Another view on Rockwell

To the Editor:

Can I recommend that you read the unsolicited review of Solomon's book by Patrick Toner, an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University, who is writing a book on my father (First False Portrait by Professor Patrick Toner) and an article in The Huffington Post by Sherman Yellen, who knew my father? Ms. Solomon's phantom theories of my father's sexuality color and distort her whole book, including her interpretations of his art. The most egregious of her claims is that my father had pedophilic impulses that made their way into his art (p. 318). Her suggestions and allegations are nothing more than unadorned conjecture. She simply has no evidence to back up any of her outrageous claims.

She now says that this topic is only a tiny part of her book, but my daughter Abigail and I found 68 references to her phantom theories. There are also 95 omissions and errors on other matters. She did not adequately interview my two brothers and myself - my brothers about an hour each, ten-twelve years ago (before she wrote her controversial column for The Times for eight years; Gawker gives an account of this). She interviewed me for two or three hours in a diner during the same period she interviewed my brothers, and then last summer I let her see some papers by my parents which had turned up and answered questions. For instance, I told here about an important crisis with the editors of the Saturday Evening Post which she had not picked up in her research, but she nevertheless got it wrong in the book. She did not ask the family to read the galleys of her book - for obvious reasons.

Thomas Rockwell

Poughkeepsie, N.Y.


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