Ward Just's new novel [In the City of Fear], like the eight works of fiction and nonfiction that preceded it, is preoccupied with two subjects: Washington and Vietnam, which happen also to be where Just spent most of his career as a journalist. Its characters, like those in his previous work, occupy the upper and upper-middle tiers of the power structure; its settings are the corridors and salons of power that they inhabit; its themes, though addressed from various directions and angles, involve the ways in which power is exercised and the moral dilemmas it poses.
Beyond any doubt, In the City of Fear is Just's most ambitious attempt to grapple with these matters. It is not a work of...
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