College Quarterly
Winter 2004 - Volume 7 Number 1
Notes An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror.
David Frum and Richard Perle.
New York: Random House, 2003.

Reviewed by Howard A. Doughty

Until his death in 1998, a dear friend of mine—an American from Philadelphia—used to listen regularly to CBC radio’s As It Happens on US National Public Radio. He was especially taken with Barbara Frum. A music critic and an incisive popular culture analyst himself, he took Ms. Frum to be among the most creditable personalities in the broadcast media. He was probably right.

Although it is true that her husband Murray—a successful dentist turned real estate developer—helped make her a wealthy Canadian celebrity, we anonymous souls in her audience—whether on radio or television—remained loyal to her and the journalistic ethics she embodied.

Then along came David.

I have no idea of the Frum family dynamics, or of the sources of son David’s social dementia. All I can say is that he is making the best of it. Along with militaristic tub thumper Richard Perle, he has continued to sound the alarum. He is a talented writer. His call to arms is unending.

A comic folk singing group called “The Foremen” once sang a song about Newt Gingrich. One line went:

“Can you hear Lincoln turning over in his grave, That’s the Republican revolution … ”

David Frum and his friends would have the casket quickened to extra-fast spin cycle. They’d have unfreed the slaves.

I am not so presumptuous as to speculate about the Frum family breakfast table. I’ll just say of the Barbara Frum I admired that I would hope that she’d have sent this child a-packin’. It’s not that he’d have done badly, for there are plutocrats a-plenty who’d have taken him in and squeezed every available aggressive slogan out of him. It’s just that his screed demeans us all as Canadians and that generous designation may be about all we have left.


Howard A. Doughty, B.A.(York), M.A.(Hawaii), M.A.(York), M.Ed.(Toronto), teaches in the Faculty of Applied Arts and Health Sciences at Seneca College, King City. His email address is howard.doughty@senecac.on.ca

Notes

• The views expressed by the authors are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of The College Quarterly or of Seneca College.
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2004 - The College Quarterly, Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology