For anticommunist critics, if a text was characteristically unequivocal it was clinging uselessly, even childishly, to a foregone aesthetic. If it was equivocal, then it might be said to have depth, complexity, individuality, humanity, and--most important--credibility; it might be a book for its times. There was much talk of Dos Passos' move from left to right, yet little of it had anything to say about how the shift in political view might or might not support the maintenance of the form. Even among those critics who found the conservative District of Columbia trilogy lacking in comparison to the leftist (though mostly anticommunist) U.S.A., there were few who noticed a qualitative shift. I would suggest that the anti- anticommunist critic was in the best position to see just this. John Lyndenberg, a socialist, was one. In "Dos Passos and the Ruined Words" (1951) Lydenberg argued that Dos Passos' politics had rendered his modernist naturalism inappropriate, since the particular anticommunism of District of Columbia required an evaluation of character's choices and actions; the radicalism of U.S.A. was in its disclosure of forces controlling people. But in District of Columbia, Lydenberg noticed, the naturalistic form persisted while the aesthetic idea had shift toward "individual responsibility." Thus formally Dos Passos was working at cross purposes and the result is equivocality. Here, then, is a left critic who sees equivocality as a deficit. U.S.A., its form and political philosophy compatible, "leaves an unequivocal effect."