Jungle Beach at Chilmark on Martha's Vineyard used to be the toniest plage in Massachusetts. A haven for bathers clothed and nude, it derived its name from the thick brush that cut it off from the island's south shore road. Reaching the beach involved hacking through the thicket, but the reward was a beach free of the crowding, vendors and photochemical oxidants of more popular spots. That was until a syndicate led by Robert Strange McNamara won control of Jungle Beach in an estate sale.
When Clive Barnes saw the Kennedy Center for the first time, he rejoiced that New York no longer had the nation's ugliest opera house. Ada Louise Huxtable, the New York Times architecture critic, described the whole complex as "Washington superscale, but just a little bit bigger . . . . Albert Speer would have approved." It squats on the east bank of the Potomac glaring malevolently across the river at northern Virginia, as if at its next meal. Since it opened in 1971, the Kennedy Center has become a focal point of Washington life; it's hard to imagine what life here was like before.
One of the roots of the confusion of the American press about its proper role lies in the kind of privileges it now thinks it can claim. There is and there can be, for example, no "right to know," the most ludicrous of claims for the press to make.
Watchmen in the Night by Theodore C. Sorensen MIT Press; $8.95 "Watergate is like a Rorschach," Aaron Wildavsky observed at a Washington seminar last year.
At 10:45 the morning of June 4, Sen, Edward M. Kennedy's appearance at the back of the Fontainebleau Hotel ballroom set off a wave of excitement among the 1600 delegates to the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union annual convention. He had arrived in Miami Beach three hours earlier, having flown all night across the country from a day in Seattle at the national governors' conference. He looked fresh. He had had a quick ocean swim, a breakfast meeting with friends among the ILGWU leadership, a closed-door meeting with liberal critics of his health bill compromise.
Middleman Percy If the people are in a mood to take “anybody but Johnson” next year, anybody will do as his opponent. But the Republicans would be playing a very long shot were they to take it for granted that frustrations over Vietnam, grumblings on the farm, or plain distrust of Lyndon Johnson will put them back in the White House, regardless. Somebody would have a better chance than anybody. But none of the somebodys so far has caught the popular fancy. Romney the Rambler is slipping. Rockefeller the Divorced has other problems, Nixon is a has-been.
“New York City needs, and must have, a change. It must change completely in all of its institutions from top to bottom.”—CANDIDATE JOHN LINDSAY, a week before his election as mayor. Lindsay is often called “the Republican Kennedy.” There is some resemblance. Like the late President, he is forever tilting with a lethargic bureaucracy, trying to impart to it some of his own dash and sense of urgency. Kennedy tried, but soon abandoned, the experiment of sitting in on a State Department staff meeting and startling middle-echelon officials by telephoning them to ask their opinions.
Robert Kennedy is on to something. He hovers over it like a pig in the Perigord sniffing a truffle. It is just below the surface; he can't quite see it; he doesn't know its size or shape or worth or even what it's called. He only knows it's there, and he is going to get it. Where does he look? Among the grape-pickers on strike in central California, in Cloth Market Square in Cracow, on the Ole Miss campus, in a Senate hearing room. And always with the same single-minded, almost frightening intensity.
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.