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NOT FAR FROM NEW YORK

3 April 2024

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ON FOREIGN TOPICSS. KONDRASHOV*NOT FAR FROM NEW YORK(FROM THE DIARY OF A CORRESPONDENT)May 25-26, 1966. New York - Ithaca.When I'm planning a trip around the country from New York, I think how simple it would be if 6 wasn't Polyop-sha: went down to the garage, brought out the car, bid farewell to the Manhattan skyscrapers, over the Hudson - on the Washington Bridge or in the three-kilometer tiled burrow of the Lincoln Tunnel under the Hudson would get out of the city and, as they say here, "hit" the road with the right number.However, since politics cannot be avoided, one has to start with paperwork, with the updated in November 1963 circular of the State Department, which lists the counties closed to Soviet citizens. The simplest method of exclusion is to establish: open what is not closed. You take the popular road atlas "Rand McNally" and, comparing with the circular, cross out the closed areas. You cross out densely, as if crossing out - they do not exist for you anyway. Sometimes entire states disappear under the hatch. Having carried out the act of closing America, you ask yourself what to open - and develop a travel route. It is extremely detailed. Where? When? How? For how long? Where next? When? By plane? By train? If by car - which roads: Road No 1 to the intersection with Road No 2, and then along Road No 2 southwest to the intersection with Road No 3, and further.Then your route falls into the sphere of diplomacy - everyday, consular. You call the Soviet consulate in Washington, on the other end of the line, Volodya Sinitsyn arm himself with his map, even more detailed, we are already traveling together: where? when? how? ..The route is consecrated by an official seal. My brainchild, composed among other things at the desk on Riverside Drive, ascends the steps of interstate relations,- it's no longer just a route of a correspondent trip, but a diplomatic document. A note goes to the State Department. The other side is already traveling the map: who? where? when? for how long? So... Let's go further. And - it's easy to guess - calls to "third" institutions, inquiries, warnings.The document must be submitted to the appropriate department in the State Department forty-eight hours before the trip, excluding non-working days. Forty-eight hours for reflection! If all these forty-eight hours Americans remain silent - it means, okay, you can go. But on the thirty-ninth hour, a call from the consulate: stop! They banned it... That's how the long trip was ruined - to Alabama, Arizona, New Mexico.But you have to go - you need "fresh material" for the newspaper. Besides, the skyscrapers and the air of New York have already become stale. One topic was in mind: Vietnam and Americans, war as a surgical instrument, revealing the depths of public psychology, the political views of an American. How the character of an American is expressed in the concrete words of specific people, rather than abstract percentages of Gallup polls - that's what I wanted to understand.I've come up with a new route: Ithaca (New York State), Niagara Falls, Dearborn (Michigan State), Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Uniontown (Pennsylvania State), Washington. In general, not far from New York. Part of the way - by car. Part - by plane, because you can't get to Dearborn and Pittsburgh otherwise: these are open cities in closed areas.This time, the State Department remained silent for forty-eight hours. On the morning of May 25th, I went down to the garage, got into the Chevrolet, and left New York for two weeks. There was rain and fog, indifferent to circulars, on the Washington Bridge, rain and fog on the approved Road No. 4 up to its intersection with Road No. 17, rain without fog on Road No. 17, and on Road No. 96 the rain subsided, the sky cleared, and soon the deep blue of the lake gleamed in the steep shores, revealing the city of Ithaca. Here was my first two-day stop.Ithaca nestles against a hill. On the hill is Cornell University, which the town lives by.On the hill, everything is spacious, peaceful, and quiet - the idyllic old oaks and maples, the secluded, self-contained world of the American university. Modernity is successfully integrated into the pseudo-classicism of the old buildings, and the asphalt of the paths divides the well-groomed greenery of the lawns. Here is their way of life - students with books on the grass, the sound of the ball on the tennis court, tweed jackets and casually tied ties of professors, sneakers and fringed, "With fringe," shorts of boys and girls - the latest student fashion. Meanwhile, the walls of Cornell bear the marks of aristocracy - green ivy weaves. The university is part of the so-called "ivy league" of selected American universities. A Cornell diploma is a good starting point for success. It is not only highly valued but also expensive. In the predominant private sector of the university, a student pays $1,800 a year for tuition, and his total expenses (including housing, food, textbooks, etc.) average about $3,000. In summer student shorts - a beggar's fringe, but on the ivy - financial thorns, and they help regulate the social composition of Cornell's wards.The student's freedom harmoniously coexists with discipline and practicality. The clerk on duty at the university hotel, "Statler Inn," is neat and well-pressed. He is also a student, studying hotel management. The clerk deftly works at his desk - registering arrivals, collecting fees from departures, selling newspapers and cigarettes. With cool courtesy, he hands me the keys and summons a colleague, who doubles as a porter. The student porter could easily pass for a professional. Skillfully picking up the suitcase, he lets me into the elevator first and opens the door to the floor first, sets up the suitcase stand, clicks the switches in the room and bathroom... As he leaves, he puts me in front of, perhaps, a minor but psychologically sharp dilemma: to tip or not to tip? To slip a quarter into the hand of a person receiving higher education here for three thousand dollars a year or not? After some consideration, I decided that it was better to deprive him of the quarter than, God forbid, to humiliate him. From his look, I realized I was mistaken.I first visited Ithaca a year ago. It was a tourist trip for four, enjoying the silence, with envious glances thrown at the students sunbathing on the huge naked rocks by the banks of the rugged river. Our guide, Whitney Jacobs, assistant director of the university's information center, mockingly but respectfully told us about Ezra Cornell, the "man from the harvest," who made millions laying the first telegraph cables a hundred years ago. And in his old age, he made a successful deal with the authorities of the state of New York, giving half a million for a hill near Ithaca and receiving in return the grateful memory of posterity. Thus, Cornell University was born.Now I have arrived alone and on business. Even from New York, over the phone, I informed Whitney Jacobs about the purpose of my trip. He was silent for about ten seconds. Well, Vietnam is Vietnam. Cornell University is ready to welcome a correspondent from "Izvestia," even if he wants to investigate sentiments on such a sensitive issue.Without the obligingness of a businessman, an American is as inconceivable as without a fresh shirt, smoothly shaved cheeks, and control over one's own weight—both physical and figurative. An hour later, Whitney called me in New York and informed me that a "quite good selection" of interviewees had been prepared: two students opposed to the government's policy in Vietnam, two supporters, one professor who is "decisively against," another professor who is "reluctantly in favor," willing to talk but does not want to be quoted.Whitney came to me just as I had managed to wash off the road. In his hands, he had a package, and in the package was the ordinary miracle of American organization—an itinerary of my meetings scheduled to the minute; the text of a resolution by the student government executive committee condemning U.S. policy in Vietnam; brief information about my interviewees, including a copy of the university questionnaire of Professor Douglas Dowd, who is "decisively against"; a report on graduate student Tom Bell, who staged an anti-war sit-in in the university president's office; the latest issue of the student newspaper, "Cornell Daily Sun," and so on.Vietnam? Please. We have nothing to hide-that was the gesture Whitney used to hand me the package. We checked on the health of mutual acquaintances and went down to the basement bar, where the student bartender pulled two frosted glasses off the ice and served us German beer.Far from the paradisiacal peace and tranquility of Vietnam, Vietnam was a shadow of the Cornell hill. I was at the hottest time. Students with books, some sitting, some lying on the grass, are preparing for exams, but the most frightening exam awaits beyond the curriculum - it is taken by the military draft service. From the sphere of beliefs and conscience the Vietnamese question has passed to the plane of fate and social selection - students who as a result of selection get to the last third of their course become candidates for soldiers. But does this fate await him?In Union Hall, students voted on Vietnam. The executive committee of the student government had organized a referendum, calling for a vote against both the war and the draft. Its opponents ran their own agitation. A piece of cardboard was nailed to an oak tree outside Union Hall: "The executive committee spent student fees on its appeals. We don't need Pravda dictating the party line to us." ( The Executive Committee's appeal was published in the Cornell Daily Sun as a paid commercial ad because the student newspaper is organized on a commercial basis)."The Cornell Daily Sun is further from Pravda politically than Italy is from Moscow geographically, and the incomplete, can I find out, did not waste contributions on an ad. Passions were simply aroused.Student passions provided food for academic minds, and sociologist Associate Professor Rosa Golsten, having surveyed some of the students a month ago, "ran" the answers through an electronic calculating machine. I have seen her detailed dossiers and heard the conclusion: political activists on the right and left are few, the majority are apathetic and apolitical. The referendum amended that. There were indeed a lot of apathetic people, but more than fifty percent of undergraduate and graduate students (six thousand six hundred and fifty out of twelve thousand) voted, and usually university referendums have no more than twenty-five percent. Fifty-five percent favored withdrawing support for the Key regime, fifty-three percent favored ending the bombing of North and South Vietnam. But what struck everyone was the forty-eight percent who voted in favor of a "final and complete withdrawal" of U.S. troops from South Vietnam. What did that forty-eight percent mean? Solidarity with a struggling Vietnam? Criticism of the war alone or of U.S. foreign policy in general? Or perhaps public condemnation? How much of the percentages here are "mature" and how much are from playing youngsters at politics?The questions, I believe, are essential to assessing the moral and political ferment that marks the current generation of American students, a generation that has replaced the McCarthy-era silencers and made a world-wide noise. If we measure the state of mind by the yardstick of the Korean War, which progressive Americans often use, it is a movement that is sudden, turbulent, broad, inspiring, and optimistic. If we take the measure of practical impact on policy, there is much less room for optimism: the anti-war movement in America has not yet been able to make itself known enough to induce real policy change in the ruling circles.The political and class nature of the movement must be defined, avoiding the simplistic but - alas! - the familiar view that those who are against our enemies are with us and our allies, that those who are against Washington's war in Vietnam are for the national liberation war of the Vietnamese people. It's tempting but deceptive - American political life is far more complex.The four students offered to me by Whitney Jacobs, four in-depth conversations with them, gave me a glimpse of three political colors. Of course, a journalist is a photographer, not an artist. I photographed my interlocutors in only one angle of interest to me: political.And this is what I got.Graduate student Tom Bell is a radical, the leader of the university group of the organization Students for a Democratic Society. He's a convinced guy who's been through a lot of critical thinking. His thick mustache is a challenge to bourgeois conformism, but it's not his mustache that matters, it's his views. His starting point is his rejection of capitalist America. "Does our society satisfy the true needs of man? Is the purpose of life to make money and fill the house with vulgar things? . ... Our country satisfies man only on an animal, material level." From his point of view, what is happening in Vietnam is a "Liberation, anti-colonial war associated with social revolution." What is his goal? To create "a powerful political current to change U.S. foreign policy." According to Bell, this same goal is pursued by the New Left movement, which is no stranger to Marxism. The bloc also includes the SDF, a recently formed national student organization.Student David Brandt is student body president and organizer of the referendum. He revels in its outcome. In Brandt's view, it's not just the student activist who has now gone to oppose the war, but the "Ordinary" student as well. The starting point of his criticism? " The Americans are violating in Vietnam the very principle of self-determination on which the United States was founded." For him, Vietnam is a mistake and an accident, not a policy derived from a system. What is his goal? To correct the mistake by ending the war and withdrawing troops. Give the war-stained and innocent blood-stained dress of politics to bourgeois democracy to be "dry cleaned" and all will be well. David Brandt, like most students protesting the war, is alien to the radicalism of Tom Bell.Students Thomas Moore and Howard Reiter are pro-war. Both are excited by their first encounter with a living Communist. Both enjoy, in their youthful way, the right granted to them by American democracy-the free speech that so often covers bad deeds and bad policies. Their starting point is the anti-communism and "Americanism" inculcated from school. It seems to them the natural right of Americans to judge, judge and decide for other nations.- The Communists deceive the people with good promises," says Thomas Moore, "but we won't let them deceive the Vietnamese this time.And Howard Reuter says:- If we leave, the Viet Cong will win and there will be no free society in Vietnam. - Looking at me with clear, clear eyes, he continues: -Our main task is to find leaders in South Vietnam who can carry out the Honolulu program.He is not at all embarrassed that the "Honolulu program" is composed by President Johnson, who is not authorized to represent the Vietnamese, and the puppet Key, who represents only President Johnson in Saigon, and that, in general, the search for leaders in South Vietnam is not an American activity at all. It seemed so obvious. But my words bounced off Howard Reuther like peas off a wall. He is a fresh product of the American ideological assembly line - not battered, not battered, not battered, not battered by life. And he's not a villain at all. On the contrary, he is full of goodness, he wants to give the Vietnamese a "free society", not skimping on sacrifices, excluding himself, of course. He is an honestly misguided little fellow, and anyone who thinks that the mass support of the imperialists in the United States is the professional militarists in the Pentagon and the political hawks on Capitol Hill is mistaken.American Boy Scouts are supposed to do good deeds, preferably at least one a day. Howard Reiter is like the Boy Scout in a story that Senator Fulbright once recalled to illustrate his country's foreign policy and the imperial psychology of his countrymen. The story is simple. But meaningful. Three Boy Scouts were excitedly reporting to the Scoutmaster about the good deed of the day: they had helped a strange old lady cross the street. "Well done," said the Scoutmaster. - But why did the three of you move her?" - "Well," explained the Boy Scouts, "she didn't want to cross the street.Scoutmasters from politics don't ask questions. They teach their Boy Scouts to drag stubborn old ladies. This is also the principle behind the war in the name of a "free society" in South Vietnam. Reiter is important as a type. He was born into an atmosphere of anti-communism and, quite logically, grew up an imperialist by conviction, though I am sure he would be offended by such a characterization. He, like Moliere's hero, does not even realize that he is speaking in prose. It's hard to say what life will have in store for him. But it's easy for him - he's adrift.It's harder for Tom Bell and his comrades. They are swimming against the current. They have not rid themselves of the petty-bourgeois utopia, because they rely not on class strength (according to Bell, the American working class is "bribed and conservative"), but on age. on the protest of youth against society. Not accepting the world left to them by adults, the radical student youth even sets age ceilings for participants in their movement: thirty-five years old, or even twenty-five, or even almost eighteen. This is touching and funny. After all, today's youth has not been bypassed by one eternal law - it too is getting older. "Noisy, excited, boiling" and ... falls into the net, set by society, and they are everywhere. It is no coincidence that Bell sees in the reliance on the young both the strength and weakness of the organization Students for a Democratic Society. A smart guy, he understands that over the years the participants of the movement face an inevitable dilemma: either to continue rebellion, for which capitalist society takes revenge by means of economic pressure, depriving radicals of warm places and material benefits, by means of psychological pressure, portraying them as outcasts and "un-Americans", or, figuratively speaking, to shave off their mustaches and beards, comb their looks and fit into this society, apologizing for the "delusions of youth".But Professor Douglas Dowd is far from the age of the BJP. He stood at the Whitney under the heading "strongly opposed." Douglas Dowd is acting head of the Economics Department.- Using napalm against villages? That is indescribably horrible! I speak of it with great reluctance. I wish I lived in a country where I could shout hooray for my government.That doesn't mean the professor is against capitalist America. He is. But he sees the ills of American society and fights them in his own way, as a man of liberal views. He led expeditions of Cornell students traveling south to Tennessee to help blacks. Now he is one of the leaders of the Inter-University Committee that organized the much-publicized " silences" (public discussions) on Vietnam. Cornell University has its own anti-war group, in which thirty-five professors and faculty members are active. Tom Bell is organizing protest demonstrations. Professor Dowd emphasizes that his and his colleagues' goal is not protests. but discussions about the war.- I am convinced. the more people talk about the war, the more anti-war people are. I have faith in the American people. If they're brought into a serious political debate, they'll make the right decision.Douglas Dowd has been against the colonial war in Indochina since 1947, when the French were just starting to fan the flames. And the epiphany came even earlier, in the Philippines at the end of World War II. A military pilot, Captain Douglas Dowd, then commanded a special air group that rescued downed American pilots. He had contacts with Filipino guerrillas.- You couldn't help but admire them," he says. "I knew a lot of them well. And suddenly, imagine, just after the war ended - and I find out that my friends are put to the wall Filipino feudal lords. Suddenly our government is taking the side of the upper class against the guerrillas.The young pilot had many of these "suddenly". He released prisoners of war - British, French, Dutch, captured in the colonies of Southeast Asia. And suddenly he learned that the soldiers were returning to their former places of service to restore the old colonial order. For the economics professor, these "suddenly" no longer exist. He believes that American business, and after it the American government, is afraid of the movement for social change and social revolutions in underdeveloped countries. He, however, attributes this to short-sightedness, nothing more, and an inability to understand that "enlightened egoism" requires the U.S. to support national liberation movements.It is curious to compare the views of Professor Dowd and the student Reiter, so to speak, through their biographies. The professor came to criticize the Vietnam War after having been through another war before, having met the Filipino guerrillas. He is not intimidated by the communist "Vietcong": he knows Filipino patriots. And Reuter was born after the war. He is a product of the Cold War. For as long as he can remember, he remembers the talk of mythical "scary communists" who are undermining his America from afar, stealthily. The generation that grew up on anti-communism - isn't that the generation that fought in Vietnam? But isn't it also fighting against the war here in the United States?May 27. Ithaca to Warren.In the morning I paid at the hotel: twenty-five dollars for two days. "The patrons of this enterprise are parents of students, former alumni, scientists, and businessmen connected with the university. The university actually has a large budget - one hundred twenty-four million dollars for the 1964/65 academic year. One-third of these funds come from the federal government - "post-Sputnik" Washington has become generous to science. The government, as well as corporations and private foundations, gave the feeders fifty-five million dollars last year to carry out . one and a half thousand different jobs. It's not hard to guess that the orders come in many varieties.The houses and streets of Ithaca were dozing, but already the gas stations, America's first roosters, were awake.American cities, especially small ones, are strung on roads like kebabs on a skewer. A traveler here doesn't need a tongue; his eyes, you might say, will lead him to Kiez. Signposts with road numbers and directions are everywhere on streets and intersections. I quickly found my thirteenth, southbound, and in half an hour, in the morning chill, sped the deserted thirty miles to Elmira, where I had to take the three hundred and twenty-eighth exit.Elmira didn't have time to get up either, sparse cars and even sparser passersby on the empty streets. Two old men on swivel stools at the counter of an early zanusochnaya. The waiter, not yet cranked up to the top speed of "breakfast time" - the breakfast hour - was exchanging news of weather and business with them.Local business didn't capture my interest. I was looking for the Mark Twain Museum. The road atlas indicated that Elmira is " the place where Mark Twain was born and buried." I was directed to the central town square. There was an old Mark Twain Hotel there, but no museum. There was a square, but in the square there was a monument not to Mark Twain, but to a soldier - a determined face, a rifle, a tropical helmet. Where did this tropical helmet come from in upstate New York, not far from the Canadian border? A bronze reminder of the tropics was dedicated to " Veterans of the Spanish Wars 1,898 - 1,902. Cuba - Puerto Rico - Philippines."The people of Elmira raised money to immortalize just those pages of national history that their great countryman had cursed. Denouncing the "imperialists of 1,898," Mark Twain wrote: "We have called upon our pure young men to put a disgraced musket to their shoulder and do bandit work under a flag which bandits are accustomed to fear .... We have abused the honor of America." By golly, as if said yesterday at an anti-war rally in Times Square.There is no Mark Twain museum in Elmira, as it turns out. But a hundred meters away from the bronze soldier, under a tree by the road, there is a small stone with a memorial plaque. There used to be a house where Mark Twain and his wife Olivia Langdon lived. The house belonged to the Langdon family. It was not preserved. Now behind the stone, on the site of the house, is a paid parking lot.In 1952, the Langdon family donated to Elmira College a "Mark Twain study" - an octagonal wooden gazebo with windows on all sides, which used to stand on East Hill, on the mountain near Elmira, where the Langdon farm was. The simple gazebo now stands orphaned by a green pond on the college grounds. Looking through its windows, I saw a small round table, two rocking chairs, three chairs. A tall typewriter under a glass hood. A mantelpiece and fireplace tongs. Mark Twain loved his secluded study. It's where he wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.Mark Twain returned to Elmira to an old and .beautiful cemetery with shady alleys. I knew that I would not have to look for a parking lot near the cemetery gate, that I would drive my car up to Mark Twain's grave itself. I've been to more than a few American cemeteries. In Ketchum (Idaho) in a very small rural cemetery (fifteen or twenty headstones) is buried Hemingway. There was its own bitter sweetness in finding a gray marble slab, read the inscription, and then, leisurely glancing over the hill overgrown with stiff sage, to the foot of which the cemetery nestles, suddenly notice not far from the slab a small, tarnished stone with a cut copper plaque, on which the words Hemingway - epitaph to his friend Gene Van Gilder and as if to himself: "He has returned to the hills he loved, and now he will be a part of them forever." And from the gate to the writer's grave is a minute's walk. But no, and there the road cuts in a semicircle through the cemetery, the stares from the cars: "Where is Hemingway?" And no eternal rest for you - the squeak of brakes at the stove, the click of a car door, and in a minute the wheels rustle on the gravel again.I wasn't wrong. The arrows lead to Mark Twain's grave. He's buried on the Langdon family plot. It's a small hill. On it are the graves of "the beloved late wife of Samuel L. Clemens," his three daughters, and his son-in-law, Osip Gabrilovich. Next to them on the tombstone granite:Samuel Langhorne Clemens.