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June 16, 1996|CHARLES SOLOMON

ROLL OVER CHE GUEVERA: Travels of a Radical Reporter by Marc Cooper (Verso: $18.95; 291 pp., illustrated). As a reporter for the Village Voice, Cooper documented conditions and human rights abuses in El Salvador, Cuba, South Africa and Iraq. He's a skillful writer and an astute observer, capable of discerning the reality that often belies official statements. Unfortunately, his reportage is so politicized it becomes a sermon to the choir, which prevents his valuable insights from reaching the wider audience they deserve. In a lengthy piece on the Los Angeles riots, he describes the United States as "a country whose rotten carcass, like the torched and looted structures of Los Angeles, could now only be propped up by the muscle of the one institution that the Demopublicans still have the will to fully fund: the Pentagon."

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