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Red-Baiting in Santa Monica

May 18, 1986

Three things disturb me about David G. Epstein's review of my book, "Middle Class Radicalism in Santa Monica" (The Book Review, May 4, 1986):

(1) Epstein has a political interest in attacking the book and perhaps even a personal one: I refer to him only once as "a little known conservative" and then dismiss him because his impact on my topic was trivial.

(2) Epstein wasn't identified (as were other reviewers) as a Santa Monica city councilman who opposed the Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights. If he were, then the reader could decide on his objectivity.

(3) From the "Kremlinologist" point in his first sentence to his notion of "bean sprout Bolshevism" in his penultimate paragraph, Epstein betrays all the signs that made Sen. Joseph McCarthy infamous. How can you allow The Book Review to serve as a platform for red-baiting?

MARK E. KANN

Los Angeles

The following was accidentally omitted from David G. Epstein's review of "Middle Class Radicalism in Santa Monica": "Epstein is an urban anthropologist, lawyer, and serves on the Santa Monica City Council." Apologies to both author and reviewer for the omission of an unusually pertinent identification.

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