2. Suggestions for Conducting Book Group Discussions on Highly Controversial Topics
3. An Interview with William A. Henry III
4. Suggested Topics for Group Discussion
5. William A. Henry III: Biography
Before his untimely death in June 1994 as this book was going to press, William A. Henry III, a registered Democrat, card-carrying member of the ACLU, and senior writer on eclectic subjects for Time, knew the power of language. He had won two Pulitzer Prizes using it with precision and purpose. He claimed that In Defense of Elitism is actually a defense of common sense: "the simple fact that some people are better than others--smarter, harder working, more learned, more productive, harder to replace."
He felt America's move from an elitist to an egalitarian society, springing from a congenital, collective guilt not felt in any other country, spelled danger. He attacked the perceived threat with authoritative language so convincing that one understands why dictators often fear writers more than soldiers.
Courageous to the end, Henry attempted to gore some sacred cows. Destined to offend many, he opposed political correctness, the religious right, revisionist history, the excuses of the overweight, the media's "digging in the dirt," society's catering to special-interest minorities like women, the physically and mentally disabled, blacks, and non-English-speaking Americans. His purpose was to persuade you, his reader, to agree with him.
Henry zealously began the book to change the connotation of the word elitism, which he felt had become "the foremost catchall pejorative of our times." In accomplishing his mission, has he given the same derisive status to the word egalitarianism?
When he finished In Defense of Elitism he said, "I am not a right-winger, and I hope I am not a nut." Your book group can be the jury. Bringing in the verdict should be an engaging challenge.
"A book guaranteed to provoke spitting and fist fights..."
"...a worthy pendant to Robert Hughes' The Culture of Complaint...In Defense of Elitism not only doesn't suffer fools gladly, it twists their tiny fluttering wings off. I loved it!"
--The New York Observer
"Bill Henry was one of the toughest, smartest, and most original men of letters in our generation. In Defense of Elitism shows him at his most provocative and controversial. Even when I disagree with his arguments, I admire the rigor of his thinking, the style with which he sets these ideas forth. A fitting memorial to one of our most original minds."
--Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Suggestions for Conducting Book Group Discussions on Highly Controversial Topics
The faint-at-heart need not apply. Usually the discussion leader's job is to encourage a dialogue. With a book as provocative as In Defense of Elitism, the role is more apt to call for a referee. A sense of humor would be an asset. Try to create an atmosphere where participants assume they have the freedom to present their arguments. Debate has long been an intelligent way to approach difficult topics. Some of these suggestions may seem obvious, but in the heat of passionate debate, you may want to set some ground rules:
- Ideas will be presented one at a time.
- Give a person the opportunity to finish his or her point before offering a counter argument.
- Listen. Address other people's opinions either by supporting or disagreeing with the position by offering additional facts, experience, or ideas. (Repeating is a good way to keep the discussion on tract: "I agree/disagree with . . .")
- Don't dominate. Let all members have their say.
- Use specific examples from the book to support your argument.
The facilitator should prepare questions that he or she believes will evoke conversation and lead to the essence of the book. A list of suggested questions for discussion are offered in this companion.
Close the discussion with a summary of the key issues. Attempt to state both sides of the argument when an issue has provoked an irresolvable disagreement. With a little luck, encouraging participants to examine the personal experience at the basis of their argument could help them to recognize bias, if not overcome it.
The leader should not be discouraged if group members bring in their own agendas; the questions are simply a guide. The goal is to have an involved, lively, enlightened discussion. Accomplishing the mission shouldn't be a problem with a work as engaging and controversial as In Defense of Elitism. From guilt to anger, this book manages to bring out passionate feelings in everyone. Remembering that the leader's role is facilitator, not participant, will probably be the greatest difficulty.
An Interview with William A. Henry III
Conducted by Dr. Kim Ezra Shienbaum, Chair of the Political Science Department, Rutgers University
In Defense of Elitism asks some tough questions. How can we train people for success when our culture rewards them for irrelevant characteristics like gender or ethnicity? Are we compromising the competitiveness of our business community to affirmative action and quotas, its competence to multiculturalists who challenge the use of English, and its efficiency and its fairness to the demands of women who want flexible schedules and consideration of alternative priorities? Is our quest for equality making us abandon our standards of judgment? Is America entering a new dark age in which the demands of mob politics will force corporations to sacrifice excellence? And finally, is our economic marketplace less free?
