Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

Notable books of 1980 -- a checklist; GENERAL NONFICTION

AGAINST THE CURRENT: Essays in the History of Ideas, by Isaiah Berlin, edited and with a bibliography by Henry Hardy. New York: The Viking Press. $16.95. In these 13 essays the renowned teacher, writer, and sometime historian turns to the makers of the ideas that shape the 20th-century outlook from Machiavelli to Zionist Moses Hess.

AMERICAN DREAMS: LOST AND FOUND, by Studs Terkel. New York: Pantheon Books.$ 14.95. Compiled with the art that conceals art, Terkel's collage of interviews with a cross-section of Americans opens a window on unexpected resilience and strength and exemplifies the saving vigor in diversity, as it illuminates the views of individuals on education, work, justice, competition, and caring for one another.

About these ads

THE AMERICAN ESTABLISHMENT, by Leonard Silk and Martin Silk. New York: Basic Books. $13.95. A sympathetic look at a small, fiercely exclusory band of individuals who wield special powers and influence in American society, as well as at the institutions they inhabit -- Harvard, the New York Times, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Ford Foundation, Brookings Institution, and more.

THE BRETHREN: Inside the Supreme Court, by Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong. New York: Simon & Schuster. $13.95. The pivotal early years of the Burger court (1969-75) deserve more serious treatment than this book gives, yet from its stream of facts, anecdotes, restructured conversations, and law-clerk gossip there emerges a fascinating, if skewed, picture of how the court works.

CHANGING OF THE GUARD, by David S. Broder. New York: Simon & Schuster. $14. 95. The respected columnist of the Washington Post brings incisiveness and exceptional research to this optimistic view of America's future, based on interviews with likely future leaders.

CHINA MEN, by Maxine Hong Kingston. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.$10.95. In this companion to "The Woman Warrior" Kingston takes a fierce and brilliant look at the men from China who, searching for the God Mountain in order to prosper their families, went out into the world, especially the United States, bringing their antiquity, their sagacity, and their legends with them.

DESTINATIONS: Essays from Rolling Stone, by Jan Morris. New York: Oxford University Press/Rolling Stone. $12.95. The Welsh writer profiles 11 places, from South Africa and Istanbul to Panama and Manhattan, as another writer might profile a complex and fascinating celebrity.

DOUBLETALK, by Gerard C. Smith. New York: Doubleday & Co. $17.95. Smith, who led the American delegation in Round 1 of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks with the Soviets, gives the first inside view of the negotiations and builds a persuasive case for the necessity of arms restraint.

THE DREAM OF THE GOLDEN MOUNTAINS:* Remembering the 1930s, by Malcolm Cowley. New York: The Viking Press. $14.95. In looking back on the depression era, this senior man of letters offers fresh perspective on a present that echoes it to some degree.

About these ads

FARFLUNG & FOOTLOOSE: Pieces from the New Yorker 1937-1978, by E. J. Kahn Jr. New York: Putnam. $12.95. At a time when there are so few writers to laugh with, one can delight in the humor of this New Yorker magazine staffer, a chronicler of the significant in the tradition of Thurber and Perelman, who has collected the pith of 40 years' work here.

GOING TO EXTREMES, by Joe McGinniss. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.$11.95. This is not so much a gambol through America's last great wilderness as a journey across a human landscape as remote from average America as the surface of the moon; McGinniss masterfully catalogs the personalities, sometimes raw, that people the Alaskan frontier.

JANET FLANNER'S WORLD: Uncollected Writings 1932-1975. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. $12.95. Another collection of captivating articles by the late reporter who covered major European events and personalities from 1925 to 1978 for the New Yorker magazine.

LAYING WASTE, by Michael H. Brown. New York: Pantheon. $11.95. This important study, focusing on the people of Love Canal at Niagara Falls, N.Y., recounts the impact of poorly safeguarded toxic wastes on the individuals who lived near the site, gives disturbing medical estimates of the effects of these chemicals and offers a harsh indictment of governmental and industrial insensitivity.

MARXISM FOR AND AGAINST, by Robert L. Heilbroner. New York: W. W. Norton & Co. $9.95. A careful and patient explanation of Marx's mode of inquiry, without Marxist or anti-Marxist jargon.

MILITANT ISLAM, by G. H. Jansen. New York: Harper & Row. $8.95. The Levant correspondent of the London weekly the Economist offers in lively, readable form a broad yet appropriately detailed overview that shows what Islam is and what has provoked its current "militancy."

THE OAK AND THE CALF: Sketches of Literary Life in the Soviet Soviet Union, by Alexander I. Solzhenitsyn, translated from the Russian by Harry Willetts. New York: Harper & Row. $15.95. The Russian Nobel laureate's triumphant ordeal in his own flavorsomely translated words, evoking how it felt to attain a precarious celebrity in middle age, settling old scores, displaying a bit of the self-righteousness to which he might be entitled, and somehow managing to make of it a wry comedy of repression.

SECOND PERSON RURAL: More Essays of a Sometime Farmer, by Noel Perrin. Boston: David R. Godine. $10. In his second book on life in rural New England, Dartmouth professor and farmer Perrin casts a witty, unromantic eye on the realities of the country, his taciturn Yankee neighbors, the work ethic, farm animals, and more.

STONES OF SILENCE: Journey into the Himalaya, by George B. Schaller. New York: The Viking Press.$15. The zoologist's account of journeys into the mountains of Nepal, Kashmir, and Pakistan to observe wild animals, and exotic peoples and places as well.

THIRTY SECONDS, by Michael Arlen. New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux. $9.95 . This revealing closeup look at the making of a 30-second TV commercial for AT&T illuminates the corporate rationale behind the dedication of thousands of hours of work and perhaps millions of dollars to such a venture.

THREE FARMS, by Mark Kramer. Boston: Atlantic-Little, Brown & Co. $12.95. Through McPheelike close-ups of a New England dairy farm, a fertile Iowa spread, and a vast fruit and vegetable oasis in the California desert, Kramer warns that the increasing merchanization of agriculture threatens quality.

THE VIEW FROM 80, by Malcolm Cowley. New York: The Viking Press. $6.95. Expanded from a magazine article, this is a refreshing and candid discussion of what we call old age by a distinguished man of letters, an octogenarian who challenges senility, the supposedly limited potential of the elderly, the reasons for "growing old," and other stereotypes.

THE WAR WITHIN AND WITHOUT: Diaries and Letters 1939-1941, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. $14.95. The final volume, covering the trying years during World War II when the writer and her celebrated husband were castigated for their isolationist position.

THE WORLD OF FARLEY MOWAT: A Selection From His Works, edited by Peter Davidson. Boston: Atlantic-Little, Brown & Co. $12.95. A splendid introduction or reintroduction to the fine Canadian nature writer, storyteller, humorist, and prose poet, focusing on his encounters in the frozen tundra with vast deer herds, and along ic y coasts with Eskimos, seal hunters, and fishermen.

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.