The big book these days of late spring 1991 is E.J. Dionne's "Why Americans Hate Politics." The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post have reviewed it recently, and Mr. Dionne last week appeared on morning television.

The book is timely. Just last Wednesday, as if to prove it so, Kentucky held its gubernatorial primaries, and citizens of the Blue Grass State showed that, at the very least, they do not much care for public life. Fewer than four of every 10 Democrats showed up at the polls and fewer than three of every 10 Republicans.

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