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Finalists for the 1992-1993 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes : CURRENT INTEREST

September 05, 1993|MARJORIE LEWELLYN MARKS | Marjorie Lewellyn Marks is manager of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes and a contributing author of "Life Guidance Through Literature" (American Library Assn.)

THE REAL ANITA HILL: The Untold Story by David Brock (Free Press/Macmillan). A troubling book that raises questions about Anita Hill's testimony in the 1991 Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. Brock, who is on the staff of the conservative "American Spectator," makes his most convincing refutation of Hill's argument when he shows that her complaint of sexual harassment made in the spring of 1981 to Susan Hoerchner (who later became Anita Hill's strongest witness) could not have occurred then because, he says, Hill did not work for Clarence Thomas until September, 1981. Further, Hill claimed that the harassment did not begin for another three months, which was sometime after Hoerchner had moved to California. Some reviewers of the book have detected errors in Brock's own research and arguments. Unfortunately, who was telling the truth will never be proven conclusively, making it unlikely that strongly held opinions will be changed by a partisan-oriented book. Perhaps Brock's greatest contribution is to question whether we want a judicial system in which, as he quotes Anita Hill saying in a campus lecture, "women should be supported regardless of proof."

The Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalists and winners are selected in each category by an independent panel of judges. Winners will be announced in the Book Review issue of October 31.

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