World Enough and Time: A Political Chronicle

Jonathan Schell, Author Moyer Bell $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55921-177-2
Schell, a former New Yorker editor and author of a number of thoughtful and provocative books (e.g., The Fate of the Earth), also wrote a biweekly column for Newsday--the Long Island-based metropolitan newspaper--from 1990 to 1996. This collection of those columns, selected from 1992 onward, focuses on the first presidential campaign of Bill Clinton, his first term and his reelection. The news included here is not old enough for nostalgia, nor is it fresh enough to produce strong reactions. As Schell points out in his introduction: ""Looking back, one is struck by how much sheer silliness was taken seriously."" Still, there is value in reading what an intelligent and skillful writer has to say on the spur of the moment--without our advantage of hindsight--about the day's events: Bush's pardon of the Iran-contra conspirators, the increasing prominence of Ross Perot, Clinton's much-discussed haircut on the Los Angeles airport runway, Oliver North's unsuccessful senatorial campaign. Although writing for the moment, Schell seems aware that events happen in historical context. Journalism students especially should take a look, to see how it can be done. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1997
Release date: 11/01/1997
Genre: Nonfiction
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