The Eyes of Beholders by Mark Bauerlein

The Eyes of Beholders

On Beauty
by Zadie Smith
The Penguin Press, 2005
(443 pages, $25.95, hardcover)

reviewed by Mark Bauerlein

When Zadie Smith’s third novel appeared last September, Frank Rich in the New York Times praised the author as a “fearless outside referee” ready to “adjudicate the culture wars.” Laura Miller in Salon remarked upon how the “foil” of “ideological battles” in the novel set the characters into sharp relief.

Left & Right

The dramaturgy of On Beauty does, indeed, bear them out. We have two families and two ideologies in stark counterpoint. Howard Belsey, born . . .