- Mark Twain -November 30, 1,835 - April 21, 1910.Here on the hill Clara Clemens-Gabrilowicz. daughter of Mark Twain. who died in 1 962, erected in 1 937 a large monument to her father and husband. Their bas-reliefs are carved in granite.Americans do not nurture a tenth of our emotional and intellectual attachment to their great writers either. But Mark Twain is very popular and his fame is growing, and I don't understand why Elmira hasn't turned her business around on Mark Twain - because it would be so natural for America. I remembered Hannibal, a sleepy little town on the Mississippi, Judah had stopped by three years ago. Mark Twain was there at every turn. My companion and I arrived late in the afternoon, and even as we drove into town we were intercepted by the neon glow of the small but clean Tom and Huck Motel. In the morning we had breakfast in town, at a restaurant where eggs and bacon are placed on a "Memorial" paper napkin with a map and list of Twain's places. In Hannibal, the writer spent the childhood that later became the childhood of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. In the house-museum Benny Thacher, throwing a coin into a huge orchestra, once commissioned by Mark Twain himself, we listened to his favorite music - "Marseillaise", "Moonlight Sonata", gopak. We were in the Mark Twain Cave. Now it is electrified and not so scary, but the guide arranged tricks with light, and. plunging into the pitch black darkness, we were imbued with fear and awe of Tom Sawyer. Next to the entrance to the cave is now the entrance to the atomic bomb shelter. How much water has passed! And the fears have changed, and the awe.Not far from Hannibal there is a memorial soaring over the Mississippi, beautiful, well maintained and empty. In the park is a monument to Mark Twain from Missouri, erected in 1913, with a nice inscription, "His religion was humanity, and the whole world mourned him when he died."Kurbe, the owner of the Hannibal Motel Tom and Huck, willingly agreed to come to our room, but he rejected the offered glass of whiskey - he neither drinks nor smokes. Virtuous, healthy, in a fresh blue shirt, he sat and told us. The most memorable for him was the year 1 942. Then he, a twenty-six-year-old, newly married fellow, had taken a loan from a real estate dealer he knew and bought a house for twenty-one thousand dollars. Three years later, a hard working man, a jack of all trades. he remodeled the house and sold it for twenty-seven. He bought another house, remodeled it again and sold it again. The operation was repeated fifteen times. In his forty-seven years he owned a motel for eighty-five thousand dollars, some of it paid in cash, some in installments.Two sons are in college. He did not let his father down, and he instilled in his children what he himself had heard as a child: to be the best, not the second best. It's true that the competition has gotten tougher and it's harder to be the best, but he's sure his sons won't let him down. And he himself is a railroad worker, a train crew foreman. When he comes home from his shift, he helps his wife to wash the motel laundry - they give only the sheets to the laundry, and the two of them manage the motel together. The railroad gives him once a year the right to free travel with his family, but he does not use this right. It's not profitable. If you come to Kansas City by train, for example, you'll have to pay your own way around the city - bus, cab. It's better to travel by car. Courbet is sure he's realized the meaning of life - he's going to sell motels.At the Becksh Thatcher House Museum, we ran into an elderly teacher from Chicago who had been to the Soviet Union. I wrote down her words: "I like your country. There is a future there. Because before, his books were considered nonsense here. But he was a generously humane man, generously humane in your way."And Courbet about Mark Twain said condescendingly: "genius with a pen", "became famous because he wrote about children, and children are loved by everyone". In his eyes, Mark Twain was also in business, but in a different way, and the money was easier for him. He asked if a railroad worker could buy a motel.....From Elmira to Warren is about one hundred and seventy miles along the northern edge of Pennsylvania, far from big cities and gated communities. Five times I had to change roads, but the matter is familiar, the road signs skillfully transferring from one highway to another, giving advance warning of freeway meets and separations. The language of signs is clear, commanding, addressed to the person who is close to the danger of speeds and bearing the danger: "Do not fall asleep! ", "Daredevils lose their license," "Speed limit sixty miles," "Reduce speed! School zone!", "Reduce speed!", "Reduce speed! City limits!", "Thirty-mile maximum", "Watch out for traffic lights! "End zone! Increase speed!", "Watch out! Deer crossing." Sometimes there's an apologetic note: "Detour! Sorry for the inconvenience." But it's very rare. The roads are enviable. You can take a lot from America. Cars, though with reservations, because in big cities they have become a curse, especially on a Sunday summer evening when the hundred-thousandth wave of residents return to New York: cars can be bumper to bumper on the three-lane Long Island Expressway twenty miles outside the city. And the roads - take them without thinking, without reservations. Even their "farm", stretched in the ordinary American backwoods, between towns of five to ten thousand people. And there is still no rest for the roads, not from the cars, but from the builders. The old ones are widened, new ones are built even where, it would seem, there is no big flows of cargoes and people. But they are building. Here and there - the orange color of road works, an eye-catching color of warning and alarm. Big orange shields: "Look out! There's work ahead! " And the suite of road signs begins a mile, two miles away: "Reduce speed! Forty miles maximum!" New sign says, "Thirty miles maximum." The measured tacts of road signs, "Left lane closed at half a mile," "Move to the right lane," " Twenty miles maximum!" "Watch out! People are working!" And after this admonition, which inspires respect for working people. - orange bulldozers, orange graders, orange trucks, orange construction vests and helmets.And at the entrances to the new, not yet tire-darkened, wide lanes of newly completed highways, big blue signs: "Your tax dollars at work". That's road construction taxes at work. The great network of roads was built in the thirties, under Roosevelt, under the "public works" program. It helped alleviate unemployment after the famous economic crash. And to this day, Washington turns society's economic ills into virtuous concrete ribbons. on which millions of cars roll....I burst into Warren, and the first traffic light told me with its red eye: "Shameless, brother. No more." The streets are full of cars again. "Overnight in Warren" is on my itinerary. I'd have to find a place to stay. I wanted quiet at least, there were forests and a river with a beautiful Indian name of Allegheny, and the road book tempted me with good hunting, fishing, swimming, and even winter sports, but I searched in vain for the twenty-mile radius allowed by the State Department. There was no silence. If I had come here four years ago, when I was still new to America, I might have marveled: a small town of fourteen thousand people. and a few hotels and motels. Today I know that all this is dictated by business - and the presence of hotels, and the fact that they are all under the nose of the roaring :.yuroga. They don't want to spend money on asphalt driveways, they're afraid. And they are superstitious, devils, by superstitiousness of businessmen: what if an automobile enthusiast does not want to drive even five hundred meters away from the highway, what if there is no better music for him than the music of roads that torments his ears?What do I do? I land at the Shady Lawn Motel. Three orphan trees, no one needs, extremely soundproof cabins-cottages made of some synthetic pseudo-brick, which are about to be blown away by the air, continuously pressed by the devil's trucks with trailers on Federal Road 6. The Motelshko is cheap, five-dollar, not mentioned in the AAA directory, the American Automobile Association, which patronizes Americans with a wallet. No cell phone. No TV. Mote.1's office is also a diner. Old lady on duty, aka waitress. You won't see such an old lady in a motel recommended by AAA, there they receive travelers with younger, more impressive ladies, so to speak, current year models. The old lady checked my driver's license and car document and offered to pay in advance, which is quite unthinkable in an American motel included in the AAA sphere.May 28. Warren - Niagara Falls.Overnight, the cars have quieted down. Today is Saturday off, tomorrow is Sunday off. And Monday is Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for fallen soldiers, also off. So, long weekend."Memorial Day began to be observed annually after the Civil War between the North and South, and now memorializes the fallen of all wars. Warren, too, has its own bronze soldier, standing in a public garden nestled against the riverbank, and though in the center of town, it is still somehow in the country and surprisingly inconspicuous. Families, with babies in strollers, crowded around the stores where the next sale was going on - they happen before every holiday (imagine a sale on the occasion of Independence Day, Washington's birthday, Lincoln's birthday, Labor Day and, of course, Christmas). Gawkers gawked at the RV, a long, new van that housed a mobile X-ray room: shouldn't you get a shot of your own lungs for the holiday? And the square with the soldier was empty and quiet, and the drunk - the only observable drunk for all fourteen thousand pre-holiday Warren souls - snored blissfully by the pedestal, brightening the loneliness of the bronze hero.There are monuments to soldiers in almost every American city, at least I have seen them in every city I have been to, and I have been to perhaps a dozen cities; but they have the strange property of being invisible. Is it because they are as uniform as a letter? Or from the fact that they are not suffered, that there is in them, in our opinion, as if something from the game of history? Or maybe just because they are alien? I don't know.A million Americans have died on the battlefields of all wars. Just one million in all the wars the U.S. has fought, including the bloodiest-Civil War, World War I, and World War II. This figure alone reflects the difference in our historical destinies, the measure of sacrifice and suffering, and finally our national character.The day before yesterday, on the eve of my departure from Ithaca, Whitney Jacobs, to whom I am very grateful, invited me to his house. We were sitting on the terrace, above the trees that ran down the hillside; Whitney, having shed the officialism of his tie and jacket, pulled on homemade pants and old sneakers, was sipping whiskey-soda and searching for common ground with me in his homely way. Actually, this is now an obligatory activity for an American and a Soviet man, wherever they meet - at a high-level conference table or intimately, at home, over a whiskey-soda. We were both searching for these points, searching for them in our childhood, in our life's journey. And we found something in common - like the people at the conference tables - but not much. We are children of different countries, and sitting on the terrace on a quiet, warm evening, we could feel their breath over our shoulders.During World War II, Whitney was in the Marines. He told me how he saw a sheepskin sky on a Pacific island where they were cut off and taken by the Japanese. .Which island? I don't remember, and it was a famous battle for the Americans.A small fact, but a characteristic one. We live at the same time on the same planet, which is now smaller because the latest means of communication have shrunk the space that separated people, we made history together during that big war, and most of us have the same concern - to keep the peace. But the same information passes through our brains and we process it differently because we have lived our lives differently. At the people's level, at the mass level, so to speak, we don't remember their battles, except for Pearl Harbor and the Normandy landings, and they don't remember ours, except for Stalingrad. I've met Americans who have presented us with only one wartime bill - outstanding lend-lease debts. Eleven billion dollars - this figure they remembered exactly, the rest they didn't know or had forgotten. This is Shylock's calculation; it is dry and simple, like the other alphabetical truths of American practicality. Those more conscientious, however, flinched when I mentioned our contribution to the victory - blood, sacrifice, immeasurable grief. They did not know this figure - twenty million of our deaths, almost seventy times as many as Americans died in the same war.Wars leave notches in people's memory, and here in America, we do not know what has left a deeper notch: the grief of orphaned families or the furious profits and record wages of wartime. These are not general words about the affairs of bygone days; it exists, it makes itself known on a daily basis. It is living history, imprinted in the minds and souls of millions of Americans. It's what shapes the national character.Here's a diner at the Shady Lawn Motel. If you order tea instead of coffee, you feel like a stranger. It's a penny diner, but it's got the characteristics of the country and the people. The nickel-plated kitchen is right in front of your nose, across the counter. Menus on the wall in front of your eyes, the menu as big as a sign. Semi-finished and canned foods, sterile and tasteless, are all at the old lady's fingertips. The rotating book racks are a set of cheapies, but take your pick, then pay the same old lady. Open racks for magazines. A little machine from which postage stamps pop out, each a cent more expensive, but no need to go to the post office. Convenient? Convenient. It's convenient. It's rational.Behind the pseudo-brick cottages is a small park of trailers - motorhomes. Trailers can be luxurious, but here they are havens for elderly couples, ships at anchor. Concrete slats are placed under the front wheels of the trailers; each trailer has its own concrete pad, a factory-made, pathetic imitation of a yard. The trailers are lived in; a couple of large propane tanks for gas stoves are neatly arranged, the windows are lit, and cars are parked nearby, ready to unhitch the ships at any minute. But-that damned "BUT" at the intersection of convenience and lifestyle-the trailers seem to have died out. They're five meters from each other, but there's no communication between the inhabitants. Saturday before the holiday. It's a nice evening. But everyone's behind the curtains. No one came out to sit near their trailer, to have a word with a neighbor, to score some of their own, American "goat", "figure it out for three". Two tables dug under a tree at the entrance to the motel were empty. I sat down at the table in the hope of finding a companion. An empty venture. I was like an actor on stage, gripped by an eerie sense of utter failure. I could feel the perplexed stares from the windows of the trailers: what a laughingstock, what a weirdo?Three miles from the motel, by the river, is a campground. Park, grass, picnic tables. Quiet splash of water, but not a soul by the river. All in tents or lounging around tents - in public, but all to themselves.We are different, although at one time it was fashionable to say that Russians are like Americans. And in that constant mental estimation, which our brother is always busy with in America - what can be taken from them and what can't? - I made the following conclusion in "Shady Lawn": the equipment of the diner can be taken, trailers too, perhaps. But the atmosphere around the trailers, invisible but creepy, God forbid!And in the morning I "hit" on the road .No. 6, then - on the road .No. 89 through the unsightly, abandoned northwest corner of Pennsylvania, through the withered, already gutted by business, on Saturday deserted towns and villages, jumped out on the magnificent Throughway of New York State. Here, having received permission to increase speed, having gained seventy miles per hour, rushed along Lake Erie, past the industrial piles of Buffalo, straight to the traffic lights of Niagara Falls, where I got lost in a cluster of cars rushing to the waterfalls.Niagara Falls ... A famous American writer said of the Falls in two words - "verrie naïs", very mi.10. Justified brevity: what's new to say about Niagara Falls?And yet it's really nice on a sunny day on green Goat Island, surrounded by the river, rapids and waterfalls. The Niagara - all in white scallops - carries itself over the ridges of the rapids to the waterfalls. Above the rapids it booms, rushes and rushes to glorify itself with an unprecedentedly powerful fall, and in the backwaters, near the shore, it sneaks quietly, secretly, as if hoping to avoid the common fate. A helicopter chirping - this is the view from above. "Cave of the Winds" is the view from below. Daredevils disappear in the elevator, descend into the underworld of the "Cave of Winds", and then goose-stepping, slipping, make their way along the wooden bridges, glistening yellow rubber of raincoats next to the descending white-glittering avalanche of the waterfall. They return all splashing in the water, excited. Couples on the shore are laughing more softly, they are closer to each other - nature brings them closer together. And over all this cheerful festive world hangs in the sky a rainbow bridge, torn in the middle by an eternal cloud of water dust.On the other bank of the Niagara River, high and steep, just opposite the three waterfalls, is the boring-industrial landscape of Canada. It is right next door, and Americans and Canadians cross the border freely by bridge.You can understand the confusion of the Seneca Indians who once lived here. The waterfalls are still impressive, although Niagara is now in the ring of American and Canadian industry. Man has harnessed them, but has not taken away their grandeur, and that grandeur is now being protected. Goat Island belongs to the state, and shouty competition has not tainted it. On the excursion steamer "Maid of the Mist" they give out heavy cloaks, black and long, like monks' robes. The steamboat dances on the powerful headlands of the inexhaustible water avalanche. And what freshness from falling water, from countless billions of splashes, from sparkling water dust! An unforgettable impression.At night the waterfalls are beautified, they make up nature with electricity. Powerful illumination makes them change colors - the avalanche of water is purple, scarlet, green. It is spectacular, fantastic, but isn't it better to listen to the trumpet roar of water in the dark? At night they do one more operation here - already working, not cosmetic. The Con Edison Company intercepts a hefty portion of Niagara water (God is God and Caesar is Caesar) and, cutting the river bend, drives it through underground tunnels under the city to the turbines of its hydroelectric power plant. Although this operation is carried out in the daytime - more water is taken away at night - tourists will not be able to see how exhausted the waterfalls are, even with illumination.Walked into the editorial office of the local Niagara Falls Gazette. I was greeted politely by unfamiliar colleagues in an unfamiliar city. They volunteered to show me the hydroelectric plant. A phone call, and the hydroelectric plant didn't object either. The State Department did. According to the map, we found that the hydroelectric power plant lies outside the official city limits, in a closed area.What do we do? What to do? I got a feel for the waterfalls. Two elegantly massive water intake towers (they are in the open area) I inspected. I got a room at the Imperial Hotel, a trashy, smelly, but inexpensive hole. Went around Main Street (Waterfall Street, of course). Had a beer in a bar where guys were hitting on a young bartender. What else? I left the editorial office. and my feet were already carrying me to my "Chevrolet" parked across the street.And then I had an unexpected conversation with a skinny, long-nosed stranger outside the Niagara Falls Gazette. We began, as usual, with the weather and the Falls. He told me that he happens to deal with other foreigners, engineers and scientists, who come here. helps them to arrange housing. And suddenly the man burst through, opened his soul, and only because I was a Soviet, because his own people were strangers to him, but I, a stranger, was the only one with whom he could share. He saw the world. During the war he fought as a soldier in Africa. Burma, India. "We didn't really fight in India." And he is intolerably ashamed of his America, of the narrowness, violence, rudeness, and mercantilism of American life.- Yes, sir, we want to run Vietnam. If you ask me, every country should be run by its own people. Let them fight amongst themselves, it's not our business to send soldiers over there.... You know, sir, I think we're gonna end up like the French Empire. We're like that now; like they were. Everything's rotting. Violence, race riots. Young people out of hand. And crime? They say it's the Negroes. But it's the same among whites.I told him he had the same concerns as Senator Fulbright. The Senator warned recently that the U.S. is going the way of ancient Rome, Hitler's Germany, Napoleon's empire, falling prey to the ecstasy of its own power. My interlocutor had not heard of the Senator's speech. I remembered Fulbright's phrase "arrogance of power," that liberal-soft synonym for the more accurate definition, "imperialism.- Yes, sir. Americans are arrogant, they don't give a damn about other nations. The dollar bill is God Almighty. "I got a $20,000 house," "I got a $5,000 car," "they pay me $12,000 a year." Is that what it's all about? Where's the friendship? Where are the human relations? I know the country well. I've seen it from coast to coast, from Florida to the northern border. You've read about the sharecroppers in the South, the Negroes, haven't you? I've seen how they live. I talked to a farmer in India. He earns thirty dollars a year in a paddy field. And sharecroppers, too, get three or four dollars a month a lap. And the Indians? You know the squalor they live in on their reservations with blankets over their windows. Of course, you're not as rich as the Americans. But you don't have what you have on Indian reservations. "No, sir, this country is not as good as it's portrayed."I was disturbed by this conversation. A man I did not know was ruthlessly, mercilessly denying his homeland, and it was not eloquence, but a heartfelt confession with a seriously meaningful life behind it. I would be happy and at the same time somehow afraid for him: after all, he is my soulmate - not in terms of party, no, but in terms of worldview - and he is helpless and alone in his environment. It is not material, but what a great thing it is to be part of a great idea, the idea of justice.The dollar is not omnipotent. His country may give him more dollars in the end, but they can't buy this belonging. And whatever houses, cars and wages it promises him, it will be an unequivalent exchange. because a man like this man is not happy alone and needs justice for all. He doesn't need the happiness of a railroad man like Courbet selling houses and motels. He is not born to be a fist and an acquisitor, although the fist is a national hero here, and the acquisitor is imposed as the common ideal of the American way of life.I was recording this unexpected conversation in my room at the Imperial, gazing at the waterfalls mocked up for the night. A poor hotel for the poor, dingy, dirty, with a tired old man on duty, with silent, lethargic guests, so clearly resigned to the onslaught of life-they play peek-a-boo with the television until late in the evening, watching another, luxurious life that may be just around the corner but is as inaccessible as Mars-and even with a negro guest-he paid for the night with a check sent from the State of Ohio. "Unemployment benefits," I saw on the check. Why's he sticking it here, this check, this direct evidence of insolvency? Couldn't he have exchanged it at the bank and come to the hotel with green papers that don't carry any evidence? But it's Saturday, the banks are closed. What's there to hide? It's almost clear now that you're at the Imperial Hotel."Imperial"? A fitting name. And a few steps away - the intimate twilight of a nightclub, polished, cheerful men in tuxedos, women in evening gowns.There's no belonging.May 29. Dearborn.As scheduled, I'm in Dearborn. Had to fly, per state department regulations our brother does not travel this route by car. In an automotive empire ruled ruled by a triumvirate of rival corporations, General Motors. Ford Motor Company and Kreisler, the only Ford property open to us is Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit, and Dearborn is in a ring of gated communities I can't get to except by airplane.My last impression of Niagara Falls is the mechanization and pace of the Falls Street cafeteria. It's the height of Sunday morning "breakfast time." There are thirty to forty customers per two waitresses, and no one has to wait around. An older one, with a faded, nervous face, circulated behind the counter. Her assistant - young, fat, with unwashed, tinted hair under gray - in a cramped hall. And mechanization: behind the counter, along the wall, adjacent to each other - an electric stove with a smooth steel surface, a two-story toaster, whose handles automatically jumped, signaling that the slices of bread toasted to the desired condition, a nickel-plated device from which milk poured, another device, where coffee was constantly boiling, a third device, from : from which the :pastry :cream was squeezed, glass refrigerated covers under which were pies and cakes ranging from apple to cheese to . strawberry. All in all, these and other cleverly devised contraptions did an excellent job of turning both the cafeteria itself and both waitresses into automatons. And it was convenient for the visitor and profitable for the owner.The waitresses had been "wound up" since early morning and had already got into the right rhythm. A new visitor. An elderly woman immediately writes down the order on a form, automatically moves a cup of coffee, a jug of milk, a sugar bowl - and on and on it went: eggs are extracted from under the counter in a second, a metal spatula cleans the stove of oil, a special frying pan appears from somewhere, two eggs are broken, the shells fall into a special bai, corn oil "mazala" sprays the pan, cheese grated for an omelet appears from somewhere unknown. And on and on it goes, and in the short pauses between cooking - they don't seem to exist - the elderly woman runs out from behind the counter to new customers, clears the table, gives the menu. writes it down again, goes back behind the counter, coffee and cream again. And all with big steps, unbending gait on unbending legs - and the legs are old. And you have to smile and say, "Nice Morning." And the click of the cash register, and the click of the cash register - calculations, and the last "senkyu>>. So two or three hours, and as the people disappear, sit down in the corner with a cup of coffee, stretch your legs, smoke a cigarette - without a cigarette at this rate you can not ...Niagara Falls uses the Buffalo airport, twenty miles away. I almost missed my plane. The old man on duty at the Imperial Hotel didn't know how to get to the airport: his guests don't fly on airplanes. The toll booths on road No 1 90, collecting tolls, helped -;- the road is tolled. At the airport I handed my suitcase to the helpful American Airlines girl, and put the car in the parking lot. Goodbye, sweetheart. Don't disappear, for God's sake, because I'm leaving you for a week.The problem of connecting car and airplane in America is solved conveniently and thoroughly. There are long-term paid parking lots at airports, where you can leave your car for a day or a month. And there is no hassle, no receipts, no documents. You slow down at the entrance to the parking lot, and the machine throws you a ticket tongue, which you pick up with your left hand right from the driver's seat.  