culiar set of moralisms and tortured traditions. The extraordinary nature of the crimes themselves made for such problems. Only doing nothing would have met the firmest criteria of tradition and, under the circumstances, would have provided a definitive case of moral abomination. Rebecca West, easily as wise an observer and critic of Nuremberg as Smith, caught a truer essence of the trials, their task and the source of their deficiencies: “Brave [were] the men who, in making the Nuremberg trial, tried to force a huge and sprawling historical event to become comprehensible. It is only by making such efforts that we survive.” This reviewer, at least, finds West’s a more profound judgment on Nuremberg than Smith’s tally. sheet. Nonetheless The Road to Nuremberg, through its narrative reconstruction of policymaking, brilliantly humanizes a little-known aspect of the war crimes story that, as Smith demonstrates, had an enormous impact on the trials themselves. 0 Skychild by Suzanne Morris \(DouThe plot has a lot of potential: a creative woman and a fiercely upwardly mobile man have an autistic child. The strength of the story is in the child’s thoughts. Unusually quick at math and logic but unable to communicate, Ian pieces together a theory of himself so cleverly that it makes sense to the reader: he has fallen from the sky and must get back to it. The other characters, however, are predictable. The villainous father rejects Ian. The mother traipses around to specialists with Ian, feels guilty at every turn, and for an unexplained reason has no friends, so naturally has an affair with the only man an old friend who is caring with her son. Much of the language is flat and unoriginal; some statements about the mother’s feelings belong in the welcome-to-the-obvious bin \(“His smoothing over everything as though it didn’t elipses sprinkle the pages, like this. . . . The book is interesting, but not satisfying. The Bonner Boys by Campbell Geeslin The story of five Texas brothers in their fifties and sixties. Geeslin hints at the real matters of growing old: introversion, fear of death, loneliness; but he does not get past the shallow pursuits of these big boys, who variously chase sex and power and worry about their fat midsections and overdrinking. The brothers and their stories are mildly interesting, but they are not developed well enough to be more than that; their random childhood memories do not add up to anything, although some of them are affecting. The dialogue is stiff as shirt cardboard and the obsession with genitalia men’s and women’s is tiresome. The book is about boys who never grew up, but it does not explore the reasons why they never grew up, or involve the reader enough to make her want to know why. Nina Butts This holiday season, wake up your friends with a gift subscription to the Observer. name address city state zip name address city state zip The first one-year subscription \(or the regular price. A second subscription is $15. All additional gifts are only $10 each. Your friends will receive announcements of your gifts just before Christmas. your name address city state zip money enclosed The Texas Observer 600 West 7th Street :ha mmarevsrTsv uma.veeisi xiesrlaxesvam m. bill me this is my renewal Austin, Texas 78701 41110111311152191MISSIMMIS7′,31.PEIVENZMOnlIf Till TEXAS OF,SEFiVEE-1
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