: he wouldn'thinder but would help - he'd add his own touch.And what about Bobby's parents? They are shocked by theiroffspring's enthusiasm. Bobby's father forbade him to stay by thepit for more than fourteen hours. But Bobby stays here for sixteenhours, the entire long summer day, all summer vacation.Unfortunately, this is not a small philosophy at the deep pit. Iwant to emphasize: Bobby Chase is a phenomenon. He is the typethat illustrates America more vividly than many good but abstractdiscussions. There's the touching half-truth: oh, poor boy, hedreams of becoming a mining engineer in a country where, alas,there are so many paid colleges, and he has to save money for hiseducation. Bobby Chase has already outgrown this half-truth withhis psychological shifts during his three-year stay at "Berkeley Pit."There's the harsh truth: from one generation to the next, BobbyChase carries the chromosomes and genes of American capitalism.What is the determined Butte boy set on? Judging by thefanaticism with which he has dedicated his life to trading, he isfirmly, if not permanently, set. Let's turn the story around, stepaway from the seed, and take a closer look at the Butte tree fromwhich it fell—the "Anaconda" tree."A mile up, a mile down, and all on the same level." Thisboastful aphorism conceals a sinister smile because the historicalcross-section of Butte Hill is a cross-section of Americancapitalism. A hundred years ago, Butte Hill stood in thesouthwestern part of what was not yet the state of Montana,untouched, just like its surrounding brethren stand today. A spiritedhorde of gold prospectors headed west, rushing for specks of theyellow metal in the narrow Butte valleys of Dublin and Missoula.The gold rush didn't disturb these parts for long, as the horde,having picked up their specks, moved on. Then, silver depositswere found, and once again, there was a short-lived, drunken crazeand a game of fortune on Butte Hill. The era of silver miningabruptly began and ended. The web of fate was woven around thelog cabins abandoned by prospectors and saloon-keepers. NevadaCity (a few dozen miles from Butte), where there was also a gold prospectors' camp back then, is now nothing more than a touristattraction, a so-called "ghost town." In the old store, which hasbecome a museum, if you put ten cents into the slot of the machine,a voice from the past will tell you who, when, and whom theykilled and how justice replaced vigilante justice.Butte Hill, only slightly scratched by enthusiasts of the noblemetal, awaited its long copper age. The real history of Butte beganin the 1870s when copper mining began. This is a bloody history,although in a country that not only continues but also sanctifies it,greed and violence are covered with romance and colorfulcharacters. The bones of the "copper barons" cracked in theembrace of two "copper kings" – Marcus Daly and William Clark,but even they couldn't divide "the richest hill on earth." Clark, withhis dollars, elected himself to the U.S. Senate, and Daly, with thehelp of dollars, caught up with him in the capital, ejected him fromthe Capitol dome, and eventually from Butte Hill. To the minerswho flocked from all over the country and the world, the hardwork, injuries, silicosis, the demagogy of their masters, and, ofcourse, the romance steeped in the colorful bars of "Graveyard"and "Slagheap" and the prostitutes in the red-light districts fell.Here's a charming detail from those times: silver dollars werehidden in the prostitutes' stockings. By the end of their shifts, thestockings sometimes tore, and the silver earned from copper jingledon the cobblestones.Amidst this jingling, Marcus Daly founded a copper orecompany in 1879, aptly named "Anaconda." It not only ruled inButte; it controlled Montana for decades—with its electedgovernors, legislators, judges, newspapers, and lawyers. It silencedprotest voices and crushed competitors who tried to lure its minersaway. It bled the state economically and in terms of humanresources: Montana, the fourth-largest state by area, ranked 41st inpopulation among U.S. states (around 700,000 people). Then,"Anaconda" crawled out of the Montana mountains into fifteenother states, where it had mines, factories, and plants, and onto theinternational stage, encircling Chile, Mexico, Canada with its coils.People were already talking about a copper ore empire, and theempire grew so much that it made more sense to observe it fromthe skyscrapers of Wall Street, where the company's main headquarters moved. In Butte, only its "Western Operations"remained. Then...But let's return to the present day and to the city that even in thenames of its streets has immortalized the geological section of thehill: Copper, Granite, Quartz, Platinum, Silver, Gold...The bars have become dreary, prostitutes have disappeared, andgambling is prohibited. In the evenings, Butte is empty, quiet, anddark.Miners buy houses on installment, and after work, they sit infront of their family televisions, where, as the president of the localunion, Reginald Davis, is convinced, they have their minds"washed" by programs paid for by the National Association ofManufacturers.The mayor of the city, Thomas Powers, diplomatically reassuresvisiting journalists that "Anaconda" has become moreaccommodating. His diplomacy, however, does not detach fromButte's copper land."I won't say that 'Anaconda' supported me during the elections,"the mayor told us in his pristine twilight office, "but it wasn'tagainst me either. If their people were against me, they certainlywould have found someone else; they are very powerful."In the miners' union office, a faded portrait of an activist whowas savagely murdered by the company's agents even before WorldWar I hangs above the stage. This is a reminder and a warning, apresentation of facts. The union leaders have the mood of soldierson a perpetual front. They are disoriented by the calm and wonderwhat tricks the adversary is preparing for them.In a prominent place in the city stands a monument to MarcusDaly, the victor over Clark and others, the forefather of theserpent-like corporation. He is made of unyielding bronze and isimmortal. Yes, he is immortal until he serves as a hero and anexample to Bobby Chases.But let's not offend Butte by equating it with "Anaconda."*** There are cities that are hard to remain indifferent to. Butte isamong them, with its detractors and devoted supporters.John Hunter, an American who traveled the world, in his book'Inside the USA,' firmly and irritably checked Butte: 'The rudest,most indecent city in America, possibly with the exception ofAmarillo, Texas... At night, it's the only graveyard lit by electriclights in the United States. In daylight, it is one of the ugliest placesI've ever seen.'Mr. Nelson edits the Butte newspaper 'Montana Standard.' Hetold us that John Hunter never stepped out of the 'Finlen' hotel, andall the dirty details about Butte were gathered in the 'Gun Room'bar. Nelson was deeply offended by the outsider writer's criticismof Butte.And Bill Burke created a sentimental myth in verses aboutButte's birth: angels in the heavens painted a masterpiece for the'Earth' saloon, using colors from the generous palette of a summerrainbow, and God, after affirming their masterpiece, named itButte. Bill Burke had a naive imagination. He was a miner, aminer's grandson, son of a miner, and father of miners.In his old age, Burke took up the pen, a tool quite unfamiliarand heavy for him. Don't seek elegance in his 'Rhythms of theMines.' But there's so much unsentimental warmth, so muchawkward pride for the rough but loyal folks who descend eachmorning into the depths of the Butte hill, and after emerging fromthe 'hole,' clink glasses of 'Sean O'Ferrel' at the familiar bar, joiningfor a second — 'a bird cannot fly on one wing' — once a year, onJune 13, they gather for the miner's parade, they suffer and rejoice,and after raising successors for the mines, they finally depart not tothe hill but under crosses on the plain — descendants of Irish andFinns, Germans and Serbs, Italians, Greeks, Scots, Norwegians,Swedes.In its diversity, Butte is like a miniature New York, even withits 'Chinatown.'— Russian? — an old man in the Finlen hotel elevator asked me.— From where?— From Gorky.— Isn't that in Kiev? His ancestors were from Kiev, but he had already forgotten —whether it was a city or a country.Fathers came from different lands, yet their children becameButte patriots. Americans are mobile, adaptable people. But inButte, ask anyone — born and raised on the hill. Their love forMontana's vast sky, the expanses, and the nature of this 'godly land'holds them here. Those who leave often return. But 'Anaconda'introduces changes even to this attachment. Gustav Hastvedt, aminer with 25 years of experience, told us that miner's sons leaveButte — there's no work.Who is right — John Hunter or Bill Burke? What is Butte —the most indecent city or God's masterpiece? Each is right andwrong in their own way, the cold snobbish know-it-all and theexcessively passionate old miner.Union leaders say that miners' relations with 'Anaconda' aredetermined by two factors. True to its nature, 'Anaconda' stings,and it hurts. But it provides employment. Miners are compelled toboth fight and coexist with 'Anaconda.' The union, one of theoldest and most militant in the USA, has its glorious traditions andsignificant merits. It has often achieved salary increases andimproved working conditions. But considering the long andnever-ending war, the historical curve of Butte, the victor emergesas the company.Since the first gold vein on the Butte hill, the city's history hasbeen a cycle of ups and downs. The company, the main employer,swung the pendulum. Thanks to mechanization, ore extractiongrows while the number of miners dwindles. Shifts in other areasof the Anaconda empire reverberate with tangible jolts in Butte. In1915, the city housed about 100,000 people, now it's around45,000. There were 15,000 miners, now there are 2,300. A fierceconfrontation occurred in 1959-1960 when 'Anaconda,'maneuvering skillfully, coerced the union into an exhaustivesix-month strike to rid itself of copper surpluses and conduct amassive lockout. The number of miners decreased from 5,600 to1,400. An economic crisis engulfed the city, traders fled becausethere was nothing to take from the cashless striking miners, andconstruction sharply declined. 8,000 people left Butte. Of course, a regional tragedy is seen philosophically from adistance, but it had its victims who fell and never rose again.Currently, it's a period of uncertain growth. 'Anaconda' expandsits operations in Butte; new banks open in the city, roadconstruction is revived. Union leaders rack their brains: what doesthis mean? They presume the company fears nationalization inChile and is preemptively preparing backup positions in Butte.Ah, Chile, Chile, a distant land! Butte miners remember it moreoften than the lands from which their fathers came. What's inChile? They are politically blind and isolated, deprived of anycontact with their Chilean class brothers. Justifying their toughpolicy in Butte, 'Anaconda' instills in the miners the idea that it'slosing money here, that it only benefits in Chile, where labor ismuch cheaper. Butte miners don't believe in this benevolence.'There, of course, they claim the opposite,' says John Glayse, theunion secretary. 'We are confident that everywhere 'Anaconda' onlytakes, not gives.'A Butte saying goes: 'A mile up, a mile down, and all at thesame level.' Tom Waigle, a man of 'Anaconda,' was at the level ofhis tasks when he took us to 'Columbia Gardens.' Who said thecompany gives nothing? There it has given the citizens and theirchildren an entire park. Not bad, right? But, according to unionleaders, this is just a drop in the ocean, from those billions ofdollars 'Anaconda' extracted from the hill.Jimmy Shay, the long-standing mayor of the mining outskirtsof Walkerville, took it upon himself to show us the true gifts of thecopper kings. We saw strange, empty streets almost in the heart ofButte: abandoned buildings with shattered dusty windows, crackedresidential houses, sunken sidewalks. It's as if there had been anearthquake. For decades, 'Anaconda' waged an underground waragainst the townspeople, digging its shafts beneath the streets.Homes collapsed and cracked, sidewalks crumbled when dynamiteblasted ore near the surface. Miners from the 'Emma' shaft, earningtheir livelihood in the 'hole,' didn't know they might be diggingunder their own homes. And try to seek justice when the companyhas compliant lawyers and geologists and the entire state ofMontana in its pocket. Jimmy Shay drove us through the streets but talked about thepeople: people should be treated humanely. He hates 'Anaconda' asan inhuman monster, an enemy of the people. Jimmy Shay is a truefriend of the people.'Hey, Jimmy! How's it going, Jimmy?' — that's all you hearwalking with him along Butte's streets.'Hello, Jimmy!' — kids in Walkerville shout to this man with asimple face and gray temples as if he were their peer.Everyone knows him. No wonder! Jimmy accomplished a featthat reverberated throughout Montana — he fought 'Anaconda' andmade it retreat. A mile up, a mile down, and Jimmy — truly at thesame level.It's quite an epic, but Jimmy calls it a war — a favorite word inButte. In 1958, 'Anaconda' began developing the 'Ellis Pit' literallyunder the windows of Walkerville residents, just seven meters fromthe houses on the outskirts of the mining village. Copper onceagain devoured people, boldly and aggressively. Bulldozers plowedthrough the highway, cut off Walkerville, ruptured water and gaspipelines. The calculation was clear: make life unbearable, create athreat of house collapse, and offer residents a cash compensationwhen property prices plummet.But the son of a miner, an insurance agent, Jimmy Shay tookup the challenge on behalf of the 1,400 Walkerville residents. Hearrested the bulldozer operators and sued the company. 'Anaconda'was left speechless by such audacity, and when it regained itsvoice, the local newspaper, a company servant, began to smear themayor of Walkerville and his constituents. They were disgracefullyaccused of wanting to reduce employment in the city. At night,Jimmy's phone rang off the hook. Threats and indecencies filled thecalls. Miner's wives urged Jimmy's wife: 'Your husband wants todeprive our husbands of work.' Jimmy and his wife pleaded withthem: 'Be humane, put yourselves in the shoes of those underwhose homes a pit is being dug.' Instigators from 'Anaconda'played on the old, the eternal, that man is a wolf to man.And Jimmy Shay bet on solidarity and didn't give in. His voicewas silenced in Butte, but he broke through in another Montanacity newspaper — Great Falls, he made it onto television. He boldly engaged in a two-year legal battle. The case ended with anhonorable compromise: houses were bought out for a decentcompensation, and a fence was erected around the pit for safety.Jimmy took us to his humble Walkerville. The pit is now abandoned,only the collapsed foundations of houses remain on Willis Street. Weclimbed the spoil heap, from where rocks and debris were dumped. Downbelow, almost under the heap, stood the brown school building. Rockswere almost flying onto children's heads. An old case, but the mayor ofWalkerville was indignant hotly, as if he still saw the dump trucks goingalong these abandoned tracks. 'Children's lives were in danger!'You're a good person, Jimmy Shay, and please forgive me for thisdirect compliment. What were we to you? Just two unknown journalistsfrom a distant country that also frightens your compatriots. But you're fullof human solidarity. You had business at your insurance agency. Youwere worried because on that day, your daughter was supposed to arrivefrom Paris, from her first trip abroad. But you dropped everything anddidn't go to meet your daughter. To us Russians, you wanted to providethe information about Butte that 'Anaconda' people with their 'flashysmiles' keep hidden. You never thought about the fact that, God forbid,after our meeting, your enemies from the sixth floor might label you as a'red.' Is there a more dangerous label in America? You didn't think aboutyourself but about the people of Butte.Here's a child of Butte, raised next to 'Anaconda,' yet maintaining asacred and simple faith in justice. In 1960, when the company was takingstriking miners by force, Jimmy Shay sent telegrams to Washington:'Children are hungry! Children are hungry?' This phrase won't touchofficials who know that thousands of children have long been habituallyhungry in the mining settlements of Appalachia and in African Americanghettos across the country. But Jimmy Shay doesn't know anythingstronger than this phrase. And then, a telegram flew to the ChileanInformation Minister from the unknown mayor of Walkerville: 'Bevigilant, don't trust 'Anaconda.' Naive? Yes, naive, but he couldn't beotherwise.In Butte, Jimmy is respected, yet looked at somewhat as an oddball.But the people of Walkerville apparently agree that such oddballsbeautify the world. They firmly stand by their mayor and have beenelecting him since 1941. Jimmy tried to refuse twice, didn't put forth hiscandidacy. After all, one needs to feed their family, and the mayor of Walkerville receives not a cent. But both times his name was written onthe ballots, both times he was elected regardless.'This is still America!' — Jimmy loves to repeat, leading his local warsfor justice. He means the democratic traditions of the American people,the ability of American workers to defend their rights. But when friendssuggest Jimmy run for something higher, like governor of Montana, hethrows up his hands. 'That takes too much money,' he says, 'and I don'thave it.'He is made entirely of simple truths, and unfortunately, that's one ofthem...And when I remember Butte, I recall the determined mayor ofWalkerville and a resolute 12-year-old boy who, in the summer twilightbeneath Montana's vast sky — the 'land of God' — walks home, jinglingdollars in memory and pockets. Yes, this is still America. America, wherethe spiritual heirs of Marcus Daly are stronger than the miner's son,Jimmy Shay. Death of the KingIt was a quiet April day without much news, and it transitioned intothe evening just as calmly, not promising any urgent nighttimereporting. Sergey Losev, the head of the TASS department in NewYork, and I were sitting in the Izvestiya newsroom discussing thedetails of a long and rather exhausting visit. Then Sergey hurriedhome, but I persuaded him to stay for another half-hour to listen to theevening news program on the CBS second channel, hosted by thefamous Walter Cronkite. Cronkite, as always, appeared on screenprecisely at seven – the familiar, trustworthy face with broad bushyeyebrows, a network of wrinkles around the eyes, and grayingmustache – and began speaking with his trained, clear, and concisevoice about America and the world of that departing day. We listenedto Cronkite and the CBS correspondents, whom he manipulated onand off the screen like a magician. They convinced us that nothingsignificant had happened during the day that would change ourevening plans, reminding us of the familiar truth: events dictate acorrespondent's time.As Cronkite neared the end and the news, arranged by their degreeof importance, became less and less significant, almost ready toconclude with some customary humor, Sergey glanced away from thescreen and went into my office to make a call. Suddenly, in the lastminute of the half-hour program, Cronkite abruptly interrupted someshort, trivial TV footage and, excitedly and hurriedly – almostshouting, as his time was running out – announced that in Memphis,Tennessee, Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot and seriouslywounded, taken to St. Joseph's Hospital.I leaped up. I shouted to Sergey, "King has been criticallywounded!" Sergey rushed into the living room. Sergey was beside himself:"Bastards! Damn bastards! They killed him!"Cronkite squeezed into his tight half-hour slot, and in the last fewseconds, as the news, ranked by importance, became smaller and lesssignificant, and was about to conclude with some humor, he gatheredwrinkles around his eyes, tapped his desk professionally, and terselycompressed his lips before the traditional parting phrase: "That's theway it is, Thursday, April 4, 1968..."Immediately, the automated system, safeguarding precioustelevision time and leaving no idle moments, kicked in. Upbeat,spirited music burst forth, accompanied by the catchy, drawn-outwords: "Stre-e-etch your coffee break..." And just like that, WalterCronkite disappeared, replaced by a full-screen image of a steamingcup of coffee, followed by an optimistic gentleman. Without wastinga moment, the gentleman elegantly pulled a strip, freed the paper-thintile of "Peppermint" chewing gum from its wrapping, and tucked itinto his fragrant mouth, typical of a gentleman from 1968. And thecoffee cup stretched, oh, it stretched, widened with indescribablepleasure at the sight of that thin tile: "Stre-e-etch your coffee break..."We rushed to the garage and drove through the evening Manhattan,just relieved of the rush hour burden, heading to the TASSdepartment, to the teletypes that, with lightning speed, mercilesslyand soberly predicted King's fate.And as echoes of these thunderous teletype messages flew toMoscow in Sergey's telegrams, I quickly returned to my newsroomspot, tethering myself to the TV screen and radio receiver – theevening had changed, turned upside down, the evening was sending astorm.At 8:40, the regular broadcast on the seventh channel of ABC wasabruptly replaced on the TV screen by gray, repetitive words:"bulletin... bulletin... bulletin..." The announcer hurriedly, so as not tobe beaten by other announcers on other channels, reported that MartinLuther King had died. Behind the announcer, the TV studio wasvisible, bustling with people in a workmanlike manner, withoutjackets, wearing white shirts with loosened ties.Immediately after the bulletin, relentless as bullets from a machinegun, an advertisement for a Chevrolet car began airing: "Hurry! hurry!—you can buy it right now on a particularly advantageouscredit." A young beauty with flowing hair, an object of pleasant,publicly permissible desire, sat behind the wheel of the discountedChevrolet. And with her, of course, was the brave and strong, crisplyironed, perfectly groomed male of 1968. To triumphant music, theycruised down a road, akin to a road to paradise, while the announcerextolled the remarkably robust tires, the power hidden in the engine,and the astonishingly easy credit terms. The couple also assured thatthis was the way things were meant to be. She beamed with a radiantsmile—where do these smiles come from?—and, stretching her longlegs in tight pants, swung on a swing, sometimes approaching, almostpopping out of the screen – there she was, ready for an embrace! –and sometimes soaring to the seventh heaven. From there, from theseventh television sky, she happily gazed at her partner and thegleaming, nickel-plated, high-quality car.The tragic bulletin, followed by this advertisement entangled inprosperity and lust, struck me twice as if I were slapped across theface, as if crossed with a whip, and I understood, not just understood,but instantly horrifically realized that this overlay of advertising ontragedy, this unstoppable commercialism—like the rotation of cosmicworlds—smirkingly triumphs over King's death, just as it triumphedover his life and struggle. Bitterness choked my throat, the pain of thethought that they wouldn't learn anything, couldn't learn anything, aslong as it remained this way. There is a time to live and die, andthere's the longest American time of commerce: let the paidadvertisement pass, let's praise and sell the product, no matter whathappens, because everything in the world is trivial compared tobuying and selling.Then, until April 9, for five whole days, television familiarizedAmericans with King's death, vigorously, actively, sometimestouchingly to tears, eulogizing Martin Luther King on TV. The adswithdrew (later, traders would calculate what profit they reaped frommourning and condolences), and on the day of the funeral, from ten inthe morning until six in the evening, it vanished completely from thescreen. But none of this erased the initial impression, the desperatefeeling that nothing could change for the better as long asconsciousness was shattered, parceled, cut into pieces by the sharpblades of commercial "commercials," which, like professional executioners, quartered the integrity of tragedy. Everything willquickly be forgotten, will be overshadowed by other news, will beburied in memory, and in a month or two, the Memphis murder willbe hidden behind the ridges of new events. Was King ever here atall?..This evening of April 4 stuck with me. The responses were prompt.Soon after the news of his death, cameras in the White House showedPresident Johnson. Five days before Memphis, he announced that hewouldn't seek re-election for a second term. The country hadn't yetmanaged to digest and absorb this stunning news when King's murderpushed it to the background. Johnson swiftly left his office for thepodium with the presidential eagle: a brief condolence, a call forcalm, an announcement that due to the Memphis killing, he canceledhis planned trip to Hawaii to meet with General Westmoreland andAdmiral Sharp. The president was deeply concerned, didn't allow anyquestions, and disappeared into seclusion.Reporters flew to Memphis. TV reporters worked swiftly. Excitedwitnesses to the murder cooled down under the gaze of TV camerasand obediently laid out their testimonies. They searched for thekiller—a person who had hidden in a white Mustang. The first to beconcerned were the Memphis African Americans, and the governor ofTennessee immediately ordered the deployment of National Guardunits into the city. Urgently edited special programs about King's lifeand struggle aired across all channels. His friends and acquaintanceswere in high demand. The shot rang out at 6:05 in Memphis – 7:05 inNew York. The evening hadn't yet turned into night, and yet thewhole world knew about the murder. Newspaper headlines wereredesigned, struggling to keep up with the expanded flow ofinformation; teletypes of agencies clattered. There were protests andobituaries. Shock was followed by analysis. Commentatorsscrutinized the ghetto—the death of King was already a fact, but itsconsequences were still unclear and frightening. Enhanced policepatrols were sent to New York's Harlem.It was heavy for me, all these six and a half years in America, nowovershadowed by the tragedy in Memphis. The old thought, oftenrelegated to the background but now refreshed and reaffirmed byKing's blood: one can expect anything from this country, and thusfrom this country that, by the way, possesses nuclear weapons. Yet, at the same time, there was work to be done—keeping an eye on thetelevision screen, calling colleagues, capturing and processing theflow of facts, assumptions, rumors, fetching a fresh newspaper at thecorner of 72nd Street and Broadway, and compressing everything intoconcise, meager, narrow lines of newspaper correspondence. But itdidn't fit...Why am I adding this personal touch now? The correspondent'sright to emotions is limited because they shouldn't overshadow thecountry and the people they're writing about. I apologize, reader. Ibegan these notes about King with how his death shook me and mycolleague. I will return to the usual course and tell how it shookAmerica.Martin Luther King... I saw him at press area rallies. I knew thesilence that would sweep through the hall when he appeared at thepodium—the silence of attention and respect. Once we briefly met atthe University of Chicago, and I felt the grip of his hand, saw up closehis calm, serious, dark shiny Negro eyes, firm full lips, and heavychin. I heard the restrained baritone rumble that thundered at rallies,tensely swinging like a loud bell reaching everyone yet containing anexcess, an untapped force. Dr. King, as always, was in a rush, nudgedalong by an assistant dressed like him, in a strict black coat of aBaptist minister. I asked for an interview for my newspaper, and Kingagreed. But his days were scheduled far in advance, American-style,and the schedule wasn't at hand. He advised me to write to hisheadquarters in Atlanta. A response came from his secretary—Kingwasn't in Atlanta, she asked to wait until his return. He was always onthe go, always occupied, and after Memphis, unfortunately, themeeting won't happen. I wanted to talk about the living King. Now Ihave to write about the King who was killed.***When King was assassinated, he was 39 years old—an age whenAmerican politicians typically launch their careers and seek attentionfrom voters. However, King sought not personal career advancementbut justice for millions of African Americans. This man from Atlantawas known in nearly every American household. Global fame wasn'this primary aim either; it unexpectedly arrived after enragedBirmingham police released equally furious dogs on participants of the 'freedom march' in April 1963. He received the Nobel Peace Prizein December 1964 at the age of 35, yet he didn't rest on his laurels.His greatest acknowledgment and weighty responsibility were thelove of African American masses from the North and South of theUnited States, who pinned their hopes for a better life on him. Heignited these hopes, understood the arduous task of fulfilling them,and pursued them to the end, sacrificing his life for them. They calledhim Moses, a prophet leading his people to the promised land.How colorful this hyper-industrial country was when, in the latterhalf of the 20th century, millions of its offspring still held a religiousecstasy, relying solely on God and miracles! It's easy to mock theirnaivety. More important is to understand that within it, like in a drop,reflects the tragic sea of suffering of the 22 million African Americanpopulation of America.His life—especially his political life—was brief, yet incrediblyrich, and King had long been prepared for its violent end. Narratingthis life isn't easy because the story inevitably transcends into thehistory of the African American movement during the last 13dramatic years. In a way, King was a mirror of this movement with allits successes and failures, hopes, and disappointments, with all itsstrength and weakness.The great-grandson of a slave, the grandson and son ofsharecroppers on cotton plantations in the South, Martin Luther KingJr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, into a relativelyaffluent family. His father, Martin Luther King Sr., who outlived hisson, was a Baptist pastor and held significant authority among thefour thousand congregants of the Ebenezer Church at the corner ofJackson Street and Auburn Avenue. King Jr. completed school and thehistorically black Morehouse College in Atlanta, where, following hisfather's footsteps, he studied theology. In the segregated churchenvironment, a black clergyman, incidentally, was spared competitionfrom white Christian colleagues. He continued his education in theNorth—in the theological seminary of Chester, Pennsylvania, and atBoston University, where he defended his dissertation in 1954 andearned a Ph.D. in philosophy.King Sr. did everything to elevate his son, but what does it mean to'make it' in society? Even a Ph.D. doesn't grant the simple title ofbeing human if you're black in America's South, where your rights are judged by white racists. King realized this long before he embarkedon his dissertation.Life's schooling begins in early childhood, especially for a Blackchild. Five-year-old Martin learned his first lesson when he wasdeprived of playmates, two white boys, the sons of a neighboringgrocer, who used to joyfully play with him in the streets. Suddenly,they began to avoid him. He'd run to their house, calling them out toplay, but their parents, for whatever reason—perhaps due to societalpressures—no longer allowed them to play with him. Perplexed, hewent to his mother and, sitting on her lap, for the first timelearned—what else could his mother have done?—about slavery,about the Civil War between the North and South, about being bornBlack while his friends were white, and the implications of that. Whatcould comfort him? Loading the terrifying burden of the past andpresent onto the shoulders of a child, a burden she herself had longcarried, one that subjugated every Black American, she said, 'You'reno less than anyone else...' And it was true, but it didn't negate therealities of life, which manifested at every turn.King remembered another scene from his childhood. With hisfather, a tall, strong, respected man, they entered a shoe store to buyshoes. Dollars from a black pocket or a white one were equally good,and the shopkeeper was ready to serve them, but they sat at theentrance on chairs meant for whites, and the shopkeeper asked themto move to the back where 'colored' people tried on shoes.— What's wrong with these seats? — said King Sr. — We'recomfortable here.— I'm sorry, — said the polite shopkeeper, — but you'll have tomove.— Either we buy these shoes here, or we buy no shoes at all, —King Sr. retorted angrily.The shopkeeper shrugged, and the father and son left withoutbuying anything. When a father is humiliated in front of his son, itsears both of them, stays in their memories. They walked down thestreet. Little Martin had never seen his father so furious. King Sr.protested: 'No matter how long I have to live under this system, I'llnever accept it.' The educational force of humiliations... They didn't pass in vain.Once, the father skipped a stop sign while driving. 'Pull over, boy, andshow me your license,' said a policeman upon seeing a black manbehind the wheel. 'I'm no boy, no kid,' retorted the father. 'I'm a man,and until you call me by that name, I won't listen to you.' Hedemanded respect for his dignity—a significant act of bravery in1930s Atlanta. The fearlessness of the young King, one could say,was inherited. The father fought alone, the fight that his son latercarried forward with thousands. The father boycotted buses, oncewitnessing brutal treatment of Black passengers. He led a campaign inAtlanta for equal wages for Black teachers, fought for desegregatingelevators in the local courthouse.When your first name becomes 'n****r,' your middle namebecomes 'boy' (however old you are), and your last name becomes'John,' then you know why waiting has been impossible.’ These wordsbelong to Martin Luther King Jr. They were written in the spring of1963 from the jail in Birmingham, Alabama.Waiting became impossible in December 1955 when the recentseminarian and inexperienced priest Martin Luther King received thepastorship at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery,Alabama.Rosa Parks, a resident of Montgomery and a seamstress at a localdepartment store, boarded a city bus on the evening of December 1,1955, on her way home. At the end of the workday, the bus wascrowded. The driver ordered Rosa Parks and three other Blackpassengers to stand and give up their seats to white passengers. Thethree men complied as usual. Rosa Parks did not—she was tired aftera long day, and her feet hurt. Enough was enough! She was forciblyremoved from the bus and arrested. Buses in Montgomery, likeeverywhere in the South, had 'Colored' sections, but a Black personfirst paid the driver at the front door, then, 'not to offend' the whites,had to exit the bus—assuming it didn't drive off—before re-enteringthrough the back door and taking an empty seat at the rear.Eventually, they had to relinquish even these seats if the bus was fulland a white person needed it. Surrender to any sixteen-year-oldlayabout, even if you had grandchildren that age. Montgomery had about 50,000 Black residents, one-third of thepopulation, and for understandable reasons, most preferred taxis ortheir personal cars over buses. Rosa Parks's arrest filled the cup ofpatience, and people decided waiting was no longer an option. Theidea of a one-day boycott of Montgomery buses was born. YoungKing, one of its early supporters, offered his church for the organizers'meeting. The boycott was scheduled for December 5, hoping for atleast 60% Black participation. However, the local police chiefunintentionally aided them, advising Black residents to refrain fromthe boycott and promising support for those who broke it. OnDecember 5, each bus was escorted by a police motorcycle, and eventhe compliant Black individuals, seeing this, feared trouble. To thesurprise of the organizers, the boycott was a complete success.At six in the morning, the young King, having hardly slept,consumed by the anxious excitement of the first confrontation, wasdrinking coffee in the kitchen.— Come here quickly, Martin, — called his wife, Coretta.Outside the window, at the bus stop, it was empty. And the buspassed by completely empty, although at that hour it was usuallyfilled with Black people—maids, cooks, janitors—headed to work forthe white residents of Montgomery. Another bus—empty, completelyempty. In the third one, there were two passengers—both white. Theyhad access to both front and back seats. They could dance in that busif they wanted, but unseen by them, the pastor of Dexter AvenueBaptist Church danced in front of the window from joy andexcitement.On that same morning, Rosa Parks was tried and fined $14. And inthe afternoon, King was elected head of the boycott committee, andthe boycott was declared until victory. They chose King simplybecause, being a newcomer in Montgomery, he hadn't yet madeenemies among the authorities or competing Black groups. Theyneeded someone acceptable to all. ‘And what we got was a Moses,’said later E.D. Nixon, a Black activist who proposed the boycott. Yes,they got more than they expected.The boycott lasted not a week or a month but 381 days before theracist stronghold found its match. Threats, lawsuits, attempts to divide the Black community failed.In compliance with the US Supreme Court's decision from December21, 1956, Montgomery Blacks gained the right to sit anywhere onbuses and not give up their seats to white passengers. The youngpastor who led this unprecedentedly long and successful boycottattracted attention. Now, he was known in the city, and with the famecame both respect from some and hatred from others. He learned thathatred is more tangible and effective than love. On January 30, 1955,when the boycott was two months old, racists threw a bomb into hishouse, the first bomb. It exploded on the porch, and his wife Corettaand their young daughter were unharmed. At that moment, King wasspeaking at a meeting. He felt fear and didn't hesitate to admit it, butfear was just a prelude to courage, only sharpened the choice. Therewas no turning back.Life as a fighter began. He learned to sleep less, catch glimpses ofhis family, prepare not sermons but political speeches, rightfully takehis place at the forefront of 'freedom marches' — an enticing, visibletarget. He understood the power of organized thousands and masteredthe basics of mass action, testing and developing tactics of nonviolentresistance applied to American conditions. His mentor in tacticsbecame the Indian Mahatma Gandhi, who used the method of civildisobedience in the struggle against English colonizers. Whynonviolence? King explained this more than once. Here's his latestexplanation, published in the 'Look' magazine after the assassinationin Memphis: 'In the South, nonviolence was a creative doctrinebecause it paralyzed the rabid segregationists who thirsted for anopportunity to physically crush the Negroes,' he wrote. 'Directnonviolent action gave Negroes the opportunity to take to the streetswith active protest and, at the same time, disarmed the oppressor'srifles because even he could not kill unarmed men, women, andchildren in broad daylight. That's why in 10 years of protest in theSouth, there were fewer human casualties than in 10 days of riots inthe North.' King's understanding of nonviolence did not meanacquiescence to evil. 'Passive cooperation with an unjust systemmakes the oppressed as morally corrupt as the oppressor,' heemphasized. King refused to acknowledge racist segregation laws andattacked them using mass marches, boycotts, and sit-in strikes. Hetook on an open yet nonviolent confrontation, consciously creating resistance against racists, crises, and tensions in the racist South,considering these crises as a means to negotiate the abolition of unjustlaws. He relied on the masses, and this was his difference fromtraditional bourgeois-liberal African-American leaders (known by thenickname Uncle Toms) who, not believing in the African-Americanmass, servilely approached ruling America, timidly knocking on thedoors of desegregation in the stale atmosphere of courtrooms. Kingloved talking about 'direct action' and chose the arena of confrontationvisible to the entire country and the whole world — the streets andsquares of American cities, big and small.According to a Chinese proverb, a journey of ten thousand milesbegins with the first step. Taking that first step, Martin Luther Kingdid not yet know if he was facing ten thousand miles or how long theywere. Initially, the road seemed short.So, Rosa Parks and 50,000 Montgomery Negroes could occupyeven the front seats on the bus, although angry glances compelledthem, in the old way, to move towards the back seats. But inrestaurants, cafeterias, motels, public parks, as before, signs hung:'Whites Only.' I saw them in Montgomery in December 1961, sixyears after the famous boycott. In those days, while we traveled witha friend through the states of Georgia and Alabama, learning aboutthe customs of the South, King called on President Kennedy after 100years since the first one signed by President Lincoln. There was lessirony in his appeal. In those days, he led 'freedom marches' in Albany,Georgia. March participants sought desegregation of city parks,hospitals, libraries, buses, and equal employment for Negroes in cityinstitutions. The tactic of direct mass action was opposed by LauriePritchett, the police chief of Albany, with the tactic of mass arrests.Albany's jails and those of neighboring counties barely held 700arrested Negroes. King — for the umpteenth time! — ended up in jail,which, ironically, was called 'Americus.' He was already 32 years old,but the prison guards, as before, called him boy, a kid. What hadchanged? He knew all 13 Southern states like the back of his hand,traveled and worn out by dozens of brave 'freedom rides.' The weightof a club on his back, spit in the face — he experienced this. Underthe heavy hand of a policeman, the black pastoral suit tore more thanonce, the piercing cold came from the cement prison floor, the deepSouthern sky was streaked with prison bars. He had four children, and each night carried the danger to the modest home in Atlanta, where hemoved to preach in the Ebenezer Church with his father and found theheadquarters of his own organization, the 'Southern ChristianLeadership Conference.' Ku Klux Klan crosses flared up more thanonce on the lawn in front of this house, warning that the family of anunruly 'n****r' would not live in peace, and the eternal wandererKing, from a distance, checked by phone if his wife and children werealive and well. But 'the heavy hammer, shattering the glass, forgessteel.' He was made of that very rare metal that makes activists,heroes, the conscience of the nation. The more he wandered, thedeeper he plunged into the sea of African-American despair, the morehe saw before him black eyes, millions of black eyes, in which shonecenturies-old longing and renewed hope. When he was killed andbecame safe, the bourgeois press UNANIMOUSLY celebrated him asa great American, as a man with a dream. He indeed had a dream, butnot a selfish dream of an individualist. He revealed it in his mostfamous speech on August 28, 1963, on the steps of the LincolnMemorial in Washington, before 250,000 participants of the grand'march for freedom.' Bursting with passion that thundered in hisbell-like voice, Martin Luther King charged this huge audience withhis dream, in front of which stood the white dome of the Capitol, deafto this dream.Although today and tomorrow we will face difficulties, I still havea dream," he said. "I dream that one day this nation will rise up andrealize the true meaning of its creed. 'We hold these truths to beself-evident, that all men are created equal...'"He quoted the Declaration of Independence — the political bible ofAmerican freedom, proclaimed in 1776. But the declaration did notabolish slavery, and most of its creators did not consider Negroes aspeople.The year 1963 was very turbulent. The events in April inBirmingham, Alabama, proved how alive American racism was andhow abhorrent it was. The police attacked Negroes with dogs, sprayedthem with high-pressure streams of icy water from fire hoses, andracists bombed a Negro church, killing four children. Shame! Shame!