I was wondering how the obit writers would deal with architect Philip Johnson's fascist past. In a pungent NYT op-ed, Mark Stevens accuses them of glossing over the highly inconvenient facts. The herd instinct strikes again, it seems. As Stevens points out, Johnson was not just another salon blackshirt:

He thrilled to the Nuremberg rally of 1938 and, after the invasion of Poland, he visited the front at the invitation of the Nazis. He approved of what he saw. "The German green uniforms made the place look gay and happy," he wrote in a letter. "There were not many Jews to be seen. We saw Warsaw burn and Modlin being bombed. It was a stirring spectacle." As late as 1940, Mr. Johnson was defending Hitler to the American public. It seems that only an inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation - and, presumably, the prospect of being labeled a traitor if America entered the war - led him to withdraw completely from politics.

(I'm not sure Stevens is right to finger arch-populist Huey Long as a fascist fellow-traveller. But it's a strong piece all the same.)
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/01/pillar-of-establishment-i-was.html|||1/31/2005 09:40:00 am|||||||||