Picks and Pans Review: Hard Feelings

updated 07/28/1980 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/28/1980 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Ken Auletta

Auletta, a New York City official and Democratic campaign manager in the early 1970s, later took up writing about politics and today serves a remarkable dual constituency the patrician New Yorker and the populist New York Daily News. It is his conclusion that "in this media age, most reporters have more power over public policy than the average member of the city council or state legislature. Mayors and governors at least return our phone calls." This collection of Auletta pieces is a thought-provoking case study in modern journalism; each is followed by an earnest postcript. After an upbeat 1976 article about Jimmy Carter, Auletta adds: "I was dead wrong. I wince as I re-read the saccharine ending." On New York's Mayor Ed Koch and lawyer Roy Cohn, he observes, "The accumulation of positive as well as negative evidence may tend to work to the disadvantage of someone you basically respect (Mayor Koch) and to the advantage of someone you don't (like Roy Cohn)." (Random House, $12.95)

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