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February 09, 1992|Charles Solomon

THE NEXT CENTURY by David Halberstam (Avon: $8). Halberstam attempts to identify the problems facing contemporary America in this slim book of news analysis. He emphasizes the economic challenge of Japan, the opportunities and threats posed by the changes in Eastern Europe and the weaknesses caused by our faltering educational system, but reserves his most severe criticism for Americans' lack of commitment to their country--or anything other than their immediate personal gain. Although he does a skillful job of summarizing conditions, all of this information has been readily available from other sources. Halberstam is obviously deeply concerned about the real and perceived decline of America, but it's easier to identify a set of problems than solve them, and he offers few profound insights or solutions.

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