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FISHING IN THE TIBER by Lance Morrow (Henry Holt: $12.95)

October 15, 1989|CHARLES SOLOMON

In this collection of essays, Time writer Lance Morrow considers a variety of topics--television, the explosion of the space shuttle, the reputation of John F. Kennedy--without offering a single original insight or opinion. President Kennedy died young but left an enduring myth, he proclaims with the timely wisdom of Columbus discovering America in 1892. Morrow reveals that the Vietnam War remains a divisive issue and that many Vietnam veterans are troubled. He presents Imelda Marcos' 2,700 pairs of shoes as a symbol of an irrational greed that is "a subdivision of the banality of evil," while subjecting his audience to the evil of banality. Prefab profundity for readers who have trouble grasping the 30-second sound bites on network news shows.

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