In Cold Bloodby Truman Capote(Random House; $5.95) Here is a readable, generally interesting book about four murders in Kansas in 1959. If the author were John Doe, literary consideration could well end there. One might perhaps add that some of the writing is overripe, much of the detail is extraneous "color," some of the handling of material injudicious, and that a 343-page true-crime chronicle which does little more than recount a crime is inflated. Beyond that, however, the treatment, the style, the result would preclude extensive criticism.
"Movies have now gone past the phase of prose narrative and are coming nearer and nearer to poetry. I am trying to free my work from certain constrictions--a story with a beginning, a development, an ending. It should be more like a poem, with metre and cadence." Thus Federico Fellini, in a recent New Yorker article by Lillian Ross, speaking about his latest film, Juliet of the Spirits. What he describes is not a new impulse in filmmaking; it has been felt by (among others) such varied directors as Vigo, Ozu, and Godard.
Kennedy by Theodore C. Sorensen (Harper & Row; $10) The way of the political memoirist, as Mr. Theodore C. Sorensen and Prof. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., are currently learning, can be a thorny path. For any responsible now-it-can-be-told exercise must begin with responsive answers to the snarled questions: When is "now"? What is "it"? How is it "told"? The memoirist must shape his responses from many values and tests: taste and timing, fairness and compassion, pertinence and precision, sober scholarship and simple' humanity.
To Defense Secretary McNamara the overriding fact of life is the existence of nuclear weapons and he is realistic about them. This April, McNamara caused a furor in Washington by remarking, off the record, that the US was not pledged not to use nuclear weapons in Vietnam--He then had to go on the record to say this: "I think it's perfectly apparent there's no military requirement for the use of nuclear weapons in the current situation.
Peking—In a rare interview which lasted about four hours, Mao Tse-tung conversed with me on topics ranging over what he himself called shan nan hai pei, or “from south of the mountains to north of the seas.” With China’s bountiful 200-million-ton 1964 grain harvest taxing winter storage capacities, with shops everywhere offering inexpensive foods and consumer goods necessities, and with technological and scientific advances climaxed by an atomic bang that saluted Khrushchev’s political demise. Chairman Mao might well have claimed a few creative achievements.
Today there are 15 million Americans over 65; by 1970 there will be 17 million. They need more doctoring than the majority of us; they are more prone to suffer from degenerative diseases affecting the heart, lungs, digestive tract and arteries. Treatment of those diseases tends to be prolonged and expensive. An average American couple over the age of 65 typically spends $312 a year on medical expenses other than hospitalization; and in any year the typical elderly individual has a 13-percent chance of being hospitalized.