If Professor Eddie Glaude *97 would stroll over from Stanhope Hall and chat with his colleagues in East Pyne, he soon would realize that the phenomenon he describes in “National myth, Faustian bargain” (Perspective, Jan. 13) is not a Faustian bargain but an old-fashioned political trade-off. I suspect that Professor Glaude does not regard the president’s election as a Faustian bargain in any responsible understanding of the term: the selling of one’s soul (Obama’s or the voters’?) to the devil in return for forbidden knowledge or powers.

Theodore Ziolkowski
Professor emeritus, German and Comparative Literature, Dean of the Graduate School, 1979–92