— this word echoed in newspapers across all continents. Kingfollowed his familiar path from the forefront of the march to a prisoncell. Kennedy's administration managed to take lessons from the African-American revolution, which advanced despite atrocities:either grant rights to Negroes within the halls of Congress or they,responding to police violence, will try to take those rights to thestreets. The Civil Rights Act was sent to Congress. It once againpromised Negroes their right to vote, which had been so oftenviolated, desegregation in public places — restaurants, cafeterias,hotels, motels, cinemas, concert halls, sports arenas — and banneddiscrimination in employment, etc. The Attorney General was grantedthe right to prosecute lawbreakers in court. The bill lingered inCongress for a long time. John Kennedy was assassinated inNovember 1963, not living to see its passage. It took almost a yearbefore the bill, diluted by obstruction from Southern racist senators,became law.There was talk of a new era. King, a recent prisoner inBirmingham, was celebrated as one of the main organizers of thisconstitutional blow against racism. In Oslo, in December 1964, hewas awarded the Nobel Peace Prize — as a person who proved thatthe fight for equality could be won without violence. But these wereweak proofs, which life contradicted, in spite of the Nobel PeacePrize. It was easier to chastise the Birmingham police and its chief,Connor, known as "The Bull," than to eradicate the racism that hadpoisoned millions of souls. King was courted by the White House,where he became a welcomed guest, but taming him was impossible.Giving everything, down to the last cent, of the $54,000 Nobel prizemoney to the needs of the struggle, he had already in February 1965chosen another "conversation partner" — Jim Clark, the sheriff ofSelma. The laureate led his people to the streets of this small Alabamatown, starting a lengthy campaign for the right of Negroes to registeras voters without discriminatory literacy tests, property qualifications,loyalty, etc. In Alabama, Negroes constituted more than 40 percent ofthe population, but their political weight in the electoral bodiesequaled zero. Jim Clark was as brutal as Birmingham's "Bull"; Selmawas indifferent to the truths proclaimed in Oslo — about theeffectiveness of nonviolence. The police violently dispersed themarch, racists vindictively killed a white housewife, Viola Liuzzo,and a white priest, James Reeb. Laurels turned into thorns. King wasthrown into jail again. "When the Norwegian king took part inawarding me the Nobel Peace Prize, he certainly did not think that less than 60 days later I would be in jail again... Why are we in jail?...This is Selma, Alabama. There are more Negroes in jail than on thevoter rolls," King wrote from prison.The road to justice and equality was getting longer. The 22-millionAfrican-American people were united by the color of their skin, butthis unity was fragile, as it was divided by class. The removal ofdiscriminatory signs 'Whites Only' mainly benefited theAfrican-American bourgeoisie, for whom questions of social prestigewere acute. I remember another trip to the South, to Tennessee, whichlater became fatal for King. It was in the spring of 1964, theculmination of the struggle for the desegregation of public places.Having observed the dilapidated shacks of impoverished Negrooutskirts, we asked liberal whites in Nashville: what to do next, afterNashville's restaurants will be open to "colored," but racial animosityand oppression will remain? This question stumped them. Theybelieved that everything boiled down to signs. It was there, inNashville, that we met a Negro radical, Paul Brooks. He outrightrejected Washington's tossed bone of desegregation; he wanted to berecognized as an equal human being and did not settle for less. PaulBrooks ridiculed the tricks of corporations that placed one Negro in ahigh position to absolve themselves of exploiting thousands, thetelevision that admitted one Negro reporter to their state, preferablylighter, to align themselves with the civil rights movement. He chokedon the pervasive American materialism. (It turns out that authoritiesin the South made dollars even from the mass movement fordesegregation: the more arrested, the higher the bail was set to releasethem from jail, and the money collected went into the local budget.)As primary tasks of desegregation were resolved, on one hand, itwas discovered that it yielded little, and on the other hand, thedivision within the African-American movement and among itssupporters intensified. The difference between the prevailing trend ofconciliatory, vague liberalism and the activated stratum of radicalsbecame more noticeable and fundamental. The former stood againstracial inequality but for the preservation of the capitalist society,believing that proclaiming its ideals of freedom and equality isdamaging them. The latter, more emphatically, emphasized oppositionto the very tenets of society, seeing racism as a form of capitalist exploitation, and rejecting the ideals of this society as lies intendedfor the gullible.Where was King? The son of a priest, from a bourgeois family, hestarted as a liberal, offended by the daily humiliations of racism. TheCivil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, adopted afterclashes in Selma and other Southern cities, were perhaps his meritmore than that of any other black leader. But he became a symbol oflost hopes when it was discovered that these rights did not giveeveryone the right to be human, that they left poverty, unemployment,and the lack of education among black poor untouched. In early 1965,summing up the struggle, King bitterly remarked: 'What good is it tohave the right to dine in a cafeteria at the intersection if you havenothing to buy a cutlet with?'Meanwhile, the center of the liberation struggle shifted from therural South to the urban North, where the layer of the blackpopulation was rapidly increasing. When the 'freedom marches'exposed the falsehood and lacquer of American democracy, it turnedout that in the North, that very North that went to war against theSouth a hundred years ago to abolish slavery, the situation of blackswas no less desperate than in the South.In 1910, 91 percent of the 10 million American blacks lived in theSouth. By 1961, the black population had more than doubled,reaching 22 million, and the number of blacks living in cities (with apopulation of more than 50,000) had increased more than 5 times(from 2.6 million to 14.8 million). The number of blacks living in theNorth increased 11 times from 880 thousand to 9.7 million, with 7million concentrated in the country's twelve largest cities. (Alreadynow, blacks constitute the majority in Washington and Newark, andaccording to forecasts for 1985, they will also be the majority inChicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Gary, Cleveland, Oakland,Richmond, and St. Louis.)According to official data, in 1967, the unemployment rate amongblacks was twice as high as among white Americans. But this is oneof the statistical tricks. They consciously do not take into account'partial employment,' i.e., slightly camouflaged unemployment. In thetwelve largest cities in the United States, unemployed blacks aged 16to 19 make up 32.7 percent (whites - 11 percent). 40.6 percent of 'non-white' Americans live below the official 'poverty level', andalmost half of them live in large cities.The growth figures and statistics of unemployment among theblack population in Northern cities prove that both black masses andblack despair are concentrated there. In the South, blacks areterritorially dispersed, but politically still suppressed. In the North, thementioned double concentration in the ghetto provides a critical massfor explosions. Sparks? There are plenty of them in the heatedatmosphere of the ghetto. Above all, these are atrocities and even themere fact of the presence of 'cops' - police officers, white policeofficers, in black ghettos. One country, and all - blacks and whites its citizens by law, but in fact, a 'cop' in the ghetto is like a foreignsoldier on occupied territory. Behind him is the power of the policeand legal machinery, but at his intersection, he is alone andsurrounded by hatred. Warningly playing with his club, he rotates athis post like a radar, detecting threats. Danger breeds fear, fear - hastyactions. Firing a gun at a black person is ten times easier than at awhite person because he knows it will be easier for him to get awaywith it. But blacks also know how cheap their lives are to the 'cops,'and every act of police arbitrariness ignites the hatred accumulated bygenerations and replenished every day.Ghetto explosions... By the mid-60s, their frequency and strengthhad increased incredibly.1965. August riots in Watts - the black ghetto of Los Angeles,fueled by police lawlessness. Fires, raids on stores, indiscriminatepolice gunfire. 34 killed. Hundreds wounded. 4 thousand arrested.$35 million in property damage.A flash in Chicago on a hot noon on July 12. 4200 NationalGuardsmen were called in to assist the police. 3 blacks killed, dozenswounded, 533 people arrested. Racial unrest in Cleveland, Ohio.Record-breaking. Spring riots in Nashville, Jackson, Mississippi,Houston, Texas. They escalated into a 'long hot summer,' the longestand hottest on the racial front in the USA. Tampa, Florida...Cincinnati, Ohio... Atlanta, Georgia... June 20 was followed by anunprecedented explosion in Newark, just next to New York - 23killed, hundreds wounded, fires, deployment of the National Guard,fear that the sparks might reach Harlem in New York. Theculmination of 1967 was the multi-day riots in Detroit. In addition to the police and 5 thousand National Guardsmen to quell the rebelliousghetto, for the first time since the post-war years, 3 thousandparatroopers, regular troops who had been in Vietnam, were deployed.43 killed. 7200 arrested. Fires for whole square miles. In a sense,Detroit is the Mecca of American civilization. They make millions ofcars there. These are excellent cars, but it so happened that thepropagandists of the 'American way of life' found an auxiliarypurpose for them - to throw dust in the eyes of simpletons abroad. Themore cars, the better they are, the denser the dust. From the ruins ofDetroit, there was a biting smell of fire, and not only houses but alsomyths were burning. On a smaller scale, Newark and Detroit wererepeated that summer in dozens of American cities. The countryteetered on the brink of civil war.I give only a very brief chronology, limiting my task to notes aboutKing. Black riots were qualified as rebellions. And indeed they cannotbe called uprisings because an uprising implies the existence oforganization and authoritative leaders, a program, and coordination ofactions. In the ghetto, however, the element of despair raged muchmore decisively and blindly than in Rosa Parks, who refused to giveup her seat on the bus. The weapon of despair is cobblestones, bottlesof flammable liquid, less often revolvers and rifles, its targets are thepolice and white exploiters in the ghetto.President Johnson appointed a special commission chaired byIllinois Governor Otto Kerner to investigate 'racial disorders' and theircauses after Detroit. The commission published its report in February1968. This document, coming from eleven loyal, moderate appointeesappointed by the president himself, sounded like a slap in the face ofAmerican society.'Our nation is moving toward two societies, black and white,separate and unequal,' was the commission's main conclusion.Segregation and poverty have created in the racial ghettosconditions that are absolutely unknown to the majority of whiteAmericans,' the report said. ‘White Americans have never fullyunderstood, and blacks can never forget, that white society is deeplyinvolved in the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutionsmaintain it, white society condones it.' The report included a characterization of the ‘typical rioter’, based ona detailed study of the unrest in Newark and Detroit and interviewswith hundreds of blacks.Here's the characterization: ‘The typical rioter of the summer of1967 was a black, unmarried, male aged 15 to 24... He was born inthe state where he lives and has lived his whole life in the city wherethe riot occurred. Economically, his situation was roughly the same ashis black neighbors who did not actively participate in the riot.Although he usually did not finish high school, he was somewhatbetter educated than the average urban black and attended high schoolfor some time. Nevertheless, he usually is an unskilled workerengaged in manual or menial labor. If he worked, it was not all thetime, and his employment was often interrupted by periods ofunemployment.He is deeply convinced that he deserves a better job and that he isexcluded from it not because of a lack of qualifications, ability, orambition, but because of discrimination by employers. He rejects theprejudiced notion of whites about blacks as ignorant and lazy. He isvery proud of his race and believes that in some respects, blacks aresuperior to whites. Towards whites, he is extremely hostile, but hishostility is more a product of social and economic class (to which hebelongs — Ed.) than race; he is almost equally hostile towardsmiddle-class blacks (i.e., black bourgeoisie — Ed.).In political matters, he is much better informed than blacks whowere not involved in the riots. It is more likely that he is activelyinvolved in the struggle for civil rights, but he is extremely distrustfulof the political system and political leaders.'This expressive characterization given by the presidentialcommission essentially depicts the portrait of an untrained soldier of anot yet formed army, displaying, however, a spontaneous classintuition, rejecting the capitalist system (although sometimes onlyfrom the position of belonging to the black race), not believing in theinstitutions of this society — from the president to the policeman,ready to declare war on this society even alone.Stirring active reactions in the country, this new type of blacksharpened the positions of other social figures, removing the blurrytones. Open racists, pointing a finger at the ‘typical rioter,’ affirmedtheir creed: ruthlessly deal with blacks who have broken free. A more mass category of apolitical commoners leaned towards open racists,ready to see the desperate black man as a rampaging criminalattacking ‘sacred property’ and citizens' safety. Bourgeois politicians,registering the moods of the common mass, if only because millionsof votes belong to it in elections, began, playing into these moods andfueling them, to push the thesis of ‘street crime,’ which was clearlyanti-black. The commoner prepared for both ‘self-defense’ and attack;a network of shooting clubs grew in the country, housewives fromDearborn (a white suburb of Detroit), supported by instructors,practiced shooting at targets. Bourgeois white liberals, theseunreliable fellow travelers, wavered in their sympathies for the blackmovement, believing that blacks were ‘rushing too much’ andpushing their struggle.Among black people, on the contrary, the 'typical rebels' weregaining increasing sympathy. Representatives of the bourgeois layerof the Negro population like Roy Wilkins, heading the 'NationalAssociation for the Advancement of Colored People,' and WhitneyYoung, president of the 'Urban League,' were quickly losing theirauthority among the masses, exposing themselves by compromisingwith the ruling America. Organizations such as the 'Congress ofRacial Equality' and especially the 'Student Nonviolent CoordinatingCommittee' (SNCC), which previously collaborated with King in'marches' and 'freedom rides,' were turning towards radicalism,criticizing nonviolent methods and seeking more active forms ofstruggle. Young leaders of SNCC like Stokely Carmichael and RapBrown, speaking in the ghettos, called for an armed 'guerrilla war'against authorities and racist America. Their appeals appealed to theyouth.King understood that the unrest in the ghettos symbolized a crisisin his nonviolent strategy. In the face of growing polarization, hegrew into a tragic figure at the intersection of two Americas, trying todelay the impending collision and reconcile the irreconcilable. Hisposition was ambivalent. He condemned the riots in the ghettos,believing that they only intensified the resistance of racists andauthorities and provided a pretext for physical violence against blackpeople. From this point of view, he considered violence simply'impractical.' But he understood the legitimacy of the despair andgrowing impatience of the black youth, concluding that his nonviolence needed to become more militant and pursue more radicalgoals.Racial tensions escalated against the backdrop of ominousescalations in Vietnam. There was a connection between them,increasingly evident. The same force, the same Janus-faced nature ofAmerican imperialism, sowed violence in the rice fields and junglesof Vietnam and, through the police revolvers and rifles of the NationalGuardsmen, suppressed black people. White protesting America,concentrating its efforts in the anti-war movement, was less interestedin the struggle of black people than before. On the other hand, manyblack leaders, focusing on the interests of their own struggle, did notimmediately realize that the anti-war movement was their natural ally.King did not immediately realize this connection. But from thebeginning of 1967, he increasingly and sharply opposed the war. InApril, he came to New York, walked the streets of Harlem, and wasdirectly asked by 'desperate, rejected, angry young people' how hecould discourage them from violence against the America thatoppresses black people and sows violence in Vietnam. 'Theirquestions hit home,' said King, 'and I realized that I could never speakout against the violence used by the oppressed in the ghetto withoutclearly pointing out the greatest purveyor of violence in theworld—our own government.'In mid-April, he was seen for the first time alongside Dr.Spock—among the ranks of an anti-war march on Fifth Avenue inNew York.Initially, opposition to the war was dictated by narrow practicalconsiderations: the more billions spent on the destruction of a distantnation, the fewer millions were allocated by Washington for the needsof the ghetto. He saw that the so-called 'Great Society' of Johnson,which included programs to aid black people, was 'shot down on thebattlefields of Vietnam.' Then he saw the unjust, imperialistic natureof this war.Moral courage—a quality even higher than physical courage.King's new anti-war position alienated many of his moderatelyliberal supporters. He was accused of dividing the Negro movement,of being unpatriotic; contributions to his organization's fund sharplydeclined—almost three-quarters of previous donors returned the pleas for financial assistance unopened. However, by dissociating himselffrom the imperialist America, King moved forward.He said:— The war has intensified the despair of black people to the pointwhere unrest in the cities has become a terrible feature of Americanlife. How can the government vehemently condemn violence in blackghettos when in Asia it sets such an example of violence that shakesthe whole world? Those who use naval artillery, millions of tons ofbombs, and the appalling napalm have no right to talk to black peopleabout nonviolence... I don't want to be misunderstood. I don't equateso-called black violence with war. The acts of black people areincomparably less dangerous and amoral than the deliberateescalation of war... They destroy property, but even in rage, the vastmajority of black people direct their anger at inanimate objects, notpeople. If the current events are regrettable, then what can be saidabout the use of napalm against people?These are words from King's speech in Chicago in November 1967.He flew there to address participants of a conference of anti-warunion activists, to support them, and to throw a bitter, just accusationat the majority of union bosses who openly or silently supported thewar. It was a powerful speech. It was met with ovation. King wascriticized, just as those gathered in Chicago, the union activists, whoseemed to feel the tight grip of George Meany, the president of theAFL-CIO, a seasoned ultra-conservative in the noble attire of anultrapatriot. Sensing the audience, the black leader at the end of thespeech deviated from the pre-distributed text for reporters. Iremember this moment. He spoke slowly, firmly, angrily, condemningthose politicians who justify vile acts with practical expediency. Thereare moments, he emphasized, when you have to state directly whereyou stand, whether others like it or not. Let your popularity decrease,but there are principles, deviation from which is akin to moralsuicide...These words were spoken a few weeks before Senator EugeneMcCarthy, disregarding career considerations, openly challengedLyndon Johnson and the Democratic Party leadership, announcingthat he would run for president as a critic of the war in Vietnam. Thiswas months before Senator Robert Kennedy also decided to speak outagainst Johnson. The priest from Atlanta, killed at the age of 39, had a greatpotential for political growth. Starting with the seductive breadth ofbourgeois-liberal views, he came to precise, albeit less popular inAmerica, formulations. Late King's goal for the black revolution wasto 'transform from within the structure of racist imperialism.' From thestruggle for bus desegregation to the fight against the domestic andforeign policies of American imperialism—this was his path. His lastprepared campaign was called the 'Poor People's Campaign'—blacksand white poor people—because King began to speak on behalf of allthe underprivileged in America. The last act he intended to wrest fromCongress, which, in his words, waged war against the poor, was theEconomic Rights Act. According to his thoughts, this act shouldguarantee jobs and income for the poor. He certainly wasn't a Marxist,this Baptist preacher of non-violence, who became the tribune andleader of black America, but tireless searches for truth, instinctively,by touch, through a hard-earned experience, led him to the Marxistthesis that a people who oppress other peoples cannot be free. Fourdays after his assassination, his wife Coretta said at a memorialmeeting: 'My husband gave his life for the poor of the world, for thesanitation workers of Memphis and the peasants of Vietnam.'So, after thirteen tense years, King entered the final stage of hisstruggle, more than ever realizing the difficulties of the chosen pathand the modesty—compared to the unresolved challenges—of thescale of achieved successes. Equally determined and brave, he lookedat his country more soberly and harshly, abandoning the rose-coloredglasses of initial illusions. 'America is sick; the disease has struck itmuch deeper than I had assumed when I started my work,' heconfessed to a friend shortly before his death. And behind the familiarfaces of his adversaries—the Birmingham police chief Bull Connor,the sheriff from Selma, Jim Clark, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley,who derailed a prolonged campaign to improve housing conditionsfor blacks in Chicago—loomed the dry, sharp, unflinching face of thecriminal—James Earl Ray, the assassin, the last enemy King nevercame face to face with, the 'apostle of nonviolence.'At the end of March, things were fairly quiet on the racial front.They were waiting for April 22—Washington's 'battle' signal. Kinghad been preparing for it since autumn. Strictly speaking, not a battle,but a prolonged, several-month war called the 'Poor People's Campaign,' under the slogan 'jobs or income.' They needed to shakeup the Washington bureaucracy, which had forgotten everything forthe Vietnam War. Two and a half billion dollars for the destruction ofanother nation, crumbs for healing the ulcers of the ghettos. How tomake them see and change the order of allocations? Three thousandactivists, mostly from King's organization, the Southern ChristianLeadership Conference, were to arrive in the capital, set up a shantytown camp near the monumental facades of the ministries. Then,through picketing and delegations, they would block their work,throwing a protest sand into the well-oiled wheels of the soullessmechanism to make it creak, halt, and contemplate: do Americanpoor, black and white, have the right to 'guaranteed work or income'?And from June 15, as a culmination at the end...There was a planned march of hundreds of thousands of black andwhite Americans, no less massive than the famous march onWashington in August 1963, but with a demand not just for civil buteconomic rights for the poor.Since autumn, King and his associates had been preparing a cadreof activists: the operation was not supposed to exceed the bounds ofnonviolence.— Why do you want to disrupt and upset the life of Washington?— The lives of the poor are disrupted and upset every day, and wewant to put an end to that.Such an answer was recommended in a special questionnaireprovided to the activists. King himself considered this the finaldecisive attempt to extract major concessions from ruling Americausing nonviolent methods. A new 'long hot summer' was approaching,promising new Newarks and Detroits.But at the end of March, there was silence. Only in Memphis,Tennessee, were the city sanitation workers on strike. Tennessee—agateway to the South. Memphis, located on the Mississippi River, has550 thousand residents. Forty percent are black—more than 200thousand. A city like any other. Entangled in southern traditions, butits white rulers have typical justifications: even Negroes areintegrated into the police force, there are 13 Negroes in the citycouncil, public schools, please note, were desegregated as early as1961—and, mind you, without scandals. Blacks, like everywhere,complain about low wages, high unemployment, poor housing, and about the police, who won't miss a chance to 'club a black head orshoot a black body.' As everywhere, there's a law in force, clearlyformulated by Mayakovsky: 'White work is done by whites, blackwork—by blacks...'Street cleaning is black work, and almost all are black. They areemployed by the municipality. Their supreme master is Mayor HenryLeb. 1,300 strikers demanded a pay raise from the mayor and therecognition of a union, which means an end to their state ofpowerlessness. Government recognition of the union would implythat workers could not be hired or fired without its consent and thatstrikebreakers would be outlawed. The strike began on aholiday—Lincoln's birthday. But the mayor didn't grasp such a hint.The strike dragged on for more than forty days, without any chance ofsuccess. Only in Memphis did they know about it, where firefighterswere more often called out—citizens were burning fires with garbage.King arrived in Memphis, announcing a march of solidarity—anecessary rehearsal, by the way, before the 'showdown' inWashington. He applied his long-standing method—dramatizing thesituation, creating a crisis in the city, or as he put it, 'creative tension,'which would force the authorities to negotiate with the sanitationworkers and make concessions. He sometimes referred to himself andhis supporters as gadflies, disturbing their white fellow citizens,rousing them from their slumber. The average citizen may feelawkward because there is a ghetto nearby, but above all, they cherishpeace in their home and city, the social status quo that works in theirfavor, the 'law and order' that suits them. These are the main bastionsand reserves of rampant racism. In his famous letter from theBirmingham jail in the spring of 1963, King provided an insightfulassessment of such Americans. 'I have almost reached the regrettableconclusion,' he wrote, 'that the greatest stumbling block for Negroes'freedom is not the White Citizens' Council (racist organizations in theUS South—Ed. note) or the Ku Klux Klansman, but the moderatewhite, who is more devoted to order than to justice, who prefers anegative peace, meaning the absence of tension, to a positive peace,meaning the presence of justice.'On March 28, a week before the fatal shot, the 'negative peace' inMemphis was broken by protest marches and solidarity. In themorning, thousands of people moved to Beale Street, passing pawnshops and cheap stores. King, as determined as a battering ram,was at the front, arm in arm with Ralph Abernathy and RalphJackson. Police were alongside the column. Batons at the ready,revolvers on their hips in open holsters, sergeants holding portablewalkie-talkies with antenna needles in their palms. Helmets, gaiterson thick calves, numbered plates on their chests... White Memphiscops, sturdy and picturesque, like all American law enforcers. Marchguardians. March witnesses. March punishers. They were cocked andready. They walked, closely eyeing the marchers. They were waitingfor their moment. And it came.Where did they come from, these agile and desperate blackteenagers? From Hamilton High School. There were thirty to forty ofthem. They ran out of class and wanted to join the marchers, but itwas not to be. Police escorted the column like a convoy ofprisoners—there was no place for outsiders. And like a gust of windswept over Beale Street, where the renowned jazzman W. Handy oncecreated his blues. But here it wasn't the sweet melancholy of blues buta frenetic shuffle. And bricks at the police, at the windows ofpawnshops and stores, and splinters of glass...Hooliganism? Revenge? Or a brief, reckless elation oftemperamental youths who suddenly felt that Beale Street, with itspawnshops and the shops of white bloodsuckers, belonged to them fora moment, given the many black people around? But the moment wasintercepted by cops. And the cops plunged into this dance, into thisecstatic and deadly twist that so often sweeps the streets of the ghetto.Oh, these contorted, fear-twisted bodies, dodging the whistlingbatons... Oh, this trembling and sweat under the barrel of a gun... Oh,this curtain of tears on the faces, enveloped in the acrid smoke of teargas...The next day, Earl Lanning, president of the Memphis Chamber ofCommerce, announced his business calculations. He reported thatwindows were broken in 155 commercial establishments. The policeprovided their statistics: one killed—a 16-year-old black boy, 60injured, 200 arrested.The Tennessee State Legislature immediately granted mayors theauthority to impose a curfew. Henry Leb was the first to use it. Fromseven in the evening on March 28, the streets of Memphis wereempty, except for 4,000 National Guard soldiers mobilized by Governor Buford Ellington of Tennessee. Another 8,000 soldiers wereon standby.White Memphis armed itself in case of a black explosion. But theexplosion didn't happen.The march was disrupted, dispersed. King was hurriedly put into acar and taken in an unknown direction. His friends were protectinghim, but the authorities also had their motives: if anything happenedto King, it would be hard to avoid a massive explosion. King didn'tanticipate this frenzy with bricks thrown at police and bullets inresponse. 'If I had known violence would occur,' he said the next day,'I would have canceled this march.'On March 29, the strikers went on picket lines. They walked in along, rare chain down the street. Just as long, but motionless, stoodNational Guardsmen beside them. Bayonets were dramaticallydisplayed. And the shadows of bayonets pierced the placards on thechests of the strikers. In bold letters on the posters were two words: 'Iam a man.' The photo made its rounds in the newspapers.But they spoke of something else—the Negro 'anarchy' which hadonce again shown itself in Memphis and which 'had long needed to bestopped.' The veins of righteous anger swelled on the forehead ofWashington. Robert Byrd, Senator from West Virginia, proposed acourt order to ban the 'poor people's campaign.' 'If this self-styledchieftain is not stopped,' he lashed out at the King, 'the same thingcould happen in Washington—violence, destruction, looting, andbloodshed.' Edward Brooke, the only black senator among a hundredin the US and quite moderate, doubted King's ability to contain theprotest within nonviolence. Any spark could cause an explosion in the'easily inflammable conditions' of Washington, where two-thirds ofthe population were black. Brooke wondered who would ensure thatsuch a spark wouldn't come from the multitude of participants.President Johnson, three times in a day, warned that he would nottolerate 'senseless violence,' called on law enforcement to act firmlyand without fear, and promised federal aid if needed.So, the familiar slogan of 'law and order' was once again raised tooverturn King's slogan of 'work or income.' The country was wieldinga 'white boomerang.' It was time to arm themselves and put blacks intheir place. Such was the prevailing mood in those months whenfactories fulfilled government orders for special armored vehicles and for the miraculous gas 'mace,' disrupting the nervous balance of the'rebel,' and for other perks for the upcoming 'long hot summer.'The shadow of what happened in Memphis fell on the Washingtonoperation, and there was no retreat. 'We are determined to go toWashington,' King declared on March 29. 'We consider it absolutelynecessary.' In Memphis, he counterattacked too. He announcedanother march of solidarity with the sanitation workers, wanting toprove to them, his critics, and adversaries that he could ensure apeaceful procession. The march was planned for the coming days, andKing, postponing his affairs in Washington, flew back to Memphis. Itwas the last march he prepared.And the march took place, peacefully, as the King had dreamed.The march was more massive than he had anticipated—35,000 blackand white Americans from all corners of the country. They walkedalong the streets of the deserted Memphis. Stores were closed, andeven the residents didn't peek from their windows: the police orderedthem shut. National Guardsmen stood on the sidewalks. And theymarched along the road through the ranks of tense soldiers, carryingplacards, many with the same inscription: 'Honor King—end racism!'In rows of eight, and in the first row, just like on March 28, marchedRalph Abernathy and Ralph Jackson. But the familiar, stocky,decisively triumphant figure was no longer with them. Martin LutherKing lay in his coffin in his native Atlanta. Walking with the marcherswas his widow, Coretta. She resembled her husband and knew that hewould have wanted effective mourning, mourning intertwined withthe struggle. The march of solidarity with the sanitation workers,which King had prepared, became a memorial march in King'smemory. It took place on April 8, four days after his assassination.But the Memphis sanitation workers were not forgotten: on April 16,they emerged victorious. It was King's final success, and he paid for itwith his life... So, on April 3rd, he flew back to Memphis, unaware that hewas flying toward death.The departure from Atlanta was delayed. The pilot apologizedover the radio to the passengers, saying, "We apologize for thedelay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on board. Therefore,we had to check all the luggage. To be sure that nothing happenson the plane, we had to check everything very carefully."There was nothing unusual about this announcement.Whenever King was a passenger, planes were always checked. Bythe way, he and Coretta never flew together on the sameplane—they didn't want to leave their children as orphans. On theevening of April 3rd, while giving a sermon in a black church inMemphis, King talked about this incident on the plane and openlyreflected on life and death.He said:- "Well, I made it to Memphis. And they say here that I ambeing threatened, that our sick white brothers might do somethingto me. Well, I don't know what might happen now. Ahead of us,we have difficult days... Like everyone else, I would like to live along life. There are advantages to longevity. But now I'm notconcerned about that. I only want to do God's will. He's allowedme to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seenthe Promised Land. Maybe I won't get there with you, but as apeople, we will get to the Promised Land. And so I'm happytonight. Nothing worries me. I'm not afraid of anyone..."Later, these words turned out to be prophetic. If he washaunted by premonitions, it was far from the first time. Almostevery day, he received anonymous threats, and he had thisinclination—to openly discuss the possibility of premature death.In his musings, religious mysticism mixed with political realismbecause he knew the country where he lived the dangerous life ofa fighter. But he couldn't live any other way and had long beenprepared for anything; his fatalism was not affectation but a soberawareness of a constant real threat. And the King preferred tospeak of death rather than bravery— it was implied.Friends booked him a room in the cheap "Lorraine" motel,owned by a black man. Whenever possible, King stayed in blackhotels. Room 306 was on the second floor. Its door opened onto a long balcony with green railings. To go down, you had to walkalong the balcony to the stairwell. Saying that he wasn't afraid ofanyone, Martin Luther King returned to room 306 at the"Lorraine" motel.That same evening or the next morning, James Ray knewwhere King was staying, that his room was on the second floor,and that he couldn't avoid the balcony, making him an easy target.All he needed to find was a path for the bullet. In front of thebalcony below, there was a parking lot, and behind it—narrowMulberry Street and a wall about two meters high, on the top ofwhich bushes and grass grew. Further on the slope of the hill,there were trees, and beyond them was a wire fence and anunsightly backyard of a two-story house that faced South MainStreet. There, on April 4th, in the early afternoon, a fairly youngman in a black suit arrived. He said he wanted to stay for a day.The landlady, Mrs. Brewer, led him to a room with a windowfacing north, but the stranger didn't like that room. He preferred aroom on the south side. And he was lucky. He was given a roomfrom which the "Lorraine" motel was visible. Mrs. Brewerremembered that the stranger had dark hair, was about six feet tall,and spoke with a Southern accent, something not surprising inMemphis. She also remembered that the stranger paid inadvance—eight dollars and fifty cents.And even better, the "Lorraine" motel could be seen from thecommunal bathroom. From there, through the optical sight of aRemington rifle, the metallic numbers 306 were visible on thebrown door of one of the rooms. And justifiably, as a guest whowanted to shake off the road dust, a man with a Southern accentsoon locked himself in the bathroom. It was about seventy metersto number 306 from there…King spent the whole day in the room, attending to business.Unfortunately, Memphis was taking time away from preparing forthe confrontation in Washington, and to make matters worse, thesituation became complicated because the Memphis authoritiesobtained a court order banning the second march. Throughout theday, King conferred with his colleagues. They were invited todinner by a black Memphis priest named Kyle. He arrived aroundsix in the evening to take the guests to his home. In the room was also Abernathy, King's right-hand man, an inseparable comradesince the days of the Montgomery bus boycott. Getting ready togo out, King, standing in front of the mirror, tied a black tie with agolden stripe around his powerful wrestler's neck."Is your wife too young to prepare soul food for us?" Kingchuckled at Kyle while tying the tie. "She's only 31, isn't she? Canshe understand soul food at that age?"In truth, he himself was young—only in terms of years."Exactly," Abernathy joined in the jest. "We're not coming forfilet mignon. We need vegetables. Soul food. Does Gwen knowhow to cook such food?""Don't worry," Kyle reassured them, understanding theseriousness behind these jokes.King lived modestly; even extravagance in food seemed tohim a deception of the poor people who followed him andbelieved in him. When, after King's death, the prominent politicalfigures of the USA hurried to offer condolences at his home inAtlanta, they were struck by the modesty of his residence. A smallnote in the newspapers, stating that after King's death, his familyhad only $5,000 in savings—a paltry sum by Americanstandards—speaks more about this man than a mountain oftouching obituaries. One needs to understand America, whereinvolvement in any public cause doesn't stop bourgeois politiciansfrom making dollars and increasing their wealth, to understandthis selflessness and greatness of King.Finally, King and Kyle left the room; Abernathy lingered alittle. Kyle immediately went downstairs, but King lingered by thebalcony's green railings. It was 6 o'clock in the evening, starting todarken, a hint of coolness in the air.At the last moment, his premonitions, apparently, left him, andKing didn't look toward the ridge of the wall on Mulberry Street,slightly upward and to the right, at the sunlit eastern wall of thetwo-story house. He looked down at his departing companions.Down by the balcony stood a black Cadillac sent for King by theowner of a black funeral home in Memphis. Helpers awaited nearthe Cadillac—Jesse Jackson, Andrew and Young, and the driver,Solomon Jones. They were ready for "soul food," dinner conversations, and jokes, and for the late-night rally. King stoodby the green railings, waiting for the delayed Abernathy."Are you familiar with Ben, Martin?" Jackson asked, pointingto Ben Branch, the Chicago black musician. Ben was supposed toperform at the meeting."Well, yes," smiled King, leaning against the railing. "Ben ismy man.""Sing for me tonight," he addressed Ben. "Sing for me, please,'Precious Lord, take my hand.' Sing it better.""I will, Martin," responded Branch. He knew this sorrowfulAfrican-American spiritual."It's getting chilly. Wouldn't it be better for you to wear acoat?" the driver advised him."Right. I'll put it on," replied King. Saying these two words,he leaned slightly over the railing, as if wanting to be closer tothese dear people who loved him, cared for him, and took pride inhim, like caring for older, respected, wise, yet scatteredcompanions.He leaned slightly towards them, holding onto the greenrailings with his hands, and at that moment, a bullet struck him.His friends heard the sound of the gunshot, and the deadly forceof the swiftly flying nine-gram lead knocked down his stockyfigure. With his arms spread, King fell face down onto the cementfloor of the balcony.Blood gushed from his neck. James Ray turned out to be afirst-rate killer. The bullet hit the right side of King's neck,piercing the vertebrae. King couldn't speak. Clinical deathoccurred an hour later, but he bid farewell to life at that verymoment when the bullet knocked him down. His friends rushed tothe balcony, surrounding his lying body, reaching their handsslightly up and to the right, towards the sunlit wall from where thesound of the gunshot came. Police cars were already buzzing.Cameras clicked, film cameras hummed, but the ambulance hadnot yet arrived. He still lay face down, knees bent, armsoutstretched, wearing a black suit and his face covered with awhite towel, blood spreading on the cement floor near his head...*** The poet is right: sorrow runs wild, especially in the age oftelevision. America was like a person suddenly confronted by aformidable, irrefutable judge, shaken so violently that the fluff ofpretense scattered away, demanding: Look into your soul! Can'tyou see what's happening there?Across the country, waves of shock and mourning rolled,although, for millions, for entire millions — who would dare todeny it? — there was a vengeful joy, a satisfied malice: finally,this irritating troublemaker, this 'nigger' who needed it more thanothers, got what was long due to him.And somewhere, evading the Memphis police, James Ray spedin his white half-sports car, listening to the feverish talk ofannouncers, smirking, assured that the job was done and donewell.Fear dominated the White House amidst mourning: what echoeswill come from the ghettos? However, predicting the echo was notdifficult. It needed to be anticipated or at least softened. Thepresident, appearing before the television cameras, urgedAmericans to 'reject the blind violence that struck Dr. King, wholived by nonviolence.' And thus, dominant America found thenecessary resonance — violence versus nonviolence. Violence —nonviolence... These words were repeated millions of timesduring the days of mourning, on the airwaves, in newspapercolumns, heard from television screens. What violence? Whatnonviolence? In the name of what? The killers condemnedviolence, not to abolish the hourly violence of the system againstthe underprivileged but to dissuade them from violence.Commentators, like Navajo shamans, chanted, chanted, chantedthe unbearable Negro pain.However, the authorities knew the weaknesses of verbal therapy.Mayor Henry Leb of Memphis and Governor Buford Ellingtonwere the first to react. Doctors recorded King's death at 7:05 in theevening Memphis time, but as early as 6:35, Mayor Leb imposeda curfew in the city. The Memphis police were torn: either catchthe murderer or maintain order in the black neighborhoods?Governor Ellington appeared on television to begin withcondolences but ended with the announcement of deploying 4,000National Guardsmen in Memphis, who were only mobilized the day before, on Wednesday. National Guard planes carried policeofficers specially trained to suppress riots to Memphis. The areaaround the Lorraine Motel was sealed off and cordoned by policebarriers. This area became as dangerous as a magnet, attractingbroken-hearted blacks. They went there to straighten up in anger.Black mourning was driven from the streets into the houses,breaking, dividing. Shots were fired from rooftops at police cars.In one car, a bullet shattered the windshield, and two policemen,scratched by shards, ended up in the same hospital where King'sbody lay. Bricks flew at the police in some places. 