Reference is made to Andrew Rolle’s review of “The Survival of Charles Darwin” by Ronald W. Clark, (Book Review, Jan. 13). Apparently, a typo in the article has made Capt. Robert Ritz-Roy out of Fitzroy. As an aside, many years after the Voyage of the Beagle, the captain, now admiral, died by his own hand, a staunch defender of Genesis against Darwin’s evolutionary theories of The Descent of Man.
A 13-Gun Salute
The review of “Guns in American Life,” by Jervis Anderson, (Book Review, Jan. 13) was written by Ralph Sipper whose tag line states that he is a rare book dealer and book critic, no firearms expert he, but even he dectects that though the book, “is essentially objective, an anti-gun bias seems to extrude.” Where is the bias? One alone suffices as both a sin of commission and a sin of omission. Why compare the number of murders caused by the abuse of handguns in the United States to the number in England? What about the number of murders in Switzerland or Israel where nearly all adult males are obliged to have fully automatic weapons, unavailable to civilians in the U.S.A.? What of the myriad encounters where a handgun was able to prevent a murder by its mere showing and non-use? This number by best estimates is 13 times the number of murders caused by the abuse of handguns. The best gun control is that of the proper use of this mechanical device that safely permits one to readjust . . . the negative social attitudes of certain barbarian individuals who understand nothing else while the abuses are eliminated.
Hail and Highwater
Richard Eder, in his review of “A Woman’s Life in the Court of the Sun King” by Margaretha Westphal (Book Review, Dec. 23),comments “Where later generations would think of the Sun King as a high watermark of culture and taste. . . . " The metaphor of supremacy, which he, I believe, intended, is a highwater mark. A minor quibble, yes, but still a noticeable difference in meaning, you’ll agree.
Unusual Holiday Greetings
For a book about private, limited-edition holiday greeting cards and their undiscovered authors/illustrators, I would be pleased to receive nominations for the funniest, most bizarre, irreverent and original.
P.O. Box 1126
Los Angeles, Calif. 90069
Keep Those Letters Coming
For a biography of R. Sargent Shriver, I would appreciate letters, anecdotes and information regarding his schooldays, Newsweek, Chicago Trade Mart, Peace Corps, OEO, Paris ambassadorship, political, business and Catholic activities in New York, Chicago, Washington and elsewhere.
1293B National Press Building
Washington, D.C. 20045