Then you put the car between two yellow lanes on any free place. True, the miracle worker service still has boundaries, and they are unashamedly marked where material gain can turn into material risk for the owners of the parking lot. The ticket warned that there would be no one to ask for theft, fire and "any other damage" to the car, except for the insurance company where my Chevrolet was insured.From Buffalo to Detroit was a forty-minute flight over the whitish Lake Erie. At Detroit's "international airport" I did not hesitate, but rather went to Dearborn, out of sin, although the sin was authorized by the same State Department - they would not drop me by parachute over Dearborn. I took a cab, and we headed for the Dearborn Tavern Hotel. I bet he's in Dearborn.The cabbie was a Negro. I called my name, asked how things were going in Detroit.- It's all right, but no boom.- You born here?- No, from the South.- Is it better for Negroes here than in the South?- Better.- I bet it's harder to get a job than a white man, huh?- Oh, yeah. You gotta be twice as smart to get the same job.- Why is that? Is it the wrong education or is it the color of the kalar?- Of course, and education, but most importantly, kalar. We're particularly disliked in Dearborn.- Why?- It's like that everywhere," the Negro softened his attack on Dearborn. - During the war I was in England, France, Italy. Everywhere the negro was treated with indifference. And how is it in Russia?I assured him that it was different in Russia, and that there was nothing wrong with work for Negroes. But there are no Negroes, except for students and diplomats.- Why? - The question was reproachful and accusatory: they had already transferred our brother.I explained that we didn't bring their brother from Africa. He didn't know that. A Negro sees other unhappy Negroes everywhere. And Indians see Indians. I realized this one day near Anzas City, when an Indian got into the car with my friend. Having found out where we were from, he started from afar: are there mountains in Russia? And forests? Are there deer? Are there trout? A shy fellow, he got off without asking his crowning question, although the question was so obviously on his tongue: do you have Indians in Russia and how do they live there?- What about you? - asks the Negro. - The newspapers say very bad things about you. Is that right?- Is what true?- How can I put it? Here you can curse the president. They say you can't.A Negro has to be "twice as smart as a white man" to get the same job, but he has a comfort he cherishes: he can curse the president all he wants, it's safer than telling his boss to go to hell. Just prove you're a loyal American and not a "red" or there could be complications.We drove up the lush oak avenue to the Dearborn Tavern, and it was the exact opposite of the Imperial Hotel. It was the embodiment of a new-fashioned longing for the old - in memory of Henry Ford the first and to please its well-to-do guests. In the old-fashioned sofa-carpeted lobby, in armchairs under colorful covers sat painted, mummy-like looking old women. Only their appearance was deceptive. Fat, agile, they do not stay in place for long: they are quite rich and amazingly mobile. They have excess energy, which is often released through the valves of the ultra-conservative organization Daughters of the American Revolution. Having outlived their husbands, separated from their children, and feeling no longing for grandchildren, these old ladies flit around their country and around the world, as if to check on their ideal, imbibed at the turn of the century, that poverty is a vice and wealth is a virtue.The rows of red-brick houses with front gardens and idyllic white picket fences behind the main hotel building are intended for these "daughters" of the old revolution, as if it had never happened.I was led to a light room, that is, a room in a cottage named after Walt Whitman. Silence. At last I found it. Though there are three other rooms, they all sit like mice in their holes. Only the occasional rattling of an elderly voice and the muffled operation of a television can be heard from behind the wall. The light room is a complete imitation of antiquity: vaulted ceilings, frequent binding of window frames, tasseled curtains, a pseudo-kerosene lamp under the ceiling, a wrought iron chest, a rocking chair, a bed, a chest of drawers - everything is carved of walnut, everything under the last century. But the TV and telephone, but the toilet and bathroom shine with plastic, nickel and enamel. Convenience and hygiene are not to be trifled with here, even in imitation of antiquity.I suddenly felt bad. I felt bad for Whitman, even for Ford. Where is Ford, by the way? The tavern is part of his Dearborn compound. I found him in the drawer of a faux antique bureau. "welcome to Ford's in Dearborn!" - exclaimed from the rough cover, a black-haired man with a broad face - Henry Ford the second, grandson of America's first automobile king. He pushed me out of the light of the middle of the last century and into the late second third of the twentieth century.And obeying his invitation, I stepped out onto Oakwood Avenue - the boulevard near the tavern - and walked toward Greenfield Village, where the Ford Museums are located. It was a Sunday afternoon. The industry was silent. Behind low bars stood the squat brick buildings of Ford's research centers. I walked on the sidewalk along the highway. The sidewalk was untraveled and the highway was darkened with tires. And Henry Ford the second, while extending his hospitality to me, explained from the pages of the guidebook, " .... Motor transportation has become a major economic and social force in modern life, and all of us here in Dearborn are proud of the longstanding contributions of the Ford Motor Company to the progress and well-being of our country and its people. While you are here, we will make every effort to make your visit enjoyable, educational and, we hope, truly rewarding."It was a serious conversation. Oh, what a serious conversation it was! And Oakwood Avenue was filled with evidence. I mentally thanked the State Department for its veto - for making me abandon my car in Buffalo, and for denying me the right to rent a car in Dearborn. Walking, I could better appreciate what old Henry Ford, his early deceased son Edsel, and his grandson Henry had done to his country and his people.I was the only pedestrian in Dearborn, and that didn't count because I was a stranger. Cars everywhere, cars rumbling under the frightened oaks. I was a scarecrow, a wildness, a deviation from the norm, I was growing into a lonely rebel, throwing YOU3OV to everyone. I walked and walked, and each step I took became harder and harder. Between me and the people in the tan cars there was obviously a frightening psychic field, a state of that tense, on the nervous limit, expectation, which is about to lead to an explosion and which the authors of horror movies did not invent, but only looked at the American streets. I saw curiosity, bewilderment. I've even seen looks of fear, yes, fear. A man can't just walk all of a sudden. What happened to him? What if this weirdo grabbed a death-dealing thing out of his pocket and flinched nervously, and interrupted the smooth glide of the cars on the smooth avenue....On Michigan Avenue, Dearborn's main thoroughfare, I could shout like Diogenes: "Looking for a man!" On Sunday, the avenue was deserted, as if five minutes before the arrival of a radioactive wave that had been warned about a week in advance. Stores, banks, restaurants closed. The bars were empty. At the movie theater, where a film about Michelangelo's "agony and ecstasy" was playing, the cashier was bored in her glass booth. I walked for miles and met no more than five passers-by. But the gas stations were bustling with life.Cars, cars on the sidewalk - whites and blacks, families, couples, singles, with dogs sticking their muzzles out of the windows. The rustle, the thick rustle of cars and the squeak of brakes at stoplights." After a Sunday morning date with the TV, a green longing and a social instinct that has yet to die down drove Dearbornians "Out to the People." But people in cars are not like people in crowds. You can't call them from the sidewalk, you can't talk to them. Since they're in a car, they have to hurry, they're slaves to speed. They are close, and yet far away, in their metal microcosm on wheels, with powerful horsepower under the hood ...An American, especially an American in small towns, not only physically - because of the lack or complete absence of public transportation - but also psychologically can not without a car, can not think of life without a car. He has long ago realized that a car is not a luxury, but a means of transportation. But the car - and "Staitez Simbol", a symbol of prestige, a certificate of status in society: from a shabby fifteen-year-old "Ford" for fifty dollars, in which a miner in eastern Kentucky is hobbling in search of work, to black shiny "Cadillac" with a telephone, television, portable bar and chauffeur negro in a uniform cap, replacing the Arapaho on the heels of the carriage of the XVIII century. Without a car, an American is subhuman. He absorbs it with his mother's milk, or rather with "baby food" - industrialized baby food in vials and tin cans, because American women have long since stopped feeding their children with their own milk to protect their youth and figure.But still I found a man on Michigan Avenue, and not just any man, but the desired conversationalist, an American-style cheerful, but already slumped old man in a Sunday suit, who before my arrival had been trying to talk to mannequins in shop windows and with a dog. He had a dog on a leash, which is an important detail, because if there were no dog, there would be no old man on Michigan Avenue. First of all, the doggy, unaware of the existence of Fords and deprived by its own chain of evolution of the human inferiority complex, whined, demanding fresh air and a walk. Secondly, in the eyes of thousands of people rushing in cars, the doggie justified his old master's atavistic instinct to take a walk just like that. He didn't feel like a pre-Ford subhuman, because he wasn't walking himself, he was walking the doggy.The old man turned out to be a Ford laborer. He complained only about his foreman, and was happy with his fate and Henry Ford the second. Ford was to the old man a benefactor father, who understands his "Responsibility", cares about employment and builds new factories in the neighborhood. And these views had their own background: a worker of the highest skill, he gets four-plus dollars an hour, one hundred and seventy dollars a week. His wife is long dead. Two daughters, now grown, married, he raised alone. He kept them in a private boarding school for two years. "I tell you, though," he whispered, "every penny paid for itself. But the daughters grew up and fluttered out of the house. There was a dog, an object of love, a cure for loneliness. One day, the dog was lost. The old man printed begging notices in all the local newspapers. How could he be dissatisfied with his fate? The dog was found two weeks later. The woman who sheltered her refused to take the ten dollar reward promised in the ads. "But I said: since I promised, you'll get it." He wasn't used to doing or getting anything for nothing.What's next? What's next? Everything's fine. He bought back his house on credit a long time ago. He has a new car "Comet-66", it's a pity he doesn't have a garage. He's building another house to rent out for extra income when he retires. And he's renting and subletting another house. Plus, of course, some stocks.What does that make him? Is he a worker? Or is he a city slicker? Hell if I know! Numbers should convince you he's a happy man. But since when can happiness be expressed in numbers?Working people earn good wages. Still, a lot of people moonlight on the side. What drives them to do it? Fear of a rainy day? The desire for self-respect, which is so easy to calculate in dollars? Or a kind of fear of showing up on foot on a street where everyone is in cars?May 30. Dearborn.Here comes Memorial Day. It's been given a newspaper and a television screen. In the morning, Arlington Cemetery in Washington, D.C., the country's most famous military cemetery, is on the screen. Star-spangled flags and bouquets at the headstones. A wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. President Johnson eulogized for the occasion the "American boys" in Vietnam and American freedom. Vietnam filled hearts and minds. Both the fallen of the new war and those soldiers in the jungle who may have to be memorialized next year are being remembered.The Detroit Free Press printed on its front page "A Soldier's Diary. A Hero's Thoughts on War." The scant, hurried lines of Sgt. Alex Vaczi, born in Detroit on June 18, 1 930, killed near Tiu Hoa, South Vietnam, on February 6, 1 966. Portraits of the serious black-haired sergeant and his smiling wife. In front of the photo lens they are all smiling for some reason, even in mourning.Van Santer, a contributor to the paper, writes: "We honor today the memory of Alex Wakzy and the thousands like him who have died for our country in its many wars. If you haven't lost a husband, son, father or friend in one of those battles, think of Alex Wakzy today. Was that him?"Along comes a sister's recollection. As a child, "HE spent hours playing toy soldiers." He went to high school in Detroit, enlisted in the Army in 1 946, hiding his age ( he was only sixteen), fought in Korea and received the Silver Star . "Alex never said why," recalls his sister. After Norea, he served on the Detroit police force. "missed the Army," volunteered again and was sent as a military advisor to South Vietnam. He received another " Silver Star," but this time, too, he didn't tell his family "why." He could have stayed home with his wife and three children, but again he preferred the jungle.The soldier's diary is professional, brief descriptions of combat skirmishes, occasional thoughts. For example: "I think our troops have done a damn splendid job here in everything. World War II and Norea gave no more play than what we do here."He was still playing. But the last entry is emotional. The sergeant writes of the battle for the village, of the Skyraider planes that "in their second raid in the last three quarters of an hour dropped heavy bombs, now about a hundred yards from us.""I went back to the small village house where. it seemed to me, two people were hiding in a bomb shelter. It turned out there were four teenagers, two middle-aged women, and one old woman. They were all huddled together in a space where two of us wouldn't fit, and they had been there all day. I took them out of there into the open, as the house, trees, etc., are too good a target for airplanes and small arms. I hope that our soldiers, seeing them, will at least not shoot. I was afraid that C Company would come here, throwing grenades into every crevice..... I gave them a tin of galettes and cheese. They seemed to trust me. That's why I hate this war. The innocent suffer the most."He fell in the same battle. The company commander wrote to his widow: "Inspiring soldiers, he did not hide from machine gun fire. We called him the best, and that's what he was: the best soldier and the best man."The author of the article concludes with a stingy manly tear, "Maybe this Memorial Day you will leave your business for a moment and think of Alex Wakzie. That's what it's for, Memorial Day."But let me ask you, what is "it" for? For what did Alex Wakzie, who wrote just before he died that he hated this war, die? Such questions are inappropriate on Memorial Day.On the front page, next to the soldier's diary, the newspaper prints reports from Saigon: yesterday another Buddhist mother of two children burned herself in front of one of the pagodas; Buddhists are publicly stabbing themselves in the chest and writing letters in blood to President Johnson, demanding the removal of Prime Minister Ni. On the second page, under the headline "Confusion reigns in Saigon," a note by a Saigon correspondent of the Detroit Free Press is published. The correspondent quotes an American sergeant unloading four seriously wounded Americans from an air ambulance. " You'll be angry when you see these bodies come in every day while these scumbags are still fighting each other," the sergeant said in a heartfelt voice. The "scum" fighting each other are the South Vietnamese allies of the U.S. - the very ones the Americans came to protect. Now, for their newspapers and sergeants, the defendants have become scumbags. Such a metamorphosis many swallow without difficulty ....After watching newspapers and TV, I slipped under the gaze of the 'daughters of the revolution' through the tavern lobby and found myself back on Onwood Avenue.' Again there was the confrontation of the lone pedestrian and thousands of cars. But in the expanse of Greenfield Village, home to the Ford Museums, people were leaving their metal microcosms, forming an ancient fluid crowd. They were getting out of Fords, Chevrolets, Pontiacs, Lincolns, Cadillacs, Buicks, Ramblers, etc., etc., etc. and went to museums, not sparing three dollars to look at the great-grandfathers of their cars and the powerful wide-breasted steam locomotive "Southern Pacific", at ancient typewriters and telegraph keys, at gas horns, Thomas Edison's laboratory, the Wright brothers' workshop and, of course, at the ancestral home of Henry Ford the first-then the forefather, the automobile king was just a farmer's son, a practical boy with a passion for mechanics. The current exhibits began to be collected by Ford the first himself in his old age. Like Ezra Cornell and like many others, he first made millions, and then, when the flywheel was spun and more and more millions seemed to stick to the difficult initial millions, he thought about eternity, about the gratitude of posterity and about the pedestal of a prophet.There were a hundred and four trailers on the lot at the entrance to Greenfield Village-not simple wooden trailers like the ones at Shady Lawn, but sleek, streamlined dural houses on wheels. A passenger car grazed beside each of them, harnessed to the horse that would take the trailer on its way. Yesterday I noticed how new and new trailers were entering the site and lining up in rows, and how American flags were flying on flagpoles among them. Loudspeakers were blaring orders for parking spaces, water, electricity. Today I approached the two stewards at the gate. They were in civilian clothes, but with dapper pilots on their heads, and on the pilots were embroidered the mysterious words, "Wally Byam's Caravan Club".I asked what it was. And one of the stewards proudly told me that last year the dural houses had been even on the Red Square in Moscow. And the other one took it upon himself to show and explain everything to me.And he did show and explain everything to me, Henry Wheeler, a retired engineer, an old man with a triangle of gray whiskers and bulging veins. I turned out to be a godsend to Henry Wheeler. He was pining for a man to whom he could show a brand-new, eight thousand dollars - eight thousand dollars! !! - trailer. What luck to meet a Russian, a Communist, in Dearborn and dumbfound an American:nance trailer! We walked with Henry Wheeler between the rows of other trailers, and unannounced, sweet gray-haired Ninette, Henry's wife, shouted fearfully from the dural sill:- Henry, what are you doing! I don't have carpets!But even without carpets, the dural kibitka was a marvel, and, as a polite foreign visitor, I admired it unsparingly. There was the full range of amenities and pleasures: a three-burner gas stove, a gas fryer for steaks, a gas and electric refrigerator, a dishwasher, cupboards for food and utensils, three roomy closets for clothes. Toilet. Washbasin. Shower. Conditioned air. One sofa is an ordinary sofa. The other sofa is sliding, double. A folding table. Chairs. Fan under the roof. Insect screen by the door. Folding step stool. Two propane tanks in front, on a rigid mount: when one runs out, the other is automatically connected. And a lot of other things were on the area of no more than fifteen - eighteen square meters. But still it was spacious enough, there was a place to pass, a place to sit, and even to receive guests.Once again I apologized to Ninette for the unmade carpets and congratulated Henry on his successful acquisition.I was even more amazed when I learned that this dural kibitka was not a hobby but a way of life, that this house on wheels was their only home, and that they had sold their house without wheels. And that in general all the owners of four hundred trailers on this site - nomads seriously, forever, although many of the houses - those without wheels - are not sold, but only rented. And that in " Wally Byam's Caravan Club" there are sixteen thousand trailers, and therefore families, and that Wally Byam himself does not live on wheels. He is their supreme patron, the man who sells trailers and the idea that even in old age it is time for an American not only to move around - that's what he's been doing all his life - but to live on wheels. Yes, yes, Wally Byam is not only a manufacturer and merchant, but in a certain sense a spiritual leader, the founder of a whole movement among motorized nomads. He has rallied them around his banner, and on his banner it is written that if one is to nomadize, it should be in these dural, streamlined fashionable nibits of the brand "Extreme", produced by Wally Byam. And Wally Byam tirelessly educates them in the spirit of loyalty to the ideals of "Extreme" and does not even spare a hundred thousand dollars a year on meetings, services, advertising, printed lists of club members, etc. In return he has loyal customers and at least thirty-two thousand agitators traveling throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.There is no limit to progress. The dural marvel is improved every year, because Wally Byam has mighty competitors, and the Wheelers are already looking with envy at their neighbor, who has added a TV to his set of mobile conveniences. And there, look, the refrigerator will become more elegant, they will introduce automation in the sliding sofa and many other things will be invented. And the Wheelers will be ashamed to show up with their outdated trailer at the next convention. He will cause a contemptuous grin: ha-ha, eight thousand dollars? And where we have not disappeared: having mobilized the old man's savings, they will exchange their current one for an even more sparkling trailer, already for ten thousand dollars. Wally Byam needs nothing more.From a neighboring trailer, the Wheelers invited an acquainted couple over for French coffee, Mexican peanuts, and a Russian journalist. I had to admit that as far as trailers go, we're still behind and don't even seem to be planning to pull up yet.But is the very idea of nomadism at the end of life reasonable and useful? - I asked them. What is the force that tears American old men out of their seats and makes them roll and roll on the threshold of the grave, glistening in the evening sun with Wally Byam's dural products?Everything was explained to me. What is strange for us, for them it is the logical conclusion of life's journey.An American habitually entrusts the solution of psychological and material problems of old age to American technology, to American businessmen. The psychological problem was explained as follows. "In old age the world shrinks, you feel loneliness and isolation. You don't want to hang a weight around your children's necks. And it's easier to make acquaintances on the road. New places, new people stimulate the fading interest in life". The material problem was explained briefly - it's cheaper. You don't have to pay taxes on your house and land. Pay only for gasoline and a little for parking in the camping - for a piece of land under the wheels, for connection to gas and electricity. There are many campgrounds. Together with migratory birds, you can go south or north, depending on the season. You can clip coupons on the difference in the cost of living, for the American dollar is always worth more abroad than at home. Both couples 're in Dearborn on a passing trip. They prefer to live in Mexico, in a campground near Guadalajara: "reasonable prices, decent food is much cheaper.A side conversation about Mexico and Mexicans arose in an unexpected but not unintentional way - clean toilets, hot water and, of course, dollars. My interlocutors were ashamed of those club members who, looking at a foreign country from their dural clean nest and adoring its reasonable prices, call Mexicans "dirty thieves". A neighbor, not without gloating, told the story of one clean-cut American woman's downfall.She became as dirty as a Guadalajara peasant when there was only ten gallons of water left in the tank of her trailer.I brought them back to the nomadic conversation. What about in very old age, when your eyesight and hands on the steering wheel fail you? Oh, then you can camp in some campground forever.