60 blacks werearrested.Official mourning was haunted by fear, while black mourningwas filled with anger and fury, yet that fury revealedpowerlessness. I remember the rally on Friday afternoon inCentral Park in New York City. Accusations were angry, but howto avenge? How to teach this country, this stepmother homeland?Thousands marched on Broadway, moving toward City Hall. TheNew York police kindly halted traffic. But they were used tothousands; you can't impress with thousands, actions of millions,united around the core of thousands, were needed. They wereabsent.Stokely Carmichael held a press conference in Washington. Inthe African-American district on 14th Street Northwest, wherewalls were already plastered with portraits of the "apostle ofnonviolence," the air crackled with electric excitement emanatingfrom swift groups of black people. The first bricks flew into theshop windows of white shopkeepers. Tall, impulsive, with alight-brown face, Stokely Carmichael believed his moment hadarrived. His words sizzled like a fuse, reaching toward thedynamite on 14th Street, to the half-million-strongAfrican-American population of the capital. These were notquestions and answers but calls to action, a bubbling hatredtowards white America."When white America killed Dr. King yesterday, it declared waron us... The riots happening now in the cities of this country arejust flowers compared to what's about to happen. We must avengethe deaths of our leaders. We will pay our dues not in courtroomsbut on the streets. White America will yet mourn for killing Dr. King. The black community knows it must get weapons. Blacksdie every day in Vietnam. Well then, let them take as many whitesas possible with them to the other world...""Black nationalist" Carmichael accused all whites, opening thepath for counter-accusations of black racism. "Black nationalism"was the ideology of a growing group of black radicals, who, ineffective collaboration with white Americans, had become moreviolent. It was another level of desperation, but desperationdoesn't save. There was plenty of dynamite, but it couldn't replacean organized army ready to advance against American capitalism,which ultimately benefited from this pseudonym of "whiteAmerica." The call to armed struggle fell on unprepared ground.The fiery desperation was capable of outbursts but not ofprolonged effective fighting.Getting weapons... That was the biggest fear. Those days ofmourning pleaded with blacks to refrain from violence, not onlyby ruling America but also by most black leaders. Roy Wilkinsand Whitney Young, giving obituaries on television, were deaderthan King— the black movement had long left them behind, hadstripped them of their authority. The ghetto no longer recognized"white Negroes." But even New York activists of the Congress ofRacial Equality, which criticized King's nonviolent methods and,with its radicalism, aligned with Stokely Carmichael, took to thestreets of Harlem, urging the agitated crowds to remain calm. InNew York, storm clouds were dispelled by the efforts of many.Mayor John Lindsay, displaying considerable personal courage,walked the streets of Harlem and the Brooklyn ghetto ofBedford-Stuyvesant for three days and nights, pleading, pleading,pleading…But Washington smoked already on Thursday evening anderupted on Friday. By three o'clock, smoke from fires hung likemourning banners over the African-American quarters of thecapital, and the spring wind carried them toward the center, to theWhite House, to the Potomac River. Shops of white traders burnedin the ghetto, stones showered the police, gunfire was heard.Sparks of disorder flew into the city center, and panic ragedthere. Thousands of government employees fled their officesbefore the end of the workday. It seemed as if the ship had tilted and was about to sink, that in panic, fires, and shooting, theflagship of the American empire would drown. Thousands of cars,bumper to bumper, slowly left the city on major highways,cautiously avoiding the ghetto. Servile Washington fled toneighboring states Maryland and Virginia. Officials andbusinessmen, unable to find taxis, not getting into overcrowdedbuses, hurried on foot across the Memorial Bridge over thePotomac, to the other side, away from the blacks. It was anunprecedented symbolic exodus of America that Dr. King wantedto shake with his march of the poor and which was now scared todeath by the raging mourning storm of the ghetto.O, had King witnessed the contradictory and expressive symbolsof mourning, hypocrisy, and protest that filled the Americancapital the day after his death! Soldiers in helmets and combatattire stood by machine guns on the broad steps of the Capitol,which remained deaf to his demands for work and income for thepoor. The White House—the prime residence of WhiteAmerica—stood against the backdrop of black plumes of smokereleased by black Americans. Over the White House, a flag flewat half-mast, while 75 soldiers formed a chain guarding itsgates—a dual response of mourning and caution.Everything doubled, and doubled contradictorily. On April 5th,the President issued two proclamations: one for national mourningon Sunday, April 7th, and an immediate deployment of regulartroops into the capital. Two thousand soldiers took positions neargovernment buildings and foreign embassies. Five hundredsoldiers from the 3rd Infantry Regiment were moved from FortMyer, near Washington. These tall, groomed, polished soldierswere usually kept for ceremonial duties and meetings with headsof other states on the White House lawn. Now they were dressedin everyday khakis to meet the common folk. An additional twothousand National Guard soldiers were put on standby. WalterWashington, a namesake of the first American President, Mayorof Washington, and incidentally an African American, imposed acurfew from 5:30 PM to 6:30 AM in the city.At noon, a mourning service was held at the WashingtonNational Cathedral, and the church choir sang that very AfricanAmerican spiritual King never heard from Ben Branch. 'Oh, precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand; I am tired,I am weak, I am worn. Through the storm, through the night, leadme on to the light, precious Lord...'There were four thousand people in the cathedral, led byPresident Johnson. Whites outnumbered Blacks. In policeprecincts, of course, it was the opposite: two thousand arrests bythe end of the first day of unrest. Five deaths. The police proudlyboasted this figure as evidence of their moderation. Officialmourning was armed to the teeth, marching ten abreast, riflesslung, gas masks like pig snouts on soldiers' faces. Officialmourning was loud, nervously screaming with crazed police andfire trucks, screeching brakes, heard in radio dispatchers' voices.Additional troops were called into the capital overnight—aparatrooper division that quelled Detroit's Black unrest in July1967.A mile-long African American mourning stretched with thesmoke of fires, fresh burnt ruins, surviving steel beams starkagainst the orange sky. Mourning protest was blind, unbridled,and hopeless. Criminality was added to the grief. Suits, hats, ties,and color TVs were looted from stores. They were still thechildren of their 'consumer society', fueling passion forpossessions and closing the path to satisfying that passion.'We are in deep pain. The country is in pain if, upon learning ofthe Nobel Peace Prize laureate's death, everyone fears it signalsviolence and arson, with the first monument being childrenrunning out of a burning house,' wrote columnist MurrayKempton.'When a Black rises now in powerful rage, he is spurred by threecenturies of injustice. Against this ominous history, what isremarkable is the patience and decency of most Blacks and theunimaginable generosity of their fallen leader,' wrote journalistHarriet Van Horne.On Friday night, America became a place where you understandthe meaning of the word 'anarchy,'" wrote the renowned reporterJimmy Breslin, having witnessed the burning streets of blackWashington.From dozens of cities came the chronicle of mourning—churchservices, fires, lowered flags, gunshots, silent marches, the howl of police and fire sirens, portraits in black frames, tear gas, thewails of black women, frozen smiles of naked mannequins thrownout of display windows... The ghettos wept and exploded for along five days until April 9th, the day of the funeral, when finally,a silence prevailed. Bell tolls floated in the air, and thousands ofvoices across the country sang 'We Shall Overcome,' the belovedanthem of equality fighters. Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit,Cincinnati, Buffalo, Kansas City, Newark—protests erupted inover a hundred cities. They were quelled by the police andsixty-one thousand National Guard soldiers—the largest numberof troops ever deployed in American cities. Thirty-nine dead. Twothousand wounded. Over ten thousand arrested…And perhaps, only one person out of 200 million black and whiteAmericans was at peace in those days. Flown back to his nativeAtlanta, he lay in a brown casket with bronze handles amidstchrysanthemums and gladioli. He lay in a glass-topped coffin—ablack pastoral suit on the white lining of the coffin, a broadforehead, a stiff brush of short black hair, rough bumps on hischeeks, thick, firmly sealed lips of a large mouth. The 'Apostle ofNonviolence' was unaware of the hurricane his death had caused.He lay peacefully, and on the black cemetery stone at 'SouthView,' the words were inscribed: 'Free at last. Free at last. ThankGod Almighty, I'm free at last.' And at the chapel of the spiritualcollege, weaving through the streets of Atlanta, a queue formed amile and a half long. It moved day and night without shortening,and many black paupers bid farewell to their Moses. Meanwhile,on television screens, in newspapers, and magazines, thememorial face of the living King appeared—strong, the intenseyawning mouth, the yawning of a fierce, raging orator.He was buried solemnly and broadly, unlike any other blackperson in American history. A hundred and fifty thousand peoplewalked the four-mile procession behind the coffin through thestreets of Atlanta, from Ebenezer Church, where he was a pastor,to Morehouse College, which he graduated from twenty yearsago. In the mourning service at his church, the elite mixed withthe common folk—from former President Humphrey to the lateKing's widow and his four children. Ralph Abernathy and closefriends and allies. King Jr., who had outlived his son, fainted when he first saw the deceased King Jr. Jacqueline Kennedy, thewidow of the slain president. Robert Kennedy, not yet slain,unaware that his death awaited him in Los Angeles two monthslater. There were all the other contenders for the WhiteHouse—Richard Nixon, Senator Eugene McCarthy, NelsonRockefeller. They declared a mourning pause in their electioncampaigns and now agitated by the fact of their presence at King'scoffin. Black voices won't interfere with the elections, andRichard Nixon vividly remembered one costly mistake in 1960when he fought for the White House against John F. Kennedy.Shortly before election day, Kennedy aided King in getting out ofanother jail, and according to many American politics experts, itwas this step that gave him a slight edge over Nixon by a hundredthousand votes—votes from blacks who thanked the Bostonsenator for caring for their leader. And now, the disguised eye ofthe TV camera captured familiar faces.And the people in the church, where both Martin Luther King Sr.and Jr. had preached and where now Pastor Ralph Abernathy ledthe service, heard once more the impassioned, mystical yet earthyeloquence of King. It turned out that this man, who had walked soclosely with death, speaking in February at this very church, hadtalked about the kind of speech he wished to be delivered at hisown funeral. They played a tape recording, and over King's coffinechoed the words of King, tremulous like the pulsations of a bareheart:'I'd like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther KingJr. tried to give his life serving others. I'd like for somebody to saythat day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to love somebody. I wantyou to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question. Iwant you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed thehungry. I want you to say that day that I did try in my life toclothe those who were naked. I want you to say on that day that Idid try in my life to visit those who were in prison. I want you tosay that I tried to love and serve humanity.Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major. Say that I was adrum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I'mnot concerned about that now. I just want to leave a committed lifebehind. And that's all I want to say...' His voice rose and fell, the words pulsating into the ears andhearts of this diverse audience, uniting some and distancingothers. These words were unfamiliar to politicians and politicalspeakers raised in the spirit of cold advocacy rhetoric, ignorant ofpassion and the open heart of a fighter.Yes, these were grand funerals, yet somehow peculiar. What wastheir peculiarity? What was the touch of unreality, destined to beshort-lived? They were peculiar because now that America, whichhad been deaf to King's struggle, the America that, with armoredvehicles, police units, and anti-black articles in the press, hadcreated an atmosphere for the Memphis shot, now came to King'scoffin, respectfully but not without intent, aiming to canonize himin their way, to posthumously secure him, taking away from theunderprivileged in the name, of course, of 'brotherhood and unityof the nation.' A struggle for King's legacy continued at the coffin,and alongside the genuine heirs, false heirs emerged,hypocritically anointing him with a pretend anointing of the verysystem against whose vices he vehemently rebelled in his finaldays.These false heirs could not be driven away from the coffin, butthey encountered silent, firm resistance. Not in a solemn hearse,but on a pair of mules harnessed to a simple farm wagon withhigh wooden sides, they carried the coffin from the church to thecollege where the mourning gathering took place. On these mules,this working yoke of American Southern mule skinners, who hadreceived nothing of their country's automotive abundance.Andrew Young, Jesse Jackson, and other friends of Kingdeliberately dressed in farmer's overalls, worn amidst the blackmourning suits. It was a sunny day, sharp shadows on thesidewalks. In the silence, the wheels of this strange,taken-from-dusty-backroads wagon clattered on the asphalt. Andin it, without flowers, lay the coffin, and on its sides were friendly,loyal hands. And similar hands held the reins of the floppy-earedpeaceful mules.TV networks set up their posts all along the route. The vigilanteye of the TV camera suddenly caught senators, forgetting themourning, with trained, clever-tired or triumphant smiles, andthen, sensing themselves on the screen by the sixth sense of politicians, they submitted to the commanding controller andhastily wiped the smiles off their faces. But tens of thousands ofreal people, honest Americans, crossed the television screen withbroad steps, arriving in Atlanta from everywhere to defy racism atKing's coffin."We Shall Overcome..." - this song soared over the column thatseemed endless. This song concluded the mourning meeting onthe lawn of Morehouse College. For the first time since the marchon Washington in August 1963, such an immeasurable gatheringof fighters for equality, both black and white, assembled. Joininghands, swaying to the rhythm of the melody, they solemnly,proudly, and decisively sang out, "We are not afraid. We are notafraid. We are not afraid today. Deep in my heart, I do believe, weshall overcome someday."President Johnson had scheduled a speech before both houses ofCongress for April 8, indicating a forthcoming significantprogram to aid African Americans. However, after quelling theriots and facing opposition from congressmen against rushingthings, the presidential speech was postponed and eventuallycanceled.A week after King's funeral, I had the opportunity to visitWashington. Smoke from fires no longer obscured the April bluesky. Troops had disappeared, and the "rebels" either awaited trialor went into hiding. Law enforcers were showered withcompliments for their moderation. Along 14th Street, collapsedwalls formed uneven piles of bricks along the sidewalks.Passersby hurried about their business, seemingly unaffected,immersed in themselves, paying no heed to the fires or ruins. Howquickly the average American gets accustomed to everything!Several days after the assassination, Mayor Lindsay of New YorkCity's bitter truth began to show. He labeled the national mourningas a "one-day spectacle of conscience." The time of touchingobituaries for the "apostle of nonviolence" swiftly passed.Discussions about the fate of the ghettos fell into familiar patterns:to shoot or not to shoot at black individuals when they attempt toseize property? The same question, but in a more practical form:is shooting profitable, or does it increase the number of suchattempts? Finally, Congress, after much agitation, passed a desegregation law for the sale and rental of houses. They hastilydeclared it a monument to King, despite objections from blackleaders who saw it as another half-measure. Legally, the locks ofthe invisible gates of the ghettos were removed, but where werethe dollars to step out through these gates? Billions still flowedtoward the killings in Vietnam. Ralph Abernathy, King'ssuccessor, knew that the best monument to the deceased leaderwould be a "poor people's march" on Washington. Preparationsfor the march were coming to an end, but it was already clear thatthings were not going well, and that Congress, the White House,and, of course, the Washington police were firmly opposed to themarch.I revisited Washington in the latter half of June, just beforedeparting from the U.S. At Arlington National Cemetery, grasspeeked through the sparse, rough slabs on John Kennedy's graveand those of his two children. And to the left, on the slope of thehill, about fifteen meters from these stones, a modest white crossstood among the grass, marking Senator Robert Kennedy's grave,which had not yet become monumental. A tourist crowd in casualsummer clothes snapped photographs. On the other side of thePotomac, at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, where the marblestern lumberjack, grown from a president to a liberator of AfricanAmericans, sat, resting his long, lean hands on the armrests of hischair, a makeshift, wooden, tent-like city of the poor sprawled out.If you stepped outside the fence of this city to the long rectangularpond, encased in granite, Lincoln loomed on the left above you,while far to the right, the dome of the Capitol triumphantly floatedin the air. But Lincoln has long been silent; he has long ceased tobe the guardian. Congress was furious at this wooden-and-canvasmonstrosity that marred the capital's finest view.When we approached the pond, surrounded by a cluster ofreporters, stood a man with a broad dark face dressed in farmer'sgarb. Ralph Abernathy. He was speaking to the journalists. Therewere few of them. The town had already been raided by the policeseveral times; this sensation was becoming monotonous, losing itsappeal. The pickets of the poor at ministries, the delegationskindly heard by the ministers—why not dedicate an hour or two toBlacks, Mexicans, Native Americans?—yielded no result. The authorities menacingly demanded an end to this campaign, citingunsanitary conditions in the town that, God forbid, might infectthe bureaucratically sterile Washington, and the expiration of thepermit. Abernathy did everything he could, but hints ofuncertainty seeped through his determination. The absence ofKing was felt. There was no expected mass of participants, noformer dynamism, and broad support.I returned to New York and a day later, scanning through thenewspaper, I saw Abernathy's broad face behind the bars of apolice van. The poor had been dispersed with batons; their townwas destroyed and burned. Amidst the rapid-fire barrage ofnewspaper headlines, two caught my attention: "HouseCommission Cools to Johnson's Call for Tighter Gun SalesControl," "Abernathy Gets Twenty Days; Disorder in the CapitalSubsided."That's how the poor people's march ended.Will they overcome it? They must overcome it. They cannot notovercome it. They will overcome "someday," as their songcautiously stipulates. THREE DAYS IN DEARBORNILike the Russian saying goes, 'You don't take your samovar toTula,' similarly, as per the State Department's directive, ourbrother doesn't drive to Dearborn. We had to fly there. In theautomotive empire of Detroit, ruled by three competingemperors—General Motors, Ford Motor Company, andChrysler—only Ford's dominions are open to us, namelyDearborn, a Detroit suburb. Yet even there, you can't get in anyother way but by plane, because Dearborn itself is encircled byclosed-off areas. Want to go to Dearborn? Welcome, but without acar.From Buffalo to Detroit, it's a 40-minute flight over the whitishLake Erie. At Detroit's 'international airport,' I didn't waste anytime; I hurried to Dearborn, away from sin, although sin issanctioned by the same State Department—after all, they won'tparachute me into Dearborn in the end. I took a cab, and along theroads of the automotive Mecca, we made our way to the DearbornTavern Hotel. Surely, that should be in Dearborn.The taxi driver was Black. I introduced myself and asked howthings were in Detroit.— Alright, although not booming.— Were you born here?— No, from the South.— So, is it better for Blacks here than in the South? — Better.— And finding work is probably harder than for a whiteperson?Oh, yes. You have to be twice as smart to get the same job.— Why is that? Is it about education or skin color?Certainly, education matters, but most importantly, it's aboutcolor. In Dearborn, they especially don't like us.— Why? — Well, it's everywhere, softened the Black man's assertionagainst Dearborn. During the war, I was in England, France, Italy.Everywhere, a Black man is treated poorly. And how is it inRussia for you?I assured him that in Russia, it's different, and there's a full'okay' with finding work for Blacks, although there are no Blacksexcept for students and diplomats.— Why? — His question was accusatory, suggesting thatthey've already transferred our brother.I explained that we didn't import their brother from Africa. Hedidn't know that. Everywhere, other unfortunate Blacks hauntedthe Black man's imagination. And Indians to the Indians. Irealized this once near Kansas City when an Indian sat next to usin the car. When he found out where we were from, he startedfrom afar: Do you have mountains in Russia? What about forests?And reindeer? Do you have trout? This shy lad left without askingthe crowning question, although this question obviously spun onhis tongue: Do you have Indians in Russia, and how do they, theunfortunate, live there?— And what about you? — the Black man inquired. —Newspapers write very unfavorably about you. Is that true?— What's true?— Well, how should I put it... Here, we can curse the president.Can you do that in Russia? They say you can't.The Black man needs to be 'twice as smart as the white man' toget the same job, but he has consolations that he values: he cancurse the president; it's safer than sending his boss to hell. Justprove that you're a loyal American and not 'red,' otherwisecomplications may arise.We arrived at the 'Dearborn Tavern' along a luxurious oak alley.In the old-fashioned, divan-carpeted lobby, portly, painted, almostimmortal-looking old ladies sat in armchairs under colorfulcovers. Deceptively, they didn't seem like idlers. No, such oldladies don't sit still; they're rich and as mobile as ever. With theirhusbands gone, separated from their children, and feelingabsolutely no longing for grandchildren, these vigilant old ladiesflutter around their country and the world, as if checking to see iftheir ideal is intact. And that ideal, absorbed at the turn of the century, boils down to one persistent and narrow falsehood: thatpoverty is a sin and wealth is virtue.And counting on the wallets of these daughters of the old, as ifit had never happened, revolution, here stand behind the mainhotel building the neatness of red-brick houses with littlepalisades and idyllically white picket fences. Silence. Finally, Iachieved it.They led me into the bright room, that is, the room in thecottage "named after Walt Whitman." There are three more roomshere, but the guests are quiet as mice. Only occasionally behindthe wall, the rattling of an elderly voice and the muted noise of atelevision set. In the bright room, there are vaulted ceilings,frequent intersections of window frames, muslin curtains, apseudo-kerosene lamp hanging from the ceiling, a wrought ironchest, an armchair, a bed, a dresser—all carved, not furniture, butthe embodiment of walnut tree's nostalgia for the past. And theinvisible offended spirit of Walt Whitman, the singer of greatroads and human freedom.But the television and telephone, the toilet and bathroomgleamed with plastic, nickel, and enamel. They didn’t joke or partwith convenience and hygiene here, even when imitatingantiquity.Suddenly, I felt uneasy. I felt sorry for Whitman. Even for Ford,who in my mind didn't fit in with antiquity in any way. By theway, where's Ford? After all, the tavern is part of his Dearborncomplex. And Ford appeared. I found him—in the drawer of thefaux-antique desk. "Welcome to Ford in Dearborn!" exclaimed thedark-haired man with a broad face from the rough cover of thebrochure. Henry Ford II himself. The grandson of the dynasty'sforefather. To Ford in Dearborn! He pulled me out of the brightroom into the second half of the 20th century.And obeying Ford, I stepped out onto Oakwood Avenue—theboulevard near the tavern and strode towards Greenfield Village,where the Ford museums are located. It was a Sunday. Theindustry was silent. Low brick buildings of Ford's research centersstood comfortably behind low fences. I walked along the sidewalknext to the highway. The sidewalk was abandoned, unused, andthe road darkened from the tires. And Henry Ford II, having peered into my visit, explained from the brochure's pages: "...theautomotive transportation has become the most importanteconomic and social force in modern life, and all of us here inDearborn are proud of the long-standing contribution of the FordMotor Company to the cause of progress and prosperity of ourcountry and its people. While you are here, we will make everyeffort to make your visit pleasant, informative, and, as we hope,truly rewarding."It was a serious conversation. And Oakwood Avenue was filledwith evidence. And I mentally thanked the State Department forits veto: for making me leave the car in Buffalo and for deprivingme of the right to rent a car in Dearborn. Walking, I could betterassess what the old Henry Ford, his prematurely deceased sonEdsel, and his grandson Henry had done to their country and theirpeople.I was the only pedestrian, and I didn't count. A stranger! Allaround, cars, everyone in cars, the mechanical rustling beneath thefrightened oaks. I was a deviation from the norm, a scare, awildness, I grew into a solitary rebel challenging everyone.I walked and walked, and each step became heavier for me.Between me and the people in the cars, there was such anobviously intimidating mental field, a state of tense, on-the-edgeanticipation that was fraught with explosion. I saw curiosity,bewilderment. I even saw looks filled with fear. Yes, fear. Howcould a person suddenly decide to walk? What happened to them?On Michigan Avenue, Dearborn's central thoroughfare, I couldhave shouted like Diogenes: "I'm looking for a person! Anyperson." But on Sunday, it was bare, as if five minutes remainedbefore the arrival of a radioactive wave, which they managed towarn about a week ago. Stores, banks, restaurants were closed.Bars were empty. At the cinema showing a film aboutMichelangelo's "Agony and Ecstasy," there were only two guys, agirl, and the cashier bored in her glass booth. And a handful ofpassersby on miles of sidewalks.But the gas stations were still active. Cars, cars on thepavement—white and black, families, couples, solo riders, withdogs poking their heads out of windows. Rustle, the whisper ofcars. The dense rustling and squeaking of brakes at traffic lights. The green signal—and again shh... shh... This was after theSunday rendezvous with the television, the green melancholy, andthe enduring instinct of communication drove the Dearbornresidents towards people. But people in cars were not the same aspeople in the crowd. You couldn't call out to them from thesidewalk, couldn't strike up a conversation. Once they were intheir cars, they had to hurry, slaves to speed. They were close yetdistant, in their metallic microcosm on wheels, with countlesshorsepower under the hood…An American, especially one in small towns, cannot do withouta car, not just physically due to the lack or complete absence ofpublic transport, but also psychologically. He cannot conceive oflife without a car. He long ago understood that a car is not aluxury but a means of transportation. But a car is also a symbol ofprestige, an emblem of one's standing in society: from a tattered,15-year-old "Ford" for 50 dollars, where an Eastern Kentuckyminer searches for work, to the shiny black "Cadillac" with aphone, TV, portable bar, and a chauffeur in a uniform cap,replacing the coachman of the 3rd century on commas. Without acar, an American is incomplete. They absorb it with their mother'smilk, or rather with "baby food," with industrial children's food injars and tin cans because American women have long stoppedbreastfeeding, safeguarding their youthfulness and figure.Nevertheless, I found a person on Michigan Avenue. Not justany person, but the talkative one I was looking for, typically livelyAmerican, albeit already slightly hunched, an old man in hisSunday suit who, before my arrival, tried to talk to themannequins in the shop windows, along with, of course, a dog. Hehad a dog on a leash, and this was not an insignificant detailbecause, without the dog, there wouldn't have been an old man onMichigan Avenue. Firstly, the dog, unaware of the existence ofFords and devoid of its own chain of human inadequacyevolution, whined about the fresh air and the walking. Secondly,in the eyes of thousands of people rushing in cars, the dogjustified the atavistic instinct of the old man to just take a walk.He didn't feel like an incomplete Fordian because he wasn'twalking but taking the dog for a walk. The old man turned out to be a Ford worker. He onlycomplained about his boss but was content with his fate andHenry Ford II. The dark-haired Henry Ford, who greeted me anhour ago from the pages of his brochure, was a benefactor fatherfigure for the old man, understanding his "responsibility," caringfor the employment of the population, and building new factoriesin the county. And this philosophy of the old man had a decentdollar equivalent: a highly skilled worker, earning just over $4 anhour, $170 a week.The old man's wife had passed away a long time ago. He hadraised his two daughters, now grown and married, all by himself.Numbers spilled from him like goat droppings. He kept hisdaughters in a private boarding house for two years."I'll tell you, though," he whispered, "every penny paid off."But the daughters grew up, flew off. Then came a dog—abeloved object, a remedy for loneliness. And once, sorrow struckthe old man—his dog went missing. Simple life—simple tragedy.The old man printed sorrowful announcements in all the localnewspapers. And how could he be unhappy with fate? The dogwas found after two weeks. And the woman who sheltered itrefused to take the $10 reward promised in the ads. "But I said,since I promised, take it."The old man was not accustomed to getting things for free.Now, the dog's collar had a phone number and an address.And what's next? What's next? Everything is well andprosperous. He paid off his mortgaged house long ago. A new"Comet" car, a pity there's no garage. He's building another houseto rent out for extra income when he retires. And he rentedanother house and sublets it. Plus some stocks.So, what's the result? A laborer? An urban small-time propertyowner? The devil knows! The figures convince that he's a happyman. But since when can happiness be expressed in numbers?The earnings for the working people are generally good.Nevertheless, many take on side jobs. What drives them? Fear ofa dark day? The desire for self-respect, so easily measured indollars? Or some kind of fear of appearing as a pedestrian on astreet where everyone is in cars? IIToday is Memorial Day—a day to honor the fallen. Newspapersand television screens pay tribute. In the morning, on the screen,Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, across the PotomacRiver—the most famous military cemetery in the country.Star-spangled flags and bouquets by gravestones. A wreath at theTomb of the Unknown Soldier. President Johnson praised the"American boys" in Vietnam and American freedom. Hearts andminds are filled with Vietnam. They remember the fallen in thenew war and those soldiers in the jungles, whom, perhaps, theywill have to remember in the coming year.The Detroit Free Press prints on the front page "Soldier's Diary.A Hero's Thoughts on War." Sparse, hurried lines of SergeantAlex Vaksi, born in Detroit on June 18, 1930, killed nearTieu-Hoa in South Vietnam on February 6, 1966. A portrait of theserious dark-haired sergeant and his smiling wife. For somereason, he smiles in front of the camera, even in mourning.Van Santer, a newspaper staff member, writes: "Today, wehonor Alex Vaksi and thousands like him, who died for ourcountry in its numerous wars. If you haven't lost a husband, son,father, or friend in one of these battles, think today of Alex Vaksi.Who was he?"There are memories from his sister. In childhood, "he playedwith toy soldiers for hours." He graduated high school in Detroit,joined the army in 1946, concealing his age (he was only 16),fought in Korea, and received the "Silver Star." "Alex never saidwhy," remembers his sister. After Korea, he served in the Detroitpolice, "missed the army," returned as a volunteer and was sent asa military advisor to South Vietnam. "He received another 'SilverStar,' but again didn't tell his family why."He could have stayed home, with his wife and three children,but again chose the jungles.The soldier's diary is professional, brief descriptions of combatencounters, occasional thoughts. For example: "I think our troopshave done damn fine work here. World War II and Korea were nomore of a game than the one we're playing here." He was still playing, but now pondered how terrible this"game" was. The last entry is emotional. The sergeant writesabout the battle for the village, about the "Skyraiders" planes that"in the second raid in the last three-quarters of an hour droppedheavy bombs now approximately a hundred yards away from us."I returned to the small village house where, it seemed to me,two people were hiding in the bomb shelter. It turned out thatthere were four teenagers, two middle-aged women, and an oldwoman. All of them were clustered in the space where even twoof us wouldn't fit, yet they spent the entire day there. I led themout to an open place, as the house, trees, and so on are too good ofa target for planes and firearms. I hoped that our soldiers, uponseeing them, at least wouldn't shoot. I feared that Company 'C'would come here, throwing grenades into every crevice... I gavethem a can of biscuits and cheese—It seemed like they trustedme... That's why I hate this war. The innocent suffer the most."He fell in the same battle. The company commander wrote in aletter to his widow: "Inspiring the soldiers, he did not hide frommachine-gun fire. We called him the best, and he was: the bestsoldier and the best man."The article's author concludes with a restrained masculine tear."Perhaps on this 'Memorial Day,' you'll leave your tasks for amoment and think about Alex Vaksi. That's why he exists,'Memorial Day.'"But why? For what reason did Alex Vaksi die, writing justbefore his death that he hated this war? In the ritual of 'MemorialDay,' such questions are out of place.On the front page alongside the soldier's diary, the newspaperprints reports from Saigon: yesterday, another Buddhist nun, amother of two, set herself on fire in front of the pagoda; Buddhistspublicly stripe their chests with knives and write letters toPresident Johnson in blood. On the second page, under theheadline "Confusion Rules Saigon," the Detroit Free Presspublishes a note from their Saigon correspondent. Thecorrespondent quotes an American sergeant unloading fourseverely wounded Americans from a medical plane. "You get madwhen you see these bodies coming in every day while thesebastards are still fighting each other," the sergeant said in anger. "The bastards fighting each other" are the South Vietnameseallies of the USA, the very ones whom the Americans came todefend. Now, for their newspapers and sergeants, the protectedones have become the bastards. Many easily swallow suchtransformations…After the newspapers and television, I slipped through the"daughters of the revolution" in the tavern hall, onto OakwoodAvenue. Again, there was a confrontation between a lone walkerand thousands in cars. But in the spacious fields of GreenfieldVillage, where the Ford museums are located, people abandonedtheir metal micro-worlds to form an ancient flowing crowd. Theyemerged from Fords, Chevrolets, Pontiacs, Lincolns, Cadillacs,Buicks, Ramblers, etc., etc., and entered the museums, not sparingthree dollars to gaze with nostalgic condescension at the ancestorsof their cars and the powerful broad-chested locomotive"Southern Pacific," at ancient typewriters and telegraph keys, atgas horns, Thomas Edison's laboratory, the Wright brothers'workshop, and of course, the paternal home of Henry Ford thefirst—back then, the progenitor did not have a serial number, hewas simply a farmer's son, a practical boy with a passion formechanics. By old age, Ford the first began collecting theseexhibits himself, because like many others, he first made millions,and then, when the flywheel was spinning and other millionsclung to the difficult initial millions as if by themselves, hepondered eternity, the gratitude of posterity, and the pedestal of aprophet: with millions, one could broadcast across America.In the area at the entrance to Greenfield Village, hundreds offour trailers—streamlined aluminum houses on wheels—werestanding. Near each, a car, hitched to the trailer on the move,grazed with a harnessed horse. Yesterday, I noticed how newtrailers were entering the area and lining up, how American flagsfluttered among them on flagpoles. Loudspeakers cheerfullydistributed instructions about parking, water, and electricity.Today, I approached two organizers at the gate. They were incivilian clothes but with stylish pilot caps, and the caps wereembroidered with mysterious words—"Wally Byam CaravanClub." What's this all about? One organizer immediately proudlyannounced that these aluminum houses had even visited RedSquare in Moscow last year. Another started to show and explaineverything to me.And he indeed showed and explained everything to me, HenryWheeler, a retired engineer, an old man with a triangle of graymustache and puffy eyelids. I turned out to be a discovery forHenry Wheeler. He was craving for someone to whom he couldshow the brand-new trailer for 8 thousand dollars—8thousand!!!—what luck—meeting a Russian, a communist, inDearborn and surprising him with an American trailer! Henry andI strolled among the rows of other trailers, and Ninette, Henry'sunsuspecting, pleasant, gray-haired wife, nervously shouted fromthe aluminum doorstep:— Henry, what are you doing?! I haven't laid out the carpetsyet!That's how it goes, friends, the carpets weren't laid out. Buteven without the carpets, this aluminum shack was a marvel, andas a polite foreign guest, I admired it wholeheartedly. It had all theconveniences and pleasures: a gas stove with three burners, a gasgriddle for steaks, a refrigerator running on gas and electricity, adishwashing sink, cabinets for groceries and utensils, threespacious clothing closets. A toilet. A sink. A shower. Airconditioning. One sofa—ordinary. Another sofa—pull-out,double. A foldable table. Chairs. A roof fan. A mesh screen on thedoor—against insects. A foldable footrest. Two propane cylindersup front, securely attached: when one runs out, the second oneautomatically takes over. And many other things fitted into anarea no larger than 15—18 square meters. Yet, it felt spaciousenough, with room to walk around, sit, and even entertain guests.And once again, I congratulated Henry on his successfulpurchase.I was even more astonished to learn that this aluminum abodewas not a hobby but a lifestyle, that this house on wheels was theironly home, that they—without wheels—sold their non-mobilehome, and that all the owners of the four hundred trailers on thelot were serious, permanent nomads, even though many of theirnon-mobile homes were not sold but rented out. And that in the 'Wally Byam Caravan Club'—with 16 thousand trailers, and thusfamilies—Wally Byam himself doesn't live in a mobile home.He's their supreme patron, a person who deals trailers and the ideathat as an American ages, it's time not only to move around—thishas been his life's work—but also to live on wheels.Yes, yes, Wally Byam is not just a manufacturer and dealer but,in a certain sense, a spiritual leader, the founder of an entiremovement among motorized nomads. He rallied them around hisbanner, and on that banner, it's written that if you're going to be anomad, then it must be in these streamlined, fashionable'Airstream' trailers made by Wally Byam. And Wally Byamtirelessly educates them in the spirit of loyalty to the 'Airstream'ideals and doesn't even spare a hundred thousand dollars a yearfor rallies, services, advertising, printed lists of club members, etc.In return, he has devoted customers and at least 32 thousandpropagators traveling across the USA, Canada, Mexico.There is no limit to progress. The aluminum wonder gets betterevery year because Wally Byam has mighty, ever-vigilantcompetitors. The Wheelers are now eyeing their neighborenviously, who added a television to their set of mobile amenities.And who knows, maybe the refrigerator will become moreelegant, they'll automate the pull-out sofa, and who knows whatelse they'll come up with.The Wheelers will feel embarrassed showcasing their outdatedtrailer at the next gathering. It will evoke scornful smirks: 'Ha-ha,8 thousand dollars?!' And where did ours disappear? Mobilizingtheir elderly savings, they'll exchange their current one for aneven more dazzling trailer, now for 10 thousand dollars.Wally Byam needs nothing more.From the neighboring trailer, the Wheelers invited a familiarcouple for French coffee, Mexican nuts, and a Russian journalist. Ihad to admit that regarding trailers and elderly nomads, we lagbehind and don't seem to plan catching up."But is the idea of nomadism in the sunset of life reasonableand beneficial?" I probed them. What force drags Americanseniors from their comfortable spots and compels them to roll androll on the threshold of the grave, sparkling in the evening sunwith Wally Byam's aluminum products? They explained everything to me. What seems strange to us isthe logical conclusion of their life's path.Americans habitually entrust the psychological and materialproblems of old age to American technology, American roads,American dealers.The psychological factor: 'As you age, the world shrinks, youfeel loneliness and isolation. You don't want to burden yourchildren. It's easier to make acquaintances on the road. Newplaces, new people stimulate the waning interest in life.'The material factor: it's cheaper. Cheaper without home andland taxes. You pay only for gasoline and a bit for campingparking—just for a piece of land under the wheels, for gas andelectricity hookup. There are many campgrounds. Along withmigratory birds, depending on the season, you can head south ornorth. You can save on the cost of living because the Americandollar always has more weight overseas than at home. Bothcouples pass through Dearborn. Yet, they prefer to live in Mexico,at a campground near Guadalajara: 'reasonable prices, decent foodmuch cheaper.'A side conversation emerged about Mexico and Mexicans,unexpectedly but not randomly—cleanliness of toilets, hot water,and, of course, dollars. My interlocutors felt ashamed for thoseclub members who, surveying a foreign country from their cleanaluminum nest and adoring its reasonable prices, deride Mexicansas 'dirty thieves.' The neighbor woman recounted with some glee astory of a fall from grace of one squeaky-clean American lady.She allegedly became as dirty as a Mexican peasant when hertrailer's tank was left with only 10 gallons of water.I returned them to the conversation about nomadism. Whatabout being in the deep throes of old age, when sight and handsfail, lying on the bench? Oh, then you can permanently park atsome campground.Imagine, then you can even refrain from mowing the lawn infront of the trailer!Henry Wheeler triumphantly exclaimed, and the nomadscheered at the mention of this great blessing.That's right, dear friends, you can forgo mowing the lawn. I've never, I must confess, mowed lawns; I strained myimagination to appreciate the full extent of renouncing this ritual.I realized that untrimmed lawns go hand in hand with unspreadcarpets, that it's a daring revolt against all-powerful bourgeoisconformity. And envisioning this rebellion, I remembered the oldladies from the 'Dearborn Tavern,' those effigies on soft chairs,guardians of the great ideal. Of course, virtue resides in wealth orat least in a 'decent life,' in bourgeois respectability.And when you can't uphold the standards of a wheel-less'decent life' anymore, when prosperous neighbors already eyeyour aging home with disdain and the Hamlet-like question arises:to mow or not to mow the lawns?