The Life of the Party: Democratic Prospects in 1988 and Beyond, Robert Kuttner (Viking). "By far the best discussion that I have read in years of both the substance and politics of the Democratic Party's future" (Eric B. Schnurer).
Red Doll, Juan Luis Cebrian; translated by Philip W. Silver (Weidenfeld & Nicolson). This novel about the uneasy accommodation of democracy with the old Spanish passions is remarkable for its depiction of the "troubled conscience among those who knew the exhilaration, along with the risks, of being the democratic opposition under a dictatorship" (Richard Eder).
And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts (St. Martin's). This chronological voyage into the AIDS epidemic "does the best job thus far of cataloguing the fear and the denial that have accompanied the intrusion of the virus into American life . . . . Shilts has interviewed all the right people. He interprets key events properly. He identifies heroes and villains correctly" (Woodrow Myers Jr.).
First Light, Charles Baxter (Viking). This "intricately reflective, simply beautiful" novel begins with adult characters and then, through "a rich system of echoes and connections, reduces them to children" (Elizabeth Tallent).