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DAMNING THE YANQUI

May 03, 1987

Regarding Patrick Goldstein's article on director Alex Cox's making of "Walker" in Nicaragua ("Damn Yanqui ," April 19), I made a study of adventurer William Walker for several years and learned that he was like the rest of us, made of contradictions and not the one-dimensional evildoer Goldstein described.

For one thing, while it's true that Walker eventually advocated the institution of slavery in Nicaragua, it's a recorded fact that he lost his job as editor of the New Orleans Crescent for publicly siding with the Abolitionists. Also, contrary to Goldstein's assertion, Walker did not "invade" Nicaragua; he was first invited there to assist leftist President Rivas' troops in the civil war and, after it was over, to run in the next presidential election.

Goldstein's one-dimensional damn Yanqui is emblematic of American naivete at work--substituting moral judgment for historical knowledge.

JONATHAN LAMAL

Los Angeles

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