—retreat gracefully.Move onto wheels. There, the conformity standards aren't asstrict. Enrich Wally Byam's clientele. Original nomads areallowed to not mow the lawns…Conformity coexists with rebellion, criticism from compatriotsfor narrow-mindedness and provincialism coexists withpatriotism, national pride, and clichéd propaganda.I stand for freedom and competition," says Ninet.She knows what competition is. Who knows it better thanAmericans, for whom the school of life is synonymous with theschool of competition? And what is freedom? Freedom isprecisely the freedom of competition. For her, these concepts aretwins.Henry is candid, especially when there are no neighborsaround. He sees many inconsistencies in the government's politics,in the country's economic orientation. He doesn't hesitate to voicehis grievances about the people in Washington in front of aforeigner, especially a "red" one:"They spend 50–60 billion dollars a year on the military andmilitary equipment. That sum is unimaginable. How many yearsdoes this go on for? Now we've come to the point where it'sincreasingly difficult to let go of it. But look at what's happeningin the meantime? Razors—would you buy American ones? No.You'd take the English ones—they're of better quality. Cameras,televisions? The Japanese ones are better. European cars are moredurable, sturdier, and yet we make everything with a planned obsolescence. And ships. We buy Japanese ships. In America, thecost of labor is such that we can't compete with other countries.For him, as Wally Byam's protege, there's fear of vulnerabilityagainst big corporations, ones that are mythical, strong, andimmense."Have there not been dozens of automobile corporations, andwhere are they now? Only the 'big three' remain. Try opening anew automotive business. Even with a hundred million, you'llfail."He was born and grew up in the era of American isolationism,not just in foreign policy but also within the country (weakcentralization, extensive state rights, preoccupation and traditionalobsession with local and personal matters and business). Andhere, for some paltry decades, his country has taken on the burdenof being the "guardian of the world," the "world's policeman."What a mess this has caused in the mind of the average American,who traditionally couldn't care less about anything that happensnot only outside his country but also beyond his city and state?He's used to seeing everything as a pragmatist, living for today,denying any theory in principle. But the narrow pragmatist'syardstick is unsuitable for history, and an American feels like aparticipant in it, and while choosing between two candidates forthe US presidency, he might be choosing between war and peace(whether mistakenly or correctly—that's another matter).Henry Wheeler drives his aluminum trailer to Mexico and readsa Mexican newspaper published in English there. Suddenly, herealizes that in this newspaper, the world looks different from theone he's been reading about all his life in northern Michigan. Hediscovers that he's been brainwashed. He tries to break through tothe truth. He attempts to look at the world historically: "Youstarted later and yet achieved greater results." He senses a threat inAmerican insular and affluent well-being, in the Americanarrogant attitude toward other nations based on the principle of therich toward the poor. He realizes that a hundred years without warboth helped and corrupted Americans—they don't know what waris like and what Russians and Europeans suffered, and this isdangerous. And he himself is entangled in the petty but powerfulcategories of American philistinism, American notions of 'decentlife' formed by the same major corporations. Naively, there's achildlike pride in his brand-new trailer, a flurry of apologies forthe unmade beds pour out of him…The coffee was drunk, the nuts were eaten, and Wheeler'sneighbors departed. Evening was setting in, and a loud radio voiceechoing over the camp warned the nomads of an impendingdanger: Greenfield Village refused to connect the trailers to itspower grid. My hosts became seriously worried, and I realized itwas time to say goodbye. But as a parting gesture, Henry decidedto introduce me to an outstanding nomad."This guy," he whispered to me with the secret enthusiasm of aconspirator.However, the guy had disappeared somewhere, and Henryhimself told me a brief story. A story about The Real Man from'Wally Byam's Caravan Club.'This story, one and the same, was rewritten every time a newaluminum home on wheels, just like all the others but belongingto a Black person, suddenly rolled into the trailer camp, whereverit might have sprawled. And as soon as he took his place in line,The Real Man would kindly knock on the Black aluminum door:Are you bothered? Is everything alright here? And the gratefulfamily thanked the tireless defender of racial equality and an easyadversary of discrimination. And the hero knocked again half anhour later: All good? They thanked him again, but that was justthe beginning. The Real Man was vigilant, punctual, and tireless.Half an hour later, his cheerful call could be heard: All okay? Hedidn't spare himself day or night, banging on the aluminum door:everything alright? After a maximum of three days in thecampground, finally, order was restored: the Black compatriotdeparted, realizing that no Wally Byam's aluminum wonderswould protect him from the '100% American' individuals.I was stunned by this story, told with ecstatic and vindictivepleasure."But what did Black people do to upset you, Mr. Wheeler?" The setting sun played coldly on the streamlined sides of20th-century civilized trailers, and Henry Wheeler whispered inmy ear:"You know, there's this concept—'middle class.' So, Americanswant to get into the middle class or at least get closer to it. Theywork diligently, save money for a house, a car, to elevate theirchildren, save something for old age. They know the value ofevery penny and owe every penny to their labor. But why don'tBlack people enter the middle class?His words were dry, bookish, but he whispered them warmly,like words of love and hate. He whispered those words—this veryHenry Wheeler, who felt awkward about his fellow citizensmistreating Mexicans as 'dirty thieves,' Henry Wheeler—the criticof big corporations and the arms race, Henry Wheeler—theamiable, knowledgeable old man, pleasant to chat with overcoffee and nuts."And that's why," he continued. "They have a different attitudetoward pennies. They couldn't care less—earned it, spent it.They've been free for a hundred years and it's their fault they livein poverty. And what happens? Their children have a destructiveinstinct. Everything in this country is foreign to them…And in haste, he bid goodbye and hurried away on his urgentelectrical errands.But I appreciated the solemnity of the moment and the firmnessof this creed. There are different Black people with differentattitudes toward money, and, according to Wheeler, there are 32Black millionaires in Detroit. But he takes the impoverished anddesperate Black mass, and it instills fear in him. They don't fit intohis 'American way of life,' and just because of that, they challengethis way of life. They've received nothing from America and arefrightening because they have nothing to lose. HenryWheelers—and their millions—see in Black people destroyers,because by the fact of their impoverishment and the impulse tostruggle, Blacks encroach upon the economic and social statusquo, the difficult, precarious, but in its way stable balance ofpower in American society. And they knock supports out fromunder Henry Wheeler's ideals, from under his applied life philosophy, materially embodied in the 'Erst-Rim' trailer brand.He fears that they have different value criteria.So, is he a racist? Perhaps, yes. But judging by HenryWheeler's explanation, his racism is only derivative. He is deeperthan a racist, even more than a racist. He is an owner. And fromthe owner's point of view, Blacks are the generalized antithesis forhim. Henry Wheeler is a particle of that terrible, mass, petitbourgeois element that, as Lenin remarked, daily and hourlygenerates capitalism on a massive scale. And it nourishes itscirculation and preserves it. An owner... Isn't this where it allbegins, no matter how far the ends have gone—in this case, inracism.IIIIn the morning, again on foot, like a devout pilgrim, to theheadquarters of the Ford Motor Company in Southfield, on theoutskirts of Dearborn. First along Michigan Avenue, then on thehighway, crowded with cars, across a large, untrodden meadowintersected by highways. The twelve-story Ford headquarters isnot large compared to the skyscrapers of leading corporations inNew York, but it is beautiful, clean, stands spaciously, gleamingblue with glass. By the way, Ford provided the UN skyscraper onEast River in New York with their own manufactured blue glass.The tour at the Rouge Plant, old but the most famous at Fordand the largest in the USA. A regular free tour for anyoneinterested. They won't show what they shouldn't, but there's nofeeling of annoying closed doors either. Clean, comfortable,radio-equipped buses depart from the main office to the plantevery hour. Among us gathered ordinary people: schoolchildren, agirl disabled by paralysis with her mother and a specially foldingwheelchair on wheels, an elderly man with an old woman, perhapsformer Russians or Ukrainians, a powerful Black man with threeBlack women, two Japanese, naturally, with film cameras.We ride through some woodlands at first. The guide, ahandsome and trendy guy, explains that these are all Ford'spossessions, Ford's land, Ford's forests. The possessions are vast.Ford, although not a farmer, even gets some money from the government for unused land: in America, with its overproductionof agricultural products, farmers receive federal subsidies forintentionally unprocessed land.For a non-specialist like me, it's hard to describe the RougePlant, especially after a brief tour. The plant is enormous. Theentire production cycle. An automobile begins with iron orearriving at Ford's own port on the Rouge River and ends on theassembly line. By the dock at the port stood, among other things,the cargo ship 'Robert McNamara.' The former Ford president andthen Pentagon chief were 'embodied' in a ship while still alive.The tour is as organized and operational as assembling cars.After riding around the factory grounds on the bus, we foundourselves on the assembly line. The guide stopped us in the rightplaces, arranged us in a semi-circle, took out the microphone froma box on the wall, and delivered his memorized speech. To theobserver, the pace on the assembly line doesn't seem excessive.There's even a kind of labor grace—almost like a dance. You can'tstrike up a conversation with the workers—it's the assembly line.Every 54 seconds, fashionable, semi-sporty 'Mustangs' jump offthe line, adding to the 90 million cars on three and a half millionmiles of American roads and bridges.I was provided with figures and facts at the main office. Fiftyyears ago, when Henry Ford I, already a prosperous automobilemanufacturer, decided to build a huge closed-cycle plant, even hisfriends were 'skeptical.' This is stated in the official corporatedescription of the Rouge Plant. 'Enemies said he was out of hismind. Congressmen opposed when he approached the governmentto deepen and widen the channel on the Rouge River toaccommodate seagoing vessels. Shareholders were against it,wanting the company's profits to go to dividends, not to expandproduction. Landowners inflated land prices along the river to afantastic height.'Ford overcame all and everything. In November 1917, for theresidents of Dearborn, the main event was, of course, not therevolution in Russia, but the laying of the Ford plant.Today, this is just one of many Ford plants, albeit the largest.Every day, 5,000 trucks, 20,000 cars, and more than 60,000pedestrians pass through its gates. The 135 acres of car parks provide space for 20,000 cars; some workers live seventy milesaway from the plant. In 1963, Ford paid $476 million to its 53,000workers and staff in the Dearborn area (there are currently330,000 people working across all Ford facilities). The factoryconsumes and generates as much electricity as a city with amillion inhabitants. In 1963, the plant received 179,000 visitorsfrom all 50 states in the USA and 107 countries. 'Americanpresidents, high-ranking foreign guests, Argentine gauchos, andbarefoot natives from Fiji' have visited it.The Ford Motor Company is an industrial corporation that, interms of car production, lags far behind General Motors, thelargest industrial corporation in the capitalist world. But Ford,Henry Ford I, the Ford dynasty, is something more. It is historyand a notable institution in modern American life. It is a providernot only of cars but also of ideas. Besides museums, there is an'Educational Affairs Department' at Ford Motor Company.One of the publications from this department is an apologeticbooklet titled 'The Evolution of Mass Production (The History ofFord's Contribution to Modern Mass Production and How ItChanged the Habits and Thinking of an Entire Nation).' Thebooklet does not overattribute to Ford. He was not an inventor buta skilled, persistent dealer and organizer who thoroughlydeveloped the principle of mass production based on fourdiscoveries of his distant and close predecessors. Thesediscoveries—interchangeability of parts, conveyor belt, divisionof labor, elimination of unnecessary movements for the worker.The booklet attributes the first discovery to American EliWhitney. In 1798, with an impending war between the US andFrance, the government urgently needed 10,000 muskets.Gunsmiths and craftsmen physically couldn't complete this task intwo years. Eli Whitney solved the problem by creating a machinefor producing gun parts, thus practically implementing theassembly principle.Ford formulated the second principle as follows: 'The workershould stand still, and the work should move.' This is the idea ofthe conveyor belt. It was first implemented by Oliver Evans, theinventor of the automatic mill. His conveyor was simple: oneworker poured grain from bags, and another at the end of the line received the ground grain in bags. In a more developed form, theconveyor appeared in the 1860s at Chicago's slaughterhouses. Amoving belt, on which skinned slaughtered pigs were hung,allowed twenty workers to slaughter and process 1440 pigs in 8hours. Previously, their limit was 620 pigs.The third principle ('break the work into smaller tasks andincrease output') was extensively developed by American ElihuRoot, who assisted Samuel Colt in establishing mass productionof Colt's six-shot pistols. Elihu Root broke down the work processinto many separate operations, 'easy, less prone to error, andfaster.'While the realization of the first three principles becamepossible thanks to the invention of new machines and mechanicaldevices, the fourth principle, borrowed by Ford, introduced the'human factor.' It was about saving time, hence the multiplyingspeed of production through well-thought-out elimination ofunnecessary movements for the worker, ultimately transformingthe worker into a machine quickly assembling into a wholeproduct its parts produced by other machines. The fourth principlewas devised and developed by the well-known Frederick WinslowTaylor.The Ford brochure writes about Taylor as follows: 'It wasTaylor who took on the task of, firstly, establishing the speed atwhich a worker could most effectively perform tasks, andsecondly, directing the worker's efforts in such a way that theyworked with a minimum of unnecessary movements. The goalwas, of course, time-saving, as time is the essence of profit, andevery lost moment is considered a direct financial loss... Tayloralso found that workers are less effective, and damage is done toproduction when work is excessively sped up. "The right speed,"Taylor wrote, "is the speed at which people can work hour byhour, day by day, and year by year and maintain good health."'Taylor was, of course, interested in that good health whichallows the worker to maintain the prescribed regimen. Thebrochure indicates that 'to these principles taken from the past,Henry Ford added his own practical ideas, creating a new methodof automobile production later adopted by the entire automobileindustry.' Ford himself expressed his philosophy of mass productionbluntly, very candidly, and cynically practical. He wrote: 'Thepure result of applying these principles is to reduce the need forthought by the worker and also to minimize his movements.Ideally, he should only perform one operation and only with onemovement.'As it's known, Charlie Chaplin brilliantly illustrated thisFordian ideal, creating in 'Modern Times' a tragicomic, funny, andhorrifying image of a worker on the assembly line. He did onlyone operation and only one movement, namely tightening a bolt.One bolt, another bolt, dozens, hundreds of bolts relentlesslyapproached him on the conveyor belt. The whole worldcatastrophically narrowed down to a person and a bolt, a person inthe service of the bolt, a person born only to tighten bolts.Chaplin's portrayal is extremely concise and profoundlyemotional.Ford was a businessman, not a humanist, and especially at thebeginning, he subordinated the 'human factor' to the dollar.Chaplin helped us to delve into Ford's philosophy not from thestandpoint of profit and production but from the standpoint ofhuman personality. The essence of progress Ford-style isfrightening: work created the human being, and work must turnthe human being into a machine.Ford started on June 16, 1903, 'abundantly believing but withonly $28,000 in cash,' as his biographers epically narrate. Thesewere Ford's first earnings and those of his eleven shareholdercompanions. And in 1965, the Ford Motor Company produced 4.5million cars and tractors, along with a huge amount of militaryand 'space' products. Its sales volume in 1965 was $11.5 billion(second among American corporations, after General Motors),and its assets amounted to $7.6 billion.Ford was not the first car manufacturer. Cars were made beforehim, but manually and only for racing, for the thrill—it wasfashionable then. However, Ford better understood the century'sneed for speed—not on racing tracks but on ordinary roads—andwas the first to tackle the production of cheap mass-producedcars. After a series of failures, a grand success came in 1908—thelegendary Model T. From October 1908 to the end of 1915, a million Model Ts were produced. In the following eleven years,14 million Model Ts were produced. In 1923, Ford's assemblylines produced 2 million—within one year!—Model T cars.The car indeed became mass-produced, accessible, deeplyingrained in daily life.The consequences, supported by other fronts of industrialdevelopment and mass production, were colossal. The car pulledroads after it, causing a road-building boom. The car connectedthe city to the countryside, making the countryside aspire to thecity in terms of living standards. A qualitatively new, albeitexpensive, need and the accompanying vast, renewable marketwere created.Ford's apologists also attribute to him a 'social revolution' thatwas expressed in dollars: he was the first to pay his workers $5 aday. Ford understood that the growth of people's purchasingpower and profit growth are interconnected.Ford stood at the origins of that capitalist America, whichrequired not only a man-machine on the assembly line but also aperson whose ownership of their own machine freed them fromclass consciousness. Such a person, an insatiable consumer andslave to possessions, is skillfully cultivated and perfected by largecorporations, the powerful advertising system—there's noescaping it—and the entire structure of ideology and life thatpersuades that a person's measure is the measure of the things theypossess.This is a complex and extremely important question, a questionof the interaction between the scientific-technical revolution andthe social system, a question of what—under certain socialconditions—technical progress and mass production serve: thespiritual entrapment of humans through things or their spiritualliberation, the narrowing of a person to a consumer or the creationof a fully developed, harmonious personality.Here's what the renowned American sociologist Eric Frommwrites: 'The miracle of production leads to the miracle ofconsumption. There are no longer traditional barriers preventinganyone from acquiring what they desire. They only need money.But an increasing number of people have money, maybe not forreal pearls, but for synthetics, for 'Fords' that look like 'Cadillacs,' for cheap dresses that look expensive, for cigarettes identical formillionaires and workers. Everything within reach can be bought,can be consumed... Produce, consume, enjoy together, in step withothers, without asking questions. This is the rhythm of their lives.In that case, what kind of person does our society need? What'social character' suits 20th-century capitalism? It needs a personwho smoothly cooperates in large groups, who thirsts to consumemore and more, whose standardized, easily influenced traits canbe predicted.'...The car, refrigerator, television exist not only for actual usebut also for ostentatious display. They signal the owner's status insociety. How do we use the things we acquire? Let's start withfood and drinks. We eat tasteless and nutritionally lacking breadbecause it fulfills our fantasy of wealth and fame—it's so whiteand 'fresh.' In fact, we 'eat' the fantasy and have lost theconnection with the real thing we're consuming. Our taste, ourbodies are disconnected from this act of consumption, eventhough it primarily concerns them. We drink labels. With a bottleof Coca-Cola, we drink the image of a handsome guy or a girldrinking it in the advertisement; we drink the advertising slogan'the pause that refreshes'; we drink the great American habit, leastof all feeling the taste of Coca-Cola on our palate... The act ofconsumption should be a significant, human, useful experiment.There's little left of it in our culture. Consumption largely satisfiesartificially stimulated fantasies, fulfilling a fantasy alienated fromthe genuine, real 'self.''After acknowledging that consumption has become, Frommwrites: 'The modern man, if he dared to express his concept ofparadise, envisions the world's largest department store,displaying new things and new gadgets...'All this, unfortunately, is a truthful description of thecontemporary American, a type akin to Henry Wheeler, though, ofcourse, many are cruelly left behind the doors of consumerdebauchery, and many rebel against it. Thus, Ford manufacturednot only cars and dollars. Not by chance, in the well-knownWestern satirical novel 'Brave New World' by Aldous Huxley,Ford appears as a kind of new Christ figure (the author plays withwords—Lord, i.e., master, and Ford). In Huxley's utopia, the years are counted not from Lord's birth but from Ford's birth, andpeople are mass-produced in test tubes with a predeterminedsocial 'destiny.'...In the evening, I saw the edge of such a Dearborn, which isnot covered by paid or free tours of Ford—a glimpse into theunderbelly of Ford's America.Two comrades came to my hotel. I saw them for the first time.But they are comrades—in views, in a grand idea.Communist N., working at the Ford factory—a sturdy, ironic,undaunted person. A Pole, swept up, twisted, and landed in thewhirlwind of wartime in Dearborn. What's it like for a communistin Dearborn? It's tough. Almost lonely. But N. doesn't concealeither his views or his affiliation with the party.Communist? Among other things, isn't it impractical,unreasonable—to willingly complicate life, to cut off one's path togoods. But the local union boss, a renegade, a former communist,once in a moment of honesty admitted to comrade N.: 'Youprobably consider me a traitor, don't you? But to me, you're stillcloser than those bastards.'Comrade N. is not naive; whispered apologies in the corner, inhis ear, won't seduce him. However, he knows that dollars won'treplace ideals and won't fill the void where there was somethingcalled conscience.For the workers who know N. well, he is a communist, yes, butabove all, he's their guy, someone who won't let them down, willstand up for common interests, whose advice is needed andvalued. N. believes in the union bond, that when needed, they canprotect him from the administration.Comrade K—editor of a progressive Detroit newspaper inPolish, an American of Polish descent. He was born in the USA.In N.'s car, we drive through the evening city in another part ofDearborn. Industrial outskirts. The stench of exhaust. Old factorybuildings. Old, dilapidated, dirty houses where low-paid workers,bachelors, widows, and down-and-outs live. N. wants to show thelike-minded person from Moscow, the union boss renegade, withsome secret satisfaction. But in the building of Local 600 of theautomobile builders' union, it's already empty. Today, there's onlyone event—a meeting of the local group of 'Alcoholics Anonymous.' Men and women, old and young, discuss theirproblems over a cup of coffee. It's strange, in our view, but, asthey claim, a beneficial organization. Alcoholics heal together.The fight against the 'green serpent' begins with a publicconfession: 'I am an alcoholic!'We entered a bar, grimy, stinking, smoky. A disabled personwith crutches. An old painted whore. Tense peace, apparentlyafter a fight. Before our eyes, a policeman leaves after breakingup the argument. And immediately, a new terrible drunkencommotion. One drunk grabs another by the throat. Othersdrunkenly try to separate them. Curses. Someone hides behind thebar counter. The horror of uncontrolled reactions, heavy,meaningless looks.'Like "The Lower Depths" by Gorky,' says K.We vanish through the back door, leaving behind unfinishedbeer. A gloomy, empty courtyard, a fitting scene for murders, forobscure, futile ends. We cross the road.'Faster! Faster!' suddenly N. shouts in a voice not his own,grabbing my hand. Staring into the blazing headlights, a carrushes madly toward us. Barely managing to pull each other awayfrom under the wheels, we shout back in unison:'You son of a b****!'But the b****'s son vanishes without a trace.Other working-class neighborhoods are cleaner, neat houses,lawns, garages. The minimum wage at Ford is two dollars andchange per hour, the maximum—five dollars. But here's N.'stestimony. Workers increasingly say, 'We need to slow down thepace of work.' To the visitor's eye, the pace on the assembly lineisn't that high. But everything is calculated and squeezed out byTaylor's disciples, sociologists, and psychologists. All at the limitof human capabilities. The dullness of work—eight hours, plushalf an hour for lunch and about 12 minutes for therestroom—before and after lunch. The slightest disruption on theassembly line—and panic ensues. Specially trained emergencytechnicians on bicycles and motorcycles rush to the disruptionsite:'What's the matter? Because of you, we're losing money!' After the assembly line, workers 'unwind' themselves at thebars.N. recounted an incident that happened recently. A black manworking on the assembly line made a mistake. The foremanreported it to the management. The black man was docked amonth's pay. He pleaded in vain for forgiveness. Leaving themanager's office, the black man slashed the foreman with a knife.Many blacks work at Ford, but most of them don't have highqualifications and therefore are employed on the assembly line:'just one operation and just one movement.'The conversation touched on Vietnam. According to N., youngpeople are truly afraid of the army. College graduates, evenstudents who haven't finished their courses, go to Ford's factoriesas apprentices—just to avoid being drafted. N. knows a youngbiologist who works as an apprentice. Children from affluentfamilies flee to Canada to avoid the draft—fortunately, Canada isnearby and the border is open.Workers talk about the war, but the war remains secondary todiscussions about wages, loans, installment plans, and sports.Traditionally, they turn to sports; in newspapers, they primarilyread news about baseball games and car races, only then aboutmilitary actions. But comparatively, anti-war sentiments amongworkers are growing.N. believes that the American worker differs from theEuropean, particularly in this important aspect: the Americanworker lacks traditions of prolonged political struggle for aspecific broad program, lacks traditions of rallying around anypolitical party, although during elections, unions usually supportDemocrats. The American worker knows how to stand up for theirmaterial interest and believes that a wealthy country can givethem more. Class struggle is predominantly economic in nature,its manifestations—a collective agreement of the union with theentrepreneur, strikes demanding wage increases, improvements inworking conditions, and now increasingly against the threat ofso-called technological unemployment caused by automation. Butduring national crises, the American worker actively intervenes inpolitical life, and this intervention takes turbulent forms. Whocould have thought before the crisis of 1929, in an era of prosperity, that workers would go on 'hunger marches' toWashington?Н. and K. emphasize how difficult it is to make predictionsabout the anti-war movement within the American working class.Americans react decisively to war only when it hits close to home,when the expansion of war narrows their choices: instead ofwartime prosperity, it's rifles in hand and death in the jungles.K. speaks about the 'dehumanization' of society. Violence anddeath are no more than everyday news in newspapers and on TV.People have become accustomed to them. 'Americans are beingkilled in Vietnam? Switch the channel to baseball and car races,'K. said, sharing a grim anecdote. An American family called atechnician to fix their broken TV. A four-year-old boy was givingtips to the technician. 'Maybe it's clogged at the bottom. That'swhere so many dead Indians fall...'At the age of four, the boy had already witnessed thousands oftelevised deaths. With the Indians of ArizonaNavajo is the largest Native American tribe in the USA. It counts 110,000people. The Navajo reservation is located in the northeast of the state ofArizona. Its area covers 16 million acres.From the handbookIIn the Chamber of Commerce of Flagstaff, I saw a uniqueadvertisement — a humorous sketch by Art Buchwald. A self-assuredNew Yorker had flown into this small northern Arizona town to sharethe fruits of his erudition with the provincials. He began grumbling rightat the airport: 'What kind of air do you have here? How do you evenbreathe it?' He was gaping like a fish, ruthlessly deprived of its naturalhabitat. He threatened to fly back immediately and only calmed downwhen the driver of a giant truck, taking pity, handed him five dollars tolean against the exhaust pipe, as if it were a mother's breast.So, Flagstaff is famous for having the freshest, best air in America,the purest sky, the abundance of Arizona sun, the proximity to the GrandCanyon, which they familiarly call 'the biggest hole on earth' here, andalso to the planet Pluto. This mentioned planet was discovered preciselyin Flagstaff in 1930 by a telescope from the famous Lowell Observatory.There are five observatories here, and now they're strengthening tieswith the Moon, mapping it for American astronauts. To the north ofFlagstaff lies the 'national monument' — Sunset Crater, which lasterupted nine centuries ago. Lava plowed the land and froze into porousashy slag, where even the devil might break a leg. Astronauts train here,preparing for lunar walks.Doing business in the clear sky and space, Flagstaff avoids factorypipes. It prefers observatories and Northern Arizona University. Butshowing interest in space to a Soviet correspondent in America isdangerous — they might mistake you for a spy. I kept away from theastronomical hill. I went to the Grand Canyon — a breathtakingspectacle of nature's mausoleums, and then at the university, I inquiredabout the Navajo Indians. As close as the Moon is to Flagstaff, the Navajo are even closer. Tuba City, the western border of the reservation,is only 75 miles to the north. It turned out that miles don't solveanything. Professor Justi, who was looking after me, was slightlyembarrassed when someone on the other end of the line explained to himthat these concerns were unclear and that it was absurd for a Red to meetwith Red-skinned students. My interviewees either knew little or metinquiries about Indians with mocking smiles — quite an original. Plutoand the Moon remained two confirmed attractions of Flagstaff.However, even there, you couldn't bypass the Indians. They stood atthe doors of bars on Santa Fe Avenue, in jeans, cowboy shirts, andfirmly set hats on their heads. They had broad faces, not red butyellowish-earthly. Straight, short hair, black with a bluish tint. Stockyfigures.They stood in plain sight, right on the sidewalk, while nearby, acrossthe highway, endless freight trains of the 'Santa Fe' railway tore throughthe air with a whistle and rapid, daring clatter.And no one noticed them. Like a void, they were easily pierced bythat famous look of the white man, which was described by a Black manwho titled his book 'Invisible Man'. It's the look when they look but don'tsee. They look at lackeys that way. At Blacks—until they force them tolook at themselves differently. At the sidewalk bollard—it's not seen, butmechanically avoided.On Santa Fe Avenue, the Indians were the invisible ones.They were outposts of nearby reservations, victims of assimilationand 'firewater'.They pay a particularly generous tribute to civilization on weekends.Then, they load the drunk Indians into police vans, take them to court,fine them, and escort them (briefly) to jail."Their sluggishness is habitually despised for their unskilled handlingof 'firewater'. Among all, it's the policemen who despise them the most,disdainfully rummaging through Indian wallets and pockets, transferringgreen bills into their own pockets and wallets. There was another recentscandal in the police department, but it never solved the Indian puzzle:how to prove to a white judge that not only swift bartender Joe in hisstarched apron but also the sturdy Bob, the law enforcer, cleaned youout?'Goodness, who needs Indians? Except for Professor Fox and otheroddballs who have business with everything in the world. These words were uttered with irony that veiled tenderness andadoration. Old Fox stooped under the weight of the compliment. AQuaker, a pacifist, a local Jesus Christ, and by profession, a professor ofinternational relations. When he called on students and faculty to marchin protest against the Vietnam War, he was crucified with threateningphone calls. The procession to Golgotha—from the dormitory to the postoffice—had to be postponed.Who needs Indians?...Fox's friend sagely remarked that for any endeavor to succeed inAmerica, it needs publicity, advertising, and relentless promoters.Indians lack publicity. The Animal Protection Association, caring for themiserable fate of dogs in the bustle of big cities, and defending theirright to loiter on sidewalks, has more publicity and promoters than theIndians.Thus, preparing to visit the Navajo, I felt in Flagstaff one of thefundamental problems of half a million American Indians: the cruelindifference of the 'great land' to reservation islands.Flagstaff strengthens ties with the Moon, not with Tuba City, and evenbuses don't run to the reservation. Jim, also known as Yasha, Elegant, acheerful student torn between two foreign languages—French comeseasier to him, but they pay more to Russian instructors. We sang'Moscow Nights', leaving behind the late April snow of Flagstaff, and aswe progressed northward, there were fewer cedars and pines under theArizona sky, and finally, the road merged into bare desert rocks, anancient desert where tourists even have a 'Dinosaur Trail' with three-toedclumsy imprints on rocks.Near this trail lies Tuba City—not really a town but just akilometer-long street with sidewalks under elms, school buildings, ahospital, official residences, teachers' and doctors' houses, and theheadquarters of the Tuba City agency. The reservation is territoriallydivided into five agencies, and Tuba City is the administrative center ofthe westernmost agency. It was founded in 1878 by Mormons, illegallyseizing part of the treaty Indian land. At the beginning of our century,the federal government asked them to leave, probably without regret,from this desert where life hangs by a thread of oases. It's more suitedfor the Navajo nomads than the Mormons.From the Mormons, a solid stone masonry of the 'Tuba City' motelremained, which instantly reminded me of a rest house in the town of El Obeid, buried in the sands of the far southwest of Sudan. It's not aboutthe dim windows, old furniture, or tattered sheets.Do you know the smell of colonialism? It smelled of it here.And behind the rickety door with a red arrow pointing towards thedoorbell, the motel manager emerged, also the gas station, cafe, andfactory, an extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador of some majorcorporation that doesn't disdain Indian pennies in Tuba City. 'TheAmbassador' was aging. Homey, without a tie. Accredited for seventeenyears already.He was intrigued by the first Russian in Tuba City. And immediatelybegan speaking about the need for understanding between our countries,casting an experienced look at me and jotting down the number seven onthe registration form; the lousy room didn't cost more than four. (Inadvance, let me tell you, he still charged me four.)'It's as if it's another state here. Like Mexico, not a U.S. territory,' hesaid, reinforcing my analogy with El Obeid. He simply hadn't been insouthwest Sudan.Having settled into the motel, I went for a meeting with Mr. Howell. Iarranged a small ambush, and Mr. Howell finally agreed to meet me,realizing that a strange guest, who made it to Tuba City from New YorkCity, wouldn't back down. He looked at me suspiciously, and Iimmediately understood why.'Have you noticed we have no checkpoints or fences here?' he said,peering warily across his polished desk. 'Have you noticed where thereservation territory began? You didn't notice? Well, they're free peopleand can leave the reservation and come into it at any time.'He emphasized the word 'freedom'.The miserable hogans of the Indians hid beyond the limits of TubaCity. I entered the reservation through the ceremonial entrance.Mr. Howell had the most impressive office in this part of the Indiandesert, a secretary, and the position of head of the Tuba City agency.Three-eighths of Iroquois blood flowed in his veins, and later, aftersoftening his suspicion, he sketched out his family tree on a notepad,carelessly drawing squares for ancestors.Mr. Howell is an official from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA),which serves as the supreme guardian of Native Americans and is basedin Washington. Three-eighths Iroquois himself, he harshly outlined theonly path, in his view, that the Indians should follow—a path that many have already trodden—assimilation into the American mainstream, thedeath of their own culture, traditions, and way of life.He picked up the phone.'Miss Jorgenson? Howell speaking. I have a reporter here fromRussia. Yes, yes, from Russia. Show him your school. What? Show himeverything he wants. After all, we have no secrets, do we?'It was a large boarding school for 1,100 Navajo children, with brightclassrooms and corridors, two-story rows of beds in the dormitory, and aclean mechanized cafeteria serving three meals a day. An eight-year freeeducation where all expenses—from textbooks to lamb stew—arecovered by the BIA. A thorough school that takes children fromimpoverished hogans, clay and stone huts, teaching them English andother subjects, imparting hygiene skills, making them Boy Scouts andGirl Scouts, taking them to train stations, airports, and cities, revealing aworld beyond the desert covered in sagebrush.There were no secrets, except one, but even that was not hidden fromthe candid Miss Jorgenson. It's a 'san-propusknik', a rapid assimilationpoint...Entering it, the Navajo unwittingly sign an act of renouncing theirpeople, for which many later bitterly pay. It begins with the renunciationof their language—education is only conducted in English. Out of 42teachers, only three are Navajo.The largest Native American tribe in the US lacks its own script, andno one cares to create one. There are no historians, writers, poets,nothing but oral folklore preserved by shamans.In the school, the little Indian loses their roots. Later, they willunderstand what it means.After school, they find they have no job, no place, no peace in thepoverty of the reservation, and they rush into the wider world. But there,one must fight for their place under the sun, compete with those whohave learned from generation to generation the art of survival. There,they encounter indifference, the scornful nickname 'chief', and thebewilderment instilled by television movies: an Indian, but withoutfeathers...We walked through classrooms and from one school building toanother, and Miss Jorgenson warmly greeted the caretakers in thedormitory and the cooks in the cafeteria. But they exhibited aloofness and distrust, as if the war with the 'Anglos'—as the Navajo call whiteAmericans—was still ongoing.We drove a couple of miles southwest to another outpost of the'dominant culture' on the reservation—to Kerley's trading post. Itcombines the functions of a general store, factory, and pawnshop. At theentrance to the yellow single-story house sat an ancient Indian in a blackhat, with a wrinkled old face. He glanced at the two 'Anglos' stealthily,not humiliating his dignity with curiosity. A graceful Indian womanmanaged the cashier. Several more Navajo women in gypsy-style skirtsand shawls scrutinized the colorful, flashy labels on cans and cardboardboxes, seeming from another world. Behind the back entrance, wool waspiled up, and in a two-meter sack hanging overhead, a slender Indiandanced, trimming the sheared sheep's tribute. Here, from the backentrance, Navajo deliver wool and meat.A healthy, well-groomed blue-eyed man in tight cowboy pants with awide cowboy belt and the usual 'western' hat on his handsome shavedhead ruled over everything. The owner of the trading post. Needless tosay, he was a pure-blood 'Anglo'.He led us behind a folding metal grille and steel-clad door to thepawnshop. The walls were adorned with three rows of necklaces,bracelets, beads, and precious belts. Rings and earrings lay in thecupboard. In the corner, guns and a standard factory guitar were piledup.I saw Navajo poetry for the first time, their love for modest yet truebeauty, for the noble, restrained play of stamped silver with turquoise inancient brown veins.Beauty was exchanged, like wool and meat, for bread, salt, cereal, andcanned goods.Beauty flowed in an endless stream; about 20 to 30 Navajo a day,from nearby and far-off places, or even just passersby, visited thepawnbroker.The healthy man rolled a necklace with large turquoise stones laidhorseshoe-style on silver in his palms—for luck.'And this here is an antique piece. Can fetch about five hundreddollars...'I looked at the tag attached to the necklace. It was pawned for 18dollars. The healthy man wasn't fazed.'Well, if it's not redeemed, you can sell it for five hundred.' 'Yes.'He explained that he gives his clients six months and can postponeredemption for another two to three months, if something happens—awedding, death, or birth. With the coolness of a vulture knowing whereto seize prey, he answered why they bring him all this, their familyrelics.They don't care about tomorrow. If they have a dollar today, they'llspend it, and tomorrow, they'll rely on whatever fate sends their way.I've heard these words multiple times afterward, confident andtrusting words from superhuman traders doing business based on therecklessness of the 'redskins.'"So, you've got a profitable business?""We have to work a lot. On our feet from morning till night. And youlive right here.""But is the business still profitable?""We have to work a lot..."He escorted us to the exit through the stooped line of buyers.On the way back, Miss Jorgenson spoke of him with respectfuladmiration: the wealthiest man in the county, sells unredeemed valuablesto teachers at a fair price.The school took pride in peacefully coexisting with the pawnbroker.In the evening, after dining at the café near the gas station, where thejukebox played 'Arrivederci Roma,' and three guys exchanged glanceswith three girls, I returned to my colonial motel. It was dark and quiet,with only the school inspector restlessly stirring behind the wall,promising to take me to Window Rock—the administrative center of theentire reservation—tomorrow.I leafed through seventh-grade students' essays that the history teacherhad given me. The essays were about the Soviet Union. 'Russia has a bigcountry called the Soviet Union,' wrote Kathy Spencer. 