Who is asking these tough questions? The author of In Defense of Elitism is William Henry III, Pulitzer Prize-winning culture critic for Time magazine and a self-described liberal Democrat who "hopes he's not a nut." Some will love what Bill Henry has to say, others will hate it. Either way, In Defense of Elitism will not be ignored; it is certain to ignite a public debate that has long been smoldering in private.
Bill, you acknowledge that many of the ideas in this book may put you in the company of some oddballs, racists, male supremacists, and other assorted reactionaries. You obviously anticipate controversy. What made you write the book?
My flip answer is that I always suspected that I was better than everybody else and decided to write a book about it. But seriously, I think there are two competing principles in this society; both come out of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. They are both quintessentially American, and they are the two dominant philosophical principles since World War II, which is to say, my lifetime. And, after all, one's own lifetime is always what matters most to one. Those principles are elitism and egalitarianism: elitism, roughly, having to do with competition, excellence, recognizing that some ideas, some cultures, some people are better than others, and egalitarianism, a principle that puts so much emphasis on fairness, inclusion, on redressing the injustices of the past (which are indisputable), that it completely fails to distinguish between greater and lesser work.
KS: So as an elitist, you are fully prepared to be judgmental--and that is not a popular stance today. In fact, to call someone judgmental is to be negative about them . . .
BH: To call someone elitist today is to pretty much call him a racist.
KS: Some people would say there is another value inherent in the things you are saying: you are talking about elitism, and you are also accepting the notion of hierarchy. Some people might argue that is at odds with democracy. What would you say to them?
BH: In fact, I not only accept hierarchy, I push hierarchy. Early on in the book, I lay out some notions about what makes a culture successful, and it seems to me that clearly, one of them is that it is hierarchically organized, and that people are prepared to acknowledge that they have superiors, that these superiors ideally are meritocratically chosen, and that there are principles that a society in general can agree on about what makes somebody better.
In fact, if you look at the way people really operate in this society, as opposed to their politically correct rhetoric, they still believe in those elitist principles, they still believe in hierarchy, they are still prepared to acknowledge who is better; they are just not allowed to say it out loud anymore.
I do think that democracy is important, but we don't live simply in a democracy, we do not settle everything by town meeting or shouting. We are a democratic republic in which we designate people to represent us because they are smarter than we are, or more aware than we are of the underlying issues. We are a democratic republic in which we let the Supreme Court make decisions for us because these are people smarter, and better educated, and more deeply philosophical than the norm; those principles are built into our institutions, and they have been true of our country since it was founded.
KS: The idea of a meritocracy is particularly un-European, and your notions of elitism are, perhaps, imported from Europe.
BH: Here I'll be really controversial: I think that all American culture is fundamentally imported from Europe. There have been other influences--African, Asian, Latin American--but the basic American culture is European derived. And while it is true that the older European society placed tremendous emphasis on birth, in fact it is Europe that gave the world universities, the consummate elitist institutions; it was in Europe that the idea of the civil service arose, that you had a permanent cadre of highly trained people. You can credit some of that to ancient China, Confucian China, but it was probably promulgated around the world more by Europeans, because they were the ones who went out conquering, and having colonies, and introducing their ideas to a broader range of other cultures.
In fact, I think you can argue that elitism is as much European as it is American, but the idea of a meritocracy is peculiarly American. This is a society that believed people want to be able to rise or fall on their own merits, and frankly, I think that is what built us up, and I think we are foolish to be moving away from it.
KS: I would like to turn now to examining some of the ideas you attack as particularly pernicious: one of those, the notion that reason and scientific inquiry are regarded by some as simply culture-bound alternatives to un-reason; that is a viewpoint particularly of Afrocentrists, and so forth. Could you talk a little bit about that?
BH: I'm honestly flabbergasted, to be truthful, that anybody should regard reason as an option, but it's not simply Afrocentrists who do it. I am a regular reader of the TLS, formerly The Times Literary Supplement, published in London and possibly the best book review in the world, certainly one of them, and they routinely now publish people who speak of other ways of knowing, nonrational, experiential, intuitive, New Age, and these are treated as serious alternatives.
