Grenada Allegation I THINK I can help John Judis, who wrote, in his review of Guenter Lewy's The Cause That Failed: Communism in American Political Life, that Lewy engaged in "ideological mudslinging" when he called Rep. Ron Dellums's political record "outright pro-communist" (Book World, Nov. 25). Judis says that Lewy's only evidence is "anecdotal hearsay such as a letter that one of Dellums's aides wrote describing the congressman as a supporter of Cuba's Castro and Grenada's Maurice Bishop."
I am not familiar with the reference in Lewy's book, but I have read a collection of several letters written by one of Dellums's staff assistants to Maurice Bishop, the communist leader of Grenada. These letters document a close working relationship between Dellums and Bishop (and an intimate relationship between Bishop and the staff assistant). Dellums submitted to Bishop drafts of speeches on Caribbean issues for Bishop to vet before they were delivered on the House floor, and Dellums vigorously supported Bishop's regime.
So on this matter, there is considerably more than anecdotal hearsay, and it is in the collection of documents captured during the liberation of Grenada, now housed in the National Archives. MICHAEL A. LEDEEN Resident Scholar The American Enterprise Institute Washington, D.C.
John Judis responds: I have no particular interest in defending the views or actions of either Rep. Ron Dellums or the late Maurice Bishop, who was assassinated by men who considered themselves to his left. The fact remains Guenter Lewy did not introduce sufficient evidence to describe Dellums's record in Congress as "outright procommunist." Ledeen has compounded this error. Street-corner agitators can toss around the word "communist" all they like, but a scholar like Lewy or a "resident scholar" like Ledeen have no business using language in this manner. Dellums has been a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, a group affiliated with the Socialist International. The Socialist International grew out of the post-World War I split between the socialist and communist movements and currently includes French President Francois Mitterand and former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt. Bishop and his party belonged to the same Socialist International. Whatever nefarious connection existed between Dellums and Bishop cannot simply be described as that between a "pro-communist" and a "communist." One for the Gipper I WAS dismayed by the unfairness of Jonathan Yardley's review of President Reagan's autobiography, An American Life (Book World, Nov. 4). Yardley accuses President Reagan of a very serious character flaw -- a tendency to "self-delusion" -- and attempts to prove his accusation with two examples, one of which is extremely misleading and the other shockingly false.
First of all, Reagan never claimed -- as Yardley asserts -- that "reducing federal income will actually increase it." What he claimed is that reducing tax rates would stimulate the economy and thus raise tax revenues to the federal treasury. This actually happened as a result of the Reagan tax-rate cuts of 1981 -- revenues rose from $517 billion in 1980 to over a trillion dollars this year.
That's not self-delusion, that's fact.
Second -- and even more disturbing -- is Yardley's imputation to President Reagan of the belief that people who live under communism 'belong to some subhuman species."
President Reagan has spent his entire public life trying to liberate people all over the world who are victims of communist regimes. To say that he feels contempt for these brave men and women is so glaring a falsehood that one feels compelled to say that the the "self-delusion" exists not on President Reagan's part but on that of his reviewer.
Yardley is entitled to his opinions. But on these two points, he's wrong -- and people ought to know it. ROBERT W. KASTEN JR. (R-Wis.) United States Senate Clarification Dept. ALAS! Isabella Bird Bishop wrote half of her excellent travel books when she was still a Bird. Therein lies the confusion. Her Unbeaten Tracks in Japan is not out-of-print as stated in my article, "Along for the Ride: Travel" (Book World, Dec. 2). It an several other titles listed under Bird are currently available.
In her middle years, when Isabella Bird finally agreed to marry Dr. Bishop, he explained, "I have only one formidable rival in Isabella's heart, and it is the high tableland of Central Asia." As he foresaw, she traveled to and wrote about Persia, Kurdistan, Tibet, Korea and China. For these books, find her listed under Bishop. LUREE MILLER Washington