'No one knowsexactly how many people live there. Freedom in Russia is not always asfree as in the United States...' Seckly Clee picked up on this theme:'They aren't allowed to read newspapers, listen to the radio, watch TV, ordo other things that we do in the United States. In the United States, wecan study as much as we want and work in different jobs...'It was laughter through tears, but one had to hold back both not towake the school inspector behind the wall. IIIn New York, as I examined the map of Arizona, pinpointing theborders of the Navajo reservation, within which a distinct rectangle ofthe Hopi reservation was outlined, I envisioned how fascinating thisjourney from Tuba City to Window Rock, almost across the entirety ofNavajo land, could be. However, the school inspector, graciouslyoffering me a ride in his car, was in a hurry and unwilling to divulgeanything about himself or the reservation to a "non-Indian". We covered153 miles of well-paved, silent asphalt on Route 264, and at the end of itwas Window Rock, where, by the grace of the State Department, Ibecame somewhat like a tethered goat, allowed to graze on theinformation within a mere 25-mile radius.Navajo land, then Hopi, followed once more by Navajo territorystreamed past the car's window at 70 miles per hour. The famouslypainted desert blushed smokily, a lure for tourists and a subject of BarryGoldwater's photographic ambition, capturing the Arizona landscapesand the crisscrossed wrinkles on the faces of elderly Indians. Tinysettlementsflickeredby—Hotavilla,Oraibi,Pollaka,Jedidito—appearing and vanishing, teasingly elusive.A desert plateau, devoid of welcoming grandeur, seemed layered likesandstone pies. Nature's cuisine here was sparse and dry. Exposed bedsresembled the tracks of prehistoric lizards. Water was scarce, naturalreservoirs few. Artesian wells cost $10,000 each.We made only two stops. Once, heeding my persuasion, the inspectorturned off the asphalt onto the dusty gravel of the desert toward a Hopivillage—unlike the Navajo, the Hopi Indians lived a settled life. Therewere no streets in the village. Adobe houses huddled together, frozen intime, establishing their kinship through peephole windows. The villageseemed closer to the Middle East than America, with its colorfuladvertising hues. Impoverished women regarded us as occupiers. Menwere nowhere to be seen. Turning back, we left unharmed.The second stop lasted longer. In a modern building by the road,belonging to a Hopi artists' collective, the inspector ordered jewelry forhis wife. Somewhere in his bloodline, he too was Native American,though not Hopi or Navajo.Once again, I witnessed this beauty without fanfare or trend, timelessrather than a 1967 model, unfamiliar yet immediately embraced. Again, it was the dignity, the innate sense of balance and color in woven platesand baskets, in handcrafted rugs, juxtaposed with silver and turquoise.But there was no Navajo alongside Route 264, those nomadicsheepherders who fashioned temporary hogans from clay, branches, andstones, exorcising illness-inducing evil spirits in elaborate ceremoniesconducted by shamans, professing a unique philosophy of harmony withnature. They didn't even realize someone called them Navajo, as theyreferred to themselves as "Diné"—"The People". The people wereconsumed by the desert. On the road, their fellow tribesmen, now onhigh seats of Ford and Chevrolet trucks, were the only ones encountered.Towards the end of the third hour's journey, the desert sprang to lifewith sturdy, low pines and moderately abundant, albeit trivial from asheep's viewpoint, sagebrush. After passing the round Civic Center,serving as a cultural hub, and an attractive glassy-dark blue combinationof courthouse and jail, we entered the Navajo capital, Window Rock. Atits outskirts loomed a massive rock formation with a gaping hole at itssummit. Window Rock, translated from English, meant a window in therock.The inspector, braking the car at the Window Rock Lodge motel,headed to the cafe for a hamburger as if his only purpose throughout thejourney was a timely encounter with a fresh patty tucked inside a roundbun and doused in ketchup.I checked into a room at the motel, getting a bed, a table, a chair, abroken lamp, the howl of the wind, and neat dunes of cream-coloredsand under the door. 165 million years ago, in the Mesozoic era, thesewinds, sand, and water had drilled a window in the rock, unaware that inour times, it would become a symbolic window to America for theNavajo. In 1936, the Bureau of Indian Affairs established theadministrative center of the Navajo reservation here. After World War II,the tribal government was also situated in Window Rock.It was Friday, the end of the workday and the eve of the weekend.Window Rock was fading away at automobile speed. Native civilservants scattered to their homes, settling beside sandstone desks invehicles bearing signs that read "Official. Navajo Nation". At the motelcafe, a well-groomed Navajo policeman conversed with a beautifulNavajo waitress. She had a hairstyle à la Sophia Loren and a gazeborrowed from a magazine cover. Those Navajo who called themselves"Diné" were absent here too. The corridors of the main administrative building were clean andempty. The left wing belonged to the tribal government, the central partto BIA employees. In the largest office, beneath the portrait of the tribalcouncil chairman Raymond Nakai, sat an elderly, dignified man—Mr.Graham Holmes. "Anglo"."I suspect that this reservation falls under my jurisdiction," Mr.Holmes, the reservation director and Washington's main figure here,assertively and wryly defined his position.In his state, there are 4,500 people. He himself is a lawyer fromOklahoma with 18 years of service at the BIA. But Mr. Holmes' chairhas a more ancient history.In 1863, pacifying the warlike Navajo tribe, General Carlton issued anorder: kill men indiscriminately, capture women, children, sheep, horses,destroy crops (the order was expansively interpreted by traffickers).Nine companies of Colonel Kit Carson's volunteers, alongsideneighboring Ute, Zuni, and Hopi tribes, carried out the task. Then camethe merciless "Long Walk" of 300 miles to the southeast corner of NewMexico, to the "Navajo corral" — Fort Sumner. Under escort, 7,000were driven there, "losing" many along the way. Then followed threehungry years, meager rations plundered by BIA officers and officials,supplemented by rats and wild roots, cold winters without fuel orblankets, longing for their homeland. In 1868, in desperation,Washington returned the Navajo to their native land among the foursacred mountains.They returned with deep scars in their memory and a document in anunknown English language, with eighteen crosses — the marks of theirleaders. Both memory and the document still hold sway, defining themoral and legal relations between the Navajo and the "Anglos." Thepaper was a treaty establishing the reservation. Tribal communal landand the tribe itself came under Washington's guardianship.Graham Holmes — a distant successor of the fierce Colonel KitCarson. An intelligent successor. In his voice, there's not lead but abenevolent tutor's gentle indulgence. Under his leadership, it's notsoldiers but teachers: 92 percent of the BIA's expenses go towardeducation and professional training."We, of course, make mistakes," he admits and adds philosophically,"Everyone makes mistakes." Among those mistakes, he counts the absence of a written languagefor the Navajo."Indians fear assimilation. They want to preserve their identity, theirway of life," says Graham Holmes. "We also want to preserve their wayof life, but what about the economy? Their sheep won't sustain them.What do we do? We develop the seeds of urban centers so that industrygradually comes to the reservation. We leave them the choice. Want toassimilate — go to Chicago. Want to stay — it's your call... Of course,it's hard for them outside the reservation. We have many extremists.Indians face discrimination. Their fear is understandable: will the whiteman accept them into his environment? Different problems, includingthe problem of kindness. An Indian can't refuse help to a fellowtribesman, even if that help brings financial harm to him..."In life, problems are certainly harsher than in Graham Holmes' office.One of them — the "kindness problem" — was humanized by anAmerican, Nelson, manager of the Window Rock Lodge motel. Hespoke to me frankly, "like white to white.""Is there something wrong with their brains? If a Navajo gets a pickup— on credit, of course — he wakes up an hour earlier and drives five orsix miles to pick up his friends to take them to work. For free. Free,that's the thing! It's a joke. And I tell him: why not charge them? It costsyou something after all. Not a chance! He refuses. Nothing, he says,they're my friends, they don't have pickups. By God, they'll kill me.They have no concept of value..."I heard other stories about the strange, incomprehensible "Anglo"kindness of Indians. About an Indian family that bought, again on credit,a large refrigerator and supplies for two to three months, and relativesand clan members, hearing about the purchase, came to gaze, and afterfour days, there were only the enameled walls left in the refrigerator.About the Navajo who, aspiring to become a businessman, took a loanfrom the bank, leased a gas station from a corporation, and quickly wentbankrupt because he couldn't bring himself to charge his relatives andacquaintances, of which there were hundreds due to extensive tribal ties.Not only Nelson told such stories, and they all evoked a kind of chuckle.And this chuckle of Mr. Nelson's lingers in my ears.A tired face. The lacing of the "western" tie passed through an Indianbrooch — silver with turquoise. An old bachelor. He owns a restaurantin Farmington, in the north of New Mexico. He's been managing the motel in Window Rock for two years, owned by the Navajo tribe. Beforehim, six managers, all white, fled within two years. The motel isunprofitable, but Mr. Nelson receives a salary, has reduced the deficit,and keeps afloat in Window Rock. He's been dealing with Indians since1955."They hate us, whites," he confesses. "I'll tell you, they have theirreasons. They remember that 'Long Walk' to Fort Sumner, and the elderspass it on to the young: 'Remember!'"Nelson is not a villain. Hardworking. Practical. He says that if he hadwhite waiters, cooks, and cleaners instead of Navajo, he'd manage with 8to 10, not 18 workers. The loyalty of the Navajo to their own "Indianways" commands his respect.But all of it is drowned out by the chuckle of superman.A modern poet, mischievously and insightfully exclaimed: "Followyour instinct to the shore! Looking for India? You'll find America!" Iwas looking for the Navajo Indians, but in Window Rock, at this vividjunction of two ways of life, I found America in the form of the typicalMr. Nelson.Тhat America, which accumulated enough for a restaurant inFarmington and laughed at the Indian eccentric valuing companionshipover profit, was sure that all the "white people" would join in herlaughter. On one side, the Navajo communal traditions, collectivism, andmutual aid. On the other, the American way of life, accentuatingindividualism, cleanliness, and extolling the so-called competitivenessknown colloquially as the "rat race." It seems absurd to defend povertyand pastoral sheep against industry and high labor productivity. But if itwere that simple, it would be a problem, a big and painful one, but nottragic. The tragedy for the Indians lies in the fact that their tribalstructure is under the economic and psychological pressure of Americancapitalism, the most advanced and ruthless.The harder it is for Indians to fit into the "dominant culture," theeasier it is for private businesses to take advantage of them. The"American way of life" works for pikes and sharks, operating on andaround the reservation. Of the 150 shops, trading posts, gas stations, andother commercial establishments in the reservation, only 40 belong toIndians. The sale of alcohol is prohibited on the reservation—a boon forbootleggers. There are no food stores owned by the tribe—fertile groundfor white traders who charge double and triple the price. Gallup, a town of 17,000, 26 miles southeast of Window Rock, callsitself the world capital of Indians, though it is mostly populated bywhites and lies outside the reservation. Advertising ironically hails it asthe best business city between Kansas City and Los Angeles. Thoughboth claims are exaggerated, Gallup skillfully pulls in Indian dollars allyear round and during the August intertribal Indian festival. Hereflourishes everything the reservation lacks or is nearly devoid of: bars,shops, laundromats, doctors, creditors. Flagstaff to the southwest, Gallupto the southeast, Farmington to the northeast—the reservation isencircled by private business.I remember a funny and sad Saturday expedition to Gallup withCharlie Goodluck, a 68-year-old retired tribe accountant, a robust man inan old Macintosh and barefoot sandals.The first trap was two miles from Window Rock, right on thereservation boundary—a liquor store. Further down the road, where thetongue of the reservation crossed again, a trash bin stood by theroadside—where beer cans are thrown away; empty cans would serve asevidence if the police found them on reservation land.Gallup greeted us with the dead eyes of abandoned houses whereminers used to live and the commercial activity of Coal Avenue, whichreoriented itself to the Navajo and Zuni after the mines closed. As atrademark emblem of the city, shops had signs that read: "Pawn andLoans."And I saw. It was a raid of long-reconciled Navajo onto Gallup, notthose nomads— the desert still absorbed them, but railroad workers,seasonal workers, officials from Window Rock. And the raid wasaccompanied by the chinking of registers in stores and bars, wherediligent white ladies and gentlemen stood at the cash registers.And the busier Coal Avenue and the intersection near the "SchlitzBar" became, the more vigorously this carousel of Indians in hats anddamn leather pants spun, the more frequently green police cars with alertwhite law enforcement officers flashed by.The order here was to surrender dollars to Gallup merchants as quietlyas possible and avoid drunken brawls.The same thing was happening in Gallup as in Flagstaff, but on alarger scale: after all, Gallup was the universal capital of Indians. Andone episode of our expedition with Goodluck was an open conversationwith a prominent official from the Navajo tribe, whose name I won't mention because I met him later, already in his office, and he sat thereembarrassed, as if regretting that Saturday frankness. But back then, hesaid that Indian money and livestock were going to Gallup, carpets,jewelry, and that Indians were being robbed at numerous trading posts inthe city, earning no less than a hundred percent profit, and that therewasn't a single trading post owned by Navajo."Why?""The white man has money and influence. Even if I had dollars to buya license to open a trading post— which I never will— I wouldn't get itanyway. Courts and influence are with the white man."In Gallup, robbery was happening in broad daylight, under theprotection of courts and police. And somewhere nearby was Mr. GrahamHolmes—director of the reservation, the enlightening guardian of theNavajo. Whatever he was, he couldn't sidestep Gallup's Saturday—there,the system was in place. ДАВЯТ ЛИ НЕБОСКРЕБЫ?IThe Fourth Arrival in New York... The bustling summer hubbub atKennedy International Airport, the sticky humidity of the nearbyAtlantic, familiar road signs for New York, Long Island, and Brooklyn,glimpses of ultramodern terminals and airline hangars. You get caughtup, like a splinter, in the relentless stream of cars, speeding pastlow-lying Queens, the local worker's airport of LaGuardia, diving underviaducts and through various tunnels until finally emerging onto themassive, humped surface of the Triboro Bridge, revealing the New Yorksky and the skyscrapers of Manhattan, not scraping against it butpuncturing it.At the end of the toll bridge, a quarter as payment for entry intoManhattan, and with a sharp turn onto the highway along the East River.The familiar turn onto 96th Street, and there it begins—the familiar NewYork traffic light game—rush through on green past First Avenue, pastthe external stairs and stoops of Puerto Rican Harlem, people stillwaiting on those stoops. And past the elegantly subdued, withdrawnFifth Avenue, through the evening emptiness of Central Park downhill toBroadway, lit up, into the darkness of West End Avenue and thefreshness of Riverside Drive, where the Hudson reminds you of itspresence with a gust in the face. Dive into an underground garage. Thespringy lift of the trunk lid. You've arrived...Writing notes about New York is challenging due to the abundance offacts. In the streets, in homes, in the hearts and minds of its inhabitants,New York writes voluminous volumes about itself every day, but not asingle Nestor can put them on paper. But facts are facts, and I think adrop of emotion is forgivable. Psychologically, it's very hard to resistthis city. Without asking or acknowledging objections, it imposes itspace, its rhythm, its madness, and tension. Its best 'calls' are the TVgentlemen advertising pills for headaches and nervous exhaustion. The city does all the necessary work, and the savior, appearing on the screen,only stretches nerves to their limit with measured, relentless, cold words:stress... tension... stress... tension.However, there are various ways to escape the New York pace(although they are specific): from the desperate needle of a drug addictto the most common one—driving a car. The American uses one wedgeto drive out another. Get in the car when you have a free minute andpush fifty miles where the speed limit is forty, sixty where it's fifty, andseventy where it's sixty. This prescription isn't prescribed by the TV orthe police, though if caught, they'll fine you a fixed rate—a dollar foreach mile over the speed limit.But the game is worth the candle. The highways are excellent, withone-way traffic, three marked lanes in each direction. Get into thefar-left lane, be cautious passing trucks with trailers, and if there are nocursed traffic jams and no cursing is required, along with the automationof reactions, the whistle of the wind you've created, and the rustling ofneighboring cars' tires on the smooth and flowing road, the desired stateof 'relaxation,' i.e., relaxation and discharge, will come to you.Around, families, sometimes with children in the back seat, perhapseven lying down with their feet out the window; if it's a couple, they'rehuddled together. Americans relax, have fun, and love at high speeds.During summer weekends, it's like an element. Hundreds of thousandsof cars rush out of the city on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings.Police on the ground and in the air, in helicopters, orchestrate theelement, broadcasting to motorists about traffic density, dispersingtraffic jams on roads, on bridges, and in long, 2-3 kilometer tunnelsunder the East River and the Hudson.New York holds tightly onto its children. But here they break out ontothe operational expanse somewhere on the outskirts of Queens, theBronx, Brooklyn, cross over the George Washington Bridge into theneighboring state of New Jersey. And off they go—remember them byname!Movement here is everything, and the goal, if not nothing, is onlysecondary. Perhaps the goal is in the movement itself. Thus, the roadbecomes a symbol of America. Only on that symbolic road, there aremore rows, brakes aren't regulated, overtaking rules are more frequentlyviolated, and it takes a great deal of fuel to run and run throughout life,alternating between 'tension' and 'relaxation'... But let's return to New York. There's this typical tourist question: dothe skyscrapers overwhelm or not? Tourists have little time, but thispsychological puzzle seems simple, and in general, they usually leavewith their miniature yet categorical discovery of New York: it's all lies,the skyscrapers don't overwhelm, on the contrary, it's a delightfulspectacle... When you've lived in New York for about six years, both thequestion and the answer seem naive. It all depends on the time of yearand day, on location, and moodSkyscrapers weigh on me at noon in the July heat on Central Avenueor in Lower Manhattan, when you get caught in the trap of cars, buses,trucks, inhaling the gasoline fumes, envying the speed of a tortoise, andwith longing and powerlessness, you gaze at the walls of buildings risingup, once again wondering how people live here and what this devilishcity does to them. (I'll note in parentheses that just inhaling the pollutedair from household boilers, businesses, and New York's vehiclesincreases your chances of lung cancer as much as smoking two packs ofcigarettes a day. This is an official calculation of city authorities andtheir official acknowledgment of their own helplessness.)When you stand at eight in the evening on the large lawn of CentralPark around the sixtieth streets, suddenly, from the skyscrapers, there’s abreeze of poetry.The traffic noise of cars roars softly in the distance. And the skyabove the city is tranquil and vast. The day is fading away, clear, nothumid, cool. The air in the west turns greener, and in it grows a lemonyclarity, pure as strained light, which soon bursts into anxious sunsetcolors. Houses in this air become noble, sharp, distinct. And theskyscrapers to the south, beyond the park's boundaries, rise with uneventerraces, emitting a poignant beauty and romance. Some fraternal bondsunexpectedly tie them to the anxious sunset unfolding over the Hudson.Twilight thickens, lights increase, skyscrapers become moremysterious and beautiful. But now, there's a growing unease, not themelancholic unease inspired by fleeting harmony of the evening sky andbuildings. It's a different unease. The park empties quickly, lovers andthe elderly hurry to its edges, where there's less greenery and seclusionbut more safety.Central Park is a delight during the day: children in strollers, leapingsquirrels, pigeons, old folks on benches with newspapers, people playingbaseball on the lawns. But at night, it transforms into the legendary 'Big Apple' of crime. Yet, it's not the skyscrapers that oppress but the city'smanners. Only cars continue their ceaseless movement along roadscutting through the park in all directions, while police patrols quietlypace.That's the park—diverse. That's New York.New York, a city keen on doing business in every possible way,including with itself, receives an average of 16 million visitors a year.For some, it’s remembered as the largest entertainment complex—RadioCity, where they screen the latest, most luxurious, and silliest films, andbefore the show, they release identically beautiful, synchronouslytapping dancers. Others are astonished by the stores and restaurants.Some are drawn to the bubbling springs of creative thought. And othersremember the gloom of Wall Street.And for many, in the quiet of an American but less restless dream, therumbling inferno of the giant city will linger, a place that must be seen ifonly to affirm the charms of the province. This city toughens, but I'lldefend it by saying that New York can't be contained within the narrowdilemma of liking or not. Depending on what?I've been to the old and famous 'Madison Square Garden,' a hugebarn-like building, now dilapidated. Like it? Don't like it? I liked'Madison Square Garden' when 18 thousand people gathered there toprotest the American war in Vietnam. And once, 18 thousandGoldwaterites, Birchites, and semi-fascists came for an 'anti-communistrally of Greater New York.' The rally program even included a 'prayerfor the world's salvation from communism.' 18 thousand densely stood,bowing their heads, listening to anathema against communism. Mycomrade and I stayed sitting, catching bewildered, spiteful, and angryglances. That 'Madison Square Garden' didn’t sit well with me.In New York, as in America in general, there's much to learn,especially from the high standards of public service, a matter that is socrucial in our agenda. I wouldn't go far for examples, just turn the cornerto Broadway and peek into the ordinary supermarkets 'Food City' and'Fairway,' two of hundreds scattered across New York. They have onlyone floor, but they're as astonishing as skyscrapers, and, mostimportantly, they cater to a larger number of people.Supermarkets are highly organized self-service grocery stores withprices accessible to a wide audience; for gourmets and the wealthy, thereare more expensive stores. The large sales hall of the supermarket is filled with shelves and open refrigerators offering a wide selection ofmeats, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, bread, spices, beer. Except forthe fruits, everything is packaged, and each item is marked with a price.There are no salespeople in the store, only cashiers at four or five cashregisters placed near the exit. You take a metal trolley and move itthrough the aisles between the shelves, placing items inside.Then—towards the cashier. You unload what’s in the trolley onto a smallconveyor belt in front of the cashier's machine. The cashier presses abutton or pedals the machine to move the items toward them, enters theprices, and the machine automatically sums it up. The cashier packseverything into a paper bag, and with the bag in hand, the shopper headstowards the exit, where the door opens by itself—after all, nowadays it'snot difficult to 'teach' it that the customer's hands are occupied. Ahomemaker, who knows by heart where everything is, spends 15 to 20minutes for the entire operation. Millions, perhaps billions, of hourssaved in human time.Of course, the supermarket has its own socio-historical background.The American path to the supermarket was steep; it was the path ofcapitalist competition. From ruined small farms to large farms likeGarrett's with their multimillion turnovers and the ability to count everycent; from crushed small factories to giants-monopolists of the foodindustry that taught Americans to 'refuel' hygienically and tastelesslywhile controlling their own weight; from store counters with theiragonizing queues and low throughput capacity to shelves of packagedproducts where they cut costs on salespeople because labor is expensiveand reduces competitiveness. However, the shopper, moving with atrolley along the shelves, feels not the background but the ready resultthat suits them. The supermarket is convenient, saving time and nervesNew York is also under construction. Several years ago, it efficientlysnatched the world record for the longest 'suspended' bridge from SanFrancisco, American-style. You know about the famous San Francisco'Golden Gate'? Now, an arc weighing a million and a quarter tons — buthow elegant! — hangs between two support towers as tall as an 80-storybuilding between Brooklyn and Staten Island. Its length is almost oneand a half kilometers. The largest ocean vessels that Europe sends toAmerica freely pass beneath the bridge. The bridge is a beauty, but youcan't even take a proper look at it. America is so car-centric that theydidn't bother to build a pedestrian walkway on the bridge. When they complete the second level, cars will run in twelve rows. The capacity is18 million cars per year. That’s one of New York's little details for you!In a few years, two 110-story twin skyscrapers will rise in the lowerpart of Manhattan next to the Hudson. They will be part of the complexcalled the World Trade Center, an initiative of New York financiers.Sixth Avenue is intensively filled with 40 to 50-story corporate buildingsand hotels. On Third Avenue, old and quite sturdy buildings are beingdemolished, replaced by fashionable residential buildings of 25 to 35stories. Land becomes more expensive with each passing year, buildingsget taller, squeezed in close.You can see a lot from a distance, but the poet's words don't apply tothe new skyscrapers—they obstruct each other even from afar.The urban tourist who transits through New York is thrilled. Butaesthetes and many architects are horrified by the imposing butmonotonous line-up of skyscrapers. A few years ago, New Yorkarchitects protested near Pennsylvania Station, trying to save its classicalcolumns from demolition. But the columns were cut into pieces andtaken to some wasteland in New Jersey. The dollar squeezes aesthetics.Not many monuments of the not-so-ancient New York are beingdemolished despite protests, giving way to the coldly shining andprofitable clear edges of modernity.Renowned architect Wallace Harrison, who created the magnificentcomplex of the UN and the Rockefeller Center buildings, protestsagainst the towering standard monotony. Skyscrapers oppress him, eventhough he built them. Harrison sees a connection between the city'sarchitectural appearance and its social sores. 'We try to rid ourselves ofcriminals and drug addicts, but they are the results of concrete jungles,'he says. 'We constantly encroach upon our space and the view of the sky.Now in New York, you can hardly see the moon.' I’ll add: the localmoon is more accessible to thieves and policemen—those nocturnalinhabitants of Central Park.However, the ordinary resident is oppressed not by the skyscrapers orthe absence of the moon. Old buildings are demolished, butunfortunately, there are no city councils obligated to provide thoseevicted with apartments in new buildings. These apartments are good,there’s no denying it, enviable with their finishes, bathrooms, spaciouswall closets, and silent elevators. But the prices... I entered a newbuilding on Manhattan's West Side. A three-room apartment on the 20th floor with a view of water tanks on a neighboring roof costs $370, thesame apartment with a view of Central Park and probably themoon—$450. Not per year, but per month. I lived in a not new butdecent building. A three-room apartment with a view of the Hudsoninitially cost $305 per month. After three years, with a new contract withthe landlords, it was already $315. Three years later—$375.Finding an apartment is not a problem. Though, you need tworecommendations from reliable people, attesting that you have themoney. The landlords will also check your bank account to ensure themoney isn’t being transferred. Then, of course, there’s a deposit equal tothe rent for two months, which won't be returned if you move out beforethe contract ends. On the first of each month, even on a festive January1st, a neat little package slips under the door in the morning—it’s therent bill—pay in advance. Once I got delayed, didn’t pay until the10th—they sent a reminder, also in a pretty envelope.The editorial office helped me (the apartment also houses the localbureau). But they didn’t help my comrade, a correspondent for TASS.He paid $170 for a single room with a kitchen and bathroom and a viewof a dirty yard. One evening, he was almost strangled by two guys in theelevator, and on the day he moved out of the apartment, two camerasdisappeared. Perhaps the janitor benefited: he had the keys, but filing areport to the police, of course, yielded nothing—such thefts fall into thecategory of petty crimes, and in New York, hundreds of thousands ofsuch thefts occur each yearI’ll clarify that the 'average American' earns quite well, knows the insand outs of their land, pays less, and settles in better. Unfortunately, eventhis American is fleeing New York, unable to bear its atmosphere andhousing prices. And they're fleeing in droves! Since 1950, 800 thousandresidents belonging to the so-called middle class have left New York,relocating to the suburbs. In the same years, 800 thousand AfricanAmericans and Puerto Ricans moved into New York, in other words,almost exclusively the poor. Without dreams of $400 apartments, theysettle in ghettos, and under the pressure of the 'colored' masses, theinvisible but very real walls of these ghettos are crumbling, while thewhite population flees from the neighboring neighborhoods. And thelandlords-sharks partition apartments into cubicles because the 'colored'have nowhere else to go, expanding the slum areas. These sorrows don't concern the residents of the 'cooperative'buildings on Fifth Avenue. They are shielded by millions, allowing themto rent entire floors, and in terms of security — with the firm grip ofSwiss guards in tailcoats, ties, and trained biceps. But with the erasure ofthe middle class, the contrasts between wealth and poverty aresharpening. Corporate skyscrapers and expensive residential buildingsgrow, and nearby—slums, and this close tense proximity in the citysparks the flames of Harlem's rebellions.IIYou can search endlessly for different definitions of New York, butnone of them will be exhaustive. This city holds so much within it, andit's vibrant in its hundreds of dimensions. The largest city in the WesternHemisphere. The most powerful financial center in the capitalist world.The most diverse city in America: Jews, Irish, Italians, Germans,French, Poles, Japanese, Russians, Chinese, Czechs, Arabs, and othersmelted into Americans but collectively speaking, as reference booksclaim, speaking in 7 languages. The most important maritime and airgates of America. The world's largest center for bus lines. The first cityin the world in terms of mail volume. And so on. They say that NewYork is not America. This is true because New York is unique, whileAmerica is predominantly a single-story country, and two-thirds ofAmericans live in their own homes. But still, New York is the mostconcentrated America with its great achievements and agonizingantagonisms of its civilization.Here, there are more millionaires and paupers than in any other city inthe USA, more shareholders, and more drug addicts. The 'Empire StateBuilding' has 102 floors, but how many metaphorical floors in theunderground of New York's criminal world? Even the FBI agents can'tcount them. Here is the capital of the giant criminal syndicate 'CosaNostra'. In New York unfolded Vito Genovese, the 'boss of bosses' ofthis syndicate, who is now in prison, and in New York, two modernAmerican heroes and martyrs grew up—Michael Schwerner andAndrew Goodman, two white boys who were killed by Mississippiracists because they defended the rights of African Americans. Duringthe 1964 election campaign, Goldwater knew he was doomed to defeat in New York, and now you can't find a city in America where oppositionto the Vietnam War is as active and strong.Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans are fleeing to New York,exchanging one poverty for another—poor homeland for the so-calledSpanish Harlem in Manhattan. And here, escaping memories or politicalwreckage, millionaires are also fleeing. Richard Nixon, former vicepresident and former unsuccessful presidential candidate, fled to NewYork from California. Here, this senior partner of a law firm againbecame the leading Republican candidate for the 1968 presidentialelection. The first congratulations on being elected President of theUnited States Nixon received at the famous New York hotel'Waldorf-Astoria', although it must be said that the majority of NewYork voters cast their votes for Democrat Humphrey. After the tragicdeath of his brother, Bostonian Robert Kennedy was elected to the U.S.Senate from the state of New York and made New York a springboardfor a new family push for the White House, which was cut short bybullets in Los Angeles. Billionaire Nelson Rockefeller lives in aluxurious cooperative building on Fifth Avenue, and writer JohnSteinbeck lived in a rich cooperative building on Third Avenue. InGreenwich Village, where the bohemia of the whole America resides,popular anti-war singers gather in one cafe, while in another,homosexuals gather.New York endures and grinds much through its dollar-drivenmechanisms. In the polished, mirror-like body of a Rolls-Roycebelonging to a billionaire, one might catch a glimpse of an unshaven,inflamed, decaying face of a drunkard beggar from Bowery. Such feral,crushed semi-humans, half-beasts tamed by New York, cannot be found,perhaps, in any other city in the world.New York can be called a city catering to all tastes. There's a sayingthat tastes differ.To New York, this truth seems incomplete. It complements it in itsown way: tastes may differ, but money is made on tastes.Eight million of its intricately mixed yet retaining some national andracial characteristics of its inhabitants, different habits and traditions,varying income ceilings, feelings, and thoughts—all of this provides anextraordinary scope for the ingenuity and imagination of the hustlers. Acharacter from Chekhov claimed that everything exists in Greece. He must have had modest demands and certainly hadn't seen New York,therefore didn't fathom how deeply mistaken he was.Among the standard, typically mundane American cities, New Yorkstands as a unique creation, one where history, nature, and societyworked intentionally. While history can't be reversed, nature favoredNew York, placing it on rivers and convenient ocean bays, and then,constricted by those same rivers and bays in terms of territorial growth,forced it to stretch upward with skyscrapers. It is to society that NewYork presents its judgment. But about the judgment later, first about thecity that caters to all tastes.Tastes make money, and the country is so developed economicallythat it can satisfy any material need and whim of a person who hasdollars - from fishing hooks to a car, his own yacht or aircraft. If therewere money, quality and choice would not be the issue. The range isgreat - from a piece of meat moistened for "freshness" with a colouredliquid to French bread "delivered daily by jet planes from Paris" (such adelicacy is advertised by the food shop Zabara). From expensive fashionfads to mass-produced consumer goods at a wide range of prices.Tastes make money, and spiritual demand is also satisfied accordingto this principle. You want Homer, Tolstoy, Hemingway? They're inevery major bookstore. You want a series of pornographic novels fromTravelling Companion? They're there too, but in a more prominentposition. Demand for pornography is higher, though not as durable.You want Shakespeare's sonnets? You're welcome. You want specialpoems for water-closet reading? There are some with a chain so you canhang them on a nail above the toilet.Cheap sadistic detective stories are sold in any pharmacy, and manypeople need them as much as they need pills for insomnia and nervoustension. There are cinemas that show world classics, such as ourmasterpieces - "Battleship Potemkin" and "Chapaev". There are cinemaswhere only sex films are playing all day and all year round. In onemuseum, a car flattened under a press acts as a masterpiece of abstractsculpture; in another there is an exhibition of Rodin's works.The business of tastes is revealed by comparing New Yorknewspapers. "The New York Times is a bourgeois newspaper with ahuge amount of information, carefully read by politicians, businessmen,intellectuals of both conservative and liberal, even progressivepersuasion. "Daily News" is a tabloid with horrors, murders, results of races at the racetrack, with screaming anti-Sovietism, speaking insemi-blatan jargon. The New York Times has a circulation of 800,000,the Daily News over 2 million. In the morning, in crowded undergroundcars, the Daily News is in my eyes. What's the point? The point is thattastes 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 theAmerican world. Maybe it was reading the Daily News and drugstorebooks that student Alfred Gonzak committed thirty rapes in a year and ahalf. And maybe it was not without the influence of the Daily News andits many sisters in cities and towns across America that many Americanssupported the escalation in Vietnam, even as opposition and anxietyabout the future grew.There is no arguing about tastes - tastes make money. It turns out thatit is possible to make more money on Travel Companion products thanon Leo Tolstoy, more money on the anti-Soviet action film "From Russiawith Love" than on the excellent, truly artistic anti-racist film "Only aMan", 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. Thebeauties advertising Clairol shampoo comb their hair so lustfully andshyly on TV that doubts evaporate: no man can resist Clairol. The TVadverts reinforce the element of an ingratiating sexuality.And in Harlem bars, they sell young black women the old-fashionedway. Although prostitution is officially banned, Jimmy the bartender isunfazed: "We're not afraid of a police raid. Our best customers are cops,white cops."At the fashionable Arthur's Dance Club, Mrs Sybil Barton was at onetime successfully peddling biography. She was the wife of the famousEnglish actor Richard Burton, but he, having left poor Sybil, married thefilm star Elizabeth Taylor. The straw widow was not long offended. Thescandalous divorce advert was a good chance to make some money. Butwhere? In New York, of course, the city for all tastes. Having travelledacross the ocean, Sybil Barton opened the Arthur Club, knowing that thesensationalist cream of society would flock to her. And the cream didflow. City politicians are as nimble as eels, especially during elections whenthey have to maneuver between Scylla and Charybdis, different groupsof voters. Today, the mayoral candidate meets with the city's businesselite, seeking funds for their campaign, and tomorrow, with a radiantsmile, appears among thousands of bathers at Rockaway Beach, notaverse to simple pleasures. Today, at a meeting of New York Zionists, hepromises to further sharpen Washington's anti-Arab policy, andtomorrow, he shakes hands with Black people on Harlem streets andbroadcasts his plan to eliminate the ghetto over the radio.At times, the mayor of New York faces greater challenges than thePresident of the United States or the governor of any state. 'The mayorcomes into direct contact with a large number of people who disagreewith each other on a very wide range of issues and agree only on a verynarrow one,' sympathizes 'The New York Times' with the mayor.These puzzles faced by the mayor only reflect the extremely complexsituation in the city, where there is a constant war of all against all. Thecity simultaneously develops in two opposite directions, which are wellillustrated by two favorite phrases of New York citizens.'Not your business' — that's the legal document of the established,elevated to the absolute owner, and he promptly presents it whensomeone encroaches on his interests.'Who cares?' — he declares when the matter concerns the interests ofthe city itself.Cultivating, on the one hand, selfishness, the pursuit of the dollarregardless of the cost to others, and on the other hand, public apathy andindifference, New York is suffocating itself, generating problems that arebecoming increasingly difficult to handle. Several years ago, thenewspaper 'New York Herald Tribune' took up the task of exposing vicesby publishing a series of articles titled 'New York in Crisis.' This was notwithout selfishness: the newspaper was in dire straits and wanted toregain lost reader interest. For five months, the situation in New Yorkwas thoroughly investigated under a very alarming headline: 'TheGreatest City in the World... and Everything in It Is Going Wrong.' Thiscrusade not only failed to help New York but also affected 'New YorkHerald Tribune' as it fell victim to the competitive struggle.Nevertheless, the material collected by the newspaper is intriguing.Here are some of the figures and facts reported by the newspaper tohighlight what's not right in this city: Almost one-fifth of the population lives in conditions of poverty, "incramped, poorly heated, unsanitary apartments teeming with rats."Half a million people rely on city subsidies. Without this aid, howeverminimal, they simply cannot survive. For every person who gets back ontheir feet and is removed from the subsidy list, three or four newindividuals in need emerge.70,000 young people, neither in school nor employed, loiter on thestreets, forming a reserve army for the criminal world.Public schools, catering to a million children, are "overcrowded, withteaching below the accepted standard, especially in slum areas." Oneteacher remarked about schools in Manhattan and the Bronx, where 65percent of the children come from African American and Puerto Ricanimpoverished families: "You no longer think about educating thesechildren. You just keep them from killing each other and from killingyou."125,000 civil lawsuits await resolution in courts, with many notscheduled for hearing until five years later. The relentless increase incrime is one of the city's most acute problems. In 1967, serious crimessurged nearly a quarter compared to 1966—by 22.7 percent. There were745 murders (an average of 2 per day), 1,905 rapes (approximately 6 perday), 36,000 robberies, 150,000 burglaries (a burglary every 3.5minutes), 124,000 thefts over $50 (one every 4 minutes), and 58,000cases of car theft.Automobile traffic, with 1.5 million registered vehicles in the city andan additional 600,000 entering daily, has become a monstrous problem.A radical solution proposed for the traffic jams: everyone gets out oftheir cars, which are then filled with cement. This jest isn't without apoint—as during peak hours, a pedestrian easily outpaces cars. Thenetwork of suburban trains, ferrying 200,000 people into New Yorkdaily, is on the brink of financial collapse.Many small and large business owners flee New York, finding itunprofitable, while workers are thrown onto the streets: over five years,employment in New York industry has reduced by 80,000 people.This is an accusation—highly incomplete. What are the responses?The newspaper provided an outlet, and it was inundated with an endlesslist of woes, grievances, and thousands of letters and phone calls.Reading these responses, one wonders—does New York have anypatriots left? Of course, patriots are not extinct, but the responses mostly confess todislike and even disgust toward their city, its authorities, along with afeeling of helplessness and disbelief in the future."It's true that everything is going wrong in our city," agrees RuthDanmore. "I no longer dare to go out alone in the evening... Thesubway? I'm afraid to travel on it... In other words, in the evenings, I'mpractically a prisoner in my own apartment."Some seek simple solutions."Double the police force. Install elevator attendants in everymulti-story building," demands a certain Ruben Fried.Others have completely despaired."New York is the most corrupt city in the world, and no one evertakes action after various investigations, including you," wrote Mr. ElBarry to the newspaper.If we return in this sense to the question of whether skyscrapers pressdown or not, considering who sits in them, the answer will be quitedefinite: they do press, and significantly so! Shirpotreb of BroadwayThere are at least two Broadways. The ordinary Broadway starts itswinding path at the southern tip of Manhattan Island, next to Wall Street,and stretches for tens of kilometers, fading somewhere into obscurity onthe northern outskirts of New York. It's the longest street in New YorkCity. And there's the short Broadway, a part of the ordinary Broadway.That's "the" Broadway - a synonym, a symbol. The evening Broadway.A dozen blocks in the center of Manhattan, between the glitteringskyscrapers of Sixth Avenue and the shabby depths of Eighth, Ninth, andTenth. It's bordered to the north by the evening emptiness of CentralPark. And to the south, it too ends in emptiness. Bursting with thebrilliance of 42nd Street, "the" Broadway meets a desolate darkness oftrading blocks around the thirtieth streets, where during the day cars andpeople swarm, but at night only locked iron grates on doors and shopwindows, silent mannequins, invisible yet watchful guards, unseen butguaranteed alarm systems.This Broadway is famous for the neon dance of its advertisements. It'san ironic dance, this advertising. Broadway winks with millions of itslight bulbs and tubes: what could be simpler, I'm all visible, all outside.Electric seconds, minutes, and hours are marked by the advertisementsof the "Accutron" watch company. The "Bond" company informs theignorant with grand shining letters that nobody in the world producesmore ready-made men's suits than them. "Life" magazine wraps thetriangular tower of the "Alloy Chemical" building with running latestnews. The lights of Broadway and Seventh Avenue crash against thistower like breakwaters. Marquees of theaters and cinemas twinkle. Immaculately washed andsplendidly illuminated windows of cafes, diners, and shops shine.Behind these windows, people silently talk and laugh, open their mouthsover glasses and plates. All in sight, all in place. Only that tirelesselectric smoker of Camel cigarettes, who blew smoke rings for thirtyyears, has disappeared.The evening Broadway has extravagantly displayed the tail of itsadvertising. And what besides the tail does this bird have? Advertising isjust an introduction to Broadway. What do the Accutron clocks have todo with it? And the suits of that, uh, "Bond" company? Even thatbeloved smoker, now retired? They are all beggars, taking handoutsfrom Broadway, willing to pay dearly for the right to add yet anotherfeather to the peacock's tail. The old man has a heavy, responsible duty.In the sophisticated 20th century, Broadway fulfills the second part ofan ancient but enduring and significant formula: "Bread and Circuses!"Circuses! The human river flows in fiery shores. Sailors in whitebell-bottoms and uniforms sway after the ocean and acquaintances - tofraternize - with Broadway bars. Neat American business travelerswander around: where and how to shake things up? Travel-worn,hundreds of paths converging in New York. Wide-eyed Americanprovinces are curious about how modern Babylon lives and entertainsitself. Young couples innocently dive into the Broadway stream. And theregulars swim so deep and so long that only the lack of oxygen makesthem dizzy. Here's a regular, an outpost of the dark deep Broadway,emerging for his business, lurking on the sidewalk. Looking around,mutters to passersby, "Want a girl?Here are the Broadway and 42nd Street intersection, the "Crossroadsof the World," as Americans arbitrarily christened it without