Corruptions of Empire: Life Studies and the Reagan Era

Alexander Cockburn, Author, James Ridgeway, With Verso $44.95 (479p) ISBN 978-0-86091-176-0
Regular readers of Cockburn's stimulating and highly opinionated columns in the Nation and the Wall Street Journal, as well as his occasional articles in other publications, will hardly need any urging to snap up this first collection of his journalism. His work is pungent, witty and without pretense to that ""objectivity'' he so rightly sees as the bane of much written and all televised journalism. Cockburn is violently anti-Reagan, contemptuous of the press for having let him off so easily for most of his presidency and not optimistic about many of the Democrats now before the public. He is that rarityan old-fashioned socialist thoroughly in touch with his times. His political pieces are clearly arguable, though never less than ferociously entertaining. What may surprise those who know only that side of Cockburn, however, is the range of his interests as shown here: splendid pieces about the Ireland of his childhood, his much-loved father, the history and ideology of James Bond, the perils to good writing of the word processor, even the making of the movie Top Gun. For sheer quantity of thought-provoking entertainment the book is a bargain: and if the print is rather too small, at least it allowed the publishers to get more Cockburn between coversa worthy aim. (December)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 10/01/1987
Paperback - 554 pages - 978-0-86091-940-7
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