Books: Bearing Witness

THE BOOK OF ALFRED KANTOR

by ALFRED KANTOR 127 pages. McGraw-Hill. $17.95.

Novelist Kurt Vonnegut once proposed that writers adopt a basic unit of "conscience measurement," to be called the "Stowe" in honor of the "only writer in history who had an effect on the course of world affairs." What disturbed Vonnegut, though, was the knowledge that people "having read Uncle Tom's Cabin and cried, feel that they have somehow dealt with the problem."

Alas, too true. But these days, bad news arrives thicker and faster than the mind can follow, or bear to contemplate. Often it seems that all one can muster in...

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