anyinternational jury.Here is an ocean of lights, a tense, fully heated cosmos of lights.Here you think, what exactly did Prometheus strive for, and followinghim, Edison, stealing fire from Mother Nature?Was it for these, decorated with divisions of electric light bulbs,movie theater marquees? There, on the screens, is the most vulgar ofentertainment. Or for these dazzling stalls? Shelves laden with hundredsof tattered photo magazines displaying the most explicit naked girls andboys, textbooks on lesbian love and guidance on homosexuality. Or forthese, already in reality, mercilessly illuminated homeless faces, on which life has imprinted the seal of scoundrels? A clear imprint,unmistakable. Just walking down 42nd Street, between Broadway andEighth Avenue, under the blinding marquee lights of movie theaters,past pornographic shops, under the scrutiny of these faces, just walking that's already a test of endurance, of disgust. Glances probe the stranger isn't he one of us?"The Crossroads of the World" holds records for the density ofelectric light and human darkness per square foot. It is known to be themost brightly illuminated sewer in the world.But what about the Broadway academics with their nightsticks? Thereare many of them here, but on Broadway, they play by their own rules...The crowd is the ruler of Broadway. Disappear, and its lights will goout. But the crowd doesn't vanish because it is Broadway's slave.It rules over it, sharing its spectacles.It captivates it in parts, inviting the abundance and poverty of theAmerican bourgeois century as allies. The signs of the Broadwaycentury are stuffed from top to bottom, from advertising necklaces to thebottoms of its storefronts. The planet is narrowed and compressed bycommerce, the planet keen on the dollar: ebony gods from Kenya, Aztecmasks, Japanese woven goods, Hong Kong crockery, Polynesian, Italian,French restaurants. Cameras and camcorders, tape recorders andtransistors, vinyl records and portable televisions - amazing wonders oftechnology. Alas, how deceptive is their healing power. Broadwayknows how to turn them into talismans around a savage's neck: dispelthe evil power of boredom, emptiness, and the meaninglessness ofexistence, dispel it with a twist of a transistor dial.Technically, the century is abundant, but spiritually, man is poor that's Broadway's working wage.Everything passes, and everything remains - that's its cardinal hope.The Broadway concept of entertainment and spectacle is as old as theworld - ancient Roman, ancient Egyptian rubbish of cruelty and women.It's a pity that gladiators can't be tortured alive in arenas. But they dragthem out for the amusement of millions in Hollywood super-actionfilms. The fires of the Inquisition, alas, cannot be lit. But one can stillprofit from something here. Let's leave the stuffy sidewalk and take alook at the so-called "Paris Wax Museum" right here on Broadway.Here is coolness provided by "air conditioning" devices. Cleanlinessbrought by vacuum cleaners. Carpets. Wax figures in glass compartments. And behind other glasses, slightly touched by the patinaof noble rust, carefully preserved, natural, terrifying Inquisitorial iron.Yes, they knew how to torture. "Heretic collar" with inward iron spikes:"Used for victims who refused to go to the chamber." Similar to amedical "duck," but iron: "Device for pouring boiling oil into thevictim's mouth." Special knives for cutting off fingers..."Flaying tool"... "Spine breaker"... Iron for "crushing" wrists... Againfor the flesh. For gouging out eyes... For branding...And here's the culmination of it all. The "Iron Maiden" graciouslyopened its interior, adorned with a universal set of penetrating spikes.The heretic was inserted inside, with a great effort, the halves of the"Iron Maiden" were clapped shut. The sight of a mutilated corpse wasunbearable even for medieval executioners. "The most famous tortureand death instrument in the world.This is Broadway's joke.The instruments of torture are exhibited not for a history lesson but asa spectacular bric-a-brac. From all the material history of the world,Broadway has selected the tools of the inquisition.And women? As many as you want. Movie stars are turned intomodern courtesans, sex idols, sex bombs. That's the fortunate fate ofmajor movie corporations. But there are poorer, smaller companies withlower-quality goods, but more pornography. Here's the "unsurpassed,bold, penetrating" film "Girls for Rent" — 45 minutes of pure sadism,one minute of it — a moralizing "happy end."Perhaps there's something material not on screen? Broadway hasthought of everything. Dark sculptures prop up Broadway's walls,African American women, pushed here by the dense sea of Harlempoverty and despair.And if dance hall bric-a-brac is to your taste? Their crevices also feedfrom the Broadway river. Toss a coin, pick a paid partner - there will beno refusal. Dance. And toss the coin again. For every dance. The dancehall is old-fashioned. It rejects the modern "monkey" dance, wheredancers imitate each other from a distance. The dance hall is for theintimate closeness of tango.Broadway is vast like an epic, like an element. Its amplitude spansfrom prostitutes to preachers and war opponents.An old lady with strong teeth and a shy smile prattles about"salvation" on the corner of 45th Street. The old lady ardently defends Jesus Christ, whom they crucify on Broadway screens again and again,knowingly making money on biblical plots. In her hands are someridiculous tapestries: Satan in tights, as if a girl from a bar, childishlymade Adam and Eve, an angel with heavy wings. Like the dance hall,the old lady is against modernity, modern skyscrapers, modern bishops.She's for the Apostle Peter: "You were not redeemed with perishablethings like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from yourforefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished andspotless, the blood of Christ." People listen to the old lady. Do they hearher? Her friend hands out religious leaflets to passersby. People shyaway from the leaflets.Freedom reigns on Broadway. You can be anyone within the confinesof Broadway.Three homosexual guys walk along the sidewalk, swaying their hips.The guys are curled and made up, their lips painted and eyes lined. Theireyes look provocatively. They chose the freedom to change their genderand make their bread on Broadway.Broadway freedom is about turning oneself inside out and proudlydisplaying one's own guts to the public. It's the conscious merchant needto gut a person if they succumb. And they do succumb when theirworldview is reduced to spectacles.Everyone easily and freely associates those who have a dollar as theirlockpick to the world and life. Once I stopped at a small record storewith two storefronts. One window was monopolistically dedicated tophotos of an old man in a purple robe with a piggy monk's face. Thiswas the owners' homage to the late Cardinal Spellman on the occasionof his 50th anniversary of service to Catholic Jesus Christ. From theother window, a naked, juicy beauty provocatively looked at the cardinalfrom the album cover. The girl sings songs under the general name "HotPepper." Due to the age and status of the New York cardinal, of course,he wasn't into "Hot Pepper," but the merchants adapted him, associatinghim with the girl and the songs. On the occasion of the cardinal's jubilee,"Hot Pepper" was discounted, there was a sale...And a motley human river flows down Broadway, sweaty and hot.Houses warmed up by the day give their heat to the evening street. It'sthe perfect time to down a bottle of cold beer. There are many bars.They're on streets that lead onto Broadway. Just bars — that's a bottle ofbeer for 50 cents. Bars with girls at the counter — that's beer for 75 cents. Bars with girls at the counter and dancing girls — that's beer for adollar and a half. There are onlookers by the bar on 49th Street, by theaquarium glass that offers a view from the street of two girls and thebartender. You see the stage only when you're already in the bar, cuttingoff your retreat. The sharp-eyed bartender entices with a glance:anything you want? Opens a bottle, places a glass.It's crowded behind the counter, everyone stands sideways, all eyes onthe low stage. A girl in white boots seems to be polishing the floor,twisting her legs and hips to the deafening music. Hell, this is actually awhole show. On the stage, there are four jazz musicians and three girlswith tambourines. But who's that strange drummer? Oh, that's amechanical mannequin moving. Quite skillfully done. Not only does hemove his arms, but he also sways his torso, even opens his mouth inmechanical ecstasy.Clever? Not really. Perhaps cleverly done are the three saxophonists.It's only later you realize that the three are also robots. All the noise, itturns out, comes from a large box under the piano. The live sounds arejust lazy drums in the hands of the girls.Well, what about the girls? They're genuinely alive, right? Hair... eyesblinking. But the girl silently polishes the floor, grabs invisible rungs ofa rope ladder with her hands. Damn, she's making the same movements.But then she leaves, she leaves on her own. Still, she's alive... She'sreplaced by another, then a third, finally, the fourth — the longest-leggedone. She's in heels, not boots — that's the difference for length. Eachdances for seven minutes without a break. Everything is mechanical, alldeliberately mechanical, the more mechanical, the more chic.The girls are lucky. They would have been replaced by machines too,but there aren't yet machines that emit the magnetic pull of a femalebody. They'll invent them — the girls will reckon. Machines are cheaper.I look at the men at the counter. All their attention is on the stage.Neatly trimmed napes. Fresh shirts. Pressed suits. Ties.I turned away for a minute, didn't immediately realize that thetrimmed nape in front of me had changed.The young bartender, a healthy guy with a hawkish nose, rolls a pink,already chewed gum in his mouth, lazily, training his jaws. Spit it out,maybe? Replace it with another? And the broad guy in the corner, by the aquarium glass, alone,obliviously scuffs his feet to the din. A strange guy, not like the others.In a cowboy hat. Drunk.And another person in the corner. Also strange. Not looking at thegirls. Head heavily leans over the counter. Prods the ashtray with thecigarette butt in time with the music. Finger taps the side of the glass. Intime with the music. Lost in thought...And suddenly, one of the trimmed heads has a wise look, weariness,anticipation.It's time! Enough of Broadway's bric-a-brac for today.Downstairs, in the subway, a melancholic policeman adjusts his wide,thick belt. The jolting of the train. The racket of the cars. Human silence. IN THE DEPTHS OF LOS ANGELESIEven after New York, Los Angeles strikes with its pace. Whentrying to sum up the impressions of this city, they all—Los Angeles'appearance, encounters, conversations, and even statistics taken fromreference books—merge only in a complex, nervous, inspiring, andfrightening pace. This pace cannot be captured by a mathematicalformula, although in Los Angeles, perhaps more than anywhere else inAmerica, there are people eager to plot such a curve that would placethe present in its place and allow a glimpse into the future. It's a paceof an element awakened by man and ridden by him.The city owes its name to the Franciscan monk, Father Crespi. Hearrived in these once quiet places two centuries ago as part of thePortola expedition and on August 2, 1769, noticing the river flowingnear their camp, christened it long and grandly: Rio de Nuestra Señorala Reina de Los Angeles (River of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels).If the long-haired Father Crespi were summoned from the heavens anddropped into the current madness of Los Angeles, firstly, he wouldhardly find his beloved river among the cluster of houses, cars, andhighways, and secondly, he would likely renounce his godson as ifhaunted by the devil.The pace of Los Angeles physically manifests itself in the speeds ofpowerful cars liberated from traffic lights. And people have mergedwith the cars. People, like new, extraordinary centaurs. And thiscomparison came to my mind not after reading John Updike's novelbut on the Los Angeles freeways. There they speed past behind, infront, and on either side of you, bent over their car's mane, leaningover the steering wheel, merging with the body of the car, shieldingthemselves with the windscreen. But if the mythical centaur was onthe verge between animal and human, seemingly evolving into a human, separating from the animal, then the Los Angeles centaur isalready "evolving" beyond the human, projecting into the car.The more difficult it is to rationally summarize Los Angeles, themore you treasure simple yet strong sensations, and most importantly,the persistent feeling of speed. As if you—beyond your will—weremicroscopically inserted into an immeasurable, elemental,mechanically swift movement of millions like you."At three in the morning, the roads here are as busy as at three in theafternoon," my Los Angeles acquaintances repeated, and theintonation revealed their anxious pride in being part of a special,ever-awake tribe of humanity.Yes, indeed, the city is all about speeds. And these are the speeds ofpeople who can't help but hurry, if only because there are 200horsepower under the car's hood, and the road smoothly spreads underthe wheels. And within a day or two, the sense of permanent speed sopermeates you that it seems you wouldn't be surprised to see, after thenext smooth curve, a fantastic spaceport with a rocket aimed at thezenith—and you're fully prepared for this wonder, you will fly into thespace ship without slowing down, and everything else will be just adetail, not a new quality, just a quantitative increase to the secondcosmic speed. And you dissolve into the universe. Disperse. Atomize...Father Crespi's sky, hanging over the unknown river near the Indianwigwams, was low, motionless blue vault. And his moderncompatriots, scattered by the giant accelerator of Los Angeles, seem tobe already trained for cosmic heights and distances. But I did not findthe spaceport. The spaceport, as is well known, is in Florida. I stayedin Los Angeles for four days in May 1968. And on one beautifulmorning, as a final farewell, they whirled us on his freeways, deliveredto us the bitter-refreshing iodine scent of the Pacific wave, and cast usinto the valleys and mountains of Southern California, to theredwoods, to the soft, powder-like beaches of charming little Carmel,to the famous hills of San Francisco, this more refined but lessmuscular rival of Los Angeles on the West Coast of the USA. Andthere, in San Francisco, at midnight on June 4th, amidst thenot-so-deafening, brightly illuminated by television cameras, midnightof the primary California elections, the unfathomable pace of LosAngeles reached me again. Four quiet, hurried—pop-pop-pop—shots struck Robert Kennedy.Boston's darling, a senator from New York, flew to California to stakehis claim for the White House in the primary elections, among fivemillion Californian Democrats. In that midnight at the Grand Ballroomof the Ambassador Hotel, he tasted the sweetness of preliminaryvictory only to plunge into oblivion right there, in the chaos of panicand women's screams in the kitchen amidst cabinets and metallicplates, exclaiming, 'It can't be! Unbelievable!'. Behind that'unbelievable' was a desire to distance oneself from the sudden,terrifying grin of reality. Like a distant backdrop that unexpectedlyloomed closer, it was November 22, 1963, a hot Texas midday inDallas, an open presidential 'Lincoln' on the highway near a six-storywarehouse of school textbooks, John Kennedy seated at the backwaving in welcome, Jacqueline smiling in her pink suit, the crowd'scheers—and the sounds, initially innocent to ears tuned for a carnivaltune, sounds like exploding fireworks… Dallas, then Memphis inTennessee, where a racist's bullet struck Martin Luther King, placedLos Angeles only third in the lengthening list from which no Americancity can guarantee its exclusion. As these lines are written, the trial ofSirhan Sirhan is continually delayed, and the motives and hiddencircumstances of the crime are not entirely clear yet. But I speak of apersonal feeling. Sensing the microclimate of Los Angeles, I wasn'tsurprised that Robert Kennedy was taken out specifically there. TheNew York senator aggressively imposed himself as a presidentialcandidate, stirring up polarizing currents of sympathy and antipathy.He was killed by a Palestinian Arab. An Americanized Arab, becausehe spent eleven of his formative twenty-four years in Los Angeles.Are there still eccentrics who believe that Los Angeles is merely ageographic appendage to Hollywood? Something provincially dimlylit, illuminated only by the reflection of movie stars? Angelinos knowhow strong the inertia of past perceptions is, and they expect theunchanged question about Hollywood from their guests, ready toanswer it with an unchanged smirk. Hollywood has had its golden age,while Los Angeles, the fastest-growing among major American cities,considers itself on a first-name basis with the future. By population (3million), Los Angeles stands third after New York and Chicago. In 1964, in terms of industrial production volume, Los Angelessurpassed Chicago. Only New York remains ahead, and the capital ofSouthern California is already pressing on the heels of the "imperial"city. Against this backdrop, the once-popular signs of Hollywoodmemorabilia completely fade into the background—such as thepreserved concrete imprints of movie stars' bare feet on the forecourtof the Chinese Theater and the names of the greats on the plaques ofHollywood Boulevard. Physically, Hollywood is as inconspicuous asthe river that gave Los Angeles its name. Economically, it has survivedonly by adapting to its fiercest enemy—television, establishing theproduction of TV shows.During its heyday, a major film company claimed a large piece ofland for its studios—Twentieth Century Fox, that's the name of thiscompany. Thirty years ago, it believed that the 20th century belongedto them. They lacked both intelligence and cunning. Timeunexpectedly races forward. The company, suffering from TVcompetition and superhero movie flops, had to trade not only in filmsbut also its land.The aluminum giant, "ALCOA," bought 260 acres of its land and,glorifying its product, erected an architectural complex called"Century City" on it—28 administrative and 22 residential buildings,an 800-room hotel, and a massive shopping center. This micro-city,worth half a billion dollars, is primarily constructed—an elegantrealization of the prototype of future cities that usually only entice inblueprints. The penciled silhouettes of people have come alive there,wandering among shops on the elegant inner square adorned withfountains and abstract sculptures.But even this complex is just a fleeting stroke viewed from a carwindow in Los Angeles. Just like the Wilshire Boulevard center. Likethe new "Music Center." Like other architectural complexes growingin this strange city. Because the main image of Los Angeles is itsfreeways, and it's time to delve into them in more detail.But what are freeways? Translated, they are "free ways." From aconstruction standpoint, they are wide, concrete highways averaging$3 million per mile. But that barely scratches the surface. Freeways arerealism on the edge of fantasy. To visualize them, Hollywood mighthelp with its panoramic films, even those shot from helicopters thatpatrol Los Angeles's freeways. Take, for instance, our Garden Ring. Straighten it out. Lengthen itfirst to 800 kilometers (and by 1980, to two and a half thousandkilometers). Divide it into unequal segments and, linking them withpowerful soaring upward or diving underground links and junctions,release them in all four directions. Remove the traffic lights from thisunrecognizable Garden Ring, so they don't hinder cars speeding at120–130 kilometers per hour. Remove anything obstructing their swiftmovement into space—anything at all—and create a wide buffer zonealong the shoulders. In the center, instead of a reserve zone, placemetal barrier links, and on the sides—similar links and metal mesh,preventing any living beings not on wheels from crossing—freewaysare absolutely free from all living things not on wheels. Spread out allthis concrete might into eight lanes, four in one direction and four inthe other.And finally, overlay this intricate network of arteries onto a part ofSouthern California, over 10,000 kilometers of Los Angeles County,this chaotic conglomerate of cities, towns, and hamlets where LosAngeles proper reigns over a hundred younger satellite siblings.Where one city ends and another begins, even longtime residentscan't discern. Everything is interwoven and torn apart by freeways.And together, it forms Greater Los Angeles—7 million inhabitants and4 million automobiles.Imagine these blood vessels on the arteries of freeways, and you'llgrasp the constant threat of congestion, the constant need to expand,lengthen, and control the highways because, until now, the number ofcars has at least doubled every ten years. Of every four workingpeople, three commute in their own cars. Only the main freewayintersections let through over 300,000 vehicles per day. And in total,on the freeways of Los Angeles County and neighboring Ventura andOrange counties, cars cover 43 million kilometers a day, equal to fiftyround trips to the Moon and back. And besides the freeways, there arethousands of miles of regular boulevards and streets with traffic lights,adding to the cosmic figures of Los Angeles's motorization.Freeways sing an anthem to Los Angeles as the super-Americancity. Finally, America, the land of roads, cars, and cities, has found itsextreme, almost absolute embodiment in this vast urban synthesis, tornby high speeds, in this unprecedented city by the road. Los Angeles isjokingly called Roadsville—Road City. But this joke is bitter, and in the anthem of the roaring freeways, there's an underlying worry: howto live in a city by the road? Where will this overflowing tide of themechanical progress element take us?Two victims are evident—the clean air and efficient urbantransportation. They were killed by the element of freeways and cars,favoring the individual and ignoring the collective. Carless residents ofthe Watts ghetto in Los Angeles are doomed to unemployment notonly due to the cursed circle of poverty and ignorance but also due tothe absence of urban transport that would provide them with mobilityfor job searches.Los Angeles, no less famous than London, has been marred bypoisonous white emissions primarily generated by exhaust fumes,erasing the traditional Californian blessing—the subtropical sun. RayBradbury, a Californian writer and futurist, mourns: "Seventeen yearsago, there were few cars, no smog, the subway worked, publictransportation was alive, and the skies were clear, blue, irresistible. Ittruly was a promised land. Now, clear skies are so rare that when yousee them after rain, the heart aches from memories of long-gone days."Is the car a good or an evil?Certainly a blessing, but strangely, the answer to this question ismore categorical in a country where mass automobile usage is not yetprevalent. The cohabitation of a person with a mass automobile sets inmotion a dialectic where a blessing can transform into evil. Considerthe purely American sorrow of architect and urban planner VictorGruen. It's the sorrow of a man stifled by his own creation—theautomobile. "Los Angeles is essentially devoted to the car," saysVictor Gruen. "The mix of roads and freeways and what's attached tothem—garages, parking lots, gas stations, repair shops, land occupiedby offered cars for sale, and so on." Charles Weltner, a congressmanfrom Georgia, sarcastically denies Los Angeles the right to be called acity, seeing in it only a "roadside parking lot bordered by a fewbuildings." According to the renowned English economist BarbaraWard, large cities like Los Angeles are as deadly as a nuclear bomb,with the only difference being that they kill people more slowly."People come to California from all over the US, leaving their lovedones somewhere else and entering a new strange environment," writesa local woman concerned about the high divorce rate in the city in theLos Angeles Times. "The husband usually adjusts quite well because he has a job where he commutes and makes friends. The wife has itworse. She finds, especially if she came from another big city on theEast Coast or the Midwest, that Los Angeles isn't built for people butjust for cars..."Americans are said to be married to their cars. For a Los Angeleno,it's a Catholic marriage, without the right to divorce, for life. Butjoking aside, the value of the quoted letter in the newspaper is so highbecause it comes from a housewife, not a philosopher or a sociologist.It means even at her level, she sees how the feverish whirlwind of thesuper-American city intrudes upon the psychology of its inhabitants.The increased "car-ization" of life tangibly tears the fabric oftraditional relationships....Once, after another meeting, we were speeding along the SanDiego freeway towards the city center, to our Los Angeles guardian'soffice. It was six in the evening, the end of the workday, and thefreeways were bursting with traffic. Our guardian exited the freewayand, slowing down, stopped at the intersection in front of the red light.On the intersecting street, we saw the fresh wreckage of acar—shattered windshield fragments powdered the pavement, thehood crumpled and flattened, the radiator crushed, the engine internalsexposed. A police car stood on the side, and behind it was another,also damaged.Thank God there were no casualties," said my colleague. The stop atthe red light felt like a minute of mourning silence. The light turnedgreen, we moved forward, and I glanced fleetingly at the scene thatunfolded. There was a victim. Behind the last car on the sidewalk lay aperson, neatly, submissively. There was a victim, yet the cars on theintersecting street didn't hesitate, passing through without stoppingwhen they had the green light.Was he injured or killed? He received no more attention and mentalenergy than a person killed "on-screen" on television. But could it beany different? In a huge city, car-related deaths are not uncommon. Apassing glance, and then the eyes are back on the road. You forgetwhat you've seen. Your ears tuned into the radio. By the time you gethome, that body on the sidewalk has already vanished from your mind.You won't bring it up in conversation with your wife at the dinnertable. The pace of Los Angeles... IILos Angeles is criticized as much as San Francisco is praised. Itsprawls chaotically and vigorously, akin to dough handled carelesslyby a negligent housewife. They say one of its many detractors found aroad sign indicating "Los Angeles City Limits" near Butte, Montana,beyond the Rocky Mountains, two thousand kilometers away fromSouthern California.The city's defenders are in silent defense. Yet they exist, and doesn'tthe fact of Los Angeles' unprecedented growth prove that theirnumbers are increasing? At times, they switch to the offensive. DonMacmor is a prominent Angeleno, a vice president of a major creditcorporation, and also California's George Gallup, who, with a staff of250 interviewers, is ready for confidential assignments andcorresponding remuneration to accurately gauge the popularity andodds of victory for various political figures. He keeps his finger on thepulse of Los Angeles. He's convinced that California is experiencingthe "winds of the future." "What's happening today in California," hetold us, "will happen tomorrow all over the world or, modestlyspeaking, at least in the U.S." And in California, naturally, what'shappening is what's happening in Los Angeles. Parenthetically, Mr.Macmor, ten days before the primary elections in California, promisedRobert Kennedy's victory over Eugene McCarthy, although - but howcan we blame him for that? - he didn't predict what would happen inthe kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. The winds of thefuture... Your impulses are unfathomable even for professionalpredictors.Here's another defender of Los Angeles - Professor WilliamWhitten. We met him in San Francisco, where he heads a renownedschool of urban planning and design at the University of Berkeley.Intelligent, ironic, knowledgeable. He's interested in economic results,not the criticism of humanists and the emotions of Los Angeleshousewives. "Planners consider American cities chaotic anddispersed," he says. "Architects find them ugly from an aesthetic pointof view. But insightful economists see that they're highly productive,and Los Angeles is the most efficient of them all."According to him, what makes Los Angeles efficient? The city'seconomic base comprises factories producing airplanes and "space products," as well as electronics and scientific research linked to theneeds of the military-industrial complex. This business fluctuates,pulsates, and the city, along with it, is in a state of "rocking balance."Its skilled workforce has stable employment, even though the placeand even the type of work may change. But people don't need tochange their homes, as their work, however distant it might be, isconnected through the renowned freeway network.Professor Whitten's explanation is incomplete and undisputed, buthis words about the "rocking balance" relying on the military industryare very precise. They encapsulate the essence of Los Angeles andSouthern Californian prosperity.But first, a small digression. We lived in the "Annie" motel, modestbut prominently located - next to the town of Beverly Hills, wheremovie stars, media personalities, and millionaires of a different profilelive in quiet, elegant mansions on hilly streets and alleys. It's an oasisfor 35,000 residents, surrounded by the noisy urban giant of LosAngeles.My colleague chose the "Annie" motel not for its distinguishedneighbors or for "top comfort at moderate prices." The StateDepartment, regulating our movements in America, kindly opened upLos Angeles for us, but it's a cunning kindness. There are plenty ofareas in the city and county closed to Soviet citizens, so we had tomove cautiously with a map, and the freeways weren't free paths forus. Beverly Hills is good because it's entirely open. Its residents havetheir secrets, of course. Lovely hills are unusually populated bypsychiatrists (one per 166 residents) and lawyers (one per every 37residents). This statistic proves the good earnings of lawyers andpsychiatrists and the fact that the fortunate ones in Beverly Hillsapparently need their services more than the elusive averageAmerican. But still, the secrets of movie stars differ from those inaviation plants and missile bases, which are so abundant in the countyof Los Angeles and Southern California. And on the open roads,seeing factories and plants flickering on the sides, you experience acomplex feeling of confinement and worry - weapons are forged here.Against your country.In the reference almanac "California," concise information isprovided about the cities in Los Angeles County. The list isimpressively straightforward. Burbank—center of the aviation industry. Culver City—aviation factories of Hughes Corporation.Gardena—electronics and aircraft parts interspersed with casinos.Inglewood—a series of aviation factories and the Los AngelesInternational Airport, through which 15 million passengers passannually. Long Beach (the second-most populous city in thecounty)—a naval base, shipyards, and an annual international beautycontest.Lynwood—electronicsandaircraftparts.Monrovia—electronics and food processing plants. Palmdale—a majorEdwards Air Force Base. Pasadena—renowned Jet PropulsionLaboratory preparing moon flights, electronics, precisionmanufacturing. Pomona—rockets and aircraft parts. SanGabriel—electronics, aviation production. Santa Monica—RANDCorporation, a scientific branch of the US Air Force, aviationfactories, electronic laboratories, and annual ceremonies awardingOscars to the best films, directors, and actors.To the south lies San Diego County, saturated with military basesand factories, perhaps denser than its northern neighbor. And don't letthe innocent word "electronics" confuse you—official data states thatthis industrial sector is "defense-oriented" to no less than four-fifths.In the economic development history of Los Angeles, severalmagical words emerged. Railroads... Then oil, discovered in the 1890s,transforming this region from agrarian to industrial. Ancient butoperational oil "pump-jacks" can still be seen on the streets, alongsiderestaurants, neighboring the mansions of movie stars. But the localindustry no longer relies solely on oil. In the 1920s, the word"airplane" was more romantic than magical. Aircraft factories began tobe built in California because the warm climate allowed forconstruction savings, and the ever-clear sky facilitated product testing.Aircraft gained a magical significance during and especially afterWorld War II. By the late '50s, rockets and electronics were added.The English language, fond of brevity, acquired the term "aerospace,"obscure in a literal translation—"air—space." In the specific context ofLos Angeles, it signifies the modern defense industry, tightlyintertwined with aircraft manufacturing, rocket production, and thecreation of advanced electronic systems. Los Angeles eagerly took onthe burden of the arms race, a sweet burden that only strengthened itsshoulders. It's spoken of willingly, openly, and enthusiastically. No onekeeps the magic of aerospace a secret. There's no need to introduce Bank of America. It's the foremostbank in California, the US, and the entire capitalist world by capital.Its headquarters traditionally reside in San Francisco, but in LosAngeles, it's the operational center constructing a 50-story skyscraperand 270 branches (across the entire county). Who else has moreauthority and capabilities to monitor the economic health of LosAngeles County? A special, semi-confidential report on this topicprepared by bank experts and kindly shared with us is of interest. Inthe US, population growth and employment rates are crucial indicatorsof economic conditions. In the post-war years, the county's populationgrew twice as fast as the national average. From 1950 to 1965, itincreased by 2.7 million people. Sixty percent of this growth camefrom migration to this area from other parts of the US. Like fish seekdepth, people seek better conditions. Why do dynamic Americanscontinue to flock to Los Angeles, despite the Wild West being longtamed? For work, for income."The most crucial lure attracting new people to the Los Angelesarea—Long Beach—was employment," reports a documentresembling a confession of a sinner, admiring and unrepentant. "Withthe growth of defense-oriented industry in this region, Los Angelesgained a reputation as a place where well-paying jobs were available.Out of the total workforce growth in California from 1950 to 1965, 44percent falls on this county."The economic miracle of Los Angeles is detailed in stages."The fastest employment growth"—1951-1953, during the KoreanWar period."Another period of rapid growth"—mid-1950s, as "rocket andelectronic industries took the lead."Slowing employment growth—after 1957, when "job numbers inthe aviation industry started declining."Further slowdown—in 1962-1964, "primarily due to job losses indefense-related industries following the completion or termination ofmajor missile programs.""The peak employment level"—in 1965, when "civil aircraftproduction increased, along with the number of government contractsfor defense and space-related products."The latest data in the report is up to mid-1965. The air war againstNorth Vietnam had just begun, and there were not half a million but only 50,000 American soldiers in South Vietnam. A new gold minewas opening, but its depth had not yet been measured.Such are the pivotal fluctuations of Los Angeles. In the dynamismof its freeways, the dynamism of the main military forge of a hugeimperial power is only externally reflected. It has adeptly adapted andsecured itself from various angles. Along its assembly lines, it runs notonly the "Cold War" but also "small wars," calculations for nuclearwar, and even the space era linked to "defense." Poor pockets ofdepression in the coal regions of Appalachia, your trouble is that youonly experienced boom periods during the years of two world wars!Taxpayer money funding the arms race is collected nationwide butdisproportionately pumped into California. In the "Golden State,"where one-tenth of the US population resides, its corporations receiveover 20 percent of "primary" Pentagon military contracts and over halfof all space-related contracts. In 1964, California's military industryemployed three times more people (547,000) than the state of NewYork. In 1965, California received over a third of the entire federalallocationforscientific—mostlymilitary—research($4billion)—three times more than the next state, New York. It's nowonder that four years ago, California crossed its historical milestone,surpassing New York in population and becoming the first among allfifty US states. Regarding Southern California with its center in LosAngeles, according to specialists' calculations, 60 percent of thoseemployed in the manufacturing industry in this region work in"defense."Los Angeles prompts contemplation of the complex metamorphosesof our century. The ancient image of death—a bony old woman with ascythe—somehow doesn't match the sharp edges of the modern era. Ofcourse, American wealth doesn't solely come from the arms race, butthe primary, undisputed impetus behind the post-war economic miracleof Los Angeles is the business of war, work for the old lady—death.$3530 average annual income per person—how much of that comesfrom death? 100,000 domestic swimming pools, 125,000 privateyachts—how many were built from the yields of death on the hills ofKorea, in the jungles of Vietnam?Mary McCarthy, a renowned writer and an even more famousliterary critic, in her book of essays on Vietnam, recounts aninteresting episode. "When I was flying to Hue on a big C-130 plane," writes Mary McCarthy, "I overheard the pilot and co-pilot discussingtheir personal goals in this war, and they aimed to do real estatebusiness in Vietnam once the war ended. From the air, observing theVietcong, they assessed different options and concluded that NhaTrang—'Beautiful sandy beaches'—suited them better than Cam RanhBay—'Desert.' They disagreed on what could make more money: thepilot wanted to build a first-class hotel and villas, while the co-pilotbelieved the future lay in inexpensive housing. This conversationseemed like a hallucination to me, but the next day in Hue, I met aMarine colonel who had recently retired. He fought the Japanese andthen made money on land projects in Okinawa, investing profits inimporting frozen shrimp from Japan, supplying restaurants in SanDiego. War, this cheap form of mass tourism, opens up businessopportunities to them."Indeed, it seems like hallucinations, but as Mary McCarthy rightlynotes, the source lies in the obsession with "private initiative," in thepsychology of owners, which they don't abandon even when wearingmilitary uniforms. By coincidence—though not entirely random—allthese interlocutors of the writer turned out to be dynamic Californians.The scientist and writer Ralph Lapp titled his latest book"Civilization of Arms." This is the American civilization, industrious,accustomed to and sustained by the permanent crutches of the armsrace. This civilization includes the director of the largest aviationcorporation, "North American Aviation," a professor-anthropologistfrom the "RAND Corporation," providing scientific recommendationsfor "counterinsurgency warfare" based on the study of humanspecimens in Southeast Asia, a worker at a factory producing "Titan"or "Polaris" missiles, a Los Angeles merchant of women'sready-to-wear dresses (and Los Angeles is renowned for its femalefashion), entirely uninterested in where the dollars come from for hischarming clientele, as long as these dollars exist.Michael T. enchanted us with hospitality, serious kind eyes, gentlemanners, and intelligent conversation. He has a cozy home in BeverlyHills ($125,000) with a view of green mountains, over which theCalifornian sun wearily set at that evening hour, a Cadillac with atelephone through which he even speaks to Australia, a lovely family,"very substantial incomes," and a set of views of a New York liberalwho left the East Coast because it's easier to make money in the West. He is ashamed of the Vietnam War and the plight of mining families inAppalachia. In 1960, when the Democratic presidential candidacy wascontested by John Kennedy and Adlai Stevenson, he favoredStevenson, the darling of many liberals, seeing Kennedy as an upstartand opportunist. In 1968, he supported Senator Eugene McCarthy,considered to some extent the spiritual successor of Stevenson.But Stevenson, as the American ambassador to the UN, defendedthe Vietnamese venture, albeit reluctantly—shortly before his suddendeath on a London street, he complained to a journalist friend that theforced defense of dirty deeds cost him several years of his life. AndMichael? A vice president of a large construction corporation, he isengaged in the peaceful business of selling 3,000 residential homes ayear. Houses are sold on credit, and before closing a deal, they conductinspections: what are the buyer's earnings—how stable are they? I'msure his company appreciates clients from defense plants. The stabilityof their earnings is confirmed by a twenty-year history of the armsrace, almost guaranteed by government policy.This is a small example of the "civilization of arms." The blamecannot be equated; the fault lies with the ruling class, imperialisticpolicies, the system. But this civilization lures with temptations,entices. It takes on responsibility, issuing indulgences to millions, andit's each individual's personal matter—whether to refuse them or not.IIII'm still not sure if Watts, the extensive African American district ofLos Angeles where the memorable uprising erupted in August 1965,seen almost as a disturbing omen preceding subsequent dramaticexplosions of anger and despair among the underprivileged in Newark,Detroit, Washington, Chicago, and other cities, was open to Sovietcorrespondents. But I remember how once, with our active guide froma highly influential business weekly, we were returning to the "Anne"motel, concluding our day of meetings. He intriguingly said, 'Want meto show you Watts?' My colleague and I remained intriguingly silent:perhaps he had aired this idea with the right people, and after all, whatmilitary secrets would there be in Watts?We exited the freeway and, like urbanites in woodland paths,wandered uncertainly for a long time along some byways and accessroads until we found ourselves in the subdued realm of neglected streets with one-story houses, with black matrons so dissimilar fromsunburned white compatriots, black impulsive, rhythmic children, andblack weary men. We didn't stop or get out of the car. It was likereconnaissance in foreign territory, although a native Angeleno guidedus, and, in fact, these were his compatriots.The difference lay precisely in these being black compatriots.Our guide sought traces of the fires of three years prior, the placeswhere the editorial board had urged him to shake off his journalisticrust, but he hadn't been here for three years, and the fire traces hadmeanwhile disappeared, transformed into vacant lots and new gasstations. And we, subdued, drove through Watts, where—for mile aftermile—not a single white face was seen. Our guide quietly, tenselyjoked, 'The natives are behaving themselves now.'The intonation carried the confiding tone of a white person speakingto whites, and in the word 'natives,' there was not only ironic but also aserious implication—he perceived blacks as carriers of another,primitive, and potentially hostile civilization, not yet matured into thedominant civilization, not fitting into it and therefore causing a fairamount of trouble. Our prompt, familiar, unspared-of-time guide was apragmatic American with moderately conservative philosophies.Traveling with him for several days, I had become accustomed to hiscomplaints. He disliked the fact that in the vast Los Angeles county, alayer of blacks and Mexicans, poor, uneducated, flounderinghelplessly in the tough industrial society, was growing, needingvarious forms of social support and being looked upon as dependents.Even these meager provisions were entirely unacceptable to manyAmericans, and their views, although incomplete, were succinctlysummed up by an imposing roadside banner we once noticed depictingUncle Sam with a beard in a star-spangled cylinder, reading: 'This isyour uncle, not your father.'In Los Angeles, there are over 400,000 African Americans andaround half a million Americans of Mexican descent. Yet, one can livethere for not just four days but four months and four years and,circling the freeways, never set foot in Watts. Poverty in America,according to the strange but accurate definition of the well-knownsociologist Michael Harrington, is 'invisible.' Invisible because it's offthe main roads. Invisible and inaudible—until the 'natives' behavequietly. Then suddenly, it turns out it's as invisible as an intercontinental missile hidden in impenetrable underground bunkers.There's an explosion, as in 1965 in Watts—34 dead, hundredswounded, 4,000 arrested, $35 million in damages. Another unexpectedpulsation of Los Angeles, exposing hidden patterns and the dark,subterranean currents of its life…Our visit to Watts was brief and episodic. We mainly met withbusinessmen and professors, particularly those professors whose closerelationship with business fits the formula: money - ideas - money.Without repeating myself, I'll say that the image of a fat tycoon in afrock coat, striped trousers, and a bag of gold is hopelessly outdated.Perhaps, it's still needed by caricaturists, but it's deceptive as it shiftsthe focus. Businessmen are not necessarily athletic, and they managewithout gold or even cash; they present credit cards sealed in plasticfor all occasions.In Los Angeles, we met one such semi-deity of business. Slow butfirm power flowed from his gray eyes. He maintains his tall, slenderfigure. He knows he's a wonder. He behaves accordingly, allowingeveryone to admire themselves, concealed envy, curiosity, at the veryleast. Seven years ago, he, an experienced electronics engineer, had$300,000, and it was now or never! He founded an electroniccorporation on that. Connections helped, especially in the Pentagon,staffing, market knowledge, product quality. There were difficulties,although now he narrates epically about his competitors: yes, theycame to my customers. They said - don't buy from this guy; he'll cheatyou. Nonsense of that kind. Business as usual...Currently, as it's whispered (and it's unethical to ask directly aboutsuch things), he has a personal capital of around thirty million, and thecorporation - try to buy it! - is worth one and a half billion. It's apublicly traded company registered on the New York Stock Exchange,one of the largest in its field. Mr. S. has 3 percent of the shares, but hemanages it, holding the position of president and possessing theauthority of an informed person and pioneer. 