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THE FIFTIES, by David Halberstam (Fawcett Columbine, 800 pp., $15). In his 12th book, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Halberstam gives new life to an eventful decade often thought of as uninteresting. Despite the book's size, ``it is so readable, so dramatic in its unfolding, that one fairly flies from chapter to chapter,'' Brad Knickerbocker wrote in his review of July 16, 1993.Skip to next paragraph
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ARABIAN JAZZ, by Diana Abu-Jaber (Harcourt Brace, 374 pp., $10.95). Set in a town somewhere north of Syracuse, N.Y., Diana Abu-Jabber's first novel is the story of a quirky Arab-American family struggling to assimilate. Central to the story are a widowed, jazz-loving Jordanian father, his two grown daughters, and his forthright sister who searches for husbands for her nieces. Merle Rubin, in her June 18, 1993, review, praised Abu-Jaber's inaugural work as ``vivacious, funny, and moving.''
BLACK HUNDRED: THE RISE OF THE EXTREME RIGHT IN RUSSIA, by Walter Laqueur (HarperPerennial, 317 pp., $15). Walter Laqueur explains the ongoing presence of hard-right groups in Russia with ``clarity, directness, and - to lighten the mood - occasional irony,'' Peter Reddaway wrote in his review of June 30, 1993. ``Laqueur is concerned mainly with the ideas, not the actions of the various groups on the extreme right, and with the roots of these ideas in the Russian and European past, and in the philosophy of the contemporary `Nouvelle Droite' in France.''
FALLING OFF THE MAP: SOME LONELY PLACES OF THE WORLD, by Pico Iyer (Vintage, 190 pp., $10). North Korea, Argentina, and Australia are a few of the ``Lonely Places'' that British-born author Pico Iyer describes in this handful of essays. Places that ``don't fit in ... that have no seat at our international dinner tables'' are those that Iyer defines as lonely. ``Whereas much travel writing is thick description, intoning the charms of the past,'' Mary Warner Marien wrote in her review of June 2, 1993, ``Iyer is a postmodern tourist, drawn to the textures of the present.''
A SHORT HISTORY OF FINANCIAL EUPHORIA, by John Kenneth Galbraith (Whittle Books/Penguin, 113 pp., $8.95). This work by John Kenneth Galbraith, a professor emeritus of economics at Harvard University, briefly evaluates the key speculative episodes of the last three centuries and challenges the assumption that wealth and wisdom go hand in hand. ``[A]s always with Galbraith,'' David R. Francis wrote in his review of Aug. 18, 1993, ``this book is clear, well-written, entertaining, and thoughtful.''
DAYS OF GRACE: A MEMOIR, by Arthur Ashe and Arnold Rampersad (Ballantine, 352 pp., $5.99). Arthur Ashe battled racism, physical challenges, and ultimately what was diagnosed as AIDS during the course of his career as a tennis player, coach, and social activist. Ashe's memoir, published after his death last year, ``paints a fascinating self-portrait of a man who would not let any barrier diminish his life,'' Ron Scherer wrote in his review of June 29, 1993.
CIVILIZATIONS OF THE MIDDLE AGES: A COMPLETELY REVISED AND EXPANDED EDITION OF MEDIEVAL HISTORY, by Norman F. Cantor (HarperPerennial, 604 pp., $15). Ruth Walker called this book ``a highly readable history of a period sometimes misunderstood but now generally appreciated for its cultural richness,'' in her review of Dec. 8, 1993. Author Norman Cantor, a professor of history, sociology, and comparative literature at New York University, includes in his survey a list of recommended reading and a summary of ``the ten best films ever made with a medieval context.''