THE ORDEAL OF CIVILITY:
Marx, Lévi-Strauss, and the Jewish Struggle with Modernity
by JOHN MURRAY CUDDIHY
272 pages. Basic Books. $11.95.
John Murray Cuddihy calls this jag ged meditation a "midrash." The metaphor is apt, for like a Talmudic exegesis, the book is a learned commentary on "sacred" texts, in this case those of the giants of the Jewish Diaspora. As with a midrash, the argument unfolds from a single overriding principle: in this case the bold if cranky notion that from Marx to Freud to Abbie Hoffman, the Jewish intellectual vanguard has been obsessed...