Essay: WHAT A YEAR!

SOME historians, remarked Arnold Toynbee, hold the view that history "is just one damned thing after another." Himself a believer in orderly historical patterns, Toynbee disapproved of such an outlook. But 1968 seems bent on supporting what he called the "antinomian"* view.

One damned thing after another, indeed; also one tragic, surprising and perplexing thing after another. During the first eight months of 1968, events have moved at the pace of an avant-garde movie edited by a mad cutter. The alarms, the assassinations, the political reversals and the extremist cries have been so overwhelming that even last week's Czechoslovak tragedy may seem...