cover image Worst Years of Our Lives

Worst Years of Our Lives

Barbara Ehrenreich. Pantheon Books, $19.95 (275pp) ISBN 978-0-394-57847-7

Ehrenreich ( Fear of Falling et al.) here reprints a selection of her elegantly satirical essays that were originally published in Ms , Mother Jones and other journals during the past decade, articles in which she skewers political figures and others for causing a decay in human values. A strong sense of the ridiculous informs Ehrenreich's attack on those she judges guilty: phony evangelists, moneyed pollutors and developers, Wall Street bandits, officials heedless of the poor. There are pieces on Nancy Reagan's memoir My Turn and on Oliver North as warrior prince of the secret government. The book will have its critics, but Ehrenreich could also promote healthy rebellions in her role as someone who doesn't suffer fools at all, let alone grudgingly. (May)