The importance of Melvin J. Lasky and of the journals he has edited (Encounter in London, Der Monat in Berlin) has been beautifully captured by a young European intellectual, Dr. Michael Naumann: "Lasky's work, quite apart from its value as a meditation, is a testimony of personal courage. This is the work of an outsider, of a thinker in crazed times, who ranks with the few who can apply that 16th-century observation of Richard Hooker to themselves with every justification: 'Posterity may know we have not loosely through silence permitted things to pass away as in a dream.'..."On The Barricades, And Off, is an extraordinary collection of writings by Lasky dealing with Revolutionaries and Ideologies, with the German Problem and the Russian Question, with Travelling and Climates of Opinion. But there is nothing eclectic or random about this effort. Indeed the essays are stitched together by an impassioned dedication to the open society and, no less, a universal, even-handed critique of all closed societies.Born in New York City, Melvin J. Lasky has been co-editor of Encounter in London (called "the most brilliant European periodical") since he succeeded Irving Kristol in 1958. He was educated at the City College of New York, at the University of Michigan, and Columbia University. He was the literary editor of the New Leader before serving in World War II as a combat historian in France and •Germany. After the war he was a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, The Reporter, Partisan Review, and other publications. His work as an editor and writer reflects that unusual group of cosmopolitan scholars and men of letters who emerged from the ashes of conflict to help recreate the intellectual climate for democracy in Europe, indirectly reestablishing transatlantic critical standards in America.