- Imagine, then you don't even have to mow the lawn in front of the trailer!This was shouted triumphantly by Henry Wheeler, and the nomads clamored at the mention of this great grace.That's it, dear friends - the lawn can be unmowed! I have never, admittedly, mowed lawns. I strained my imagination to appreciate the grandeur of abandoning this ritual and realized that not mowing lawns stands somewhere on a very high level, that it is a revolt against the all-powerful bourgeois conformism. And then I thought of the old women of the Dearborn Tavern, those mummies sitting in their cushioned chairs, the guardians of the great ideal. Of course, virtue is in wealth, or at least in the "discretionary life"-the decent life of the bourgeois. And when you can not withstand the standards of wheel-less "Disent Life", when successful neighbors are already contemptuously squinting at your dilapidated house and the Hamletian question: to mow or not to mow lawns? retreat with dignity. Move on to the wheels. There, the standards of conformity are less stringent. Join Wally Byam's clientele. Original nomads are allowed not to mow their lawns in their old age ...Conformism coexists with frontierism, criticism of compatriots for narrowness and provincialism -- with patriotism, national pride, with common propaganda clichés. "I am for freedom and competition," Ninet says. She knows what competition is. Who knows it better than Americans, for whom the school of life equals the school of competition? And what is freedom? It is the freedom of competition. These concepts are twins here.Henry Wheeler is outspoken, especially when there are no neighbors. He sees many inconsistencies in the government's policy and the country's economic orientation. He does not hesitate to air his grievances against people in Washington in front of a foreigner, and a "red" one at that:- They spend fifty to sixty billion a year on the army and military equipment. How many years has this been going on? Now we've come to a point where it's increasingly difficult to give that up. And look at what's happening in the meantime? Do you buy American razor blades? No. You get an English blade, it's better quality. Cameras, televisions? Japanese are better. European cars are more durable, more sturdy, and we make everything with the expectation of rapid wear and tear. And ships? We buy Japanese ships. The cost of labor in America is so high, we can't compete with other countries.Henry Wheeler has the fear of the defenseless against big corporations, mythically strong and vast.- Long ago there were dozens of automobile corporations, and where are they now? The big three are all that's left. Try starting a new automobile business. Even with 100 million dollars, you'll fail.He was born and formed in an era of American isolationism - isolationism not only in foreign policy but also at home (weak centralization, big states' rights, preoccupation and traditional obsession with local and personal affairs and business}. And so for some decades his country has been assuming the burden of "guardian of the world", "world policeman". An incandescent mess has formed in the brain of the average American, who has always sneered at everything that happens not only outside his country, but outside his city and state. He is accustomed to look at everything as a pragmatist living today, any theory he denies in principle. But the measure of narrow pragmatism is no good for history. And the American feels himself to be a participant in it, and, perhaps, in choosing the president of the United States and among the two candidates, he makes a choice between war and peace (wrongly or rightly - that is another matter).Henry Wheeler rolls into Mexico in his dural cab and reads a Mexican newspaper published in English. Suddenly he is convinced that this paper makes the world look different from the one he has been reading all his life in northern Michigan. He discovers that he has been brainwashed. He tries to break through to the truth. He tries to look at the world historically: "You're a late starter and you've already made great strides." He sees a threat in the American deaf and well-fed welfare, in the American arrogant - rich to poor - attitude towards other nations. He believes that a hundred years without wars on American territory have both helped Americans and corrupted them - they do not know what war is and how the Russians and the rest of Europe have suffered. And this is dangerous.And he is entangled with the small but powerful conditions of American philistinism, American ideas of "Disentitled Life" formed by the same big corporations. The naive, childish pride in the new trailer and apologies for unmade carpets are pouring out of him.The coffee is drunk, the peanuts are eaten, and the Wheeler neighbors are gone. It was evening, and a loud radio voice echoed over the camp, warning the nomads of impending danger: Greenfield Village had refused to connect the trailers to its electrical grid. The Wheelers were beyond excited, and I realized it was time to say goodbye. But as a farewell, Henry decided to introduce me to some distinguished nomad.- What a guy! - he whispered to me with the secret delight of a conspirator.But the fellow had disappeared, and Henry himself told me a short story. A story about the Real Man of Wally Byam's Caravan Club.This tale, one and the same, was written anew every time another dural wheel house, tanoi, nan everything, but belonging to a Negro, suddenly rolled into the trailer camp, wherever it was spread out. And no sooner had he taken his place in the row than a real man was already knocking kindly on the Negro's dural door: "Are you being disturbed? Are you not disturbed?" The overjoyed family thanked the watchful defender of racial equality and such an easy-going enemy of discrimination. And the hero knocked again half an hour later: "Is everything all right?" They thanked him again. But that was just the beginning. The real man was vigilant, punctual and tireless. After another half hour, he'd be heard cheerfully calling, "Is everything all right?" He spared himself neither day nor night, rattling the dural door: "Is everything all right?" After about three days, the campground was in complete order: the black countryman was leaving, having learned that no amount of Wally Byam's dural wonders would protect him from "one hundred percent" Americans.I was stunned by this story, told with rapture and vengeful voluptuousness.- What did the Negroes do to you, Mr. Wheeler?He whispered in my ear as if it were a secret:- You know, there's this thing called the middle class. the middle class. So, Americans want to get into the "Middle Class" or at least get close to it. They work hard. They save money for a house, for a car, to bring their children into the world, to save something for their old age. They know the value of every penny and they owe every penny to their labor. Why don't Negroes get into the "middle class"?The words were dry, bookish, but they were whispered by the same Henry Wheeler who felt embarrassed for his countrymen who were harassing Mexicans, who criticized big corporations and the arms race, the same Henry Wheeler who was a good-natured, sensible old man, pleasant to talk to over coffee and peanuts. He whispered with heat and excitement.- And that's why," he went on, "they have a different attitude toward the penny. They don't give a damn about anything - earned it, spent it. They've been free for a hundred years, and it's their own fault for being poor. What's the result? Their children have a destructive instinct. Everything is alien to them in our country.....Then he said a hasty farewell and ran off to his electrical work.But I appreciated the solemnity of the moment and the solidity of this creed. Negroes are different, with different attitudes toward the penny, and, if Wheeler is to be believed, there are thirty-two millionaires in Detroit who are Negroes. But he takes the Negro poor desperate mass, and she inspires fear in him. She does not fit into his American way of life and already by that she is encroaching upon that way of life. She has gained nothing from America and is frightened by the fact that she has nothing to lose. The Henry Wheelers - and there are millions of them - see Negroes as destroyers because the phantom of their dispossession and the impulse n struggle Negroes encroach on the economic and social status quo, on the difficult, precarious but in their own way stable balance of power in American society. And they are knocking the supports out from under Henry Wheeler's ideals, from under his applied philosophy of life, materially embodied in the "Extreme" trailer. He fears they have a different set of values.So Wheeler's a racist? Apparently, yes. But according to Henry Wheeler's own explanation, his racism is derivative. He's a proprietor. It is from the proprietor's point of view that the Negro is his antipode. Henry Wheeler is part of the very petty-bourgeois element that, as Lenin noted, generates capitalism daily, hourly and on a massive scale. And feeds its circling, and saves it. The proprietor." Isn't that where all the beginnings lie, no matter how far the ends - in this case into racism?May 31. Dearborn.In the morning I walked again, like a faithful pilgrim, to the headquarters of the Ford Motor Company in South Field, on the outskirts of Dearborn. First on Michigan Avenue, then on the freeway, jammed with cars - today is a workday and there are even more cars - through a large, untraveled, riddled with highways meadow. Ford's twelve-story headquarters is quite small compared to the New York skyscrapers of large corporations. But it's beautiful, clean, stands at ease, blue glass. By the way, Ford supplied the UN skyscraper on the East River in New York with blue glass of its own production.Excursion to the plant "Rouge", old, but the most famous at Ford and the largest in the United States. -A regular free tour for anyone interested. What shouldn't be shown, won't be shown, but there's no annoying "closed door" impression either. Clean, comfortable, radio-frequented buses leave for the plant from the main office every hour. In ours there are simple people: schoolchildren, a paralyzed girl with her mother and a special folding chair on wheels, an old man and an old woman - either former Russians or former Ukrainians, a mighty Negro with three Negro women, two Japanese, of course, with movie cameras.At first we drive through some woods. The guide, a handsome, fashionably dressed young man, tells us that all this is Ford property, Ford land, Ford forests. The holdings are large. Ford, though not a farmer, gets some money from the government for unused land: in America, due to overproduction of agricultural products, farmers are paid a federal subsidy for deliberately uncultivated land.It is difficult for me, a layman, to describe the Rouge plant, especially after seeing it on such a light tour. The plant is enormous. The whole cycle of production. The automobile starts with iron ore coming into its own port on the Rouge River, and ends on the conveyor belt - the car leaving on its own. By the way, the cargo ship Robert McNamara was docked at the harbor. The former president of Ford Motor Company and now the Pentagon chief has already been "embodied" in a steamship.The excursion is as much an even work operation as the assembly of machines. After a bus ride around the factory grounds, we found ourselves at the assembly line. In the right places the guide stopped, arranged us in a semicircle, took a microphone out of a box on the wall, and drummed the memorized words. To the sightseer's eye, the pace on the conveyor does not seem excessive, you even notice a certain gracefulness of the workers' movements - it seems that there is no tension. Of course, you can't talk to the workers - it's a conveyor belt. Every fifty-four seconds, fashionable semi-sporty Mustangs roll off the assembly line, joining the eighty million cars on three and a half million miles of American roads and sidewalk.Figures and facts were supplied to me in the main office.When fifty years ago Henry Ford, the first, already very prosperous automobile manufacturer, decided to build a huge plant with a closed cycle of production, according to the official company description of the plant "Rouge", even his friends were "skeptical" and "enemies said he was crazy. Congressmen were opposed when he applied to the government for permission to deepen and widen the canal on the Rouge River to receive the sinking of ships. Shareholders were opposed, wanting the company's profits to go to dividends rather than expanding production. Landowners fancied jacking up the price of land along the river."Ford defeated everyone and everything. In November 1917, the main event for the people of Dearborn was, of course, not the revolution in Russia, but the laying of the Ford plant.Now it's just one of many Ford plants, albeit the largest. Every twenty-four hours five thousand trucks, twenty thousand cars, and over sixty thousand pedestrians pass through its gates. One hundred and thirty-five acres of automobile parking lots provide space for twenty thousand cars: some workers live seventy miles from the plant. In 1 963 Ford paid four hundred seventy-six million dollars to fifty-three thousand of its laborers and employees in the Dearborn area (all Ford plants now employ three hundred thirty thousand people). The plant produces and consumes as much electricity as is needed for a city of one million people. In 1 963 the plant received one hundred seventy-nine thousand sightseers from all fifty states of the United States and from one hundred and seven countries. " It has been visited by American presidents, high-ranking foreign visitors, Argentine gauchos, and barefoot tribal members from the island of Fiji.""Ford Motor Company" has long been far and away inferior to "General Motor," the largest industrial corporation in the capitalist world, in the production of automobiles. And yet Ford, Henry Ford the first, the Ford dynasty is something even larger in moral and historical terms, it is an important institution of modern American life. It is a purveyor not only of machines, but of ideas. At the Ford Motor Company, in addition to museums, there is a "Department of Educational Affairs."Here is one of the publications of this department - an apologetic pamphlet under the criminal title "The Evolution of Mass Production" ("The story of Ford's contribution to modern mass production and how it changed the habits and thinking of a whole people"). The pamphlet does not assign Ford any extra credit. He was not an inventor, but a skillful businessman and energetic organizer who developed the principle of mass production in detail on the basis of four discoveries of his distant and near predecessors. These discoveries were the interchangeability of product parts, the conveyor belt, the fragmentation of work operations, and the elimination of unnecessary movements in the worker.The pamphlet attributes the first discovery to an American, Eli Whitney. In 1,798, when war was brewing between the United States and France, the government in Washington urgently needed ten thousand muskets. It was physically impossible for the gunsmiths to complete the job in the required time frame of two years. Eli Whitney solved the problem by creating a machine to produce gun parts and thereby practically implementing the principle of assemblage.The second principle was formulated by Henry Ford as "The worker must stand still and the work must move". This is the idea of the assembly line. It was first applied by Oliver Evans, the inventor of the automatic mill. His conveyor was simple: one worker would pour grain from sacks, and another at the end of the line would take the grist into sacks. In a more developed form, the conveyor belt appeared in the sixties of the last century in the slaughterhouses of Chicago. The moving belt on which the carcasses of slaughtered hogs were strung allowed twenty workers to slaughter and process one thousand four hundred and forty hogs in eight hours. Previously, their limit had been six hundred and twenty hogs.The third principle ("fraction the work operations and multiply the output") was developed in detail by Elihu Root, an American who helped Samuel Colt establish mass production of six-shot Colt pistols. Elihu Root broke down the workflow into many separate operations - "easier, with less chance of error, and faster.If the realization of the first three principles became possible thanks to the invention of new and new machines and mechanical devices, the fourth principle, borrowed by Ford, introduced the "human factor". This is the saving of time and - as a consequence - the acceleration of production through the thoughtful elimination of unnecessary movements of the worker, eventually turning him into a machine that quickly combines into a whole product its disparate parts produced by other machines. The fourth principle was invented and developed by the famous Frederick Winslow Taylor.About Taylor, the Ford brochure writes tan: "It was Taylor who undertook, first, to establish the speed at which the worker could most efficiently perform his tasks. and second, to target the efforts of the worker so that he worked with a minimum of unnecessary movements. The aim was, of course, to save time, for time is the essence of profit, and every moment lost is regarded as a direct financial loss... Taylor also found that workers were less efficient. and products are damaged when work is excessively sped up. Proper Speed. wrote Taylor, is the speed at which people can work hour after hour, day after day, and year after year and maintain good health." Taylor was, of course, interested in that good health which enables a worker to maintain a given speed.The brochure states that "To these principles taken from the past, Henry Ford added his own practical ideas, creating a new method of automobile production that was later adopted by the entire automobile industry.Ford himself expressed his philosophy of mass production unabashedly, very frankly and cynically practical. He wrote: "The net result of applying these principles is to reduce the need for thinking in the worker, and to reduce his movements to a minimum. If possible he should do only one operation and only one movement."As you know, Charlie Chaplin brilliantly illustrated this Fordian ideal, creating in "New Times" tragicomic and creepy image of a worker on the conveyor belt. He did only one operation and only one movement, namely screwing on a nut. One nut, another nut, dozens, hundreds of nuts were inexorably thrust upon him by the conveyor belt. The whole world was catastrophically reduced to a man and a nut, a man in the service of a nut, a man born only to screw nuts. Chaplin's image synthesizes in itself the entire present-day capitalist world, which is incessantly trying to create such a hybrid - the man-nut.Ford was a businessman, not a humanist; he did not hesitate, especially at first, to subordinate the "human factor" to the dollar. Chaplin helped us to think about Ford's philosophy not from the point of view of profit and production, but from the point of view of the human person. The essence of Fordian progress is frightening: labor created man and labor must turn man into a machine. Ford started the business on June 16, 1 903, "with an abundance of faith, but only twenty-eight thousand dollars in cash," - epically narrate his biographers. This was the first money Ford and his eleven fellow shareholders. And in 1 965 "Ford Motor Company" produced four and a half million automobiles and tractors and a huge number of military and "space" products. Their sales in 1965 amounted to eleven and a half billion dollars. "Ford Motor Company" stands among American corporations in second place after "General Motor", its assets equal to more than seven and a half billion dollars.Ford was not the first automobile manufacturer. Cars were made before him, but manually and only for racing, for excitement. However, Ford realized better than others the need of the century for speed - on ordinary roads, not on auto-tracks - and was the first to undertake the production of a cheap mass-produced car. After a series of failures in 1 908 came the grand success - the legendary Model "T". From October 1 908 to the end of 1915, one million "Fords-T" were produced. In 1923, Ford rolled out two million - in one year! - of Model T cars.The automobile truly became mass-produced, affordable, and deeply embedded in everyday life.The consequences, reinforced by other fronts of industrial development and mass production, were enormous. The car pulled in the roads and the boom in road construction. The machine connected the city with the countryside, made the countryside stretch behind the city in terms of standard of living. A qualitatively new, and expensive, need was created and its accompanying huge, constantly renewable market demand.Ford's apologists also attribute to him the "social revolution", which was expressed in dollars: he was the first to start paying his workers five dollars a day. Ford realized that the growth of purchasing power of the population and the growth of profits are interconnected.Ford was at the origin of that capitalist America, which needs not only a man-machine on the conveyor belt, but also a man who is freed from class consciousness by the fact of owning his own machine. Such a man, an insatiable consumer and slave of things, is skillfully nurtured and perfected by large corporations, a powerful system of advertising, from which there is no escape, and the whole system of ideology and life, which convinces that the measure of a man is the measure of the things he possesses.This is a complex and extremely important question, the question of the interaction between the scientific and technological revolution and the social system, the question of what, under certain social conditions, technological progress and mass production serve: the spiritual subjugation of man through things or his spiritual liberation, the reduction of man to a consumer or the creation of a fully developed, harmonious personality.This is what the famous American sociologist Eric Fromm writes: "The miracle of production leads to the miracle of consumption. There are no longer any traditional barriers keeping anyone from acquiring whatever he wants. All he wants is money. But more and more people have money, maybe not for real pearls, but for synthetic ones, for Fords that look like Cadillacs, for cheap dresses that look like expensive ones, for cigarettes that are the same for millionaires and workers. Everything is within reach, can be bought, can be consumed..... Produce, consume, enjoy together, in step with others, no questions asked. That's the rhythm of their life. :What kind of person does our society need then? :What kind of "social character" is appropriate for twentieth-century capitalism? It needs a person who cooperates in large groups, who is eager to consume more and more, whose tastes are standardized, easily influenced and can be predicted ...... A car, a refrigerator, a television set exist for real but also for ostentatious use. They communicate the owner's position in society. :How do we use the things we buy? Let's start with food and drink. We eat tasteless and unnutritious bread because it fulfills our fantasy of wealth and fame - it is so white and "fresh". In fact, we are "eating" a fantasy and have lost touch with the real thing we are eating. Our flavor, our bodies are shut out of this act of consumption, even though it touches them first. We drink labels. With a bottle of Coca-Cola we drink the image of the handsome guy or girl drinking it on the commercial, we drink the advertising slogan "a pause that refreshes," we drink the great American habit, least of all we feel Coca-Cola with our palate.... The act of consumption should be a meaningful, human, rewarding experiment. There is little left of that under our culture. Consumption is largely the satisfaction of artificially stimulated fantasies, the fulfillment of a fantasy alienated from our concrete, real self.Noting that consumption has become an end in itself, Fromm writes: "Modern man, if he dared to express his conception of paradise, would paint a picture that would look like the1\the largest department store in the world, displaying new things and new devices ... . "All of this is, alas, an accurate description of the Henry Wheeler-type American of today, though, of course, many are still cruelly left at the door of the consumer bacchanalia, and many are rebelling against it. So, Ford didn't just make cars and dollars. It is not by chance that in Aldous Huxley's famous Western fantasy novel-satire "Brave New World" Ford appears as a kind of new Christ (the author resorts to a play on words - Lord, i.e. Lord, and Ford). In Huxley's utopia, the annals are counted not from the nativity of Lord, but from the nativity of Ford, and people are bred serially, in flasks, with a predetermined social "purpose".In the evening I saw the edge of that Dearborn, which is not on Ford's plan of either paid or free excursions. I saw the underside of Ford's America.Two comrades came to my hotel. It was the first time I'd seen them. But they are comrades. In looks.Communist N., who works at the Ford plant, is a sturdy, ironic, unflappable man. A Pole who was lifted, twisted and landed in Dearborn by the whirlwind of the war years. What's it like for a Communist in Dearborn? Hard. Almost lonely. But N. doesn't deny his views or his party affiliation. A Communist?! To many Americans, it's like an inferno. Among other things, it's impractical, unwise to voluntarily complicate one's life, to cut off one's path to benefits. But the local union boss, a renegade former Communist, once confessed to Comrade N. in a burst of frankness: "You certainly think I'm a traitor, don't you? But you're still closer to me than those sons of bitches." Comrade N. is not naive; penitential words whispered in his ear will not seduce him. But he knows that dollars will not replace the ideal and will not fill the vacuum where there was something called conscience.For the workers who know N. well, he is a communist, yes, but above all he is his own guy, who will not let you down, who will stand up for the common interest, whose advice is needed and dear. N. believes in the union bond, in the fact that, when necessary, they can protect him from the administration.Comrade K is the editor of a progressive Detroit newspaper in Polish, a Polish-American. He was born in the United States.In N.'s car we drive through evening Dearborn. Industrial backroads. The stench of pipes. Old factory buildings. Dirty, dilapidated houses where low-wage laborers, bachelors, widows, lumpen live. With some secret satisfaction N. wants to show his like-minded friend from Moscow to the trade union boss, the very same renegade. But the building of branch No. 600 of the automobile manufacturers' trade union is already empty. There is only one "event" left to attend - a meeting of the local group of the national association "Alcoholics Anonymous". Men and women, old and young, discuss their problems over a cup of coffee. It is a strange, in our opinion, but allegedly useful organization. Alcoholics are treated together. Their struggle with the green beast begins with a public repentance: I am an alcoholic!We went into a bar - spitty, smelly, smoky. An invalid with crutches. An old painted whore. A tense truce, apparently after a fight. A policeman leaves before our eyes after breaking up the fight. And immediately a new scuffle breaks out. One drunken man grabs his drunken neighbor by the throat. Others drunkenly rush to separate them. Scolding. Someone hides behind the bar. The horror of uncontrolled reactions, heavy, meaningless stares.