We are in such an age of relativism that everybody says, oh no, you can't really say that this one way of thinking is better than another. Afrocentrists at the extreme--and I don't want to lump all of them together, that's a mistake--but some of the extreme Afrocentrists have argued that African culture is better because it operates in nonrationalist ways. I'm not sure it actually does, but they prefer to see it as that . . .
KS: But Bill, what they seem to be saying is that America is going from melting pot to what they call "salad bowl," and therefore perhaps we ought to be learning from more intuitive, native cultures, and perhaps we ought to be becoming more tolerant of diversity. What would you say to those people?
BH: I think there is a big distinction between being tolerant of diversity and inclusive on the one hand, and moving away from reason, hierarchy, and order on the other. Let me really be politically incorrect for a moment. The culture that people wanted to move to is the American culture, not nonrationalist cultures. The culture that has disseminated its ideas around the world is American or European. There has been very little diffusion the other way. Does that mean that we are all racists? I don't think so. I think what it means is that there is a marketplace of ideas, a notion that was widely accepted in this country a generation or two ago, and that we somehow have moved away from; in that marketplace of ideas, it is clear that the European ideas about order, hierarchy, the ability to distinguish--discrimination as a positive function--not against people, but against weaker ideas, weaker ways of doing things--those have prevailed, they have been taken up all over the world.
The reality is that the countries that were former colonies, to the extent that they continue to function, function because of ideas they took from Western Europe, and not so much because of ideas that were inherent.
KS: In this marketplace of ideas that you are talking about, many people are becoming very concerned, as you are in the book, with the impact of some of these ideas on their children. You point out, for example, that our educational system is transmitting values that foster mediocrity rather than excellence, and it was reported recently that only 4 percent of American students pass advanced-placement tests compared with about one third in Germany and in Japan. What do you see as wrong with our educational system?
BH: One of the things I was most astonished to discover is how widespread--it's not universal yet, but things are trending the wrong way--how widespread is the notion that there is something wrong in having enrichment programs for bright children. I guess the simplest way to sum up what's happened in American education is that when I was in elementary school, the phrase "an exceptional child" meant one who was gifted; today it means one who is handicapped. The primary focus of the educational systems these days are the kids on the low end, the kids who have a lot of problems. Now compassion says we should do what we can for them, but to say that we are going to do essentially nothing--less than a tenth of one percent of our educational budget on enrichment programs for bright children--only an hour or two a week, that's a terrible mistake; those are the people who will have to lead this society, and we should be doing what we can to maximize their capacities. But there are a great many people in the educational establishment who see that as classist or elitist; they don't want the kids who are already ahead to get any farther ahead, they want instead to sort of level everybody's opportunity. They are more concerned with making things equal than they are with making them efficient.
But this is not about a footrace, and it's not about feeling good--the primary emphasis in classes these days seem to be on fulfilling the child emotionally rather than having him or her learn anything. If people don't have standards to aspire to, and are not able to acknowledge that there is legitimacy in fitting in anywhere along that spectrum as long as you are doing your best, then you are not going to compete, then you are not going to work hard, and you are not going to maximize your own capacities. The great strength of America was that everybody in this country, whatever his abilities, believed that there was a point in trying to ask the utmost of themselves.
KS: You talked a little bit earlier about the setting of standards, and the values we place today on self-fulfillment, and perhaps, self-expression, and in the book you talk about the fact that American schools no longer teach discipline and deference, values that you feel ought to be taught. I'd like to balance the discussion by mentioning that Japanese schools do stress these old fashioned values, but Japanese society produces very few technological innovations, they tend not to be as creative as Americans--is self-expression a good thing, perhaps?
BH: Self-expression is fine, provided it is leavened by discipline. I write a great deal about the arts--I spend a lot of time with playwrights, novelists, painters. The people who are most creative in our society are all extremely disciplined. It's not about feeling good, it's about making good.
I don't claim to know enough about Japanese society to say how much of their lack of technological creativity can be traced to the social values, and they are clearly a more conformist society than we are. No matter how much you changed Americans, they would never be that conformist. I suspect that some of this may have to do with the way the Japanese have structured their businesses, and the degree of government cooperation, and the extent to which central bureaucrats, a small group of people, are making the decisions about what gets developed, as opposed to the American system, in which there are many more opportunities for individual inventors and entrepreneurs to pursue their tasks--I suspect it has a lot to do with the latter, but I can't prove that.
