cover image This Noble Land:: My Vision for America

This Noble Land:: My Vision for America

James A. Michener. Random House (NY), $25 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-679-45152-5

The 88-year-old Michener here reflects on what he believes to be the major problems the U.S. faces and offers suggestions on how to solve them. He presents a moderate and humane vision, advising increased federal spending on education, the arts and health care. In one particularly thoughtful essay, he discusses the erosion of race relations and argues passionately for the necessity of affirmative action. He is a believer in the moral value of work and the traditional family. However, he strongly disagrees with what he sees as punitive financial measures against teenage mothers proposed by the Republican Congress. To redistribute the nation's wealth, Michener supports a sharp increase in income taxes on the wealthy. Michener's writing throughout is straightforward and congenial, informed by myriad personal examples and energized by the passion of his hopes and fears for his beloved country. (Oct.)