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November 18, 1990|Charles Solomon

THE BEST OF WILL ROGERS edited by Bryan Sterling (M. Evans: $9.95, illustrated). From 1926 until his death in 1935, Will Rogers wrote a daily column that was so popular, most newspapers ran it on the front page. Many of Rogers' bons mots have been absorbed into the popular culture, including the famous lines, "I never met a man I didn't like" and "I am not a member of any organized political party--I'm a Democrat." The quips in this anthology, gleaned from more than 3,000 columns, remain pointedly funny and distressingly relevant today. On the presidency: "It's not a disgrace not to be able to run a country nowadays, but it's a disgrace to keep on trying when you know you can't." On party politics: "Republicans take care of big money, for big money takes care of them." These sardonic gems of American humor are best read a few at a time, so they retain more of their savor--and the book seems to last longer.

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