KS: I'd like to turn now to the impact of some of these egalitarian trends on business. Let me first talk about one of corporate America's biggest bugaboos--affirmative action and quotas. Many people might agree with you that it brings into the workplace undeserving and untalented people. But on the other hand, you acknowledge also that affirmative action was originally designed to broaden America's leadership base, and that it was premised on the notion that women and minorities were equally talented, but unequally treated. Is it conceivable, then, that through affirmative action, excellence is finally being given a chance? You do mention in the book that Sandra Day O'Connor could not find a job when she graduated law school, and there are people who would argue that before affirmative action there were many Sandra Day O'Connors.
BH: I don't have any doubt that there were, and I should say that I have supported affirmative action throughout my entire life. In this book I come out against it in some circumstances, but I was led to it less by concern for opportunities that white people are deprived of, than for what it does for blacks, and our general perceptions of race relations in our society. I have seen so many examples among my own peers and friends of black people who would have made it under any reasonable set of circumstances who are in effect de-credentialed by affirmative action: they are regarded by their white peers, and even often by their black peers, as suspect because of affirmative action. They have to bear an additional burden of proof of their right to be there, and sometimes they are never entirely able to dispel that. From the point of view of changing white attitudes, there is nothing more persuasive than black success, and nothing more destructive than doubt about the legitimacy of black success.
I think that affirmative action is entirely appropriate in things like the police and fire departments, where the civil service tests bear only the vaguest relationship to the actual performance of the work. But I think they are not appropriate standards when you are talking about really competitive intellectual activity. While the past was pretty wretched, I do think America has changed, and what's more, I think we have the dynamic wrong. I don't think we are going back to a racist or a sexist society. I don't in all honesty see much impulse for that among Americans; it offends their sense of decency, and I think it is time for us to recognize that we have to move on. America did not change because of affirmative action; affirmative action came about because America was changing. Social values about ethnic minorities and about women were evolving from repressive and dismissive to encouraging. It's why businesses put in affirmative action programs, it's why government ordered up some affirmative action programs.
What's more, in the case of programs designed to help blacks, they are not going to make demographic sense much longer. We already have a work force that is significantly, soon to be a majority, non-Caucasian. Hispanics are already past, or nearly past, blacks as a minority group; Asians are very fast growing. There is no reason why minority workers who are not black are going to feel that they are responsible for the historic sins that led to affirmative action programs, and this will wind up being divisive instead of constructive. I think it is time to come up with more creative solutions and also to stop thinking of people as categories. Let us start thinking of other people, and ourselves, more as individuals again, and feeling more of a sense of personal responsibility for taking advantage of the opportunities that society offers.
KS: Turning from affirmative action to another area where corporate America has legitimate concern, there are ethnic minorities who do not accept mainstream English as the language of commerce; they in fact would like to redefine American culture. How serious do you see this threat to corporate competitiveness, particularly from Hispanics, our fastest-growing minority?
BH: I think it depends really on what part of the country you are in. I think the most jarring was when Miami repealed its English-only ordinance, which was very limited: it did not apply to all public documents, it didn't apply to private transactions, it didn't apply in certain emergency situations, but there was this great celebration in the Hispanic community, and the leader of the fight said "Miami is the capital of the Americas."
Now what does this mean? It means that Miami--or his Miami--is thinking of itself more in terms of its relationship to the Latin American countries to the south than to the rest of the United States. That is a concern; we don't want that sort of divisive impulse. This is a big, complex country, it is difficult to govern, and racial and ethnic diversity is going to make it harder to govern and harder to maintain as a market for corporations. I think that you see similarly divisive impulses along the southern tier from California through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and so on. And I think it is difficult to manage companies that are bilingual unless you are going to expect not only every manager but every worker to be bilingual--and if you are going to start imposing that requirement on at least every foreman, you are going to limit the talent that you can draw upon. It introduces into the marketplace another wrinkle of complexity that, in this competitive world, I don't think American business needs to be wrestling with.
KS: There are those who might say a multilingual America is good in a world where business is global . . .
