Contempt prior to investigation
George Will writes in The NYT Book Review: "For more than three decades, [Jeffrey Peter] Hart, an emeritus professor of English at Dartmouth, has been a senior editor of National Review. There he has seen, and helped to referee, conservatism's struggles of self-definition. His book is a gossipy memoir leavened by a quick skimming of 50 years of political history. "I confess," he says, "to a fondness for gossip, which, indeed, is a conservative genre. Gossips do not want to change the world; they want to enjoy it."
NYT: "Gossip not only helps clarify and enforce the rules that keep people working well together, studies suggest, but it circulates crucial information about the behavior of others that cannot be published in an office manual. As often as it sullies reputations, psychologists say, gossip offers a foothold for newcomers in a group and a safety net for group members who feel in danger of falling out."
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