- Like in Gorky's At the Bottom," K says.We make our way out of the bar through the back door, leaving our beers unfinished. The gloomy empty courtyard is a suitable place for murder, for deaf - ends in water - massacres. We cross the road.- Faster! Faster! - suddenly shouts in a voice that is not his own, N. pulling me by the arm.Staring at us with the eyes of the lighted headlights, a car rushes frantically towards us. We barely manage to dodge from under the wheels and we shout in pursuit:- You son of a bitch!But the son of a bitch is gone.Other working neighborhoods are cleaner, neat houses, lawns, garages. The minimum wage at Ford is more than two dollars an hour, the maximum is five dollars. But, as N. told me, the workers more and more often say: "To hell with it, with a raise in wages, we need to reduce the pace of work". At the sight of the excursionist, the pace on the conveyor is not so high. But everything is calibrated and squeezed by Taylor's followers, sociologists and psychologists. Everything is at the limit of human capabilities. Dulling monotony of work: eight hours plus half an hour for lunch and twelve minutes for cleaning - before and after lunch. The slightest congestion on the conveyor belt - and immediately panic. Specially trained emergency technicians on bicycles and motorcycles rush to the place of the jam: "What's the matter? We are losing money because of you!"After the conveyor, workers "unwind" themselves in bars.N. told about an incident that had recently happened at their place. A negro working on a conveyor belt had been offended. The foreman reported to the supervisor of the workers - "labor manager". He deprived the Negro of a month's wages. In vain the Negro apologized and asked for forgiveness. When he left the boss, he slashed the foreman with a knife. Ford employs many Negroes, but most of them do not have high qualifications and therefore are busy on the assembly line: "only one operation and only one movement".The conversation touched on Vietnam. According to N., young people are truly afraid of the army. College graduates, even undergraduates, are going to Ford plants as apprentices - as long as they are not drafted. N. knows a young biologist who works as an apprentice. Children from wealthy families are fleeing to Canada to avoid the draft, because Canada is close by and the border is open.Workers talk about the war, but the war remains in second place, after the talk about wages, loans, installments, sports. Traditionally, they go to sports; in the newspapers they read first of all news about baseball games and automobile races, only then - about military actions. But compared to the recent past, anti-war sentiment among workers is growing. Not long ago, an anti-war candidate was elected to a union office, even though the labor bosses had proposed their own candidate.N. believes that the American worker is very different from the European worker, in particular in this important respect: the American worker has no tradition of prolonged political struggle for a certain broad program, no tradition of uniting around any political party. although in elections the unions usually support the Democrats. The American worker knows how to stand up for his material interest and believes that a rich country can give him more. The class struggle is predominantly economic in nature - collective bargaining between the union and the entrepreneur, strikes demanding higher wages, better working conditions. and now increasingly against the threat of so-called technological unemployment, born of automation. But in times of national crises, the American worker actively intervenes in political life, and the intervention takes violent forms. Who would have thought before the crisis of 1 929, in an era of prosperity, that workers would go on "Hunger Marches" on Washington? This is why both N. and K. emphasize that it is difficult to make predictions of an anti-war movement in the American working class. Americans react strongly to war only when it strikes a nerve, when the expansion of war narrows the choices: instead of military prosperity, it is rifle in hand and death in the jungle.K. speaks of the "dehumanization" of American society. Violence and death have become commonplace in newspapers and on television. They have become habitualized. "Americans getting killed in Vietnam? Turn to baseball and auto racing." K told a terrible anecdote. An American family called a mechanic to fix a TV set that had gone bad. A four-year-old boy tells the mechanic, "It's probably clogged at the bottom. That's where a lot of dead Indians fall." ...At four years old, the boy has already seen thousands of TV deaths.June 1 -2. Pittsburgh.The last conversation in Dearborn was with a cab driver. White this time. On the way to the airport. To him, the Vietnam War is "a waste of men and money"; "a purely political war." in which the U.S. has no reason to get involved.But what can you do? The chauffeur believes that the "bulk" of the people support Johnson, and if so, the war is in line with the American democracy. He doesn't care much about the Vietnamese. When he talks about wasting people and money, he means American lives and American money. His idea of communism is this: the government stands over the people and controls them too much. In his view, this is a necessary stepping stone for some nations, but eventually they will come to American-style democracy.He resents the scale of military spending. Somewhere out there in Washington is a bunch of politicians and bureaucrats who have more and more power, who are increasingly disconnected from the people, and who are pursuing some incomprehensible policies with some considerations of their own that are incomprehensible down there.- The current government is not to my liking. It is like a big joint stock company that does not know how to spend money wisely and does not do business well. Why, for example, are they giving money to Africa? Why do they give money to Africa? Because it all goes to a handful of people and Africans are still poor.I explained that, for example, we are helping to build a hydroelectric power plant in Aswan, and that this is not for a bunch of people, but for the people.He approves of such assistance: of course, it is different when they help not with cash, but with equipment and technical assistance.The cab driver, like many Americans, talks about mutual understanding: nations should know each other, people should visit each other.- I am against any kind of closed doors. You can't see anything in the dark.I tell him that Americans visit us, and a lot of them, but, unfortunately, more rich people, and they see our life in their own way; ordinary people could see differently, understand us better. He agrees with this. Scolding the propaganda, he says:- If I were to go to Russia, I would come back and tell those who know me and believe me about it. I flew to Pittsburgh on a Northwest airline plane. Before Pittsburgh, there was a landing in Cleveland. A Negro, a military man, entered the airplane. There were empty seats, but between him and the whites, there was an alienation zone. It was as if the Negro was asking with his eyes: "May I? Is it occupied? They averted their eyes. He approached me, as if he sensed a stranger, an unwilling stranger in his own country. I asked the Negro if he had been to Vietnam. No, he hadn't.- Are you going?- Pretty soon.- What do you think of this war?The Negro avoided a straight answer.- I've got to go there.The Roosevelt Hotel is located in Down Town, the business center of the city. First impressions of Pittsburgh: the ugliness and gloominess of the old city buildings is just physically depressing. You feel as if you are bricked up among these blind, end walls facing the street, unexpected dead ends, vacant lots given for parking lots. But there are in the city - and there are quite a few of them - material traces of the later-formed businessmen: dural faces, acres of shining window glass, in which Pittsburgh clouds float reflectively. The magnificent, spacious Gateway Square is the creation of the Equitable Life Insurance Company and other corporations. It's local pride, the pinnacle of Pittsburgh's famous "Golden Triangle" formed by the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers into the Ohio River.In Pittsburgh, I still have the same two goals. The first is to talk about the Vietnam War. The target is the University of Pittsburgh, which has a reputation for being "middling" in terms of student political activism. The second is to listen, in three days, to the economic and social pulse of this large and old industrial center of America, the second, after Philadelphia, in the state of Pennsylvania.The start is facilitated by the Pittsburgh Council on International Visitors, a public organization dedicated to welcoming foreigners. I know of such organizations. They have arisen in a number of large American cities on the basis of curiosity about foreigners, the idleness of bourgeois ladies looking for a point of application of their energy, and - without this American endeavors do not do without - business, practical interest (as if to turn a foreign visitor favorably for themselves). It is difficult to turn us to our advantage, and that is why "councils for international guests", with or without intent, usually give the visits of Soviet correspondents a tourist-entertainment-secular character, with the obligatory lady-activist dashingly turning the wheel of her Ford or Chevrolet, with the obligatory "cocktail party" at a liberal doctor's, lawyer's or journalist's house and a tour of local sights.The Pittsburgh "council" was unusually inhospitable - there was no carpool or city tour - but still prepared two meetings: with Associate Professor Carl Beck at the University of Pittsburgh and with four bankers and industrialists at the Duquesne Bankers Club.This morning it's the university. The Gothic "temple of science," as the central university building is called, has forty-two floors.Karl Bey is a handsome young scientist. His specialty is "politika science" - political science. His recommendation is this:- I am strongly opposed to our government policy on the Vietnam issue.Wanting to help me, Narl Beck changed the topic of his seminar. I suddenly found myself at a large table in front of a dozen graduate students Beck sat next to me, but he hardly interfered in the conversation. After the first few minutes of mutual embarrassment and stuttering, the impromptu seminar on Vietnam settled down and went on for two hours. Unfortunately, I had both the time and the inconvenience to take detailed notes.The views, as elsewhere, varied. There are those in favor of the war and Washington's policies, and those against. Among those who are in favor, there were no stalwarts; they had reservations and hesitations. Among those who are against, not all are strongly against, but they believe that there is a civil war in Vietnam and that the U.S. has no right to interfere in this war. Critics of government policy are confused by the question: where, what is the solution? Not everyone sees it in the withdrawal of American troops. Americans are characterized by such an attitude to the prestige of their country: if the strong one concedes even where he is wrong, his prestige is hurt, and this cannot be tolerated.Again I was struck by the purely rationalistic and, as it seems to me, somewhat immoral view of this "small" war in a distant country. Young graduate students, who are trained by their professors to be rationalistic, are deprived of a view of things and phenomena from the heart, from the conscience, not only from the mind. They look at the Vietnamese war without seeing the Vietnamese themselves, without seeing the ravaged, war-trampled rice paddies, without seeing the bombs that flyon Vietnamese villages, they don't see the killing of innocents, the millions displaced to camps, in short, they don't see the tragedy of an entire people. They see there only the game of "world politics", the balance of power in Southeast Asia - US, Nitai, Soviet Union. It is as if they do not notice, do not realize that for the Vietnamese it is not a "small" war, but a very big war, in which the fate and even the very physical existence of the Vietnamese people is being decided.In the afternoon I went back to the university and met with students in the same room on the twenty-third floor. One of them, Peter Gall, was memorable.- What is morality in world politics? - cynically and cheerfully asked this strong, blooming guy. - You say - bombs. So what? We have to drop bombs. It's another thing when you start to feel the impact of the Vietnam conflict personally. Now, for example, the prices of many products have gone up. There's the issue of draft students again. The discontent caused by this can have a far greater impact on the government than all the ideological polemics.Mahmood Mamdani, a student from Uganda, got into an argument with him. He was heated, violating American rules of academic debate.- This is an atrocious war," Mahmood Mamdani shouted. "This is a racist war. I'm sure you wouldn't drop so many bombs on European countries. This is a soulless war. For Americans, killing ceases to be killing when it is depersonalized, when the killers are pilots who don't see the victims.I thought I was the only one who understood the African. The others were embarrassed, ready to apologize for the naive crank.What is morality? The question is both naive and legitimate. The philosophy of pragmatism, widespread in the USA, puts profit, expediency in place of morality. Although here morality, of course, is understood as Christian morality, but it is ridiculous in a country that imposes the laws and habits of businessmen as a law for everyone.With the question posed by Peter Gall, this "Little McNamara", there is another question that comes from the McNamara of the present. McNamara is infamous to the world :as an accountant of death, for which he has earned fame among his American admirers as the greatest Secretary of Defense in the nation's history. And among his family and friends, McNamara is known :as an avid mountain climber, a man of liberal-moderate views, and a lover of books and fine arts. Three weeks ago he publicly traded his straightforward "vocation" for philosophy. " What is man? Is it a rational animal?" - he asked, speaking on the unsettled world before the American Society of Newspaper Editors. This question was inspired by Vietnam and by no means carried self-criticism for the American bourgeoisie McNamara is the standard of rationality.Deliberative rationalism implies that a person or a country, if it acts rationally, must submit to force. And acting there, in Vietnam, force (and nancial force! - bombs, napalm, genocide prantine) does not help. Hence the question - is man rational?With the Pittsburgh students, I wanted to further test my assumptions about where :the student anti-war movement in America is rooted. They believe that the anti-war movement is a logical outgrowth of the "civil rights" movement. for Negro equality. It involves many of those associated with struggles, marches, and marches in defense of Negroes in the South.According to Pittsburgh students, the current "protest movement" is broader but also more pragmatic, less ideologically oriented and emphasized than the radical "left" and Marxist movement in American universities of the thirties. A graduate student whose father was involved in the "left" movement of those years looks critically at the current movement. He believes that it is a temporary fad of young people who will later make "good bourgeois". And this is a roll call with Cornell University's Tom Bell.Another graduate student says that the "protest movement," if we take it not in terms of the specifically political but in terms of the general, ideological, is directed not against the prevailing system but against the method of government, against the influence of the "Machine" government bureaucracy.In terms of :concrete, the student "protest movement" went from cooperating, sometimes :critically, with the government on the Negro civil rights issue to criticizing government policy on the single - but acute - Vietnam issue and to criticizing Johnson's foreign policy in general. But only a very few (e.g., Students for a Democratic Society) have come to criticize the foundations of the system and capitalism.The charge of political protest is short-lived in many people. The general consensus is that graduate students, i.e., older people, are not as politically active as undergraduates. They are already moving into the category of trustworthy "good bourgeois". Although they are still ironizing the "good bourgeois". They laughed when they found out I was rushing to the conservative Duquesne Club for a bankers' luncheon. Someone remarked:- The walls there will shake when Red walks in.The rest of us liked the joke. Mr. William Voyd, vice president of the Pittsburgh National Bank, who invited me to the Duken Club, liked it, too. The joke was appreciated by Mr. Boyd's other guests, who had called in for a "red"-two industrialists and another bank vice-president.Pittsburgh's famous Banker's Club was founded in 1881. Here the elite of Pittsburgh businessmen do their business at lunches and dinners. The entrance fee is one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, annual dues - less. In the club building everything is old-fashioned, solid, gloomy. At the entrance, servants in mouse-colored suits filter visitors. Separate offices. The waiters are trained to keep their mouths shut.- We have refugees from Hungary among our waiters," Mr. Boyd noted. - Maybe we have a Hungarian serving us.I tried to imagine this Hungarian, who had chosen "freedom" in 1656 and later discovered that it was only freedom to serve Pittsburgh bannermen.All four are happy with the enonomic situation of Pittsburgh. Twenty years ago, the city seemed to be inevitably dying, choking in the thick smoke of its famous but old steel mills, which could no longer compete with the new steel centers. Pittsburgh was then called the "smoke city." The factories there smoked the sky so badly that you had to light street lamps during the day. But "socially conscious" businessmen saved the city from economic decline and cleaned the air with tough sanctions against polluters.Then my interlocutors started talking about Negroes, of course I\a!{ "business people" of course}. Pittsburgh is fortunate in having relatively few Negroes. Boyd praised the local labor unions, particularly the steelworkers' union. This union, according to Boyd, keeps Negroes out - protecting its union privileges. As a result, in Pittsburgh - thank God! - Negroes "are not so numerous that they can't be managed."In recent years, the government has been clamoring for Negroes. For businessmen, keeping up with the times is a matter of fashion and "public duty." It means getting your own Negro and giving him a prominent place in public, as if to put him behind a window pane. But business people don't forget the business approach to things. They need Negroes with good brains. So they look for them and lure them away from each other. One store got some smart Negro salesmen. Businessmen buyers, noticing that the "coloreds" have brains, lured them to them.From Hungarians and Negroes we've gone to war. Do they need war? No, they don't. They don't need a big, world war. It's impractical in the nuclear age, it jeopardizes investments and profits. The regulars at the Duquesne Club are willing to accept changes in the world that can be accommodated to the interests of American business. But where communism or a radical national liberation movement is coming, where the slogan "Yankees, go home!" rises from the streets to the level of public policy, where, in their opinion, a disaster for American interests is looming, they are in favor of war. Vietnam, for example. Here they are resolute - as long as there is no risk of a major war. Their reservations, their criticism of Washington are precisely within the boundaries of this vaguely delineated area of risk.They even compliment our technological development.development. They have an inquisitive interest in our economic reform. It's competition, isn't it? There's hope in their eyes. Nate Powder, deputy treasurer of the aluminum giant ALCOA Corporation, asked: - Tell me, have the Russians stopped being patriotic? Has their love for holy Russia disappeared?He in his own way understood both patriotism of Russians and holy Russia. Under patriotism - nationalism in the American bourgeois manner, and under love for holy Russia - something opposite to proletarian internationalism.In the evening chance brought me into contact with a prominent Pittsburgh newspaperman. I'll call him Saul Price. I didn't know Saul Price. We had no mutual acquaintances, so there were neither verbal greetings nor written recommendations. His paper is by no means progressive. When I went to the editorial office, I expected the usual short "courtesy visit". But American newspapermen are sociable, their professional skaika is sipny - - they help even the Soviets. It was the end of the working day, and Price invited me home: a "sentimental attachment" to Russia, as he put it. His parents had come to the United States from near Odessa in the nineties. In the basement of the house is a family heirloom --- an old samovar. Price's son, a student at Yale University, is studying Russian literature, history and language. His teacher, a "former Russian," finds that the younger Price speaks Russian with a "muzhitsky accent."We had lunch with Saul and his wife Joan at a country restaurant. A pleasant place, homemade tablecloths on the tables, flickering candlelight. Chattering about this and that. Suddenly a tipsy Joan whispers to me with desperation:- "Saul will probably kill me, but I'm gonna tell you. Did you know that Pittsburgh is ruled by one family, the Mellons? You can't do anything in the city without them. They rule the city, and if they want to, they can ruin it....- Is that so? I say.We are heavily silent for a moment. Joan is embarrassed by her sudden frankness. We suddenly realize that, despite these intimate candles and homemade tablecloths, despite some points of contact through Hemingway and Faulkner, there is an abyss between us. There's that cognomoso feeling again, the sense of edge. They feel that edge almost instinctively, my American interlocutors. Conversations, like a game, are conducted in accordance with the rules: not to reveal to a stranger the secrets of the firm whose name is capitalist America. Joan crossed that line, to our mutual embarrassment.Having recovered from embarrassment, she and Saul together transfer the conversation to the plane of facts, explaining that the Mellons, in addition to "Melloyun-balk", running the city, there is an oil corporation "Gulf Oil", copper "Copper-company", aluminum ALCOA, ancii steel giant "United States Steel Corporation". Total capital - about nine billion dollars.In Pittsburgh, the head of the clan, Richard King Mellon, is called the General. He was a major intendant during the war. General, of course, sounds more honorable than, for example, boss, gas station.General "very kind" to Pittsburgh - created charitable organizations, bought land in the center of the city for four million dollars and gave the citizens a beautiful square on the square, which, of course, called Mellon Plaza.But Joan, it seems, is a brave person. She suddenly declares:- But if he uses his influence and power for evil, it will be bad for Pittsburgh.Saul is silent, agreeing.Their house is on the edge of town, across the Monongahela River, in a restful green neighborhood. Behind the house is a large lawn. Quiet. Fresh air. The chirping of birds.Joan laments:- What cold weather! The roses haven't bloomed yet. Look what's happened to the poor petunias!The house is cozy, full of books, novels by Faulkner, the Price's favorite writer, a multi-volume history of England. The carpets are worn, the sofas are old. There's no pretentious modernity, they appreciate the homey feel. Saul and Joan talk often and proudly about their children. Two framed photographs. Serious guy. A pretty girl with a good, intelligent face.The Prices love their children, but it's an American love -- they are not kept at their mother's skirt. Last year, their sixteen-year-old daughter was let go to the ends of the earth -- Singapore -- on one of the many "exchange programs."Her friends were surprised: a young girl in a land far away from home to strange foreigners?But the deed is typically American, and its roots are typically American. Great-grandfathers, grandfathers, fathers searched for their share, traveling across the expanses of America, explored the Midwest, Far West, Northwest, and Southwest of the United States, sailed to this country from other countries. History has planted in Americans the seed of mobility. The American doesn't like books, and often doesn't believe them; he needs to feel the world.In Singapore, the Price's daughter lived in the house of a Chinese man who ran a huge rubber plantation. Of course, the girl saw Singapore through the eyes of the planter and his children. And recently the planter's son, also "on exchange," came to Pittsburgh and lived with the Prices. At the same time another young man from some distant islands in the Indian Ocean - Joan could not even pronounce the name. A poor but "talented boy", again an exchange student.