25 thousand workers intwo dozen factories. A thousand engineers. Young talents areconstantly sought nationwide, organizing expeditions to universities.Without an influx of fresh blood, you'll disappear. The factories aredeliberately scattered and fragmented: to prevent workers fromunionizing. But in general, Mr. S. doesn't skimp, paying well for everyfour shares bought by his employees, adding a fifth for free, and offering other enticing financial lures for the top hundred in thecorporation. His calculation is not the calculation of an old miser. He'sa dealer of the new formation, valuing science, conducting business ona large scale, understanding that meager wages won't attract competentworkers and will result in low profits.He has a major business with the Pentagon."We're not dealing with routine here. Bombs, planes - that's not ourthing," he says, waving his hand dismissively at the "routine work."For his part - cutting-edge electronic devices, a refined product. Forthe same military aircraft. What else? Who knows. Secrets of LosAngeles all around."Mr. S., I recently read in the Wall Street Journal that corporationsare having difficulty recruiting graduate students for work. Thatstudents don't want to serve in the military business. Is that true?""No, it's incorrect. You can't trust what's written in newspapers."We had lunch together and, leaving the cool, dimly lit restaurant ofthe "Century City" hotel, we head to Mr. S.'s office. The enclosedinternal space of the micro-city absorbed the warm May sun.Well-dressed, clean people. The millionaire strides leisurely next to us,having performed yet another ritual act of communication with thepress, albeit this time, with the "red" press. He answered all ourquestions. He was moderately candid, moderately secretive. We didn'tabuse our right to ask. But now he's slightly irritated. In the lastquestion, he feels a catch. He took us for businessmen, but thisquestion smells of inappropriate politics and propaganda. As ifsomeone accuses him of something."And what about 'Dow Chemical'?" I ask, not falling behind."Do you mean that noise about napalm?" he turns to me, tilting hishead. I confirm that yes, I mean "that noise," those protests inuniversities against the corporation "Dow Chemical" supplyingnapalm to the US Air Force in Vietnam.And not to me but more toward the side, he tosses a short, resentful,and sharp retort: "Bunch of educators!"And those words lay like a boundary between us. We're close, butwe're in different worlds. How to translate "bunch of educators"?Often, literal translation doesn't convey the essence. Literally - ahandful of educators, a bunch of professors. But in the angry, hostile intonation of a restrained man, it sounded like - a gang ofmoralists-humanitarians."Bunch of educators..." It was like a lash, like a nervous snap at thedying but still noisy and annoying autumn fly. Like another pulsationof Los Angeles. Hatred flared like lightning from a businessmantoward intellectuals-humanitarians, toward all these opponents of theVietnam War who scream about conscience, besiege recruiters from thecorporation "Dow Chemical" in university buildings, disturb youngsouls, and interfere with the smooth operation of the machinery, theproduction process of the "civilization of weapons.I remembered the instructions given to Dow Chemical recruiters.Every time someone bothers them with the word "napalm," they'resupposed to shout back: "Sara rep! Napalm! Sara rep! Napalm! Sararep!" Sara rep is a novelty of the corporation, a pleasant surprise forAmerican kitchens. It's a miraculous fireproof plastic paper with whichyou can wrap a chicken, toss it in the oven, and roast it in its ownjuices. A distant person across the Pacific, convulsing, strips off theburning non-adhesive napalm gel along with his skin. Meanwhile, thechicken is appetizingly languishing in an American housewife's oven.Any product is legitimate as long as it's purchased, and Sara rep inDow Chemical's commercial turnover takes up more space thannapalm. Napalm! Sara rep!The manufacturer is separated from the product, the killer from thevictim, not only by distance but also by intermediate steps, thefragmentation of labor. It's easier to ask individual Shylocks. But whenShylock becomes collective, an empire, a system — who to ask then?When they suck the blood of an entire nation and devastate an entirecountry? Everyone can shield themselves with a stereotypical response:I'm just doing my job. And only the restless bunch of educatorsmuddies the waters, claiming that it's not work but robbery.Products can be ideas, classified scientific reports, no less deadlythan rockets and napalm. They are produced, for example, a half-hour'sdrive from downtown Los Angeles. Address: 1700 Main Street, SantaMonica, California. There, in a quarter near the Pacific Ocean, twolarge modern buildings are occupied by the famous "RANDCorporation." Palm trees brush the car park. Gloomy corridors,modestly furnished offices, long tables, and coffee urns in theconference rooms."Here's the milk. Do you want sugar?" The inhabitants wear loosely tied ties, the foreheads and gazes ofintellectuals, pipes instead of cigarettes, and other academicimpressions. The conversation is peppered with scientific-technicaljargon, academically calm and judicious. The tone is even, passionsbanished, emotions archived - they're not objective. Here, facts arevalued, cold logic, and the unrestrained play of the mind untouched bymorality. We've been there. Nothing extraordinary. However, at theentrance, guests are greeted, checked against a list, given a special passto wear on the jacket pocket, and then escorted through corridors,offices, and even, pardon me, to the restroom. In the modest offices,there are many classified papers, but they can be left on the tables.They prefer an atmosphere of academic freedom. Yet, they keenlywatch over the guests.In these two ordinary buildings (by the way, a large electroniccomputing center is located in the basement with direct "outlets" toclients), 1140 people work. Among them are 524 "professionals," 145engineers, 82 economists, 75 mathematicians, 60 physicists, 51programmers, 32 specialists in political science, 57 experts inmeteorology, history, psychology, linguistics, physical chemistry,sociology, and so on. Their knowledge and talents are arranged onindustry shelves, yet they're interconnected and mixed, and "RAND"itself is called a "thinking reservoir." At the intersection of specialties,through the free play of the mind, bold ideas can be born. That's themethod of "RAND.Who draws from the reservoir? This wasn't a secret even 22 yearsago. In 1946, the perceptive Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force,General Arnold, understood that in the post-war world, his country andits air force would have to play a significant game. The complexities ofthe nuclear era were beginning, and to navigate them, strategicbombers needed the assistance of scientists. Aviation magnate DonaldDouglas allocated the first $10 million to acquire scientific brains forthe Air Force. This gave rise to the "Research and Development"project — the "RAND" project, which until 1948 was a directsubsidiary of the "Douglas Aircraft Company." The first report toemerge from RAND was titled: "Preliminary Design of anExperimental Spacecraft Orbiting Earth." RAND members take pridethat this report came out 10 years before the first satellite.Unfortunately, they were a bit late with the actual "experimentalspacecraft. Since then, a lot has changed. The idea of professors servinggenerals turned out to be infectious. Today, there are dozens of"thinking reservoirs" in the USA. RAND became an "independentnonprofit corporation" and outlived the Douglas Aircraft Company. Itproduced a constellation of so-called "strategic thinkers" like HermanKahn, its most celebrated protege. Embracing RAND's principle of"thinking about the unthinkable," Kahn coldly developed a scale fornuclear war casualties and scenarios for escalations. Yet, RANDCorporation remains loyal to aviation generals. "As before, the AirForce remains our principal client, accounting for nearly 70 percent ofthe corporation's research efforts," reads the official 1966 RANDreport. It also mentioned a new five-year contract with the Air Forceworth $75 million. Twenty-three percent of their efforts wereallocated to the Pentagon and the government's space agency. Clientsprovide tasks and money for their execution. In 1966, RANDprepared 335 memoranda and 8 reports on strategic (nuclear weapons,missiles, nuclear war), tactical, "counterinsurgency" (mainlyVietnam), political (from the "cultural revolution" in China to agrariandevelopment in Peru), scientific-technological issues (including thequestion of ocean waves caused by near-surface or underwater nuclearexplosions), communication systems, and so on.Operations of guerrillas on a village scale, the impact of NorthVietnam bombings on the morale of the population and the army,refugee sentiments, results of operations to destroy crops and forests,the structure and actions of the NLF organization in the provinces ofDinh Tuong and Khuang Ngai—all these are scrutinized by RANDemployees from 9 to 5, then they drive home, to their wives and kids,to the blue reflection of their home pool, or to catch a rolling oceanwave before evening cocktails with colleagues."Another whiskey? Ice to add? Thank you, doc..."How many people were killed based on their paidrecommendations? Who knows? In the scientific-technological era,the killer is separated from the victim.Herman Kahn parted ways with RAND and created his corporationof a similar nature—the Hudson Institute near New York. Once, wemet him. A very fat and lively man nicknamed Buddha. A brilliantcold mind. It's easy for him because nothing is sacred. He recountedan episode from his last trip to Vietnam. He was invited to witness American planes dropping napalm canisters on live targets. He sat ona hill, like in a theater box. "It was horrible to see those burninghuman torches, though I'm racist in the sense that it's better for mewhen it's not Americans burning but others," was his comment. And asatisfied chuckle, hands trembling on his bulging belly. If you want totalk to a RAND Corporation member, forget aboutmorality—otherwise, the conversation won't happen.Science provides means of destruction and is tied to war. This truthdoesn't go away in our time. RAND is linked to an unjust war. Doesscience remain science if it serves an adventure, if it attempts tosmooth over the atavism of imperialistic policies? RAND memberscast spells not over flasks but over the fate of a whole nation, devisingthe most efficient and cost-effective means of its destruction.Americans are waging a war "by science" for the first time, andRAND is just a spoke in the wheel. McNamara, McGeorge Bundy,Walt Rostow, and others—they're all science-like. Their defeats provethat science falters. However, this doesn't erase the stain of disgracefrom its priests.But let's return to our subject. RAND was not coincidentally bornin the Los Angeles County, near the main US military forge. In LosAngeles County, 70,000 scientific workers are classified as "servingbusiness." These people serve the business of war and, as noted in theBank of America report, are "associated with the production ofrockets, airplanes, and electronic equipment." A very impressiveconcentration of scientific-technological thought.For comparison, in the movie industry, in the famous Hollywood, atotal of 32,000 people are employed....We eventually visited the Twentieth Century-Fox film company,despite the ridicule from our Los Angeles business acquaintances. Thepress agent, Mr. Campbell, seemed flustered, as if expecting new,already familiar attacks on Hollywood. The company grounds weredeserted, reminiscent of long-extinct ghost towns once founded andabandoned by gold prospectors. The walls, decorated in a style of abygone era, deepened the impression. But in the largest soundstage,life bustled as the famous musical comedy "Hello, Dolly!" was beingfilmed. Old, painted actresses sat in chairs by the entrance. And on theset, director Gene Kelly repeatedly rehearsed the ballroom scene. Itwas an antique ball with vintage dances and attire, and among the actors, a tall, dark-haired beauty, pulsating with excitement, glidedlike a graceful swan.The girl with the swan-like neck was called Marian MacAndrew. Apersonification of grace, she vibrantly moved under the strict gaze ofthe film cameras, radiating youth, beauty, and charm. The veteransscrutinized her, testing whether she was truly made of "star" material.She was a promising commodity, and Mr. Campbell mentioned thatMarian was currently being paid $750 a week, but they hoped to makemillions from her. There was a tired hopefulness in his voice. Iunderstood him. Yes, the neckline is stunning, but youth is fleeting,and in a city that bets on rocket bodies, airplane wings, and the mindsof scientists, the business of beauty seems frivolous. Hippie SmileWhen we arrived, on Saint Mark's Street between Second and ThirdAvenues, there were already around three thousand boys and girlsgathered. Jeans. Young mustaches and beards. Boys withshoulder-length hair. The evening darkness muted the stage, but it wasvisible that it was two-tiered. On the first tier by the microphonesstood boys with electric guitars, and on the second, narrow and shakyone, there were girls ready to transmit the "vibration" to the crowd.On the roof of a low building nearby, where the stage was set up, twofaces glowed in the darkness. Police caps were recognizable abovethose faces. New York "cops" also had their own amusements, buthere was duty, responsibility.A frail-looking Jim Forett appeared in front of the microphone - ateenager with a weak chin, a halo of unkempt hair, and a blue sweater.He called for the crowd to make way. Then guitars struck sharply, andelectronic resonating sounds of rock 'n' roll swept through the narrowcorridor of the street under the perpetually starless New York sky. Thecrowd "vibrated."And the girl in front of us, "vibrating," took a handful of cherriesfrom her bag and handed them out to those nearby. We also got oneeach, delicately squeezing the tender skin between our fingers. Iremembered and said to my colleague:— Why are you hesitating, Boris?— Oh, right,— remembered Boris,— indeed.He took a flower out of his pocket and gallantly handed it to thegirl. Of course, the ritual should have been completed, but neitherBoris nor I had the energy for it. We should have said: Love... Love...We pushed through to Third Avenue, where the crowd was thinner.Many were "vibrating." A young black guy was performing rock 'n'roll enthusiastically, with an African sense of rhythm. Some kid, resting his guitar on the pavement, casually - he was one of their ownin this crowd - sprayed it with paint from a sprayer, and the guitarglowed orange and festive in the darkness.At the end of Saint Mark's Street was a wooden police barrier, andnext to it, Jim Forett was handing out simple flat sticks used to stircoffee in paper cups. Five minutes ago, these sticks, unnoticed, werelying carelessly on the pavement, and now Jim was handing them out,elevating them from the asphalt to the level of symbols. Passing by,we each took a stick, and I - damn my lack of insight! - asked Jim:— What are these for? — But Jim didn't take offense and repliedsoftly:— Maybe they'll come in handy for something...In New York, there are thousands of different New Yorkers, andalmost around every corner, the city changes the setting for humantragedies and comedies.Rock was still faintly echoing in the distance, but we were alreadywalking on a completely empty street, where there were no cherries,no flowers, no invigorating flow of youth, no expectations. Kickingour feet in ragged trousers, leaning against their own chest with a farfrom youthful, far from fashionable beard, a painfully glaring lonehuman-beast, a drunk, dying - once again! - from an insatiableburning thirst, fixed his eyes on us. The asphalt served as his bed, andthe wall as his headboard, and what did he care about different sticksif there was an empty glass flask lying nearby. Here stretched thebranches of the famous Bowery, streets of shelters and alcoholics, themost unmasked, most candid street of New York...I've thrown you some puzzles, reader. What can you do? It's gettingharder to explain America. So, psychedelia. It's not a science butrather a practice of "expanding consciousness," and it's becomingmore and more widespread. They expand it primarily with marijuana,as well as by "vibrating" to the sounds of rock 'n' roll. There are otherways too. Long-haired young people are called HIPPIES, althoughthis fragile word was not born by them and not everyone likes it. Theyare also called the "love generation," "precise guys." The exchange offlowers, cherries, sticks, or even homemade cigarettes with marijuanacarries a symbolic load, it's like the sacraments of their religion. It's anidea of sharing, not the kind where shareholders divide dividends, butselfless, out of a sense of sympathy. It's an idea of brotherhood and community. A hippie even hands a flower to a policeman: Love...Love...Jim Forett is a link between the anarchic "tribes" and "communalfamilies" of hippies. Don McNeil, a hippie-style reporter who droppedout of high school in Alaska and came to New York for work and lifeexperience, introduced us. On the way to the "Figaro" cafe, where themeeting was scheduled, Don took me to an underground shop, a kindof small department store for hippies. It smelled of Indian incense,and lively trading was going on for consciousness-expandingparaphernalia. I tried on glasses with cut glass. The world becamemulticolored. The world, refracted through facets, shone withrainbows.How much does it take to see the sky in diamonds? These werepsychedelic glasses.At our first meeting, Jim Forett sensed irony in me. He snapped.When I asked him about his parents, Jim replied bitterly: father - amillionaire, and mother - a prostitute. You know how it usually goesin millionaire families...At our fourth meeting, we understood each other better. He comesfrom a wealthy family; his stepfather is a successful businessman.Since childhood, Jim was under the mentorship of the "YouthAchievement" organization, which encourages teenagers to start theirown businesses and adopt the views of a successful businessman.Then Jim attended the privileged Harvard University, where herealized that it was turning him into a merchant and killing the humanwithin. There, he detested the universal yardstick of materialism: "Thefastest means the most economical, the cheapest means the mostpractical." Who steered him away from orthodox bourgeois America?Imagine, Konstantin Stanislavski. Jim became interested in the stage,and the "Method" (i.e., Stanislavski's system) allowed him to "lookinto himself" and see where "youth achievements" led. He droppedout of university. Became an actor and a hippie.Here's a creed I heard not only from Jim but also from Don, Paul,and other hippies: in this society, they want us to perform the tasks ofmachines. Let the machines do the machine's work. We wantsomething more meaningful, more creative.This isn't empty talk; it's a cry of a young soul threatened withextinction. The old-world landlords, as we well know from school, didn't livebut vegetated.The new-world businessmen are very dynamic. But they also don'tlive. They function like machines, programmed like electronicdecision-making devices.Different social systems have different poles, reader. Our moral andethical problems also have different poles. That's why America is soincomprehensible from the perspective of those who haven't livedthere. For instance, we're in favor of increasing the efficiency of ourpeople, our workers. Hooray for efficient people! But only if theyremain human.That's the so-called "pressure interview," an enhanced method oftesting the quality of a businessman.— Suppose either you or your child must die tomorrow, but it's upto you — who? Whom will you choose?— Perhaps, I'll choose myself.— Why?— It's hard to say. Probably because I've lived much longer than hehas, and he has more life ahead.— Don't you think that's a rather foolish answer? How will youreconcile it with your role as a husband, father, and provider?— But my child is young, and...What difference does that make? I don't understand you. What areyou trying to prove?— I don't know... I suppose...This dialogue is taken from the "Life" magazine, where anadvertorial was published about the working methods of a thrivingprivate agency that recruits top executives for leading corporations.The candidate for big bosses is already wavering, almost ready to"kill" his child. He's ashamed of his emotions. It's too late. They'vediscovered remnants of a soul in him, and consequently, a lack of"efficiency." "His chances of getting the job for $50,000 a year havepractically evaporated," the magazine concludes.Oscar Wilde once remarked that Americans know the price ofeverything but have absolutely no idea about values. In his time, therewas no Pentagon, no recruitment agency like Kurt Einstein's, rejectingfoolish businessmen whose atavism of paternal love outweighs calculation. But since then, in the world of pure business, ignoranceabout human values and erudition about prices have so evolved thatpoet Allen Ginsberg gathers audiences in the thousands to discuss thetruly Hamletian question: are we alive? Or are we merelyfunctioning?The article in "Life" isn't about hippies, but it helps understandwhere they come from and why they quickly "multiply." There areabout 15,000 of them in New York. In San Francisco'sHaight-Ashbury district, this "world capital" of hippies, there werefrom 50,000 to 150,000 two years ago. Their colonies are emerging inall states. Mostly they're offspring of the "middle class," affluent, oreven wealthy families.Here's the vengeful grin of a hippie — the ideals of dealersdemolished by their children. They grew up among cars, TVs, stocks,loans, meticulous household accounting, and when the time ofmaturity came, they smirked at their parents: you know the price ofeverything, but what about values?...And they crossed the paternal threshold, understanding only onething: life's meaning isn't to repeat their parents' lives on a new coil ofthe spiral...Their ideal is negative — extravagant one hundred percent denialof the one hundred percent American. Barefoot on city streets, fromworn sandals to beards, Zapata mustaches, long hair, makeshift beads,and cowbells around youthful round necks. Their casualness in attiremakes merchants shiver: what will happen to profits if asceticismreplaces consumer revelry and infects all youth up to 25 years old,i.e., half the country's population, half the consumers?The one hundred percent is punctual: time is money. Hippies rejectthis philosophy along with the products of the watch industry anddream of living outside of time.The one hundred percent is an individualist, a "lone wolf." Themost active sect of hippies—the "diggers"—takes as an example thoseEnglish farmers who selflessly distributed the fruits of their labor tothe needy.The God of the one hundred percent, whether he be Christ orJehovah, works as a lowly clerk in Mammon's state, less thanpart-time, once a week. Having lost all hope in domestic gods, thehippie delves into the attributes of Hinduism, which, from a distance, seems to safeguard the 'whole' human and doesn't reduce them to amere dealer.In the trendy American debate on the subject 'Is God alive?' — thehippie injects a desperately needed irony. 'God is alive, but He simplyhas nowhere to park,' writes the hippie on round, multicolored, largebuttons popular in their circles. 'God is alive, but He's off to the velvetseason in Miami.''The flower children' don't particularly fancy politics, but they hadtheir own slogan for the 1968 presidential elections: 'Anyone butJohnson.' Hippies don't believe in the Republican elephant, theDemocratic donkey, or the two-party idol of anti-communism. Theyemerged largely as an unplanned consequence of Vietnam escalations,mechanical cruelty, and the cynicism of a dirty war.Once, I stumbled upon a mobile psychedelic shop set up in an oldbus. On the bus window, there was a picturesque politicaladvertisement for the 'artist, philosopher, and poet' Louis Abolafia. Hewas nominating himself for president. Below the photograph of anaked, sturdy man, covering his modesty with a top hat, was theinscription: 'At least, I have nothing more to hide.'Another time, I returned home with recordings of music popularamong hippies and played the same song over and over. The calminitial beats of guitars, a brief concealed buildup — then suddenly, afurious, hoarse voice and, like a door being kicked down, like abattering ram, the words: 'Run! Hide! Break through to the otherside!!!'In waves, an avalanche, a desperate attempt, the refrain breaks out:'Break on through to the other side...'What is this other side?A friend and I witnessed one of the 'breakthrough' experiments — asymbolic wedding of two hippies. In a barn-like dance hall called 'ThePoly Garden,' psychedelic smoke hung thickly. Nostrils tickled withincense, spicy, bittersweet. In the semi-darkness, cigarettes with'weed' — marijuana — glowed. Resounding, rupturing eardrums, the'tribal' jazz called the 'Group Image' thundered. A sixteen-year-oldgirl, a slender stem in a mini-skirt, fervently 'vibrated' on stage,energizing the audience. A pink ray skillfully wandered across thepsychedelic wall hangings, illuminating them with fantastically vivid,flashing colors — now a glowing halo like the moon in eclipse, now the radiance of some fluffy, huge green molecule. Two 'underground'film operators worked tirelessly with their cameras. The philosophicalbarman surveyed this frenzy, supplying beer and whiskey to the eager.The crowd hummed... The jazz hummed...Then, the doors leading straight onto the sidewalk opened, andmotorcycles adorned with flowers roared to life. And we saw JimForrester in dazzling white Indian clothes, glowing with a blue fire.He sat, clutching onto a black biker jacket. Behind him, on othermotorcycles, phosphoresced the groom and bride. Then, a serene Jimstood on the platform in the middle of the hall, surrounded by fellowhippies, holding the young couple's hands — a Buddhist angel-loverfrom New England. Not only his clothes glowed but also his feet insandals, smeared with some psychedelic substance.This was 'expanding consciousness' on 52nd Street in Manhattan,between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, close to Broadway, whereenthusiasts of conventional spectacles strolled in the evening.One New York newspaper, after describing the psychedelicwedding, concluded with a standardly sardonic moral: the newlywedshad only 25 cents, and the groom couldn't even treat the bride to aCoca-Cola.But the moral is more complex. Hippies know where to run but,alas, they burst forth not in that direction, although their breakthroughis eloquent.Why the deafening jazz? It's necessary to steal away one'slanguage, voice. Words lack belief, words are false, language hascompromised itself. Music without deceit. The frantic rhythm of rockawakens vibrations in frozen souls and bodies.Why the feast of colors, such strange, rainbow-like, unfamiliarones? America is as bright as a log painted with the most powerfulchemistry in the world, but not for its children, whose emotions havebecome deadened. They need to be jolted, shaken by unprecedentedexplosions of colors.Why marijuana? Why these voluntary hallucinations? Anintrospection, a 'disconnect' from the external world where you'reforced to function from nine to five, individual 'trips' into the world ofhallucinations through drugs — all of this is a mass phenomenon inAmerica. 'The inner journey is a new response to the electric age. Forcenturies, man has undertaken external journeys, like Columbus. Nowhe's directing himself inward,' these are the words of MarshallMcLuhan, a professional theorist of such journeys.So are hippies the Columbuses of our time? No, this honor isn'ttheirs. History doesn't voyage on narcotic caravels.Saint Mark's Street, where I began these notes, is located in thesouthern part of Manhattan, in the East Village area. The lively invasionof hippies occurred in the summer of 1967. But in general, the EastVillage is an old district of former Ukrainians, Russians, Poles. On theneighboring avenues, the new, still compact Puerto Rican ghetto isspreading out promisingly. Our brother visits the former Slavs forfragrant bread, sausage products from the 'Stasiuk Brothers,' and forapples that, unlike other American apples, are not sprayed with somemiraculous substance that protects them from decay but kills theirvitamin-rich, fragrant apple essence.In the East Village, contrasts don't just coexist; they're layered on topof each other. Former Slavs fled to America at different times and fordifferent reasons, seeking the promised land. And now, voluntarilysettling in the slums here, are young Americans who can trace theirlineage almost back to the Mayflower, the first ship carryingAnglo-Saxon pilgrims. They're not running here to the Slavs, but awayfrom their affluent American moms and dads. What a diverse picture,truly expanding consciousness!Hippies plant the tree of love in a city where such sentiments arescarcer per square mile than anywhere else on the globe. Puerto Ricans,coming here in search of the illusion of happiness and landing in theslums, accumulate hatred and, following the example of AfricanAmericans, contemplate rebellion. Hippies preach 'guerrilla love,' whileAfrican American radicals engage in a real guerrilla war in the ghettosof American cities.To be honest, I didn't expect one encounter in the realm of hippies.But it happened in a shop on Macdougal Street, where all the wallsfrom floor to ceiling are covered with hundreds of posters. Among themovie actors, hippie prophets, and various colorful psychedelia, Isuddenly saw Lenin. Lenin the tribune. The famous portrait, as youmight remember, was presented by Mayakovsky:Comrade Lenin, the work is hellishIt will be done and is already being done... In the store, it was a portrait like any other - one among hundreds,with a modest place on the wall, numbered 116, meant only forcuriosity. I thought about Mayakovsky. The yellow futurist sweaterteased the Russian bourgeois, much like how American hippies areteased by their tambourines around their necks now. AboutMayakovsky, whom Lenin and the revolution - in the highest sense ofthe word - organized. About Blok, who called for listening to the 'musicof revolution.' You can deny the American world through marijuana,but you can't remake it that way. YOUTH, YEAR 1967Some field, some sky in this suddenly looming television picture.You see them and don't see them, horribly spellbound by a pile of deadbodies. Two soldiers with stretchers. One... Two... And three! From thestretcher, dead and splayed, another body flies into the middle of thepile. This is the 'body count' - the count of guerrillas killed by countingbodies. Two guys walk away. There they are again in the frame, tall,athletic, skillfully professional. Again, stretchers in their hands. Andone... Two... And three! Then a helicopter. It hovers low over thesoldiers. They do something, then, having done it, they move away,shielding their faces from the dust and the wind whipped up by theblades. They move aside and, sheltered from the wind, wave at thehelicopter: a happy, safe journey. The helicopter ascends, and beneath iton the cable - you almost hear the mournful and harsh creak of thiscable - swings heavily a large, sturdy net, sagging under the weight ofdozens of bodies. That's the catch of these young guys in army shirts,laboriously released over their army pants. 'Search and Destroy' - that'swhat the Pentagon calls the job they are doing in the jungle...And almost at the same time, thousands of miles away from thejungle, in the heart of bustling New York, shaking from the sweetcommercial frenzy of the pre-Christmas days, near the shiny coldskyscraper of 'Time-Life,' next to 'Radio City' where patient queuesstand to join the subculture of yet another action film and to see a dozenthree synchronized girls raising their legs for makeup before eachsession - in the midst of all this, challenging this world stands anAmerican guy holding the flag of those sought and killed in the junglesby his peers.He made a choice and does not hide it.He raised this guerrilla flag, wishing victory for Vietnamese fightersand defeat for the American army, with which he, an American, has nothing in common. He wears a white motorcyclist's helmet - the guyknows he could get beaten.And the crowd, used to spectacles, indifferent crowd, hurryingcrowd, drops a dozen or so people from its mass, and they coil into acircle, springily swaying, like bulls before a red color, showering theguy with looks and remarks, and suddenly one, another, a third rushesat the standard-bearer, and he dodges, and the flag drops, and heavyblows on the helmet, and the policeman remembers his duties, allowingthe crowd to rough up both the guy and the flag...Soldiers with stretchers in the jungles and a student with a guerrillaflag in the Rockefeller Center area in New York City - these are twoopposing flanks. Everyone knows the story of four American sailorswho fled from the aircraft carrier 'Intrepid' to Japan and then movedthrough Moscow to Stockholm to fight against the war they refused tobe a part of. But is everyone familiar with the story told to theInternational Public Tribunal in Copenhagen by West German doctorErich Wolff? American soldiers, flirting with German women - nursesfrom the hospital ship 'Helgoland' (FRG) - invited them on 'huntingexpeditions.'They circled in helicopters over rice fields, scouting for prey. Andwhen they found a Vietnamese, any Vietnamese, the machine gunners'played with him, like a cat with a mouse,' and having amusedthemselves, shot him at point-blank range.All of this is American youth, but, of course, not the entire youth. Ifone were to mentally imagine the colossal panorama of American youthin 1967, between the opposing flanks, between the extreme points,there would be a multitude of types, shades, and phenomena. Therequiems for the 'silent generation' during McCarthyism have long beenserved. The youth began to speak - everyone knows that. But even 1966noticeably differs from 1967. The youth speaks louder, more resolutely,more sensationally, if you will, because one has to create a sensation tobe heard in America. It was a tumultuous year, parallel to the VietnamWar, and often, as its echo, significant events reverberated within theUnited States. People of various ages participated in them, but, withoutoffense to the adults, it was specifically the youth that was the mainprotagonist in the American dramas. Their actions paint a collective,very diverse and colorful portrait of the hero of 1967. African American unrest in Newark, Detroit, dozens of other cities?That's the youth. The furious Stokely Carmichael and Rap Brown,threatening guerrilla warfare in the ghetto? That's the youth. Hippieswith their extravagant but eloquent denial of bourgeois society? That'sthe youth. Linda Fitzpatrick, an 18-year-old daughter of a millionaire,who left the luxurious yet spiritually desolate parental home and wasfound with a crushed skull in the basement of New York's East Village?That's the youth. A 16 percent surge in crime in the first 9 months ofthe year? Mostly the youth. Drug fascination escalating into a nationaldisaster? Mostly the youth. The unprecedented October 'March on thePentagon'? 80-90 percent youth. Portraits of Che Guevara? In studentdormitories and youth organization headquarters. Picketing that madeDean Rusk sneak out of the 'Hilton' hotel in New York? The youth.Sieges of draft boards? Moral ostracism faced by recruitment agents ofthe 'Dow Chemical' napalm corporation at universities? Thousands ofdraft notices publicly torn and burnt in protest against the war? All ofthis - the youth.Recently, an electronic machine at the Department of Commerce inWashington, monitoring population growth, recorded the 200 millionthAmerican. Speaking at the ceremony, President Johnson stated that inthe 200 years of its history, the American people have answered threedecisive 'yes' to three decisive questions: will it be a free nation? during the war for independence; will it be a united nation? - during theCivil War of the North and South; will it be a humane nation? - duringthe 1929 economic crisis and the Roosevelt social reforms. Johnson'sabstract rhetoric is vulnerable from various sides. But today's realityrenders excursions into history unnecessary. Today's Americans provethat the nation is not united because the inhumane and unjust system,embarking on adventures like the Vietnam War, makes it so.The nation is fractured now and sowing the seeds of future divisionbecause the future carries within it the youth. The Vietnam conflict wasconceived as a fleeting encounter between a colossus and a pygmy witha predetermined outcome, like an island isolated from the prosperityand conscience of an American. What was seen as the highest nobility,the most convincing evidence of America's power and wealth? ThatAmerica, indifferent to everything, can, with one hand, wage a dirtywar and, with the other, create a pure 'great society.' But the poet was right in saying that no man is an island and thateach man is part of the universe.The pragmatists in Washington overestimated the factor of bruteforce and underestimated the moment of dialectical interconnectedness.Eventually, it was due to this miscalculation that one of the 'victims' ofthe war was Robert McNamara himself, the initial creator ofescalations, although this victim is not counted in the field's body count.Instead of the showmanship of the 'great society,' the world saw theagonies of a 'sick society,' and Lyndon Johnson reneged on the promiseof simultaneous 'guns and butter.' The 'home front' against the waremerged.The dialectics of relationships exact revenge by permeating the entireclimate of the country with Vietnam. It is intuitively felt by the youngdelinquent to whom 'hunting expeditions' of his peers in the junglesprovide an additional incentive on a dark street. It motivates the protestof an inquisitive student, critically linking the savage practice of warwith 'humanitarian' theories of anti-communism and concluding that hiscountry exports not freedom and democracy but robbery,counter-revolution, and imperialist rights of the strong. Then logicdictates another question to him: what kind of country is this, and whatkind of system?Of course, much has to be experienced before focusing one's protestin the dynamics of the most popular anti-war slogan: 'Hell no! We won'tgo!.' The Vietnam war and the protest against it of that generation, overwhich the atomic mushroom of military psychosis has been hung sincethe cradle, did not arise out of nowhere.'This generation did not experience a severe economic crisis, but itknew something worse,' said Martin Luther King. 'This is the firstgeneration in American history that had to endure four wars intwenty-five years: World War II, the Cold War, the Korean War, and theVietnam War. It is a generation of wars, and it bears its scars... And yetwe cannot call this generation a lost generation. It is we who are the lostgeneration because it is us who failed to give them a peaceful society.'So, is it a conflict between generations? 'A bitter mockery of thedeceived son over the bumbling father,' if we recall Lermontov'swords? To some extent, yes, although there is no single generation ofchildren and a single generation of fathers, especially in a class-hostile society, and the overly broad 'we,' emanating from King, can bemisleading.Whose fathers and whose children? This determines the presence ofconflict and its nature. The 'big press' pays the closest attention to thestudent body, for various reasons. Firstly, the nation's future elite isbeing shaped there. Then, the majority there comes from bourgeoisbackgrounds, which in America always attracts more attention. Finally,the shifts in attitudes are most noticeable there. It's not just about thestudent anti-war protests. There are other shifts that concern the rulingclass.Big business is closely tied to universities, providing them withfunds and research orders and counting on an influx of young bloodinto corporations, fresh minds of talented graduates. Just four or fiveyears ago, the problem of young minds was easily solved. Moreover,the system claimed credit for the growing attraction of students to theworld of big business, to the headquarters of leading corporations. Nowthe situation has changed. 'Seems like selling refrigerators to Eskimos isonly slightly more difficult than convincing today's students of thevirtues of corporate service,' writes the Wall Street Journal, referencinguniversities and corporations. The latter are going all out to prove thatbusiness 'not only makes a dollar but also wants to help humanity,' that'corporate life can be rich and meaningful,' yet their arguments find a'discouragingly small' response. The strongest aversion to the charms of'corporate life' is exhibited by the spectrum of students, and that's wherethe hunt primarily heads.This new phenomenon has been noticed by all. Eminent Englishhistorian Arnold Toynbee, after spending three months in Americanuniversities in 1967 (his eighteenth visit to the US since 1925), foundthat 'more changes have occurred in the last two years than in all theother forty years.' 