cover image Full Moon Over America

Full Moon Over America

Thomas William Simpson. Warner Books, $29.99 (418pp) ISBN 978-0-446-51808-6

In the year 2000, American voters fed up with politics as usual have elected as president William Conrad MacKenzie, age 32. Descended on his father's side from a long line of capitalist robber barons and on his mother's from Mohawk Indians who have kept traditional ways, MacKenzie came to the nation's notice by ``mooning'' the White House incumbent, whom he blames for his wife's death during a protest against a dam project. Now it's Inauguration Day, and ``Willy'' promises to put ecology before technology. Can network newsman Jack Steel make the incoming president's goals comprehensible to his listening public? Will MacKenzie survive the handful of hours until the inauguration? Will readers care? Simpson telegraphs his plot, and the stark contrast he draws between exploiters and preservers of nature lacks the nuances necessary for effective satire. In addition, while the author successfully presents-largely through extensive flashbacks-his hero's development as a ``holy fool,'' his admiration for a leader answerable only to his own inner light is naive, as well as subversive of his own apparent reverence for democracy. Author tour. (Aug.)