BH: Certainly business executives who are proficient in more than one language are an asset to a company, but we all know people who are very bright, very capable, but who have a problem with languages; are we going to say those talents aren't used anymore? I think that's a mistake, and I do think that what is good for governance in America is good for business in America, and vice versa. And clearly, governing American society, with all the splintering tendencies that we have, is going to be easier if we have some basic agreement, at least on the language in which we do business. It is possible in Miami now to go from kindergarden through twelfth grade without ever being taught entirely in English. That's not transitional, that's not bilingual training in order to allow you to enter the mainstream--that is choosing to remain in an alternative society, and I'm not really sure I want to see alternative societies here. I think America is a wonderful, welcoming place, and the America I like best is the one that includes everybody. I don't particularly want to encourage people not to join in.
KS: It is ironic, indeed, that those people who believe in assimilation are now being called racists.
BH: Yes, I've gone from being a liberal democrat because I was for integration to being some sort of reactionary because I was for integration. My opinions have not changed a great deal in the course of my life but, boy, America has really moved around me.
KS: You take on all comers with In Defense of Elitism, and women are no exception. I'd like to explore some of the threats you think women pose. Some of those threats you think come from their altered priorities, and you are particularly scornful of priorities and values such as communal spirit and nurturing because you think they threaten competition and conquest.
BH: It is not just that I think they threaten competition; there is plainly room for something other than untrammeled rugged individualism, there is a real value in being polite to your coworkers, in having some sense of a collective enterprise. One of the reasons that the nurturing claims get up my nose is that whether you are looking at Afrocentrists or women or whatever other group, on the one hand, they assert that everyone is equal, and then they start asserting that they are morally superior because they are nurturing and communal, these essentially Marxist values make them better people; they are trying to have it both ways.
What really happens in the workplace is that women make private decisions about caring for children and caring for parents and they want not only their own schedules but the schedules of everybody else adjusted so that these private decisions have no negative consequences for them. It seems to me that the workers who are most dedicated to the job, the ones who do not have a second set of priorities being factored in, if they do enjoy an advantage, they ought to enjoy an advantage. My sense of fairness in the marketplace is that favoritism shown to people for their private lives is just inappropriate and offensive.
KS: There are women who would say that the reason that men can be so centered in terms of their jobs is because they have wives who do much of the work around the house for them.
BH: Well, some do, some are divorced, some have never been married, but in any case, those are private relationships. We certainly come from a society in which women were expected to be wives and didn't have the options. But now if a woman wants to be in heavy construction, if she wants to trade commodities, if she wants to be a physician, if she wants to be a corporate executive, that opportunity is there. Do we have enough women at the very top? Statistically, certainly not. I think that corporate America is evolving a little more slowly than it might and it will take some time.
As for the private relationships between husbands and wives, however those households are structured, those are essentially personal choices and I do not think that the workplace should be expected on more than a sort of emergency basis to make accommodations for the fact that one has children or aged parents who need care. One can negotiate benefits that relate to that; most companies provide such benefits to a greater or lesser degree.
KS: Management gurus seem to be accepting feminine values: for example, while they do not talk about communal spirit, they do often talk about "team building," the operative word in corporate management. And they don't call it nurturing; they call the new leadership style "enabling."
BH: I certainly think there is a place for them; there is always a balance here. But I'd like to point out that teams have coaches, and players on teams accept the idea that the coach or the manager makes certain calls, and that there is a hierarchy, and that there is a structure, and, what's more, that teams compete, teams get results.
I think our whole society, from the education that prepares us for corporate life to our corporations (where it is much less severe, although it is only a matter of time, given what's going on in the schools), are shying away from competition, shying away from accepting that there are winners and losers. I think we really need to be more comfortable with the idea that there are variable outcomes in life, and that it is not unjust, it is actually the greatest form of justice, provided that those outcomes bear some relationship to individuals' performances.
Till women are more rationally educated, the progress in human virtue and improvement in knowledge must receive continual checks.
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.
--Herbert George Wells
Of all the causes which conspire to blind
Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind,
What the weak head with strongest bias rules,
Is pride, the never-failing vice of fools.
Suggested Topics for Group Discussion
1. Henry opens his contentious treatise by declaring himself a liberal Democrat. He states his support for candidates opposing Jessie Helms, his appreciation for having been raised by a working mother, his disdain for the tactics of the religious right. The author sounds less like a liberal Democrat when he questions the results of affirmative action, and multicultural education, and supports mommy tracts. In defense, Henry says he agrees democracy should demand that all citizens have equal opportunity, but feels egalitarians have gone too far by insisting all should finish equally. In your experience, do you find people are being rewarded on the basis of gender and ethnicity, or merit?
