Kabul, M. E. Hirsch (Atheneum). "A heartfelt and commendable attempt to personalize and make sense of the Machiavellian intrigues leading up to the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan" (Debra Denker).
The Jail: Managing the Underclass in American Society, John Irwin (University of California) "serves to remind readers on either side of the bars that we are all victims of crime in America" (Gary Cunningham).
Final Harvest: An American Tragedy, Andrew H. Malcolm (Times Books). "A formidable study--part narrative, part essay--that discerns . . . the fundamental tensions, the inexorable, tragic forces now blighting the Heartland" (Frank Levering).
The Loves of Franz Kafka, Nahum N. Glatzer (Schocken). "A brief, poignant, beautiful book (telling) us the love story that was Franz Kafka's life" (Jack Miles).
Law's Empire, Ronald Dworkin (Harvard). Civil disobedience, affirmative action, law and economics--Ronald Dworkin fleshes out these topics in a lengthy examination of four historical hard cases. "A jurisprudential epic" (Bill Blum).
Stallion Gate, Martin Cruz Smith (Random House). The author, one of fiction's master craftsmen, "uses history (the birth of the Atomic Age) to make the heavy background music while . . . (the story of an Army misfit) provides the melody" (Tony Hillerman).
The Ritual Bath, Faye Kellerman (Arbor House). A detective novel centering around an Orthodox Jewish sect in Los Angeles. An "engaging and informative . . . introduction to the practices of an intensely traditional branch of Judaism" (Elaine Kendall).
Collaborators, Janet Kauffman (Knopf). "The story of a very special mother-daughter relationship . . . on a tobacco farm in a Mennonite community in the late 1960s . . . elegant, economical, evocative" (Laura Kalpakian).
One Way or Another Stories, Peter Cameron (Harper & Row). The author's "young characters could grow up to inhabit an Ann Beattie story . . . . They are enveloped in sadness and peripherally out of step, but armed with a kind of self-conscious hope and dry, dry humor" (Amy Hempel).