- What an enviable, not at all American appetite they had - they ate from morning till night," Joan recalls.Here are personal contacts on their, bourgeois, level. Who knows, maybe in time they will pay off politically.Saul is silent on Vietnam, but Joan is against the war. Their son could be drafted. Joan talks about the national limitations and ignorance of Americans. They don't know the world, history. During her college years, for example, they did not study Russian literature. She happened upon Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, then Chekhov, and was enamored of Russians and Russian literature. The professor said: if you find six or eight more people willing, we will organize a series of lectures. No one was willing. Not so long ago in schools, in addition to American history, studied only the history of Western Europe. The rest of the world - beyond the ancient centuries - remained a white spot for children. Now the picture is changing. Many are interested in the Soviet Union and Russian history.Saul drove his car habitually, but cautiously, like an old man. He brought me back to the hotel at midnight.In the afternoon, Sol showed me the city from the steep bank of the Monongahela. The skyscrapers of the Golden Triangle glistened in the sunlight with glass and dural. They had risen recently on the site of slums, warehouses, and spare railroad tracks. Now the U. S. Steel Corporation, which is already cramped at forty stories, is going to build a new skyscraper of sixty or eighty stories. Or rather, it has commissioned this skyscraper from a construction corporation and has committed itself to renting it for a very long period of time.June 3. Pittsburgh.Pittsburgh is more than two hundred years old. At the cradle of industrial Pittsburgh at the end of the last century stood a famous trio: Andrew Carnegie, the king of steel, Clay Frick, the king of coal, and Thomas Mellon, the banker. Now those names give rise to other associations. The famous Carnegie Hall in New York is a favorite of music lovers, a witness to the triumphs of Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels, and world stars of the first magnitude. The exquisite Frick Gallery with masterpieces by El Greco. Metamorphosis with their millions began later - they were as if penance for their sins. They started out by killing. In 1 892, Clay Frick, who hated labor unions, committed a bloodbath by ordering his factory guards and Pinkerton agents to shoot a peaceful crowd of strikers. After being stabbed by a strike supporter, Frick dictated his will in an ambulance: "I don't think I'm going to die, but whether I die or not, the company will pursue the same policy, and it will win".This was the famous Hamstead steelworkers' strike. Frick and Carnegie crushed the unions and won. After that, their agents scoured the countries of Southeastern Europe, recruiting the poor - Poles, Slovaks, Serbs, Hungarians, Ukrainians - to Pittsburgh mines and factories. Meanwhile, Mellon successfully amassed the most grandiose in America family fortune, taking advantage of both the fall and rise of American capitalism. After the deaths of Carnegie and Frick in 1919, the Mellons' influence in Pittsburgh became even stronger.In talking with me, Professor R. of the local university gave me scientifically clear and concise information about Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is above all a city of steel. Twenty-five million tons of steel are melted within a radius of twenty-five miles - a quarter of all American production.An acute crisis arose twenty years ago when the surrounding iron ore deposits began to run dry. Steel corporations began moving plants, or rather building them anew, to other areas - near Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia. The city was threatened with ruin.The "city fathers", first of all the General, decided to save it - after all, their fate was connected with Pittsburgh. Tens, hundreds of millions of dollars were thrown into scientific and technical research, thousands of specialists and scientists were recruited and brought to Pittsburgh. In alliance with city officials, Mellon dealt a decisive blow to the grim glory of the "Smoky City." A law was passed prohibiting the use of bituminous coal for heating. (Saul Price, showing the town from the slope above Monongahela, pointed out to me that the chimneys were not smoky - cleaners everywhere. Only from two or three factory chimneys there was a barely noticeable white smoke. A special observation service has been set up. If there is black smoke for more than two minutes, it is considered a violation and violators are fined).The "Golden Triangle" underwent a radical rebuilding, whole neighborhoods of slums were swept away. The purpose of redevelopment, R. stressed, was to rid the business center of housing and the presence of the poor, to move it away from the center.According to R., this is a city that is rare in America in terms of social composition: the super elite, the mass of the poor, and between them a very thin layer of the "Middle Class." This layer includes university teachers and professors, lawyers, doctors, and city employees.R. considers Pittsburgh a unique "feudal" city, emphasizing that its current renaissance is also feudal-capitalist in character. The feudal suzerain is, of course, the Mellon family.Prof. R. has aptly said of American attitudes toward the Vietnam War. Many are not yet bothered by the war. "Death is scattered - one here, one there, one far across the river." Far, nak and distant war.Another interesting meeting today is with Paul Daly, vice president and director of the Happenstall Steel Company. Paul Daly was in Moscow last year on business - he wanted to buy some of our licenses. He says that he was "ripped off" at the National Hotel no worse than they are ripped off at Hilton hotels. He approves of that kind of acumen. "We are getting closer," he says. Your Intourist knows how to make money, too. "You'll find Moscow interesting, and you'll enjoy Leningrad," an Intourist guide told him. Paul thinks the remark is correct. He found the Hermitage richer than the Louvre.So we had Paul: I'm a Soviet correspondent caught up in Pittsburgh. He's paying me for our hospitality. Yesterday, Daley was at a luncheon at the Duquesne Club. Today he invited me to his place for lunch and showed me his company's plant here. It employs 800 people. Happenstall has several plants. Total capital is fifty million dollars; it's a crumb next to the United States Steel Corporation, which is worth billions. The company is family-owned. The elder Happenstall died recently. Now his 30-seven-year-old son runs the business. He'd been groomed for it since he was a boy, and for a time he'd worked as a laborer in his father's Pittsburgh factory.Daley arrived at the hotel in a brand-new Buick.Typical start:- What's your name? - He looked at my business card. - Stanislaw? That means. Stanley? Stan? Call me I lo.p. --- And, laughing, he added: --- Europeans are surprised at our impudence. We call everyone by their first name, not their last name. We think it's easier that way.He said it very well, wisely -- simpler. It's easier, it's more convenient. American domestic democracy. It's a great trait, as long as they don't extend that simplicity to things that can't be polluted. -- Vietnam, for example.Paul is an enlightened businessman. Before the war, he studied at the University of Paris - cheaper than at American universities. There is no unceremonious American assertiveness in him, sometimes he is even shy, ready to listen and understand another point of view. His language is apt. "Credit," he says, "is like a blade for a safety razor. You can shave with it and cut your throat with it."He's not a super-patriot. He sees faults in his country, but believes America offers great opportunities for the working man. His father was a letter carrier, then started a small business, trying to educate his children. His wife's father was a laborer from Poland.- Are you a millionaire?- No, I'm not one of the lucky ninety thousand. But I make a decent living.Three kids. Son and daughter are in college. He's worried about his youngest son. He's in college, but he's not doing so well. Now Paul spends six or seven thousand dollars a year on education for children. Daughter the other day receives a diploma, has already found a job - a programmer on electronic calculating machines. She will receive one hundred and twenty-five dollars a week. Paul started out more modestly, earning one hundred and twenty dollars a month.The cost of educating his children is so great that he has to save money, too. He recently sent his eldest son to Italy on a cargo ship - it only costs a hundred dollars. Of course, it's not very convenient, but it's cheap. The boy did not go to have fun. Two months will work as a worker in a steel factory, and then a week or two of vacation in Italy - on his earnings. Last summer his son, a future metallurgical engineer, worked as a simple laborer at a Pittsburgh steel mill. That's where the children of the capitalist are raised, that's how they are taught not only to worship the dollar, but to value labor.Paul Daly was telling me about a principle common in America: every job is good, no job is shameful. This, of course, is not without its share of sanctimony. But there is something else to be said: the laws of society are cruel. The best adapted survive and succeed, which means, in particular, the hard-working. Higher education is expensive, that's why it is highly valued. As a rule, it is not only paid for by rich parents, but also earned by the students themselves.I remember the last time I came to Cornell University, a beautiful, languid girl served us at a table in the restaurant of the Statler Inn. Some of the Americans whispered that she was the daughter of Maxwell Taylor, former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, former military adviser to President Kennedy, and the notorious ambassador general to Saigon. We wanted to interview the titular waitress. We made some more inquiries. Alas, there was a mistake. The girl was the daughter of Taylor, but another, not so famous - the U.S. Ambassador to one of the Latin American countries. Interest in the interview was lost, but the fact was remembered. The ambassador's daughter, a student at Normal University, was moonlighting as a waitress on vacation. This did not surprise anyone. It was the norm.During the summer season, I saw many students in Yellowstone National Park. They cleaned hotel rooms, sold gasoline at gas stations, worked as clerks and waiters. It's a familiar job. The overalls of gas station workers, the white starched aprons of waitresses, were not new to them at all. They made dollars to live and to learn.Of Pittsburgh's revitalization, the Daily speaks nan delen.- Pittsburgh is big enough," he says, "to feel like a big city here. and yet. compact enough that you can call two dozen businessman friends and invite them over tonight for cocktails and to discuss urgent business.But in his opinion, the big businessmen here are closely connected to each other and to the fate of the city. In New York, Daly believes, it's more complicated. It's too big and too impersonal. Its lords live somewhere in Connecticut, on Long Island, in country estates. And their capital is invested not only in New York, but in every state in America, all over the world.Daley does not even mention the unions, the workers, or the city's population in general. in recounting the story of Pittsburgh's rebirth. They have no place in his version of the story.It's interesting how Daley judges us. He understands some things, agrees that we should have centralized and directed industry when the foundations were being laid. Agrees with the need for planning in the early days. Now he is excited about our reform of industrial management, which he has heard about in passing and which he characterizes as the "Profit system" - a system based on profit. The Profit system reminds him of America. "Man is like a horse. "The more oats in the cart, the faster the horse runs. That's what incentives are." Daly believes this is a truth we have now internalized. The radical differences in the ownership system between us and them he ignores.Here is his view of American "almost socialism". "My secretary also works for the state. She pays twenty percent of her salary in taxes. So one day she works for the state."The emptiest conversation today is at the headquarters of the Steelworkers Union of America. It's the second largest union in the United States, after the automobile manufacturers: one million two hundred thousand members.The president's not here. The vice president's busy. I was assigned to Mr. A. Atwood, Public Relations Man. Just as you can't imagine an American diner without apple pie under a glass hood, so American corporations, labor unions, universities and other organizations are unimaginable without Public Relations Man. They deal with intercourse with the press and the public. They're useful for a first introduction - they'll inundate you with pamphlets, books, and figures. But don't be fooled! They are professional varnishers, turning everything with a facade, called to wipe the dust off the varnished surface of complete prosperity.If we believe A. Atwood, all the problems of American steelworkers were solved thirty years ago, when union activists were killed and businessmen threw factory guards with rifles and clubs against striking workers. Now the only thing workers care about is getting the washbasins and restrooms closer to their workplaces.Asa Atwood is more afraid of "Red" than the bankers at Te's Duken Club are of the Duken Club. This one needs to show his patriotism and loyalty. As for Vietnam, the union leadership has a clear line: full support for Johnson. "If the U.S. withdraws from Vietnam. a dangerous vacuum will be created."And by the way, the foreman at the Happenstall plant said something else: "Let them live as they like over there in Vietnam." He is also a member of this union, but his common sense prevails over his anti-communism.There is no doubt that labor unions in the U.S. have made big concessions from businessmen - higher wages, better working conditions They told me that in Dearborn. They're talking about it here in the city of steel. It started in the Roosevelt era. Then the war helped, and with war orders in abundance, the capitalists were sharing with the workers, so to speak, in wage increases, and the unions were able to seize the moment. Professor Montgomery, who studies the labor movement at the University of Pittsburgh, praises the power of the American unions, but believes that the leaders of the AFL-CIO have no political program except anti-communism, in which AFL-CIO President George Minnie will not yield to Goldwater.June 4. Pittsburgh.Saturday. A non-working day. However, in the morning I was able to meet and talk with John Morow, Director of Planning and Redevelopment at the City of Pittsburgh. What he told me kind of turned the city around to me in another facet. If I hadn't talked to Price, to Professor R., to Paul Daly, and if I had just talked to John Morow today, you would have thought that Pittsburgh was not a "feudal city" at all, but that it was ruled by the people who should be ruled by law - the city government, elected by the people.As a former reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he knows to keep his ear to the ground with newspapermen. And then a foreign correspondent, and not just any foreign correspondent, but a "red" one from Russia, asked for an interview on a serene Saturday morning.John Morow was suspicious, stingy with his words, and weighed each one carefully.So, the city, by American standards, is old. Now in Pittsburgh proper there are more than six hundred thousand people, in the Greater Pittsburgh area - two and a half million. Geographically, the city is favorably located: three rivers. But its topography is unfavorable because of those same three rivers. The city has suffered annual flooding. The concentration of industry and heavy use of coal polluted the air.After World War II, two major programs were developed to control the scourge. Flood control was taken over by the federal government and "smoke control" by city and county governments.There have been no major floods since 1 937. As for smoke, the late forties and early fifties banned the use of soft coal for home use, as well as steam locomotives and steamboats. Transportation switched to diesel fuel, homes were now one hundred percent heated with natural gas. There were no government subsidies, corporations and individuals provided the money; it proved possible to begin rebuilding the city. Since 1,950, the city has been reconstructed over an area of about one thousand six hundred acres. This includes "cleansing," in other words, the demolition of a number of neighborhoods, the construction of "business" buildings, new residences, and new educational and recreational opportunities. The new buildings are being built by private firms and corporations; the city is only responsible for communications and utilities. In all, about a quarter of the "unfit neighborhoods" have been redeveloped.- What about the poor residents, like the small merchants who are being displaced? Are they happy? I asked. - There are usually a lot of problems.John Morow gave me a watchful glance:- Is this for information and propaganda purposes?- To complete the picture," I replied.He began academically:- In all countries, whatever they are, there are people who resist change. Imagine a small merchant who has lived in the same place all his life, has a regular clientele, etc. Of course, he does not want to leave the place he has been in, no matter what conditions are offered to him. "For displaced families, we usually offered the best conditions. Of course, there were difficulties, including psychological ones. Now the resistance of the displaced has become purely symbolic. They want to get more for their land and houses, they are worried about where to go. But there is time, usually five years pass between the decision to demolish and the demolition itself.Morow sees one of the positive results of redevelopment in that the big corporations that have come into the "cleaned up" neighborhoods are employing thousands of people in their offices. This is important because manufacturing employment is declining across the country.General Morrow didn't mention General Morrow. I reminded him. He answered frankly:- If you take business, Mr. Mellon was probably the most effective force in the redevelopment of Pittsburgh. He worked closely with the city government. And it must be said that he was the one who actually started this whole program.I was thinking about the American "open society". In it, only what they want to reveal, what is profitable to reveal, or what cannot be hidden is revealed. You are provided with brochures, postcards of beautiful new buildings, and then suddenly behind all this splendor you see the Mellon state and the knights of big business, who gnaw at each other in the darkness of tangled financial interests and connections.Having finished with the city's business, Morow asks:- Tell me frankly, do the Soviets really think we want to conquer the Soviet Union or Nitai?I answer that I personally do not think so, but that here is Vietnam, and there are American troops and airplanes that bomb not only guerrillas, but also civilians. How do you think about that?The answer is very familiar and typical: the world should believe American good intentions while ignoring American soldiers. Johnson's logic of expanding bombing targets in the DRV, "shortening" the path to peace, is no stranger to Morrow. The most ridiculous part is that he is sincere.The American's dislike of war is so obvious to him.- We are taught from childhood to value our lives and property. Do you really think we are our own enemies?In Vietnam he sees a "trap" for the U.S.: we can't win, but how do we withdraw to "save face"?And another thought, wistful and sincere, is how good it would be to use all this military spending, for example, to rebuild cities.Morow realizes that in socialist countries it is easier to rebuild cities, because everything is planned by the state.- We have a constant clash of public and private interests, a search for compromises, and in the end, private entrepreneurs have the last word. - he says frankly. - After all, if they want to close a factory or plant or move it out of Pittsburgh, the city can't stop them.""The city can't stop them..." He was thinking about it after all.In my hotel room, I tried to summarize my experience of Pittsburgh. I gutted the newspapers. There's two: Pittsburgh Press and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Two papers, but in four days, that's pounds of newsprint. Big and surprisingly empty, stuffed with ads.So, another American city. Will I ever see it again? It's been sunny here all four days, though I never remembered it in my notebook. and the people are generally friendly. They like their city. Did I see everything in it? Alas. Not much."The Golden Triangle has indeed been gilded with modernist skyscrapers. Across the Allegheny River, the great neighborhoods of the poor have been left untouched. They are far from the center and therefore do not interest business, and do not bother his eyes. Allegheny used to be a separate city, but now it's part of Pittsburgh. I went there. Slums, shabby, shabby houses, broken glass, untidy yards, humpbacked cobblestone streets, old women on porches maimed by life. In short, Pittsburgh Harlem, where blacks mingle with whites."Aha, propaganda! " I hear the voice of John Morrow. But why is that, Mr. Morrow? I have to be objective. I gave you the floor and unfortunately, I deprived the other side of the podium. It's easier to meet with you - you have offices, editorial offices, country restaurants, university offices, your work can be suspended for a conversation with a Red - it doesn't move on a conveyor belt. And where, other than in a cab or at a bar, can I talk to poor, working-class Pittsburgh? It's not always convenient to stop a person on the street -- it's not very American with its "uncommunicative" problem. It's shameful to upset an old lady on the street by asking about poverty. And they're more wary of the Reds than you are, Mr. Morrow. You're above suspicion.The city is different and at the same time monotonous - the monotony of your reality and its contrasts have been imprinted on it. In the university district, green hills, beautiful cottages, lovely private schools. Big parks. "Squirrel Hill. The city - and nature is under the ru1yu, under the windows, those who live here have "their" betsch, they come to the kitchen for a treat.And everywhere there is separation. Social alienation indeed. But you don't feel it right away. I could have left without knowing about Pittsburgh Harlem. After all, the Golden Triangle sparkles so triumphantly, the green spaces around the university so magnificent. Only the people leaning aloofly against the walls of the houses opposite the Roosevelt Hotel inspire a vague anxiety. They are waiting for the streetcar, small clerks, Negroes, janitors, laborers. They return to their homes after working for the Triangle.I had lunch with Daly at the University Club.- It's not a snobby club, not like the Duquesne Club," said Daly.I wonder what the people of Harlem would say about the University Club.Professor Montgomery's wife, a Negro, is involved in a local anti-poverty program. She says there are a lot of poor people in Pittsburgh. People whose houses are demolished under the "redevelopment" program usually stay in the same neighborhoods, only moving into neighboring slums and living no better. In place of the demolished houses build other houses, more beautiful and comfortable, but .... the rent is higher.Skilled workers after the war live better and can afford to move to new houses. They settle in the suburbs in the same national communities as in the old places. You may see familiar "neubohude" - neighborhoods, communities. There are natives of Czechoslovakia, here Poles, and there Italians. Their fathers and grandfathers have long ago melted into American workers, but they still hide behind the national shell, even though it has lost its protective properties.Another impression, not a new one either. Here in Pittsburgh, they think about us. They compare and contrast us. We are still an unknown, mysterious world to them. Visitors to the Duquesne Club catch the news of economic reform and try to interpret it in their own way. Banker Boyd said there was growing interest in trade with the Soviet Union. Daly was already doing reconnaissance in Moscow, in Leningrad. Pittsburgh would soon see the Bolshoi Ballet, now touring the United States. I saw a large photograph of Maya Plisetskaya in the window of an expensive store. An invisible thread connected our prima ballerina with Pittsburgh banker Boyd - after all, he is the head of the local board for receiving foreign guests, and it was this board that invited our ballet.Our country's invisible presence in Pittsburgh is sometimes completely unexpected.