THE ZERO-SUM SOLUTION by Lester Thurow, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986 This Nobel Prize-winning economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology presents a lively discussion of the problems facing the United States economy.

GOVERNING THE $5 TRILLION ECONOMY by Herbert Stein, New York: Oxford University, Press, 1989

A short book for the general reader by a renowned economist who makes the case that, rather than planning carefully and thinking ahead, the US is avoiding the big choices.

ECONOMIC CHOICES: 1987 by Henry Aaron and Alice Rivlin, Washington, D.C.:, The Brookings Institution, 1987

Part of a series, this book is slightly out of date but relevant. Its successor, ``Setting National Priorities: The 1991 Budget,'' will be out in early summer.

POOR SUPPORT: POVERTY IN THE AMERICAN FAMILY by David Ellwood, New York: Basic Books, 1988

A Harvard University sociologist examines the public policy aspects of one sector of society. Another sector is addressed in Alice Rivlin and Joshua Weiner's ``Caring for the Disabled Elderly: Who Will Pay?'' (Brookings, 1988). March 12: Sociologist Daniel Bell March 26: Anthropologist Eric Wolf April 2: Political Scientist Thomas Ferguson April 9: Economist Murray Weidenbaum April 16: Sociologist Joyce Ladner April 23: Demographer Samuel Preston April 30: Psychologist M.Brewster Smith May 7: Conclusion: The social sciences in the 21st century

For a reprint of this series, send $3 with your name and address to: The Christian Science Monitor P-410, 1 Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. Discounts available for quantity orders.

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