2. Henry concedes that in our diverse culture, people do not begin on a level playing field. However, he contends that politically correct "dumbed down" curriculums that play to "irate minorities"--"a brand of anti-intellectual populism running amok"-- actually harm or cheat those that this "revisionist" education is intended to help. Explain what he feels these groups lose, and what society loses.
3. Henry's opposition contends that people cannot learn until they think they can; therefore the starting point for education should be building self-esteem. Using empirical evidence, defend your own beliefs.
4. Henry starts with the assumption that the collective culture of traditional Western Civilization includes the wisdom of humankind. (His opposition calls this established curriculum "the dead white European male" syndrome.) What skills, knowledge, or edge does Henry feel students lose when multicultural offerings are substituted?
5. Test scores support the author's position that American educational standards have declined. He asserts that parents and teachers no longer teach reverence for authority and learning, that schools have become rehabilitation centers making up for social and psychological deficiencies, and that schools focus on bringing slower students up to speed rather than challenging the gifted to move forward. Do you feel our social problems are more apt to be solved if more attention is focused on the brightest, or do you think society's best interest will be served by raising the bottom?
6. Many people agree that in some cases political correctness has been carried to extremes. Do you agree or disagree with Henry when he says that the most insidious exponents of political correctness are the educators who provide revisionist histories that "breed children who are resentful, hostile, even paranoid. . . fostering a pseudo-racial pride not far removed from hatred?"
7. Henry offers "downsizing" as a solution to the problems in education: doing away with tenure, admitting fewer students to higher education, tracking to develop the best and brightest leaders, as well as offering alternative routes for the less able. This comes at a time when downsizing is being challenged as a miracle cure for business. How would this impact society?
8. The book begins and ends with the author's theory of how the "politics of envy" have turned the term "elitist" into a pejorative. Do you agree that the basis for populist wrath is not money, but scorn for intellectual distinction-making that says one idea, contribution, or attainment is better than another? Henry offers examples of presidential candidates playing to the "regular guy" image--Bush boasting his presumed taste for pork rinds and country music, Clinton jamming on MTV--rather than pointing to their accomplishments in first-rate academies. Henry believes that this false chumminess, this playing down of individual achievement accomplished by intellectual rigor, makes it next to impossible for a leader to inspire citizens to better themselves. Defend or attack his position. If Henry is right, does this mean anti-intellectual America is entering a new Dark Age as Margaret Mead predicted, or is it simply a democratic nation responding sensitively to a growing underclass?
9. In the end Henry says Americans need not feel ashamed of the racism, sexism, and homophobia in their country's past:
Human beings are an evolving species, morally as well as biologically. To get to where we are, we had to come from somewhere less humane. An imperfect world is not the same thing as a worthless one.
Do you feel this is a balm to ease a guilty conscience, or common sense? Compare our history to those of other nations.
William A. Henry III: Biography
William A. Henry III was the culture critic for Time magazine. He received two Pulitzer Prizes: one in 1980 for criticism and one he shared in 1975 for his coverage of school desegregation in Boston. In 1990 he won an Emmy Award for the best film documentary for "Bob Fosse: Steam Heat," which PBS broadcast as part of their "Great Performances" series.
As a renowned investigative journalist, Henry chronicled the many faces of fundamentalism for three decades. From conflicts in the Middle East to the war waged during the desegregation of Boston's public schools after the Supreme Court's Brown vs. Board of Education decision in 1964, Henry witnessed the divisive ramifications of nationalism and identity politics. Any form of extremism, according to Henry, fragments our collective "center," and political alliances that pit one group against another and encourage the sole recognition of differences, with no room for common ground, are unproductive and dangerous. "America has many races," writes Henry. "It needs only one culture, the more inclusive the better."
Henry chronicled the past seven presidential campaigns in books, periodicals, and television, and published Visions of America, a book about the 1984 presidential election. In 1992 he published to extraordinary praise The Great One, a biography of Jackie Gleason.
Henry was a registered Democrat and received awards for civil rights writing from the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
Bill Henry died of a heart attack on June 28, 1994 in Maidenhead, England. He was forty-four years old.
For information on this Reader's Companion contact Marly Rusoff, Doubleday (212) 782-9794
Special thanks to Lou Willett Stanek, Ph.D., for her help in compiling this companion, including the thought-provoking questions for discussion.