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Politics, the media, and the rich and famous all make good fodder for an alert satirist. In Family Politics (New York: Simon & Schuster, 384 pp., $18.95) political strategist-turned-novelist John Buckley takes on all three. With wit and an insider's insight Buckley dishes out a funny tale about politics and wealth, American-style. His characters—the sanguine, avuncular incumbent senator; his young, up-and-coming ultraconservative challenger; and a whole medley of reporters, among others—ring all-too-true as they scramble for power and influence.

The raw frontier and rugged individualists of the American West have long inspired writers to celebrate the spirit of the West. Westeryear: Stories about the West, Past and Present (New York: Evans, 240 pp., $14.95), edited by Edward Gorman, includes over 20 stories about the West by great American authors of the past—Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, and O. Henry—as well as some contemporary short-story masters.

James Comer recounts a saga of a different sort—this time biographical—in Maggie's American Dream: The Life and Times of a Black Family (New York: New American Library, 228 pp., $18.95). Comer, reviving the tradition of oral family history, tells first in his mother's then in his own words the story of his family. This is an inspiring tale of a black woman born destitute in rural Mississippi who struggled and succeeded in making her American dream a reality. Ironically, James Comer seems to have missed the message of his mother's do-it-yourself approach to success. At the book's close, he calls for an array of government programs to help lift blacks out of poverty.