To the Editor:

David Brooks (“The Vulcan Utopia,” column, May 29) criticizes Al Gore’s style (although the sentence he cites is clear and perfectly understandable), speaks disparagingly of Mr. Gore’s “best graduate school manner,” pans his knowledge of history and distorts the central message of Mr. Gore’s new book, “The Assault on Reason.”

My question to Mr. Brooks: Wouldn’t it be nice to have a president who read and understood history, who could write a book (“An Inconvenient Truth”) that has captured the imagination of the world, who takes time to look into the future and who respects reason?

Mr. Gore’s call for more rational discourse in light of an administration that seems to have abandoned such discourse in favor of extreme partisanship, blind authoritarianism and faith-based foreign policy seems exactly the kind of clarion call our nation needs.

An earlier Age of Reason, also called the Enlightenment, countered the excess of superstition, emotion and irrationality that had prevailed in the previous centuries and paved the way for much of the progress in the West since.

Robert A. Rees
Brookdale, Calif., May 29, 2007