Winning AmericaThis collection of 38 short, clear and prescriptive articles covers virtually every topic that may be at issue in November’s presidential election, from the drug war and welfare reform to the Middle East conflict. The roster of contributors is an array of leading liberal academics, policymakers and activists, including many from the Institute for Policy Studies, a think tank in Washington, D.C. The editors’ opening piece, a salvo against the Reagan administration and “the deterioration of the American democratic experiment” under it, sets the tone. Essays on constitutional questions, such as William Cannon’s call to strengthen the executive branch and Jane Kirtley’s warning on violations of the First Amendment, both attack the Reagan record and promote liberal ideas. The articles bristle with references to current events like the Iran-contra scandal and the recent stock-market debacle. While sounding its share of plaintive notes, Winning America is nonetheless an optimistic anthology of ideas. Though some of its proposals are wish-list items, the book’s value is in its offering of both strong arguments and specific recommendations. Portions of the book previously appeared in the New Yorker, the Progressive and the UTNE Reader.

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