Books: Four Pundits & the World

THE INTERPLAY OF EAST AND WEST, by Barbara Ward (152 pp.; Norton; $3.50), performs one of those housewifely miracles of sorting out centuries and civilizations as if they were so many knives, forks and spoons. It is a pleasure to behold if not always to believe British Author Ward as she tidies up the Hell's Kitchen of history.

As she sees it, the drama of East and West has three acts and an optional ending. In Act I, lasting roughly from 500 B.C. to 1000 A.D.. the Far East (India, China) and the Mediterranean world made only fitful contact through commerce and,...

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