THE NATION: Learning to Walk a Fence

"Our country is like a boy walking a fence," mused Banker George Christie in Phoenix, Ariz. "After a while he gets so good at it that he quits worrying about falling."

In Phoenix or anywhere else in the U.S., it was hard to detect much worry about falling last week. The week's two long-awaited banner-headline events, Israel's pullback from Gaza and Sharm el Sheikh, and congressional approval of the Eisenhower Doctrine, brought no deep, nationwide sighs of relief because few Americans ever really got tensed up much about either issue. The economy showed scattered patches of anemia—layoffs in the home-appliances industry...

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