Colonel Robert B. Rheault, the former commander of the Special Forces in South Vietnam, seems destined to be the Army's equivalent of Commander Bucher of the ill-fated Navy ship Pueblo. Commander Bucher and his men were captured by the North Koreans, held prisoners and maltreated, then released only to be subjected to a court of inquiry and almost court-martialed.
Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicleby Vladimir Nabokov(McGraw-Hill; $8.95)If the first reviews are any indication Ada may become the most over-praised novel of the decade. The ready superlatives of commerce and publicity have joined with the exegetical talents of a new breed of critics to launch an instant masterpiece. This would be curious and revealing even if Ada merely fell short of greatness.
The first shot: in the middle of the vast Panavision-Technicolor screen, a closeup of two flowers, in soft focus. It looks like Red Desert revisited. There are distant buzzes on the sound track. The camera moves lowly over a greensward with figures on it, still misty and gentle. Then--wham!--we cut to a roadway, the buzzes turn into roars, and cars are whizzing at us. It's a racing picture! Those opening ten seconds of Winning are a sketch of the changes in American culture in the past decade or so.
Robert McNamara, president of the World Bank, spoke to a gathering of Roman Catholics at Notre Dame University recently and told them in a most polite but chilling fashion what the world can expect unless it is able to contain the population explosion. "To project the totals beyond the year 2000 becomes so demanding on the imagination," Mr. McNamara said, "as to make the statistics almost incomprehensible. A child born today living on into his seventies, would know a world of 15 billion.
The Movies, Mr. Griffith, and Meby Lillian Gish with Ann Pinchot(Prentice-Hall; $7.95)The Studioby John Gregory Dunne(Farrar, Straus & Giroux; $5.95) For a long time, there have been rumors that Lillian Gish was writing an autobiography centered on D. W. Griffith. Ten years ago when I was in book publishing, I tried to get the manuscript and was told by Miss Gish that it did not yet exist. Now the book is published, and anyone with the smallest interest in films can be glad.No one would reasonably expect it to be literature of any kind, and it isn't.
Max Ophuls’ Lola Montes was made in 1955, in France and Bavaria, and, except for some festival showings, is now seen here for the first time in unmutilated form. (A butchered, dubbed version was released in 1959.) This is an important event both because of what the film is and is not, and because of what it crystallizes in critical approaches. Lola Montes was Ophuls’ last work; he died in 1957. He was a German Jew, born Max Oppenheimer, who changed his name because his family objected to his becoming an actor.
My Father and Myselfby J. R. Ackerley(Coward-McCann; $5.00) J. R. Ackerley is not much known in this country and possibly never will be. It is a small loss but a real one. In Britain, although hardly famous, he has long been a connoisseurs' choice. (His admirers include E. M. Forster, Harold Nicolson, Elizabeth Bowen and Angus Wilson.) From 1935 until 1959 he was literary editor of The Listener, the BBC weekly (a very good review section, too). During his life he published only three books--a novel and two books of memoirs--and a play.