Books: Misshapen Image

THE PRESIDENTIAL PAPERS by Norman Mailer. 310 pages. Putnam. $5.

Those who sometimes wonder what happened to the American left, which disappeared in a cloud of vapidity round about the start of the Eisenhower years, should consider the case of Norman Mailer.

In this collection of speeches, magazine articles, free verse that should never have been given its liberty, manifestoes, taped interviews and reminiscence, Mailer presents to the world all the familiar stigmata of the left temperament—indignation, generosity of spirit and critical courage. But the one big fact that emerges from the welter is that—unlike the U.S. left of two previous generations—no Brave...

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