Ridgeway ( Blood in the Face ) and Casella, a freelance editor and writer, have collected 87 of the more thought-provoking op-ed and opinion columns from newspapers and magazines as diverse as the Los Angeles Times , the Utne Reader and the Albuquerque Tribune . Dividing the book into sections (such as ``After The Cold War,'' ``A Nation Divided'' and ``Questions of Justice'') the editors attempt to provide some structure to opinions as diverse as Alexander Cockburn's argument that Violetta Chamorro's election in Nicaragua was not a triumph of democracy and Richard Nixon's contention that the U.S.'s big-stick policy in the Gulf will deter other would-be aggressors. The wide range of opinions expressed--and the variety of subjects--reflect some of the best intellectual stimulation America has to offer. Thankfully few of the pieces are silly polemics, like Virginia Postrel's whine against environmentalists. Most are reasoned commentaries illuminating changes in the U.S. and the world. Some, such as Ralph Whitehead Jr.'s definition of the changing middle class, carefully analyze the current state of America. (Jan.)
The first of a planned biannual series that will cover world and national events as analyzed on op-ed pages, in columns, and in articles from the nation's newspapers and magazines. The book is divided into three-month segments, with each section having a short introduction chronicling the events of the period. The essays range from an indictment of the U.S. invasion of Panama in The New Yorker to a timely piece on child care leave in the Albuquerque Tribune to a thought-provoking essay on Clarence Thomas. While the book does cover most colors of the political spectrum with such diverse contributors as Pat Buchanan, Alexander Cockburn, Jesse Jackson, and Richard Nixon, the editors do not claim to be objective. A fine collection of penetrating essays on some of the events of our time. Recommended.-- Rebecca Wondriska, Trinity Coll. Lib., Hartford, Ct.