Will It Play in Peoria?

Chronicles readers may remember that in my last letter I described the "Russian Style" exhibition in London as a Soviet propaganda ballon d'essai, flown to test Western media response to the new nationalism emanating from Moscow. It is by no means coincidental that such a test should be made here rather than in the United States: The more diverse and at the same time less localized British press offers Soviet propagandists a quicker, more complete picture of their successes and failures. In other words, the theater of Soviet propaganda uses London as a New Haven of old, opening shows here and taking them to New York once all the kinks in the production have been taken out. More preparations are now under way, and what follows is a kind of preview.

The richly illustrated catalogs of Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga (International Book) have just announced the publication of several timely tides. Let us ponder why, at this particular moment in history. Progress Publishers should bring out Christian Ecumenism, a treatise of some 300 pages proving that "theologians see the way out of the crisis of religion in unifying all Christians"—unless, of course, its editors suspect that "all Christians" are ready to be unified under Soviet rule. Perhaps even more significant is the companion Religion and Social Conflict in the USA, which "analyzes the ways of 'extinguishing'...

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