- Our professors are in favor of you being the first to land a man on the moon. If the Soviets put their man on the moon tomorrow, my salary will be doubled the day after tomorrow. - half-jokingly-half-seriously remarked in a conversation with me one of the professors at the University of Pittsburgh.It's a practical joke. Professors' salaries rose sharply after the first "beep-beep" of our satellite sounded in space. Federal billions from Washington went to science.And ignorance of elementary things about our way of life, our laws remained even in the circles of intellectuals. I was bombarded with such questions: "Is it possible to inherit money?" (an American question about a socialist country), "Do you have housewives?", "Do your writers receive a salary from the state or live on royalties from their books?". There were also some very funny questions that were difficult to answer: "Why do Russians like to play chess?", "Why do Russians like poetry?".5 nun. Buffalo.Early in the morning, again by airplane, back to Buffalo, back to my car. The end of neighborhoods, you can only fly, but not drive. The last picture of the deserted Sunday Pittsburgh: at the door of the hotel "Roosevelt", propped up by a mosan. stood, swaying, drunk with bulging wild eyes. Through the greenish window of the bus one last look at the ultra-modern Gateway Plaza. The bus rustled smoothly over the bridge over the Allegheny River, rushed through the tunnel tube, and now in the windows of his already hills of Pennsylvania. On the way to the airfield from the freeway - a side highway to the city of Carnegie. The descendants have immortalized the king of steel.Pittsburgh isn't that big, but the airport is huge. We probably don't have one of those. But this is the cost of capitalist competition: how many airlines, so many offices, auxiliary services, access to the airfield. Each company owns its own sky gate. I left Pittsburgh through "gate #27."The early transit plane was nearly empty. There were a few soldiers sleeping in the seats. One was awake. After gutting a thick Sunday paper, I sat down next to him, introduced myself.- Mind if I ask you a few questions?He looked at me, hesitated, not confused:- Go ahead!A good-looking guy about twenty-two to twenty-three years old. The face is handsome, hard. Straight nose, handsome forehead, black hair glossy, carefully combed with diamondine. The eyes are attentive, looking calm, with dignity. On the uniform shirt of light khaki tucked into the pants - not a single crease, except for those that the charter took the iron. Nature itself told him to be a military professional. And he obeyed. A volunteer. He has been in the service for twenty-seven months and expects to serve for the full twenty years, until his retirement and pension. "A.B." on his sleeve, "Airborne Troops" in a diamond pattern.- You ever been to Vietnam?- No.- Are you going to be?- Late June.Clear, short answers.- What's it like? What kind of mood are you in?- We are fighting for freedom there," he said.- Have you read in the newspapers about the recent events? The Buddhist riots? Even your allies in South Vietnam are not very happy with the American presence.- It's a minority. I was in Santo Domingo last year. There was only a militant minority there against us- What do you think about American bombing in Vietnam? You're killing civilians too.- War is war. We use means in which we are superior to them. If we don't stop Communism there, we'll have to fight on America's borders.- Don't you think it's not about the Americans and their interests, but about the Vietnamese and letting them handle their own affairs?- No. If we leave, the Vietcong wins. And we want to give the Vietnamese their freedom. War is a bad thing, but it's necessary. I'm personally against war, but we have to stop the Communists. The majority of the people are with us.- How do you know that?That was an unnecessary question. The soldier knew everything. He was confident in his right to speak for the Vietnamese and the Dominicans. He knew everything for all the people of the world. In front of me sat an invulnerable, ideologically rigid, sterilely pure one hundred percent American, with the last specks of doubt and freethinking carefully blown off. An idealistic imperialist. "Fighting for freedom ... War is war ... We must stop the Communists... "I've been listening to a well-rehearsed lesson in American soldier political grammar. Well, let's keep the questions coming. What does this handsome fellow think about the Communism he wants to stop? What does he know about it? Why does he dislike communism so much?And these questions did not take the young American by surprise.- The harder a man works, the more money he has to make. With you, everybody gets the same, and if that's the case, will a man work hard? We have every opportunity for a man, if he wants to get his way.He demanded to explain communism at the level of the ruble and the dollar. I explained that we also have different salaries, that a better worker usually gets more, that this system is being improved. I explained our basic truths: you can't own land, factories, plants. It is not fair that a person, just because he has more money, perhaps obtained by dishonest means, should have an influence, perhaps harmful and even ruinous, on hundreds, thousands of other people. He told about Pittsburgh, about Mellon, about the fact that Pittsburgh, as its own people say, would be a disaster if Mellon decided to move his financial interests elsewhere. This was the kind of political literacy the soldier had never been taught. But the miracle didn't happen. He didn't give up. He, not a banker, just the son of an engineer for the Standard Oil Corporation, did not like the way things were going.- Of course, if a person has more money, he can influence other people. What's wrong with that? That's how great men grew up in America. And the limits? How do you establish that a person can only make money up to such and such a limit? No, we have unlimited possibilities. Otherwise a man wouldn't try.It's still amazing how quickly he reduced the complexity of the world and man to the typical American root - the possibilities of "making money." Freedom? To make money. Opportunity? Making money. Happiness - also by making money.I'm trying to approach him from the other end. I explain that private property separates people, that we want people not to fight with each other, but to cooperate. The soldier looks at me condescendingly:- Well, you're the one talking about harmony.He knows the word "harmony".- I'm not against harmony," he says. - But man is not like that. First we must ensure law and order in the world. Then we can cooperate with you, help other countries. You build dams in Africa, we help there too. I'm against war. I'm in favor of such help.- Then why should I send troops?- You and I are not going to agree on that," the soldier grinned. - We've already talked about it.I sit down in my seat - it is behind the soldier - and again I see the black, carefully combed back of his head in front of me. The plane is coming in for a landing. Buffalo. A straight, dapper gesture, and the cap sits tightly on the back of his head, tilted slightly over his forehead. The soldier likes military service.- It's good to serve," he says.Eight hours at the base or in the field, and then I'm free. Soldier's rations are not poor, they pay well, you can save.He travels abroad: from April to July last year he brought "law and order" in Santo Domingo, recently flew for three weeks to Turkey, to maneuvers of parachute troops. In American cities and on the roads, you see Marine Corps ads: "You want to see the world? Join the Marines!" The Leathernecks (as the Marine Corps is called) have a patent on this catchy ad. But it's also good for airborne troops, all the armed forces of a country that has kept more than a million soldiers outside its borders for two decades.A soldier stands in the aisle. His heavy, like weights, boots glisten lacquered. His black tie is tucked between the buttons in a military manner.- Although we didn't agree, it was nice talking to you," he says.I nod silently. It is strange, of course, for him to meet a "red" in the depths of his country, in the peaceful skies between Pittsburgh and Buffalo. Strange to me, too. What else am I gonna tell this guy? I won't tell him anything. Our argument is over, but he's on his way to continue it with guns, and my like-minded friends will meet him with guns. Man was born to be free to make money ... Is that funny? No, I'm sorry. For this "philosophy" the son of an American engineer is ready to kill Vietnamese peasants on Vietnamese soil.The soldier is the first to spring down the gangway. Every vein plays in him an enviable youth, groomed, who has known no war or want. Then I see black boots, a broad back and a pilot's cap in the corridor of the airport terminal. He steps confidently and straight, as if he swallowed an arshin, but his left hand awkwardly encircled the waist of a low woman in a motley dress. Mother. The corridor is long, and I watch the hands change, then she puts her arms around him and nestles into his, then the soldier, unbending, draws the mother to him roughly and gently. On the right is a man in a hat and jacket. The father. He gave his son to the mother. So that's why the boy's all ironed up. He's come for a vacation. Before the jungle.We wait five minutes for our luggage. We don't look at each other, but we feel each other. My father goes to get the car. Then, as I walk out of the building with my suitcase, I see them again, see the three of them tightly seated in the front seat of the Rambler. I pick up my Chevy in the parking lot, pay seven dollars for seven days, and, after asking for directions, drive to Buffalo. I think about our conversation and feel that somewhere nearby the trooper is also taking in the sight of the deserted Sunday streets of Buffalo, the dressed-up people at churches, the women in hats with flowers that seem ridiculous to me and touching to him, the girls and boys, carefully combed, in holiday suits and long white socks. I wonder what he got out of our meeting. A soldier needs hate. Does he really think that the Communists are encroaching on this slow and boring Sunday morning in Buffalo, on his parents' Rambler, on the women in ridiculous hats densely covered with bright artificial flowers?Meanwhile, I found shelter at the Buffalo Hotel and recorded another "interview" - with the Negro woman who cleaned Room 1014. She didn't have to go to Vietnam. America was not opening up to her even the fringe of its unlimited possibilities.- Vietnam? That's too bad. I don't know why we're fighting there. I don't know-- What do I know about these things?She changed the sheets, swept the floor, flicked cigarette butts into the wastebasket, and did not want to intrude into the realm of high politics. She was cautious and fearful when first confronted with an unfamiliar color combination - with white "Red". Two grown sons are in the military. One had been in Vietnam a few years ago, back "before all this," that is, before the escalations. He didn't like it - too hot, too stuffy. She hasn't seen him since his return, though, only talked to him on the phone. He lives in Boston. Her second son wasn't in Vietnam, and somehow she's sure he won't be.- How are you Negroes doing in Buffalo?- Not bad," the Negro answers cautiously. - They let us in everywhere here, except for a few places.- Why don't they let you go there?- They don't want to. By law, of course, you can, but they make it clear they don't want Negroes.She's talking about some restaurants.- That's all right for us older people. But the young people are different. They don't like it.Having plucked up courage, she asks:- What is it like in Russia?I understand what she means, but I deliberately ask again:- What do you mean?- With the racial problem.I habitually reply that we have neither a racial problem nor Negroes.- What about Paul Robeson?It turns out she thought Paul Robeson was a Soviet citizen. After all, they wrote so much about him, that he was a "red" black man.. . . What do you do on a Sunday in an unfamiliar American city when you have no address, no phone number, no letter of introduction? When you've seen enough rooftops from your hotel room window? When you don't feel like reading three pounds of the Sunday New York Times? When you're not drawn to the shores of Lake Erie because you know you'll find neither beauty nor silence there, but only the dregs of industrial Buffalo and the roaring freeways that killed "Hypnosis - Water and Foam Play"?From idleness you begin to dash around the city, good thing you have wheels. Twice you skip from south to north Main Street with its traffic lights, pharmacies, stores, movie theaters and Sunday-slumbering people, accustomed to the tension, pace and programmed routine of everyday life. Thirty minutes northbound is Niagara Falls, but no - for today you are a willing prisoner of Buffalo and your own itinerary.You brake the car outside the hotel and walk into the semi-darkness of the bar, sit at the massive wooden counter on a swivel stool. Rows of bottles. Nickel-plated dosage mounts stuck into the necks like question marks. Everyone deciphers them in their own way.Then you hang around the streets. Storefronts, monuments. In a deserted circular square near the Statler Hilton Hotel and City Hall is a large monument to U.S. President William McKinley, in 1901 assassinated in Buffalo. The assassin shot McKinley as he was holding out his hand to say hello. And here's the big obelisk - Buffalo's atonement. Four lions slumbering at the obelisk's edges.Nearby is a miniature monument to Christopher Columbus, erected a little late, in 1952. The bronze Columbus stands at the wheel with a perplexed look: why the hell did he come here, to the Great Lakes?I also came across an unknown bronze brigadier general immortalized by his colleagues They saved on the pedestal - the general, leaning on his saber, stands almost on the ground. In the dark, you'd mistake him for an ordinary policeman.In the evening, I had tea at the snack bar on the first floor of the hotel. It had some educational functions. In the corner, to the right of the counter, racks of books. But what books! The covers were demonic, with cool, bulging maidens. Titles. "Young Tigress." "Sweet But Sinful." "Bedroom Window," "Hobo Sex," "Manhunter," "Manhuntress. Astrology magazines. Horoscopes for the current year. You know, general spiritual stuff. Like ham and eggs with ham.How's my morning soldier companion? What's he up to?June 6. Buffalo.I spent the whole day until almost evening at the university. The official name of the university is the State University of New York in the city of Buffalo. In every state, apart from private universities and colleges, there is a so-called public university, which is maintained with the state's money. The State University of New York is a huge, scattered in quite distant places from each other. For example, Cornell University, a predominantly private university, has a public agricultural department that is part of the State University of New York. A number of departments and colleges of a "state" university are located in New York. And the University of Buffalo itself is a part of New York University, and a big part at that. It now has ten thousand students enrolled in full-time courses, and with evening and part-time students there are twenty thousand.The university is rapidly expanding. New, beautiful, good buildings. The buildings are covered with ivy, although ivy is "illegal" here. The young public university in Buffalo is not in the "Ivy League", and its diploma has neither the halo nor the weight of diplomas of aristocratic higher educational institutions of the United States.The authorities have recently granted the university a thousand acres of land on the outskirts of the city, and a new campus is now being built there.The fee for a year of study is four hundred dollars. It is considered to be almost free, at least four times cheaper than in private universities. So, four hundred dollars. Plus four hundred and eighteen dollars a year for a place in the dormitory (rooms . for two or three students). Five hundred dollars a year for the student canteen, if you wish to use it. One hundred dollars for textbooks. In general, is gaining a thousand and a half dollars a year, even in a public, not in a private university. But this is the norm, they do not complain about it.Also natural is the fact that the university is almost no children of workers, small farmers. First, they can't afford the expense. Secondly, many of them are so psychologically oriented that they do not aspire to higher education. Nim Darrow, vice president of the Student Association, and Carl Levin, treasurer of the association, told me this. The bottom line is that students are the children of the "middle class" and "upper middle class": lawyers, doctors, corporate employees, government officials, academic intellectuals.It's an extremely bad day to visit the university. Vacation has started, and tomorrow is an important event - registration of students for summer classes. So I showed up unannounced. But I was well received. The "Dean of Students," Professor Richard Siggelkow, helped me meet with the leaders of the student association. Darrow and Levin turned out to be very young guys, with fuzz on their chins, but with the same slightly ostentatious, dry calculating and rationality that never ceases to amaze me. Politically, they are "centrists," without wavering to the right or left, aligned neither with the conservative Young Americans for Liberty nor the progressive Students for a Democratic Society. Carl Levin specializes in economic issues but is considering a political career. From that perspective, an elected position in the student association is not an unreasonable point to start with. "Career" - there's nothing objectionable about that word for him. On the contrary. it is attractive. After all, most congressmen, governors, and ministers are frankly preoccupied with political careers.Darrow and Levin are in the "main stream" of bourgeois political life. My direct question about attitudes toward Vietnam causes momentary confusion. They support the government line, albeit cautiously.- I used to sign a petition supporting the war," says Carl Levin. - Now I don't think I would do that. I don't know why we're there, whether we're there for the freedom and self-determination we're talking about.Professor Siggelkow believes that most students are apolitical and only think about work, how and where to go after graduation. There are forty-eight non-political student clubs at the university. Three hundred people belong to the organization "Students for a Democratic Society", and usually fifty people participate in demonstrations.We had lunch with Siggelkow in the restaurant of the Amerhwest Motel. There was also his wife and an old friend, also a teacher, who had decided to move to the University of Buffalo from Wisconsin. Siggelkow patronizes him. I suspect I was needed to show off to the Wisconsin hick how cosmopolitan Buffalo, a city on the way to Niagara Falls, is. The professor's wife was rapturously telling the Wisconsin man how many foreigners pass through Buffalo and how they had welcomed Japanese, someone from Africa, a member of parliament from Malaysia.A provincial came to reconnoiter. He was preoccupied with the prose of life, asking about the schools, the climate (found to be milder than Wisconsin), the prices (food is more expensive, but clothing is arguably cheaper). However, the professor's wife was overwhelmed by the exoticism of Afro-Asian transit. She marveled at the Africans who once joined her for lunch on their way to the waterfalls. She served them fried chicken garnished with sweet fruit.- Imagine, they put the fruit aside. They thought it was for dessert. Turns out they eat fruit for dessert in Africa.I had to explain to her that sweet fruit with chicken is purely American exotic. That not only "In Africa," but also in Europe, for some reason, sweet fruit does not go as a garnish to meat and poultry. It was a fleeting conversation about the difference in tastes. My interlocutor did not despair. She kept looking for gastronomic common ground.- Do you have any bourbon whiskey?I said no. I'm sorry. But we have learned to make do with Russian vodka, Armenian cognac, Georgian wines. Have you heard of Georgian wines? She hasn't heard of Georgian wines. She's never heard of Georgians.So we had a nice chat. Nice restaurant. Friendly people. Well-to-do bourgeois. And somewhere, in some way, they took you for a bourgeois. Thanked them. Say goodbye. I got behind the wheel of the Chevrolet. Is there anything in this town besides the university, the Buffalo Hotel and a bronze President McKinley who didn't live out his term in the White House? I began ducking my car to the right and left of the straight and long, sword-sharp Main Street that cut through the city. The directory informed me that there were many things in this city: 404,452 telephones, 174,260 televisions, 18 radio stations, 497 Protestant, Catholic, and other churches, and 11 synagogues. Estimated value of various kinds at $1,050,390 1 1 1 5 dollars. 532,000 human souls, of which the souls of the "Middle Stratum" were 30 percent, the "Below Middle Stratum" another 30 percent, and the poor 40 percent.But now I wasn't leafing through a directory, but through street pages. A glimpse, kaleidoscopic. And so I got into the neighborhoods of the poor. The American poor is not the African poor, the Asian poor, the Hispanic poor. It is the poor man in an extremely rich country that has raised both the peaks of wealth and the level of poverty.I climbed by car into the neighborhoods of the Buffalo poor, pulled out onto Main Street again to catch my breath, and again climbed deeper and deeper. At first it was the white poor - wooden houses side by side, like chickens on a roost, turned away from each other by blank walls. There were no lawns, but the houses were clean, with garages, television antennas, and armchairs on open verandas.Farther on went shabby, stripped, with dirty kids and uncombed women, with broken windows - hopeless, black poverty. The same trees, but filthy, as if Ch€€'d. Stinking bars and stores, black mannequins in store windows with European, however, features. ... Poverty in the midst of wealth, in a country that has all the material prerequisites to eradicate, eradicate, eradicate poverty from the face of the earth.And is it only about Negroes, even though it is about Negroes? It's about justice, about whether American society is just or not. Twenty million of its second-class citizens say no. They cry out that this society is unjust.How to convey all this black longing, ferment and despair in the Negro streets? How to call to account a society that has produced and preserves the disgusting, immoral rottenness of the spirit of millions of people'? They are doomed by the fact of their birth. They are born to crawl, because from the day they are born they are assigned a low ceiling in American society. Only loners can rise above it, and they carry the same seed of despair in their souls.June 7. Uniontown.Once again I was led away from Buffalo by the mighty freeways. I spent almost the whole of that clear, windy day behind the wheel. I passed by birch trees and dark firs, Pennsylvania hills, towns, roadside cafes and oncoming cars. I was "doing" the next paragraph of the approved route "From Buffalo to Uniontown (Pennsylvania) along the New York State Thruway to the intersection with Road No. 79, and along Road No. 79 to the intersection with Road No. 422, and along Road No. 422 southwest to the intersection in Indiana with Road No. 1 19, and along it south to Uniontown. Overnight at Uniontown."I knew nothing about Uniontown. It was just the right place in southern Pennsylvania, from which I could drive to Elkins, West Virginia, the day after tomorrow, and from there to Washington and New York. It's time to call it a day.As I flew into Uniontown on Route 119, I realized that the town was old, that it was born before the automobile: its streets were uninhibitedly straight. And I immediately sensed that it was afflicted by an ailment - lots of abandoned houses with dusty or broken windows.This feeling was reinforced as I drove down Main Street. There didn't seem to be any abandoned houses on it. There was a movie theater marquee, and half a dozen bars, and a few respectable banks, and colorful "drag-stores"-pharmacies. In the store windows mannequins carried on their agitation for the fashions of 1 966. On the hill shone with fresh paint the "Greek-Orthodox," that is, the Orthodox Church of St. John the Baptist.It was the early evening hour. And Main Street was disturbingly empty and quiet. I drove along it cautiously, as Americans drive by the place of a fresh disaster on the road, when, leaning out of the car, it is supposed to ask: "Are there any victims?".Here was a sad man crossing Main Street and waddling to a snake on the sidewalk. Here's another. A third. Depressed people entered into a silent conversation with optimistic mannequins in shop windows. Just across the street from the White Swan Hotel, some old men sat on the steps of an almshouse. Empty faces of "former" people. They're in every American town. There were more of them here than usual, that's the point. And they weren't in the suburbs. They were on the main street.There was a stamp of neglect on the town. Officially, it's called a depression neighborhood here.I'm staying at the White Swan. The hotel is old and empty. The old man on duty greeted me without his usual cheerful pleasantries. He knew that the occasional swallow would not bring back spring and that the mica-lined neck at the white swan on the sign realized long ago and for a long time.But even here there was a Negro carrier, though without the customary form. As an American Negro in an American hotel should do, he picked up my suitcase. When we reached the elevator, I found the hotel not quite empty. Through the open door of a room near the elevator I saw some steaming men and women. They were apparently in session. I asked the Negro what was going on.- They were discussing unemployment," said the Negro.- Why, do you have unemployment?- Oh, yes," said the negro epically.- Is it high?- Seventy-five percent.- Are you kidding?! That can't be right.- Oh, no. Seventy-five percent," said the Negro.- Why is that? - I asked, stopping the argument about percentages.- There is no work," the negro wisely explained.- But there used to be work, didn't there?