To the Editors of the Crimson:
Claiming that the recent decision not to offer a professorship to Eugene Genovese was based on his Marxist orientation, Professor Martin L. Kilson, Jr., writes "That this petty and obscene resort to McCarthyite use of ideological criteria for faculty appointments at Harvard, hardly a week after President Derek C. Bok issued his courageous and cogent memorandum denouncing such McCarthyite behavior in our universities, was offered to the Harvard community without explanation also defies belief."
Why this disbelief? Professor Genovese is merely imbibing a strong does of the McCarthyite medicine concocted by Harvard liberals in the Harberger affair earlier this year. In that case a brilliant economist with unique administrative qualifications for the proposed appointment was barred from the University because of his unpopular political associations. Professor Harbenger's critics turned sophistical somersaults to convince themselves and others that they were not impinging on his academic freedom. But the plain fact is that Harberger, no less than Genovese, was penalized and attacked because his ideas were original and controversial. His unpardonable sin was to challenge the conventional wisdom of the institution--which is, of course, why Harberger, like Genovese, should have been graciously welcomed. William J. Appleman