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April/May 1996 Vol. XXI No. 2

Editor's Note:
This issue's Democracy Project section brings together two very different articles. Stephen Lerner, a leader of the Justice for Janitors movement and a union organizer for the past 20 years, explains what the labor movement must do to rebuild the strong unions on which democracy depends. His solution is greater militancy in service of an industry-wide organizing strategy. Adam Przeworski, a political scientist, replies to the neoliberal argument that economy efficiency requires stringent limits on government economic intervention. Agreeing that economic performance depends on political reform, he pro- poses that we need to improve current mechanisms of government accountability, not simply tie the hands of political officials.

Lerner, then, emphasizes the need to reconstruct unions; Przeworski, the need to reconstruct political institutions. Seen from one angle, they offer two components of a larger project of democratic reform. Seen from another, they present alternative positions in an old debate: between strategies of political reform that focus on changing the underlying distribution of social power, and those that concentrate on reshaping the political arrangements through which that power is expressed. Lerner and Przeworski do not provide any final resolution to this debate. But by giving powerful expression to its alternative poles, they sharpen our understanding of contemporary options.

--Joshua Cohen

Reviving Unions Stephen Lerner
A Better Democracy, A Better Economy Adam Przeworski
Healing America, Body and Soul by Arthur Waskow
Maine Light (fiction) Alan Lightman
Othello (film review) Alan A. Stone
Oliver Parker's sexual thriller suffers from the presence of Shakespeare's racial sensibilities and the absence of his poetry.
Poet's Sampler Edward Hirsch introduces S. X. Rosenstock
Talking to Little Birdies (poem) Charles Simic
Seasonal (poem) Karen Volkman
Through An Opening Door (poem) Mark Wunderlich
The Tooth (poem) Sophie Cabot Black
Calamities (poem) Linda Gregg
We Love You (poem) Michael Jay McClure
Spreading the Nationalist Virus Michael Montgomery
The nationalism that killed Yugoslavia was manufactured to win a struggle for power.
Democratic Detective Scott Sherman
Paco Ignacio Taibo II exposes the corruption of the Mexican state through his popular crime novels.
Fiction Reviews
Michael Greenberg Leaving Las Vegas John O'Brien
Thomas Bolt The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov
Mark LaFlaur Closer to the Sun Peter Gadol

Poetry Reviews
James Longenbach Atlantis Mark Doty
Stephen Burt At Passages Michael Palmer
Rachel Wetzsteon Doubles Robert Polito

Paul Lentz The Spirit Level David Barber
Aman Garcha Cross Channel Julian Barnes
Edwin Frank Darkness and a Little Light Johannes Bobrowski
Edwin Frank Levin's Mill Johannes Bobrowski
Aman Garcha John's Wife Robert Coover
James Gardner The Kingdom of Babylon Shall Not Come Against You George Garrett
Barbara Fischer So It Goes Eamon Grennan
Joseph Shea Thomas Mann: Eros And Literature Anthony Heilbut
Mary Jo Bang Corvus Anselm Hollo
Timothy Donnelly Poems for the Millennium The University of California Book of Modern & Postmodern Poetry. Volume One: From Fin-de-Siècle to Negritude Jerome Rothenberg and Pierre Joris
Edwin Frank The Blue Devils of Nada Albert Murray
Sarah Browning The Seven League Boots Albert Murray
Paul Lentz An Early Afterlife Linda Pastan
Alison Karasz Terrors and Experts Adam Phillips
Mark Wunderlich Dark Fields of the Republic Adrienne Rich
Maureen Seaton Directions to My House Robyn Selman
Malcolm Farley The Breaking of Style: Hopkins, Heaney, Graham Helen Vendler
Malcolm Farley The Given and The Made: Strategies of Poetic Redefinition Helen Vendler

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