- Oh, yes. There was a big business here. Coal. Now the mines are closed. Nobody wants coal anymore.The negro opened the door of the room. Put the suitcase down. Put the typewriter on the table. Flicked the switches.- So you got lucky, huh? - I said, slipping a coin into his hand.- I beg your pardon?- Lucky, I said, for you. You've got a job.- Oh, yes," the negro chuckled. He was in his fifties, and he didn't like my joke.He confirmed my first impression of Uniontown. But a negro from a hotel is not a statistical bureau, and feelings are not facts, though they can be more reliable than facts and statistics. I went out to reconnoiter, seizing an official paper addressed " to all whom .it may affect," and signed by Bill Stricker, deputy director of the Foreign Correspondents' Center in New York. It is a cautious but useful paper with a double emphasis: it emphasizes that I am a Soviet citizen and a correspondent for a Soviet newspaper (beware!), but states that I am nevertheless accredited to an American institution and entitled to use "the usual courtesies accorded to members of the press". It is an indulgence that forgives an American the sin of communicating with the "Red," that allows him to "build bridges" and establish individual diplomatic relations across the Iron Curtain.I walked out onto Main Street, presented my credentials to the first person I met, and he immediately swayed my first feelings about Uniontown.Not an "ex" at all, but a young, healthy guy with a nice, broad smile. He willingly gave me his smile. after recognizing where I was from and who I was. He came out to stretch after work, having showered, wearing a fresh shirt. Things were going well for him, and therefore around him. He's a construction worker. Name's Albert Softer. He makes good money. He thinks things are going well in Uniontown and the country. The mines are closing? So what? People are finding other jobs.We were standing on the sidewalk, cars passing by, more of them on Main Street. He recognized some of the parents, smiled at some of them. The cars he immediately engaged around his evidence.- See how many cars we have? True, some of them have Mr. Credit in the back seat. But you don't have cars in Russia, do you? They say you have only bicycles.But the second person I met, a former miner, reinforced my feelings.I asked the gray-nosed miner questions in an optimistic tone. But he didn't fall for it.It's a mining town, and now all the mines are dead.- Are they all?- You drive 30 miles and you can't find a working one. There used to be 30 or so.- Unemployment, huh?- Yah.- Are you retired?- Yah.- How much do you get?- One hundred, one hundred and twenty dollars.- So it's enough?He looked at me, irritated and questioning. He didn't like my tone.The nosey miner was a pessimist. A man needs a lot, and maybe for him, above all, the feeling of being needed by other people. Now his life had closed with the mines. There was nothing to comfort him. We stood on a dark, empty street. I asked him about Vietnam. - I won't talk about it," the miner said gloomily and wanted to walk away. - Why not?- Say it, don't say it. What difference does it make?! - So you can't influence your government?- Yah.- What about freedom? Democracy?He looked at me warily. He strongly disliked my demagoguery.- It doesn't pay for itself.He held out a large, flaccid palm in farewell.I wandered on. Thinking about Uniontown. The anxiety of Main Street. The blunt indifference of the negro porter. The youthful exuberance of Albert Softer, the prosperous builder. The grim hopelessness of the nosy miner. I also appreciated the trademark humor of the Coca-Cola Company, especially resounding in local conditions. The city center was covered in its free advertising signs. Under the names of; vsh bars. "drag-stores", rather trashy hotels - everywhere in red and white were the words of the famous advertisement: "Things go better with Coke". This motto even adorned the trash bins on the sidewalks. "Nooyu" is an affectionately shortened, familial nickname for Coca-Cola. But "coke" also means "horse," coking coal. Coke used to do better here. Now the Coca-Cola merchants have cheerfully proclaimed to Uniontown, "Business is better with Coke!"There was an old man sitting in front of the White Swan, at the entrance to a small building. I spoke to him, and he turned out to be the caretaker of the Eagle Club. A brass plaque above his head said that the local "eagles" nested in this very house. The old man fidgeted with my credentials for a long time. He didn't talk much, but he was an optimist. Yes, the mines are exhausted, and the only mines left are in Greene County. Yes, the young people are fleeing Uniontown, but things are going well, though Uniontown is becoming a town of old men who don't want to leave. He was a coal miner himself back in the day.- Do they mine coal in Russia?We didn't talk much, but we talked about the weather.- Nice evening. Is it ever hot in Russia?He started coming on to me when we got to Vietnam.- We have a reason to be there. What reason? We made a promise to this nation and we have to follow through. I'd send more troops over there to get it over with. And in general, Americans shouldn't be discussing this issue with you!- Why not? I'm a journalist, my profession is to ask questions.Turning away, the watchman muttered:Your paper means nothing to me.- What do you mean it doesn't mean anything? You don't think it's fake, do you?- Of course it's fake. You can't fool me. An official paper should have an eagle on it. You don't have an eagle.Oh, come on! We parted hostilely. When I went up to my room, I looked for a long time for the unfortunate eagle, which I had not been interested in before. The eagle was found. It was a tricky eagle - in the form of a watermark. That's why the old man, accustomed to eagles, didn't recognize this camouflaged bird in the darkness.June 8. Elkins.I'm in Elkins, a mountain town in the state of West Virginia. "The Elkins Motor Lodge is a comfortable motel. I'm staying in one of its brick cabins on a hill - each cabin has four rooms - and I'm staying there. But, damn it," I said, "the window looked out on the road; the trucks were honking, and I wanted quiet for the last time. After all, tomorrow it's Washington, D.C., and then New York.Nine o'clock in the evening. It's getting dark in the mountains. The Appalachians are here. It's only 90 miles from Uniontown, and it took me two and a half hours. The whole time the narrow mountain road was winding. And twenty miles in the pouring rain, so much so that it was dark in the daytime and the cars had their headlights on. Still, it's nice in the mountains. Though I'm a flatlander, I drove through the Appalachians and - strange thing - it all seemed like I was in my native land.And now I can't get Uniontown out of my head. It's a curious little town. Maybe that's why small towns are so valuable to journalists, because you can see a lot of things about them in the palm of your hand. They're made of the same brick as big cities, the same as the rest of society, but the building is smaller and easier to see.This morning, Main Street was cheerful, as if it had brushed off a patina of anxiety. Filled with people. At the Drag Store, they were drinking their first cup of coffee and munching on Ham & Eggs. Opposite its entrance, two old men propped up a junk drawer with a rendition of the kona nola renlama.I went to the editorial office of the local Evening Standard. I presented my paper to the editor, Arnold Goldberg, told him about yesterday's episode with the old man, and, to avoid any misunderstanding, insisted that he look at it in the light and note the presence of the national eagle in the lower left-hand corner. Then I stared questioningly at Goldberg: Now, dear man, tell me, what's the matter here?But the first "Red" Russian in his life had fallen on his head like a snowball, and he felt that he was no longer just the editor of an out-of-state newspaper, but a person involved in the state eagle and its secrets. He was learning the role of a diplomat, and he was doing a good job of it. There had been great unemployment, but now only six percent. Young people fled and are still fleeing the city for the steel centers of Cleveland and Detroit, but, you know, some are coming back. We've been burned by coal, by mono-industry, and now we're creating a diversified industry, and we've already opened three factories..... Meet the editor of the women's section... We're expanding, you know, the fashion pages... We're focusing on the young reader...It's all stalled again.I stopped by the local Chamber of Commerce. Here its administrative director, Ernest Brown, an energetic, cheerful cynic, a former Marine officer, presented the state of affairs orally and also by means of two tempting brochures on glossy paper. One was academically titled, "Profile of Greater Uniontown." The other called forward, "Progress. Annual Report of the Greater Uniontown Chamber of Commerce."Uniontown's history is one of ups and downs dictated by economic interest.A peer of the Declaration of Independence , Uniontown (current population seventeen thousand) was born on July 4, 1 776. It was dormant for nearly a century until the age of steam, coal, and steel awakened it. Coal became king here. Coke was called the queen. At the end of the last century, Uniontown was considered the coking coal capital of the world, which was being absorbed by Pittsburgh's rapidly growing nearby steel district. Brochures claim that the city then ranked first in the world in the number of millionaires "per capita". And the souls were miners - Slavs, Italians, Irish. Successive waves of happiness created inexhaustible reservoirs of cheap labor for America.The history of Uniontown is, in a diminished form, the history of Pittsburgh. In time, the Uniontown steelworkers were swallowed up by the steel whale that was United States Steel Corporation. Uniontown supplied coal to the plants of this giant corporation.There were booms, but booms had an ominous backdrop. Booms came with wars So Uniontown established its ties to world duty. First boom, World War I. Second boom, World War II. Feverishly rowing steel. Coal was being raked feverishly. There was a war, somewhere someone was being killed, cities were being destroyed, villages were being burned. People were suffering. It wasn't pleasant, but it was far away. In Uniontown, coal and money were being raked. Unprecedented profits. Unprecedented wages.Payback came soon after World War II. It turned out the coal had been shoveled out. True, at great depths in the area lay other powerful seams, but for some reason they did not interest United States Steel Corporation. The corporation began moving its plants out of the Pittsburgh area. It said "good bye" to Uniontown, and disaster befell the mining families. Ironically, this happened just as General George Marshall, Uniontown's most famous native, was concocting his plan to help Western Europe and the major U.S. corporations were throwing for the океан миллиарды на укрепление антикоммунизма и ведение «холодной войны».But Uniontown has not become a ghost town, and such towns can be found in many states, and in Pennsylvania too.Businessmen are soulless, but the laws of life are complex - merchants need customers to exist. Bankers need depositors. They need people who make money and carry it to stores and banks. The giant U. S. Steel Corporation, with its billion-dollar turnover and national scope of operations, easily crossed Uniontown off its books, but the local businessmen needed it because their own destiny was tied to it. So they set about revitalizing Uniontown the same way Mellon set about revitalizing Pittsburgh.The Uniontown Chamber of Commerce, which exists on voluntary contributions from interested businessmen, is the headquarters of its revival, the center for attracting new capital investment. It's also his advertising office. The energetic Ernest Brown shoots optimistic figures: in 1961, 24 percent of the unemployed were unemployed; now there are only about eight percent. Opening a pamphlet with the promising title "Progress," Ernest Brown scrawls brief characterizations in pencil beneath portraits of Chamber of Commerce leaders.- Paul Sproles, chamber president, -- real estate and insurance business... Fitzgerald, first vice president, -- factory manager... William McDonald, second vice president,-- merchant, department store owner... Orville Eberly, one of the directors,-owner of Galantine Bank, worth thirty million dollars.... - Brown gives me a meaningful look. Jay Leff, of Fayette Bank.... Worth seventeen million dollars. - Another eloquent glance. "Now you're convinced that this is a very powerful group," Brown summarizes. - If they decide to do something, they'll do it. They can, for example, dictate to our congressman: vote this way.....So what do they do? They set up an " industrial fund" and lure u city industrial companies to suck up unemployment and keep young people in the new factories. The aliens are offered on long-term lease on favorable terms prepared land with all communications and even factory buildings. Plus the labor force, which will then carry their earnings to the stores, banks and insurance companies of the businessmen united by the Chamber of Commerce.I said goodbye to Brown, went outside, stocked with brochures, and stopped a man in a shabby jacket near the post office. A laborer. Fifty-three years old. His first words:- "Everything here is rotten!- And the Chamber of Commerce says things are better now.- Better?! They'll tell you all kinds of things. Better?" People have no place to work. Those Chamber of Commerce guys are afraid of the new factories. They're running the clerks out of the stores because the factories pay better.- They say there's been 2,000 new jobs created in the last ten years?- That's not what they say! Where are the jobs? I have to travel a hundred miles to work. I've been in the army twenty-one years, and now I get a pension of eighty-eight dollars a month. That's a lot of money to live on. I came back from the army in 1949. I started working in a factory. I was paid three times less than I should have been. I made a scandal and they threw me out. What to do? I started making moonshine - I was arrested. I've got to feed my family, damn it!- And they say that unemployment has fallen since 1961? Down to eight percent?- Eight percent?! Ha ha! Have them count it again. There's sixty percent of them on "ralph."- Is that sixty percent?- It's close to that. A lot of people have given up. You can't find a job. I'd rather be a Relief, at least you don't have to pay taxes."Rilif" is an allowance for the most hopeless poor and unemployed. Literally translated from English, "rilif" means relief. When a job is not available and not expected, and an American has exhausted his or her entitlement to unemployment benefits, which are given for eighteen to thirty weeks a year, a lifeline is thrown to him or her - a "rilife". Rich America doesn't want people on its streets defiantly puffed up and starving to death. Lifelong unemployed people are thrown a lifeline - a "rilife" - but they are not taken aboard the ship. The ship is overloaded and leaving, they are superfluous. So they cling to these lifelines and struggle to stay on the surface until death comes.This is how some U.S. Steel Corporation throws overboard another batch of tens of thousands of Pennsylvania miners and metallurgists. After a while, the next batch - not from the corporation, but from the authorities - is followed by lifebuoys, "reelife". Humane, merciful. The ship is relieved, having got rid of ballast, and the scientific men on the deck, looking at this exaction, unabashedly talk about the by-products of the scientific and technological revolution, about the strict requirements that the "society of abundance" imposes on its members, about the inevitability of human sifting and human waste. And overboard cries for help, for salvation. But in vain. The discarded are written off flat, not even included in the unemployment rate. like the "former" people on Main Street in Uniontown, PA.How many are there? I went to the local labor exchange. They were kind enough to say there are a lot. But they wouldn't give me a number. Was that angry worker at the post office right? I don't know. If you add Ernest Brown's eight percent to his sixty percent of those on the "rilife," you'll find that the Negro at the White Swan Hotel was only slightly wrong. Is it just the numbers? Numbers are symbols. They denote but do not reveal the tragedy of people who, to their misfortune, matured during Uniontown's economic turmoil. What joy do they take in the Chamber of Commerce's optimism? Life is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was broken in its prime.Then there was another lunch with Arnold Goldberg at the Venetian Restaurant, the swankiest and most respectable in Uniontown. A dozen or two brisk, gray-haired old ladies were gabbling at the tables. The owner of the restaurant approached. Goldberg took a slip of paper out of his pocket.- Meet Mr. Kondrashov from Izvestia. Nice place, isn't it? - Goldberg whispered as the owner left. And upstairs there's a banquet hall for two hundred people. The owner's Italian, his father's from Rome, I think. You know, this Italian made his own fortune. He's prospering, damn it. So much for the depression neighborhood. Heh-heh.Depression-era neighborhood is not my idea, it's an official, federal qualification for Uniontown. But it offends Goldberg personally. He doesn't want that stigma attached to him. He is neither "depressed" nor "former."He fervently fights this humiliation. He has his own evidence. He tells with reverential awe about his millionaire publisher, who is a "self-made man," meaning he made his own fortune: five newspapers, about ten million dollars. Only at the start he was helped by a rich Texan friend. Goldberg does not hide the fact that the publisher dictates editorial policy "Evening Standard", indicates what and how to write. The paper calls itself independent, but "tends toward the conservative line." On foreign policy it is " very conservative". Supports the Vietnam War.- Why didn't you become a millionaire? - I jokingly ask Goldberg.He takes the question seriously and to heart:- Frankly, I sometimes wonder why.Millionaires attract him like a magnet. In a whisper he draws my attention to a gray-haired, but not yet old, sturdy man, to whom three people at a neighboring table are respectfully listening. That man, defying convention, came to the restaurant without a jacket, in a khaki shirt with short sleeves.- Also a millionaire. - Goldberg whispers. Mine owner. He's got mines in West Virginia. Three, four million. Dad left him some, but mostly he did it himself. He's here a lot. Owns his own airplane. Pilots it himself. I've flown with him a couple times. Let me introduce you, because, you know, he might get mad I didn't approach him.We finish our roast beef sandwich, drink coffee, bravely lift the millionaire from the table. Goldberg again reads my difficult last name on a piece of paper. The millionaire is confused by this most foolish ceremony. We shake hands, mutter "nice to meet you" in unison and shake hands again, saying goodbye. I'm convinced that the millionaire has a workmanlike firm hand. And Goldberg says to him, with feigned nonchalance:- "I thought it would be interesting to meet you. A man from Moscow. Izvestia.But maybe there is sincerity in what Goldberg says and does, and not just diplomacy. Goldberg has one truth, and he derives it from his position and environment, from his prosperity, from his aspiration to millions and from the dictation of his publisher. And a very different truth in yesterday's sullen miner - his life has stopped, frozen with the mines, he can not get through with his tragedy in the newspaper, in the optimistic world of Goldberg. But to understand is not to accept and justify. I don't accept Goldberg's truths. And no matter how complicated the world is, it can't cover up the class truth. And this is especially evident on the streets of Uniontown.I'm back at the hotel - it's time to leave, schedule's tight. Yesterday's Negro carried my suitcase to the car. Goodbye, White Swan! Your days are numbered. Pretty soon you'll be demoted from the hotel to the "ex-people's" furnishings, because in Uniontown, invited by the Chamber of Commerce, there will be a fancy motel, the Holiday Shack Corporation, with touching inscriptions on the toilet lids "Sanitized!", with nickel faucets, with flashing buttons on the phones, with the latest TVs and cellophane-sealed "sanitized" (!) glasses. There will be cheerful young clerks and girls with the latest "cover girls" faces. They're still smiling, not like your sluggish old men.I am writing this obituary to the old "White Swan" at Elkins Motor Lodge, where everything is as it will be at the "Holiday Cabin" - everything is sanitized and sealed. where trucks honk under the windows. as the embodiment of relentless speed and ruthless American progress.June 9-10. On my way to New York.An article from the Elkins Inter-Mountain newspaper about a local celebration, a ceremony honoring the sixty-fourth graduating class at the town's high school."Julia Ketterman won both the American Legion Award ("good citizen") and the Dr. B. I. Goldin Award ("outstanding graduate").... William Roy has won the American Legion's Good Citizen Award and the Dr. B. I. Golden Distinguished Alumni Award. Two honorary scholarships were announced ...Musical accompaniment at the ceremony was provided by the high school orchestra under the direction of Jack Basile, who also conducted the choir. James Perry was the soloist and sang the song, "This is My Country.... ".The auditorium was packed with citizens who also listened to a lecture entitled "The Price of Freedom." given by Professor Duncan Williams of Wesleyan College (West Virginia).The speaker said, in particular: "Nations are like individuals. Some nations are old and mature and can be trusted with freedom. Others are young, hot and irresponsible, and like children, they need not only to be told what to do, but also a set of rules by which they can regulate their behavior and their affairs. I am therefore inclined to view the totalitarian regimes that emerge in a number of primitive countries as a necessary phase through which they must pass on their way to adulthood. Such a concept may be difficult for Americans to understand. We are convinced that our way of life is superior to all others, but if you accept my comparison of nations to individuals, you will immediately discover that what is good for adults can be harmful and even dangerous for children. Of course, this does not mean that we should not resist attempts to enslave other nations whenever and wherever those attempts are made. But this approach provides a broader philosophical perspective on what we often see as a cruel tragedy not only for the people involved, but for ourselves..."What a bundle of wisdom! To an outsider, America seems literally stuffed with symbols, but the professor's passage from the lecture "The Price of Freedom" is already a symbol imbued with reality. Elkins, a small town of eight thousand people, looks, however, like an Appalachian Olympus rising above all the earth. Elkins residents, gathered for a high school lecture, have not yet shed their ironic self-characterization as "Mountain Bills" - slumbering ignoramuses, too busy with their daily chores to take time to look around, and yet they recognize themselves as citizens of the great American empire with the appropriate superman attitudes. And a certified overseas philister puts imperial philosophy, psychology, and politics into their provincial brains in a lightened form.What an Olympian conviction of the superman. What arrogant condescension towards other nations (children... young, hot and irresponsible...) and compliments to "mountain Villas" (old and mature and can be trusted with freedom...). What admiration for their own liberal tolerance and demonstrative breadth of view of "primitive countries" and "totalitarian regimes", to which, of course, you and I are plugged in as well. What a goose-stepping spirit of "enlightened" imperialism, which of course. "resists attempts to enslave other countries" and from its bounty is ready to provide "children" with a set of rules to regulate their behavior and affairs. And what an archimudrable foresight that the children too will sooner or later "grow up" in the American manner.Mark Twain once described the "simpletons abroad" who, returning to their homeland, shared their impressions: "The inhabitants of these distant countries are singularly ignorant. They looked with all their eyes at the costumes we took out of the wilds of America. They looked at us with surprise if we sometimes talked loudly at the table .... When we spoke to them in French in Paris, they would only bat their eyes! We couldn't get a word in their own language to these stupid people.Now the simpletons are talking much louder abroad, and at home numerous certified and non-certified tutors assure them that the Americans will make "these dumbasses" grow up and understand their own language when it is spoken by the people of Elkins.Well, let's thank Professor Williams. I think he added an essential touch to these notes.I have plunged once more into America, having made a not so great circle not far from New York. having gone northwest, returning from the south, having bid farewell yesterday to Elkins and the road beauties of West Virginia, and having entered a drop in the stream of traffic on Interstate 50, raging near the capital city of Washington at the evening rush hour.And tomorrow the familiar two hundred and thirty miles north. And the cars will fly. and the closer they get to New York, the faster they go, as if there were a giant magnet attracting them. And then there will be the overpasses near Newark, the fantastic weave of roads where, on the near New York periphery, the blood of the giant city pulses. And the smell, the rotten spirit of Rockefeller's chemical plants.And the whitish, enormous, perpetual artificial cloud of New York fumes that obscures the horizon.Great are the skyscrapers, but as one American colleague correctly noted, New York today is first smelled and only then seen.

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NOT FAR FROM NEW YORK
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NOT FAR FROM NEW YORK, Stanislav Kondrashov