Fathers and Children

C. L. Sulzberger, Author Arbor House Publishing $19.95 (307p) ISBN 978-0-87795-925-0
Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times columnist and author of some 20 books, Sulzberger here presents 14 father-child portraits, seeking to recount the relationship of each father and his offspring, their principal achievements and how well or how badly the various children followed in parental footsteps. In essays that are frequently repetitious, disorganized and tedious, Sulzberger speculates that Alexander the Great, Douglas MacArthur, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin may have been influenced by an Oedipus complex; the ""Virgin Queen,'' Elizabeth I, may have inherited syphilis as well as the crown from her father, Henry VIII; and ``the fact that Stalin's father beat him constantly and cruelly when he was a little boy certainly had a profound effect on the youngster's subsequent life and, therefore, upon the history of Russia and the world.'' Also included are the Adamses, the only father-and-son American presidents, the artistic Bellinis and the evil Borgias. The essay on the Kennedys questions the merit of John's Pulitzer Prize-winning but ``substantially ghost-written'' Profiles in Courage as it tries to debunk the ``Camelot'' myth. (November 18)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1987
Release date: 11/01/1987
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