'I found that youth in America speak with disgustabout their parents' ideals,' emphasizes Toynbee, explaining that theideals boil down to making money. He considers this change 'important,even dramatic.'Indeed, the peculiar avoidance of corporate service is no lessdramatic than the student anti-war movement, although it is, of course,not as widespread and doesn’t make as much noise. Another indicator:applications to join the 'Peace Corps' have decreased by 35 percent. Thenumber of volunteers has dwindled because young idealists, who previously, without understanding the true purpose of the corps, joinedwith the best intentions, now see the hypocrisy behind the Peace Corps'propaganda in Asia, Africa, and Latin America while the Americanexpeditionary corps is engaged in 'propaganda' in Vietnam.So, the wayward daughter of a wealthy bourgeois flees from thesuburban mansion and the Bermuda resort to the shabby, pot-smokedcommunal apartments of the hippies. The young bearded radical, stillnaive but extremely sincere, dreams of becoming a revolutionary andcontemplates ways to transform the democracy of the wealthy, whichhe has understood the value of, into a representative democracy for all,including the Harlem blacks and unemployed Appalachian miners.Different people, different forms of protest, but one commondenominator — the crisis of traditional ideals, or rather, the absence ofthese ideals, because there are no ideals in the humanistic sense of theword. Indeed, if parents fail to grasp the situation, the children havetruly outgrown them.Of course, bourgeois society has thousands of direct and cunningways to rein in the rebellious young generation. The hippie movement,as expected, is already degenerating into drug addiction and commerce.The attraction to radicalism, so characteristic of capable, politicallyactive youth, still doesn’t guarantee against anarchic disorganizationand the vagueness of political goals, and without them, sustainedprotest and its weight in the political arena cannot be ensured. And, ofcourse, for the majority of young people, the numerous charms of the'American way of life' still retain their strength.In short, grounded in real assessments, it's crucial to emphasize thatthis is not about shaking the foundations but rather about challengingthese foundations, about the outward symptoms of an illness.These symptoms have not been so obvious and widespread for a longtime. They have not only a domestic but also an internationalsignificance. American youth, its best part, testifies: that example, thatcommodity — of 'free enterprise' from the Vietnam War — whichWashington wants to lucratively sell abroad, finds less and less demandat home. MOVIE TOUR CONTINUEDIThe skyscraper filled the entire screen with its dark bulk. Its darkwindows gleamed empty in the early, still impenetrable morning. Ahouse without destiny, about to be left by builders and met by residents.But on the top floor, in the 'penthouse,' someone's windows werealready lit, someone's life was already shining. Two dark figures gaze atthe 'penthouse' and enter the lobby. One of them carries a doctor's styletrunk. Inside the trunk are two bottles of whiskey, a salami sausage, andspools of colorful ribbons used to wrap gifts in stores. They will openthe trunk later, just like they reveal themselves later. Crazy alcoholics.Criminals. Upstairs, in the 'penthouse,' two more figures. He,middle-aged, a real estate agent. She, a young saleswoman from a store.Lovers. In the 'penthouse,' comfort and morning conversations. Amelodious ring, a voice behind the door: 'Gas man...'A quarter of an hour later, he sits in a spinning chair, tightly boundwith jocular ribbons. She gulps whiskey from glasses, embracingstrangers. He feels terrible because she's having fun. Then an hour ofskillful sadism, striptease, pornography under disgustingly affectionatesmiles from the 'guests,' thinking they've thrown a party. Clothes comeoff, not just from her but also from their souls and relationships. Verylittle clothing remains. She betrays him, and he himself is a compliantcoward and a traitor. When, playing with oily lips from the salami andan oily knife, the criminal sifts through the bunch of keys pulled fromhis jacket, the real estate agent reveals not only the location of hisparked car but also the address of his home, where his wife andchildren live.The almost favorable end. The alcoholics disappear, having storedaway their trunk. The lovers leave the empty house, hating each other.The moral? Young English director Peter Collinson astonishes ratherthan moralizes. The film company 'Paramount,' leasing his talent, isinterested not in morality but in the revenue from a hefty dose ofsadism. If one insists on morals, it's clear that normal people are worse than crazy criminals. At least the latter have their code of loyalty, andthe real estate agent encounters this code when trying to turn themagainst each other...'Penthouse' is an art film. Its concentrated naturalism baffled evenseasoned reviewers. It's recommended for viewers with strong nerves.Well, there are many of those; in this regard, the nerves are toughened.'Titus Andronicus' received high praise from professional critics. It'salso a film about crazy criminals, but thankfully they're behind bars,behind the strong bars of a prison psychiatric hospital in Bridgewater,Massachusetts. It's a documentary film from beginning to end, from thestrangely eerie hospital jazz with the sardonic name 'Titus Andronicus'to the screwdriver screwing the screws into the lid of a free coffin,forever housing a defiant inmate. Director Frederick Wiseman entirelyrelies on the cruel effect of the camera, not softening it with anynarrative.Grey images of the hospital-prison yard, solitary people withdrawninto themselves. An incoherent, passionate monologue about JesusChrist; alongside the speaker's head, glimpses of the feet of someonewho loves standing on their head for hours. A debate aboutVietnam—they're here too, their 'patriots' and war opponents. Theguards function in the best traditions, sturdy and impassive. However,they have their hobbies for the soul. Here, the guards relentlessly andcoolly tease a patient. He snaps, growling like an animal, pacingnervously in the camera's view. He's completely naked in a completelyempty cell. That's how it goes; they're only dressed for walks.In Massachusetts, the film was dissected in court and providedpoliticians with material for internal strife. But that's not the point. Isthe connection between the fictitious 'Penthouse' and the documentary'Titus Andronicus' accidental? Practically the same question: who'scrazier—psychotic criminals or their 'normal' guards? Where's the line?Is it really so imperceptible? Yes, it's imperceptible, insist Collinsonand Wiseman.Here's another film—'Reflections in a Golden Eye' (director JohnHuston, produced by Warner Bros.). Viewers are drawn by the brilliantactor Marlon Brando and the renowned movie star Elizabeth Taylor.The high technical standard, characteristic of Americancinematography, a directorial snobbery in the game of golden tones.The action takes place in a military garrison in the southern U.S. A weak-willed major (Marlon Brando) teaches young officers the art ofwinning but cannot manage his wife—a blatant femme fatale (ElizabethTaylor), who loves to gallop through the surrounding woods on a whitestallion in the company of a colonel—a soldier and an animal.Everyone knows about their relationship. The tormented colonel's wifefinally decides to escape from this drearily animalistic life. The colonelbelieves she's gone insane and commits her to a disguised luxurysanatorium, where she dies. The unhappy major asserts himself byshooting a soldier who has a mysterious attraction to his wife.Strange films. The strangest thing is that they're typical. The list, asthey say, could go on. Here's the film 'Wait Until Dark,' where a gang ofsadists torment a blind girl (actress Audrey Hepburn) and threaten toburn her alive while searching for heroin-stuffed doll in her apartment.And 'The Incident,' a socially charged film: in a New York subwaytrain, two thugs terrorize fifteen decent and helpless citizens.I don't need to stir up archival dust. These are all movie premierescoming off the Hollywood conveyor belt. I did something like a movietour around New York. The criterion was simple: new films thatsomehow captured the attention of critics, not outright rejected asrubbish. The result? Painful quests for the line that separates normalfrom abnormal remain popular. Yet, the line remains elusive. Thesepursuits are as familiar as the criticisms of pathology, sadism, andexploitation of vulgar public taste, all abundant in local film criticism.But where does the fault of the artist end, and the fault of realitybegins, from which he cannot abstract himself? He reflects his world, orat least his vision of this world. Take documentary evidence fromnewspapers, the endless criminal chronicle—it doesn't contradict thefilm evidence. Eventually, these mediocre directors only takesensational details from that larger theme, a theme deeply explored bymajor artists like Fellini, Antonioni, Kramer.Everything is so fundamentally turned upside down in this world thatclowning and madness appear as the natural norm of life, and one risksbeing considered mad in the eyes of others if they doubt this norm. Isn'tthat the essence of Antonioni's brilliant film 'Blow-Up'?The same reality of human decay in bourgeois society providesmaterial for insightful reflection for some and for others—material for aheavily spiced blend of 'sex and shock' (if you take the two-edged formula of New York film critic Bosley Crowther). The latter—formthe majority.With sex replacing old-fashioned love, it seemed there was nowhereelse to go. However, they keep going further. Hollywood is currentlyengaged in an unprecedented 'sexual revolution.' Politically, it's moreneutral than other revolutions, commercially more profitable.Newsweek heralded the triumph of an era where 'anything goes,'featuring the naked back and buttocks of actress Jane Fonda on itscover. 'Sex and shock' have occupied the top screens, not just those nearBroadway, traditionally existing with the slogan 'closer to the body.'Morals have decidedly loosened—towards the bed, and sex'revolutionaries' freely roam the screen as they were born.The film 'Ulysses' based on Joyce's novel is symbolic. Film criticsdeclared it a masterpiece. Distributors, explaining the term 'masterpiece'for the illiterate, warned in advertisements that 'absolutely no one underthe age of eighteen will be allowed to watch the film 'Ulysses.' Thosewho consider Joyce the founder of modern literature highlight hisfamous 'stream of consciousness,' where characters exist inseparably inthree dimensions—reality of the present, memories of the past, andfantasies of the future. In the film, the 'stream of consciousness' ofLeopold Bloom and his wife Molly indeed unfolds in three dimensions,but alas, in a single direction—sex, sex, and again sex, to the point of atwice-repeated, purely pornographic scene.Avant-gardists of 'underground cinema' (underground to Hollywood,not to the audience, as their films play in perfectly legal cinemas) aretrying to find their methods. Critics call one of them a special kind ofcine-journalism. It's not the traditional cine-documentalism thatpresupposes intentional selection and organization of cine-documents.It's a kind of fetishization of the movie camera, as if it's let loose,banking on its uncompromising, cruel, and objective nature. It's anattempt to rely on the life force and a conscious refusal to interpret it,fully entrusted to the viewer. One critic defined this method with thesewords: 'The person behind the camera doesn't apologize for being therebut admits at the same time that the world is too vast and too complexfor anyone to know it.This method was used to film 'The Titicut Follies.' The sametechnique was employed in the film by 'underground' filmmaker ShirleyClarke, 'Portrait of Jason.' Two hours on the screen, the same person in the same room smokes, drinks wine from a glass and straight from thebottle, walks, sits in a chair and on the floor, lies on the couch, getsdrunk, and talks, talks, talks, revealing all the nooks, crannies, andcesspools of his soul. You can guess what kind of cesspool it is byJason's occupation. He is a male prostitute.In his marathon film interview, Jason says that sometimes he isfrightened to death of himself. He frightens both the audience (althoughthere are few of them) and the critics, although the latter unanimouslypraise Shirley Clarke for skillfully demonstrating this rare specimen.Film critic Joseph Morgenstern of Newsweek writes: 'In the end,Jason...is no more insane than the American pilot in 'Skyraider' who,after dropping napalm on a Vietnamese village, gasps in delight: 'Look,it's burning! It's burning, damn it! Fantastic! We've really made themrun! Brilliant!''The conclusion is unexpected, but you can't deny its logic. It neitherjustifies nor elevates Jason but reminds us that he has spiritual brethrenin amorality, whom society elevates to the rank of patriots and heroes.By the way, about Vietnam: Hollywood seems to have no war. Reportsabout the war don't leave the TV screen, but on the movie screen,there's no war. Anti-war protest found reflection in literature,particularly in poetry, touched theater, painting, but apparently, it'seasier for Hollywood to rid itself of moral taboos than chauvinisticones. Only in new films about past wars do anti-war sentiments makethemselves known (for example, in the film 'The Thin Red Line' aboutthe war with the Japanese in the Pacific).The anti-war theme now more often appears on the American screenfrom across the ocean. At the New York festival, the film 'Far fromVietnam' was shown—a collective creation of famous Frenchfilmmakers, but it didn't make it to theaters, and critics collectivelydismissed it as anti-American propaganda. In the Greek comedy 'TheDay the Fish Came Out,' the second Palomares is depicted: anAmerican plane 'drops' hydrogen bombs on a Greek island.Washington, having learned the 'lesson' of Palomares, keeps thisincident secret, and it all ends tragically. The theater 'York' shows thepacifist film by English director Richard Lester 'How I Won the War.'It's a sharp and poignant grotesque about a squad of soldiers duringWorld War II. It already talks about Vietnam as if it were the talk of theday, and the brave colonel fervently calls at the end: 'To Moscow!' It's interesting who watches this movie. The audience is mostlyyoung people, the same youth that rushes and protests, trying to shakethe pyramid of the 'American way of life.' They have their extremesthat sometimes coincide. Some, like hippies, eccentrically andunreliably 'switch off' from the world of bourgeois conformity, whileothers storm recruiting stations and give no peace to the recruiters ofthe 'Dow Chemical' corporation producing napalm. They have theiridols who mock the lies of politicians and ideologues.They also have their favorite movies. Like the film 'Don't Look Back'about Bob Dylan's concerts in England in 1965. Bob Dylan is a popularsinger and poet. The movie camera accompanies him everywhere: inthe hotel room among his companions, in the car, backstage—and witha guitar on a strap, a harmonica near his lips on a metallic bracket, ablack shiny jacket—striding quickly into the darkness of the stage, tothe circle illuminated by the spotlight, towards the roar of applause.Dylan turns out to be an anti-prophet, an anti-hero; his whole truth liesin denying lies, and that truth is dear to his listeners.In the documentary film 'Festival'—about the annual jazz festivals inNewport—ordinary life spills into song. With its joys and sorrows, it'sfar from the painful reflections of the Hollywood screen. There's somuch poetry, goodness, smiles, love, and not sex, compassion, and notsadism. They warmly welcome the 'folk singers'—the folk singers. Andafter one such enthusiastic meeting, Joan Baez, also a idol of the youth,with a shy, beautiful smile, talks about life, not American cinema, butit's as if she's talking about this cinema too: 'You know, the youth wantssomething else. I feel sorry for them... After all, truth and love areburied in this country...'IIIt was in Texas in the early 1930s—during a harsh crisis, massbankruptcies, and everywhere the fleeting pre-election portraits ofFranklin D. Roosevelt. Small towns where the winds of economicupheaval whistled, tranquil expanses under the warm sun, sheriffs withstars on their chests, camps of the unemployed wandering with theirwives and children, landless farmers, devoid of business and money,thriving fat and cowardly grocers. And then there were Bonnie andClyde, in love with each other and dangerous adventures. Clyde burst into the bank with pistols in both hands ('Good morning,ladies and gentlemen! Easy! Easy...'), and Bonnie followed him,holding a gun in one hand and a bag in the other. The bewildered ladiesand gentlemen remained silent, enchantedly gazing at the guns and atthe so handsome, dark-haired—blood mixed with milk and rosylips—such a pure and attractive Clyde. And she, a spirited blonde witha hairstyle that belonged in 1968, rummaged through the desks behindthe counter, among the frightened cashiers, scooping piles of green billsinto the bag. And when she and Clyde's brother, for Clyde had abeloved brother, dashed out of the doors and limping Clyde followedlast, still arguing with Smith & Wessons, and climbed into the carwhere their cool companion Sam sat behind the wheel, the signal bellrang outside the door. But it was too late. The car moved, its barrelsaimed at the frightened crowd. One overly eager bank clerk chasedafter, grabbed onto the side of the car, and Clyde shot him point-blank,and the dying man screamed, his bloodied face filling the entire screen,and then he crashed onto the pavement. Clyde didn't like killing, butsometimes he had to.They tore out onto the outskirts, exchanging fire with the belatedpolicemen, onto the empty road under the blue sky, into the salvation ofTexas expanses. They were fearless and elusive, enjoying readingnewspaper reports about themselves. Their fearsome reputation grew.Dozens of policemen were already on their trail, yet they cut throughthe hail of bullets, leaving bodies behind another stolen car,disappearing into the expanses, only to descend upon yet another banklike snowfall: 'Good morning, ladies and gentlemen...'No matter how twisted the road... During one ambush, when thepolice even brought an armored vehicle, Clyde's brother was fatallywounded, his wife blinded by the bullets, and the composed Sam barelymanaged to get Bonnie and Clyde out. Like wounded birds, they bled inthe back seat of the car. In Sam's father's house, they healed from theirwounds and leisurely experienced the idyll of love amid their wetaffairs. But Sam's father turned them in. On a country road, a hailstormof bullets erupted from the foliage, shattering the silence of the Texasnoon. Bonnie and Clyde trembled, jumped, danced like fish in a fryingpan under this barrage. They were already dead, and the vengeful hailkept falling, jerking their lifeless bodies. And then? Dead Bonnie comes back to life, fixes her hair, and withher lawyer goes to the Supreme Court of New York State. ProducerOtto Preminger filed a lawsuit against Bonnie, arguing that she had noright to be Bonnie for the Warner Bros. film company until sheappeared in five films for his, Otto Preminger's, corporation, SigmaProductions, according to the contract.But Bonnie—now without Clyde and the Smith &Wesson—convinces the judge that Otto Preminger intends to 'damagemy career and deprive me of the means of livelihood.'The plaintiff's lawyer proves that Bonnie was by no means destituteand that she could very well have received two and a half thousanddollars a week from Sigma Productions.But Bonnie's lawyer argues that Preminger's stakes are 'provocativelylower than what she can get on today's market.'And 'Life' magazine, speaking in the universal language of acosmopolitan, unexpectedly becomes a witness for the defense. Themagazine puts Bonnie on the cover, signaling that she indeedcommands a high price on today's market. The publication prints fivepages of Bonnie in various carefree poses and, most importantly,outfits, proclaiming her the new darling of fashion houses from Rometo New York. Bonnie, the magazine writes, 'synthesized' the softness ofthe 1930s fashion with the 'nudity' of the 1960s.And in these pictures, everywhere around Bonnie, menacing blacksilhouettes of drawn gangsters with guns are growing. Try not to agreewith such a synthesis.But director Arthur Penn, who made the film 'Bonnie and Clyde,' isnot to blame for this devilry. A new movie star was simply born—FayeDunaway. Her greatness and radiance were so inflated by publicity thatshe not only started visiting lawyers more often but alsopsychiatrists—for advice on how not to go crazy from sudden fame.These visits don't prevent our Bonnie from quite skillfully tradingherself with designers, on the pages of 'Life,' in movie studios, and asyou see, even in court. Hollywood buyers and speculators also realizedthat this commodity promises millions. Let's return, however, to the film 'Bonnie and Clyde.' Despite all thegangster accessories, it's not just another cheap action movie. It isconsidered one of the best American films of 1967. It's crafted like afolk romantic ballad—broadly and boldly, cruelly and poetically. Thefilm is unmistakably American, national in spirit, not syntheticallycosmopolitan like many today. It carries an undercurrent of anxietybecause Clyde represents a purely American type.It's a peculiar film indeed. A robber, a murderer, yet so charming!This is where the devilry begins with Clyde. He doesn't like killing, butwhat can he do—it's necessary. He emerges from bloody orgies dry as abone, and furthermore, with an undiluted love that easily steps over thebodies. There's a diabolical logic in this character, stemming from thelogic of a life where everyone forges their happiness alone and careslittle about others. The artistic fabric of the film is so genuinely nationalbecause it reflects the local practical philosophy: 'Anything can happen,life is so diverse and unexpected, so don't judge (even a bandit), andyou won't be judged.' 'Look at Clyde!'—this film seems to suggest.Well, I looked, I looked for a long time. I saw him where Clydesallowed the world to look at themselves.Isn't Clyde that soldier who traveled 10 thousand miles to burnsomeone else's village, and then, looking so sympathetically tired onthe screen, gently feeds a surviving baby with a round Americanlollipop on a stick? The baby doesn't bother him yet, and the'neutralized' father of the baby lies nearby, tagged as a 'Viet Cong.'In the first part of this essay, I offered the reader something like acinematic tour of New York, talking about fashionable 'combinations ofsex and shock,' about the current mid-quality productions. Now, I'd liketo continue this tour but with a different purpose. 1967 didn't bringmasterpieces; synthesis in art is harder than in fashion, but it'sconsidered 'rewarding.' Among the best, here are six American films:'In the Heat of the Night' (United Artists, directed by Norman Jewison),'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner' (Columbia, directed by StanleyKramer), 'The Graduate' (Embassy, directed by Mike Nichols), 'ThePresident's Analyst' (Paramount, directed by Theodore Flicker), 'InCold Blood' (Columbia, directed by Richard Brooks), and 'Bonnie andClyde.'The film 'In the Heat of the Night' received an Oscar as the best filmof the year. It captivates with its special rhythm from the first scenes, when on a hot night, amid cicada chirps and lively transistor music, thebig-eared policeman Sam routinely patrols the streets of his nativeMississippi town and stumbles upon a corpse. The chief sends Sam tocheck the night cafe and the train station. At the station, the onlypassenger dozing in anticipation of the train is a black man, and sincehe's a black man, an unknown black man, and moreover, a black manwith twenties in his wallet, as Sam discovers, bravely bursting into theroom with a gun and pressing the black man against the wall, he mustbe the killer. The police chief (brilliantly played by the famous actorRod Steiger) also has simple brain convolutions like a true Southerner.But when he demands an immediate confession from the black man, thelatter throws a metal badge on the table—a police identification. Thisblack guy, damn it, serves in the police in Philadelphia, where theyhave different notions about desegregation, and he's also a leadingexpert in murder investigations—a revelation shocking for the Southernpoliceman.More to come. The wife of a murdered Chicago businessman, whointended to build a factory in this backwater, threatens to take away theinvestments and leave the town's residents in the same slumber andunemployment if the murderer isn't found. Concerned, the mayorthreatens to dismiss the police chief if he doesn't seek help from a blackcriminologist. Thus, the hapless chief has to beg the black man not toleave, protect him from lynchers, and, alas, constantly witness hisprofessional and intellectual superiority. The detective story is a subtleand significant psychological duel between the two heroes (the role ofthe black man is played by the superb actor Sidney Poitier). By the endof the film, the black man finds the murderer, and the chief—sees aman in this black man and is affected by him not only with asentimental respect, which he hides not only from others but perhapsfrom himself as well.Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" captures another aspect of thethousandfold issue of race. The daughter of a publisher from LosAngeles falls in love with a black man. For the girl, the question ofmarriage is settled, no matter what her parents say. However, the blackman confidentially tells them that he's willing to leave if they don't givetheir unconditional consent. The publisher and his wife, honest liberalswho have advocated racial equality all their lives, are thrown into a state of shock by the news. The film accurately portrays the fullspectrum of their confusion.After the shock subsides, pride in their brave daughter and herchosen partner emerges. He's not just an ordinary black man but arenowned scholar, a humanist, a candidate for the Nobel Prize. Thepublisher's wife agrees to the marriage for the sake of their daughter'shappiness. However, it's precisely the question of happiness thattroubles the publisher—not because he doubts their love but because heknows too well the lack of love and animosity that their 'one hundredmillion' fellow countrymen will surround them with. The question isextremely complex, but in the end, the old publisher makes a worthydecision: their love is what matters, and let it triumph.The film includes truly touching moments, showcasing honest,intelligent, and deeply feeling Americans grappling with theirconscience and their country's challenging issues. The publisher isplayed by the famous Spencer Tracy, who passed away before the film'srelease. He created a character imbued with noble simplicity and moralstrength, reminiscent of his role as a judge in the film "Judgment atNuremberg."Playing the role of a 37-year-old professor is Sidney Poitier, the mostpopular black actor at that time (in 1967, he was among the top tenactors generating the highest box office revenue, indicating he was inhigh demand by producers). Poitier exudes charm, masculine grace, andpossesses a certain inner music. He wears an emotional armor—in hisroles, he always exists in an environment where he could be stung anddegraded as a 'n*gger.' Once he was stung not in a film but in anewspaper. The African-American writer Clifford Mason stated thatPoitier became Hollywood's 'showcase Negro.' The actor knows thatwithin this reproach lies a bitter truth, a truth that extends beyondPoitier's repertoire. Indeed, the African-American theme has finallyreached Hollywood, attracting serious artists, but—without offense totwo interesting films—the true depths of it have not yet been fullyexplored.What circles of hell, visible and invisible, economic and moral, hasthe American black person gone through before erupting in revolt onthe streets of Detroit? The true answer doesn't necessarily have to bedirect, but it's only within reach of a great master. To answer, one needs not only talent but also civic passion, knowledge of the lower echelons,and a connection to their pain.Of course, it's important that black people themselves speak thehard-earned and truthful word about themselves. Until Hollywood givesthem that opportunity. So, two good films about the racial issue. Twomovies about criminals - the romanticized story of 'Bonnie and Clyde' andthe icy realism of 'In Cold Blood,' based on Truman Capote'sdocumentary novel about the brutal and senseless murder of a farmingfamily in Kansas. And two comedies - 'The Graduate' and 'The President'sAnalyst.'The comic arrows in 'The Graduate' are aimed at the bastion ofbourgeois America, the so-called 'middle class,' with its dreary-sweetidiocy revolving around blue swimming pools in the backyard, gleamingkitchens, and luxurious interiors. Critics unanimously praised 'TheGraduate' as an example of 'intellectual' satire. Perhaps they praised it toomuch. The film holds a lot of promise in the beginning with its distinctivestyle but fails to deliver on those promises in the end, transitioning fromsatire to a gallop of sentimental grotesque, at times making you yawn.In the comedy film 'The President's Analyst,' the main character is aNew York doctor who is suddenly invited to the White House to relievethe president's nervous tension. Ecstatic, our naive psychiatrist (played byactor James Coburn) finds himself in a realm of phantasmagoricaltransformations, CIA and FBI agents, special signaling systems,wiretapping devices, and more. When security services discover he talksin his sleep, they promptly take away his beloved, burdening her with thetask of recording all telephone conversations with him.The president remains unseen, behind closed doors, into which thepsychiatrist occasionally enters. After the first visit, the hero leaves thepresidential office, thrilled; after the second, with a puzzled look; andfurther visits leave him disheveled, grabbing onto walls. He goes mad,and no one can help him because, unlike ordinary psychiatrists, thepresident's psychiatrist can't fix another psychiatrist's nerves - thatresponsibility lies with the relevant service.Any movie year in the U.S. would certainly be incomplete withoutsatire of this kind. The beginning of this cinematic apocalypse was laid afew years ago by the killer comedy 'Dr. Strangelove.' Dr. Strangelove, thescientific maniac of the nuclear era, has since become a household nameand entered the political lexicon of the world, where science often works for madness. 'The President's Analyst' develops this vein in its own way,far from being exhausted.I'm concluding this incomplete and necessarily brief movie review. InHollywood's mass production, you learn which variety of bourgeois life ismost profitable today. Good films go beyond mere entertainment; theysomehow engage with serious societal issues. There are more of theformer than the latter, but living thought persists, and many artists yearnfor high art and, if you will, for a higher message. 'Art,' Sidney Poitiersays, 'has the responsibility to educate, enlighten, and stimulate thought,but most producers aren't interested in teaching anyone anything.'The idea isn't new, but it's revisited time and again, yet it's never killedby the commercial cynicism of show business. Sidney Poitier echoes RodSteiger, who received the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1967. 'I trynot to deceive these people, those who come to me and say, "You knowsomething, you choose to participate in the kind of movies we go to see."Yes, I try to make films smart enough to interest them, not to waste theirtime. I'm concerned not about their money, but their time. Youunderstand?'Though this question wasn't directed at me, I respond: how could I notunderstand, Rod Steiger. Conversation with Doctor CalmHe takes out from his jacket pocket a piece of paper, unfolds it,lovingly smoothing it out with his strong, elderly doctor's fingers."Here it is," he says, inviting me to lean in, and I see a printed drawing,hand-corrected, thirty-five feet long. Ideal for the tropics. For the VirginIslands. Not elegant or fast, but comfortable."See," he points his finger along the drawing, "wider than usual. Tall.Holds 170 gallons of water, enough for two weeks. Has a refrigerator."Gently folds the paper, tucks it into his pocket, leans back in theCadillac seat, stretching out his long legs. The Cadillac solemnly humsalong the highway. Before me is a broad, corpulent back and thechauffeur's black cap. Outside the window, a brisk, orderly flow of carsbetween dashed lines on the concrete. And beyond — the fresh, emeraldgreenery of April in the state of New Jersey. It sprang up in grass,sprouted leaves on the trees, but the gasoline barrier on the highwaykeeps its scent away, and the 60-mile speed makes this lively greenerymerely a symbol of nature, tantalizingly close yet inaccessible.Dr. Spock sighed, smiled, and said, "This is what I aim for — to workfor peace one month and then sail on this yacht to the Virgin Islands thenext. Then my retiree's conscience will be at peace."The name of Dr. Benjamin Spock is surrounded by epithets of factoryproduction. The famous pediatrician. A prominent advocate for peace.You unfold these typical constructs of public perception and see a livingperson. Now, as he was nearby, I was studying his face. A sturdy face —that's the impression. No sign of elderly flabbiness, with a strong, bumpynose, a solid forehead, and a firm, slanted chin. His smile is frequent butreserved, his own, not from an assembly line. Strong, small teeth. Firmlips. His gait is spry, like a young man's. He watches his weight, like atypical American. But he's 65 years old. Recently retired. Quit hismedical practice. Rich with fame and money. Sons settled. Time forpeaceful, wise old age. A yacht, comfortable and easy to handle, the calm waters of the tropical sea, safe coastal sailing among exotic islands,sunrises, sunsets. The famous Dr. Spock, who captivated Americanmothers with the book "The Common Sense Book of Baby and ChildCare" (20 million copies, over 170 editions), on a well-deserved vacation."Underneath him, the light-blue stream, above him, the golden ray of thesun."But, as in a classical situation, he rebels and seeks a storm becausethere is no peace for him without one.Dr. Spock conspiratorially says, "My wife was angry when I got intoyachting, but now she's come to terms with it. Understood. She even saysthat if it weren't for the yacht, I'd be 'under the weather'."This interview was in mid-April 1968. Dr. Spock said then that the firstseventeen days of May were free for him — no meetings, rallies, orgatherings. He isolated himself with his wife on the Virgin Islands. InMay, his name appeared in the newspapers again — the trial of the"Boston Five" began. The popular pediatrician and four others, whom hisfight against the dirty war brought together, were put on trial.They are accused of conspiracy, of inciting young Americans to evademilitary service, to avoid participating in Vietnamese atrocities. WhenPresident Johnson announced he wouldn't seek a second term, partiallyhalted bombings in Vietnam, and expressed readiness to negotiate withHanoi, Dr. Spock thought the trial might be quashed and stopped. Hecontacted his lawyer. The attorney dispelled any illusions and legalnaivety of the client. He told Spock that the authorities couldn't releasethe "Five" while prosecuting those who avoided the draft. The lawyer wasright.Spock hopes the legal proceedings, including appeals, might take ayear and a half, by which time the war would end, and the vengeful rageof the persecutors would subside. But he's prepared for the worst. The"retiree's quiet conscience" doesn't exclude a prison cell instead of a cozyapartment on Lexington Avenue and a yacht under the refreshing breezeof the tropics.But who "led astray" whom? The pediatrician enthusiastically followedthe youth's example. Like many Americans, appalled by what theircountry was doing in Vietnam, he believes that "the only hope for a betterchange in American society is the youth." "My friends say I've gone mad. I have indeed become militant. I hopethe young people will say significantly: 'Let's stop this monstrousnonsense! Let's restore order in this world!'"...Why have they betrayed me in court? I decided that if young peoplewere going to prison to avoid going to the army, then we, the elders,should lend support. I certainly don't want to picture myself as young. Butnow I am encouraged by the approval of the youth. And now, when theywant to judge us, no matter which university I go to, the auditoriums arethree times larger, the enthusiasm is three times greater, they greet withapplause, bid farewell with applause, rise...I arranged this interview after meeting Dr. Spock at a rally the day afterMartin Luther King's assassination. Fate briefly placed these two peopletogether — at the forefront of the anti-war movement. A racist bullet tookKing away a year after they were first seen together in the front ranks ofthe famous New York march.A hastily convened mourning rally was held in Central Park inManhattan. It was sunny and windy. A determined African-Americanwoman in a black leather jacket and a man's hat was in charge at themicrophone. The turbulent, shaken crowd was restless. Anger mixed withhelplessness: what to do? How to respond to this villainy?The towering Dr. Spock stood above the other speakers. It was strangeto see him among these sweaters, open jackets, and shirts. His dark suit, ahandkerchief from his pocket, the doctor's correctness, his sturdy, almostbald head amidst beards, mustaches, and abundant hair. His 65 yearsamong the twenty-year-olds. At the microphone, he stood as if facing aconversationalist in his characteristic pose, leaning in, pressing his handto his chest, almost minimizing his towering height: children had been hisconversationalists for so long.But Dr. Spock's main word cannot be found in the pediatrician'slexicon. Militancy — that's his current password. He didn't speak much,but he spoke meaningfully. Yes, King stood for nonviolence, but he was amilitant fighter for peace and justice.Back then, that's when I arranged to meet him. But the famous Spock isvery busy. On the appointed day, he was offered to participate in a TVprogram in Philadelphia. They sent for him in New York with a rentedblack Cadillac. The doctor invited me along. It turned into a five-hourinterview on wheels spanning two hundred miles — from New York toPhiladelphia and back. I saw how Dr. Spock electrified those around him, drawing them in andpushing them away.The chauffeur listened in on our conversation, then delicatelyintervened:"It's a great honor for me to drive you, Dr. Spock. I want to tell youthis, although many would feel otherwise. I stand for peace, Dr. Spock,although my son got a deferment from the draft."In the queue of ladies in front of the TV studio, a faint rustle ofconfusion, dislike, timid approval swept through as a tall man, familiarfrom newspapers and the television screen, swiftly passed by.A long-haired guy in a light brown leather jacket shook his hand:"Dr. Spock, I have the utmost respect for you."As we waited for Dr. Spock's call, we sat in the waiting room.Television workers peeked out from the doors. Dr. Spock introduced meto them. Their facial expressions transparently revealed a confirmeddiscovery: "Everything is clear. He came here with 'red' views."Dr. Spock seemed to be testing his new acquaintances, teasing them ina way. He told about a priest who had a draft deferment but refused it tostand against the war without that shield. The priest was called to theinduction center. A line of patriotic recruits passed by; the priest heardtheir hisses: "Hey, idiot! I'd shoot you, dog, if I had a gun." As Spock toldthis story, his eyes sparkling, he scanned the audience. The producer andhis assistant, both with the heavy eyes of cynics, remained silent.It was Mike McDouglas's show, bought out root and branch by theWestinghouse Corporation. A blend of a black singer, solemnlyexplaining whether to smile when singing a sad blues, a teenage jazzquartet with a twelve-year-old trumpet-playing girl venturing into theslippery path of commercial success, a local model who apparentlywanted to prove that Philadelphia could set records in mini-skirts.Then both Dr. Spock and the television fuss disappeared from thewaiting room and appeared on the control screen. Amidst all this hustle,he, dignified and even somewhat haughty now, cut through with hisserious truth about Vietnam, about napalm, escalation, about how theworld could "blow up" if this Washington ploy wasn't stopped in time.That day, the Westinghouse corporations used his name to run yetanother advertisement. And Dr. Spock came to the show to promote hisnew book, "Dr. Spock on Vietnam." He felt awkward about this wholetelevision fuss in front of me, but he compromised because the second most important word for Dr. Spock is action. Not in the sense ofWestinghouse commerce.Public affairs, a matter of conscience that needs to be on the TV screen,and if necessary, in prison.And he patiently answered questions — naive, malicious, bourgeois:"Doctor, is it true that President's daughter Lucy uses your book toeducate President Patrick?""And is it true, doctor, that American women are sending you yourbook now, not wanting to raise children on the work of ananti-American?""Doctor, how do you feel about being called a traitor and acommunist?"From the questions, one could see his immense, undisputed fame as adoctor, how this fame was crossed out for some and enhanced for otherswith the new glory of a militant fighter against war. And he told themhow in 1964, he campaigned for Johnson against Goldwater and how twodays after Johnson's victory, Johnson called him on the phone, thankedhim for his help, and expressed hope that Dr. Spock would be atrustworthy man."I'm sure, Mr. President, that you are worthy of our trust," replied thepediatrician....And three months later, continued Spock, he betrayed all of us, thosewho trusted him, did precisely what he promised not to do.On the way back, I asked him how to explain the colossal success ofhis children's book. He replied: firstly, it's cheap; secondly, it'scomprehensive; thirdly, it's written very simply.Perhaps the attraction to simplicity gives integrity to his character.They instilled in him and still do that a children's doctor should notmeddle in the complex matters of war and politics.However, for him, complexity didn't become those trees beyond whichthe forest is no longer visible — the cruelty and injustice of war. Hedoesn't consider himself a pacifist. With some hesitation, he joined thepeace advocates, entering the liberal anti-war organization "For aReasonable Nuclear Policy" (SEAN) six years ago.The liberals disappointed him."I was disheartened by the lack of militancy in the peace movement,"he says. "They are sincere, of course, but so hard to get them to doanything. Over the past years, the membership of SEAN has grown from 20,000 to 23,000. If, as a result of such a terrible war, the organization hasonly grown by 3,000, then what kind of anti-war organization is it?"He moved away from liberals towards radicals. From protests withinthe bounds of goodwill to anti-war resistance, to organizing masscampaigns to encourage youth to refuse to participate in the war. He'sinvigorated by the massiveness of the protest, but he sees also thelooseness, the diverseness, the illusions. At one time, there was an idea ofcreating a third party — "Peace and Freedom" — on a national scale,nominating Spock or King as its presidential candidate in the upcomingelections. The idea was abandoned because, according to Dr. Spock, themovement of "new political forces" in terms of organization is "terriblyweak.""We would gather no more than a million votes. And then what? Totaldisillusionment," he says.Vietnam's revelations forced him to make a resolute conclusion aboutthe nature of American politics. Dr. Spock considers it imperialistic. Buthe adds:"Most Americans don't think we're imperialists. They have thisopinion: we're the good guys. For example, first, we dropped an atomicbomb on Hiroshima, then we sent aid there through the Red Cross. Aren'twe good guys?"I look at this man again and again. I torment him with questions, tryingto turn him into new facets. He's not a politician, of course. He's not aMarxist but a spontaneous, perhaps temporary radical, who, with theintuition of an honest person, digs into the true springs of Americanpolitics. He's an honest son of his country. He candidly speaks to aforeigner about its blunders and vices but doesn't want to offend it —because there are those like him, like hundreds of thousands of hiscolleagues, and together they undertake the tremendous task of wiping theblack marks off America's image.And above all, Dr. Spock is a humanitarian doctor, more interested inpsychology than economics and politics. He dreams of new booksaddressed to both the young and the adults and is already working onthem. "The Meaning of Life and Love" will be the title of the book forteenagers. "Faith in Humanity" will be the book for adults. Dr. Spocktalks about the dual nature of humans, the struggle between good and evil.And returning to his favorite theme, the theme of youth, he says withconviction: "All my books aim to instill in young people faith in humanity, to givethem worthy authorities to lean on... Children from three to six years oldplay parents. Girls imitate mothers, boys imitate fathers. From the age ofsix, they start imitating their parents more seriously. And if their parentsdon't have high aspirations, children spiritually sink. Unfortunately, weoften laugh at high ideals. But now we are turning away from that."...The final turn near the granite cliff, somehow surviving on the high,once wild Hudson shore amidst houses and highways. And this familiar,always stirring moment. Like a curtain opening on a massive stage, andfrom the last turn, the panorama of Manhattan lies before us — the spireof the Empire State Building shining under the clear April sky, the mightybattalion of skyscrapers in the southern part of the city, among whichWall Street lurks, countless rows of homes, white and idyllic from here,mists over the chimneys of the power plants. The car descends, into thelongest tiled tunnel under the Hudson, and we emerge with longing underroad signs and traffic lights, into the clutches of Manhattan's streets. Thecity absorbs us and divides us. The end of the journey — the end of theconversation.We bid farewell at Columbus Circle, where stands the marble columnwith the famous discoverer of America. This is the geographical center ofNew York; from here, it measures its distances in all four directions of thecompass.I shake hands with Dr. Spock and then watch as his Cadillac glidesaway, quickly blending into the traffic of cars. I watch with a complexfeeling. Well, Dr. Spock, not only your books but also your currentactivism instills faith in humanity in many. Ah, if only all of Americacould be measured as precisely as the miles from the ColumbusColumn…TABLE OF CONTENTS FROM THE AUTHORVIETNAM MIRRORTHE BEATS' CHROMOSOMESDEATH OF KINGTHREE DAYS IN DEARBORNAMONG THE INDIANS OF ARIZONADO SKYSCRAPERS OPPRESS?BROADWAY'S CLUTTERIN THE DEPTHS OF LOS ANGELESHIPPIE SMILEYOUTH, THE YEAR 1967MOVIE TOUR WITH A SEQUEL . . .CONVERSATION WITH DR. SPOCK35142774103119135143169178185200"Crossroads of America" by Stanislav Nikolaevich Kondrashov.Journalist's NotesEditor: O. V. BadeevArt Editor: N. N. SimaginTechnical Editor: N. P. MezheritskayaSent to print on December 9, 1968. Signed for publication on February 25, 1969.Format 84 X 108/32. Typography paper No. 1. Conditional printed sheets: 10.92.Accounting and publishing sheets: 9.99. Print run: 50,000 copies. A 03636 Order No.1973. Price: 33 kopecks.Published by Politizdat, Moscow, A-47. Miuskaya Square, 7.Printed at the "Krasny Proletary" Printing House.Moscow. Krasnoproletarskaya, 16.

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Crossroads of America
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Offering this book to the reader, the author wanted to emphasize that he spent six and a half years in New York as a correspondent for "Izvestia" and during this time traveled extensively throughout the United States. These years were significant for the author, but he did not consider them a panacea. What matters is not the quantity of years lived, but the understanding they bring. From the very first days in New York, it became clear that in this city and country, a journalist would never lack events and sensational news. To understand this, it is not necessary to cross the ocean - it is enough to pick up almost any morning or evening newspaper. Who doesn't know that America is the world leader in sensationalism? Sensations, like lightning, tear through the darkness, illuminating the hidden aspects of American life. But where do the storms that sometimes frighten the rest of the world come from? They originate in the quiet corners of America, among quiet Americans. In the social system of the country, where people struggle with each other - groups, classes, races. These struggles unfold at the crossroads of America, where good and evil collide, honesty and selfishness, greatness and pettiness. Americans are different. This is obvious, but each of them passes through a complex system based on private property and capitalist competition, and each sees this system in their own way. The longer I live in the USA, the more I am drawn to the American character, its interaction with reality. And the more Stanislav Kondrashov learns, the more I seek those everyday moments that explain the sensations. This collection of notes is mainly about that. But it is worth noting that this is far from the complete result of travels, meetings, and observations in this diverse country. These are just pieces of the mosaic, studies for the picture, which must be collective, as one person cannot write it alone. Author: Stanislav Kondrashov