Albert Einstein applauds the 1932 Disarmament Conference as a ``ray of hope''; Emma Goldman, just back from the Soviet Union, laments the tens of thousands of political exiles created by Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini; I. F. Stone exhorts the U.S. government to give sanctuary to European Jews who face death under Hitler. These are among the highlights of an astonishing anthology, rich in ideas and provocations, edited by Nation editor-at-large vanden Heuvel. The liberal-left Nation 's zigzagging politics embraces many shades of opinion, from Chaim Weizmann's plea for Zionism to Edward Said's support for a Palestinian state. Also here are Martin Luther King Jr. on the civil rights movement, Ralph Nader on auto hazards, Arthur Danto on Andy Warhol, Katha Pollitt on the ``Baby M'' surrogate mother case. Poetry standouts include verse by Alice Walker, W. B. Yeats, Marianne Moore, D. H. Lawrence, Margaret Atwood and W. H. Auden, for starters. (Nov.)
The articles, essays, editorials, poems, and illustrations that form this commemorative anthology are, in the words of editor Vanden Heuvel, ``representative of The Nation spirit--its passion, commitment, idealism, and skepticism.'' The collection includes more than 150 items, beginning with the publisher's original prospectus in 1865 and ending with a short piece by Richard Barnet on the U.S. invasion of Panama. The range of talent represented here is nothing short of astounding: Henry James, Robert Benchley, Sinclair Lewis, Willa Cather, H.L. Mencken, Langston Hughes, Bertrand Russell, Dalton Trumbo, Ralph Nader, and Hunter S. Thompson. Strongly recommended for general collections.-- Kenneth F. Kister, Tampa, Fla.
The Nation is neither as incendiary as its critics (e.g. William L. O'Neill) would have it, nor as prescient (it totally missed on the recent Nicaraguan elections) as its boosters would suggest, but it has been, for 125 years, the preeminent voice of American left-liberalism, occasionally (as in the included essay by Emma Goldman) rising above its own agenda to achieve true radical stature. This anthology of essays (political and cultural), poetry, cartoons and drawings presents the magazine at its best--as an essential consciousness and conscience. Published by Thunder's Mouth Press, 54 Greene Street, Suite 4S, New York, NY 10013. (RC) Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)