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January 16, 1994|CHARLES SOLOMON

WHO CARES WHAT I THINK? American Teens Talk About Their Lives and Their Country edited by Marcia Thompson (Close Up Publications, 44 Canal Center Plaza, Alexandria, Va. 22314: $10.95; 204 pp., illustrated, paperback original). Sixteen teen-agers offer their thoughts about life in contemporary America in these short interviews. Despite economic, political and ethnic differences, most of the young men and women share a surprising number of opinions: They cherish freedom of speech and the right to vote, yet feel the federal government has little, if any, impact on their lives. This small sampling could scarcely be described as a portrait of a generation, but it could spur discussions in homes and classrooms.

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