many an uncounted mile, is the Countryrnof Lost Borders. . . . This is the nature ofrnthat country. There are hills, rounded,rnblunt, burned, squeezed up out of chaos,rnchrome and vermilion painted, aspiringrnto the snow-line. Between the hills liernhigh level-looking plains full of intolerablernsun glare, or narrow valleys drownedrnin a blue haze.”rnAustin and the Argentinean poet JorgernLuis Borges, who describes the desolaternPatagonian countryside in an excerptrnfrom his noel The South, set a tone andrnmood for Desert Reader that is unfortunatelyrndiluted by the sheer volume of lessrneffective passages. Both Borges andrnAustin obviously understand the principlernthat less can be more. Borges writes:rn”The intolerable white sun of high noonrnhad already become the yellow sunrnwhich precedes nightfall, and it wouldrnnot be long before it would turn red. . . .rnOutside the moving shadow of the railroadrncar stretched toward the horizon.rnThe elemental earth was not perturbedrneither by settlements or other signs ofrnhumanity. The country was vast but atrnthe same time intimate and, in somernmeasure, secret. The limitless countryrnsometimes contained only a solitary bull.rnThe solitude was perfect, perhaps hostile,rnand it might have occurred tornDahlmann that he was traveling in thernpast and not merely south.”rnIn a selection from Edith Wharton’srnmemoir. In Morocco, published in 1906,rnWharton turns her marvelous gift forrntelling detail to a lush description of arn19th-century Moroccan castle:rnCourt within court, garden beyondrngarden, reception halls, privaternapartments, slaves’ quarters, sunnvrnprophets’ chambers of the roofsrnand baths in vaulted crypts, thernlabyrinth of passages and roomsrnstretches away over several acres ofrnground. A long court enclosed inrnpale-green trellis work, where pigeonsrnplume themselves about arngreat tank and the dripping tilesrnglitter with refracted sunlight,rnleads to the fresh gloom of a cypressrngarden, or under jasmine tunnelsrnbordered with running water;rnand these again open on arcadedrnapartments faced with tiles andrnstucco-work, where in languid twilight,rnthe hours drift by to thernceaseless music of the fountains.rnDesert Reader contains so much effectivernwriting that one hesitates to be overlyrncritical, and McNamee does make arngood case for the need to protect ourrnfragile arid lands. However, one doesrnwish he had heeded the philosophy expressedrnby an old Algerian describing therndesert as “the Garden of Allah, fromrnwhich the Lord of the faithful removedrnall superfluous human and animal life, sornthat there might be one place where herncan walk in peace.” Despite McNamee’srndisclaimer that he has made no attemptrnat completeness, the broadness of thernsubject matter and his eclectic standardsrnof selectivity have resulted in an anthologyrnthat proves once again that more of arngood thing is not necessarily better.rnDesert Reader may be compared to anrnancient tile mosaic that has been unearthedrnand reassembled. The reassembledrntile fragments offer tantalizing hintsrnof the original beaut’ of the mosaic, butrnthe full impact of its original design isrnlost forever. The many really fine passagesrncontained in Desert Reader suggestrnwhat the anthology might have been hadrnMcNamee narrowed its scope and discriminatedrnmore in both the selectionrnand the editing.rnNorma Williamson is a freelance writerrnliving in Dubois, Wyoming.rnFrom the publishers of THE RIGHT GuroE.,rnThe Left GuidernThe most complete source of information on the organizations of thernpolitical Left. These organizations spend over $3.7 billion a year -rnover $672 million on lobbying!rnHOW MANY OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS GO TO THESErnORGANIZATIONS?rnWHY IS THIS ELECTION DO-OR-DIE FOR GOVERNMENTrnFUNDING OF THE LEFT?rn^What government-funded organization set up a computer system to helprnliberals network, including the Communist Party USA?rnIWhat feminist organization received special loans from the New YorkrnJob Development Authority?rn•Which powerful liberal senior citizens’ lobbying organization receivedrnalmost $70 million from the federal government? (Hint – it’s not thernAARP.)rniWhat government-funded radio network broadcast the opinions andrncommentaries of a convicted cop killer? No, it wasn’t National PublicrnRadio.rn>What environmental organization spent $793,793 on lobbing whilernreceiving $98 million from the government?rn>What abortion rights organization received $300,000 from thernCommerce Department to set up a national on-line computer system forrnits afrdiates?rnGet the answers and more in THE LEFT GUIDE, a directory of over 2,200rnleft-of-center organizations. More than 1,100 are profded in-depth.rnProfiles include: officers and their salaries, revenues, expenditures,rnlobbying expenses, sources of funding (including government and thernmulti-billion dollar foundations that support these organizations), assets,rnnewspaper citations, important activities, board of directors,rnpublications, tax status, background information and much more.rn528 pages, clothbound.rn$49.95 (includes UPS shipping)rnEconomics America, Inc.rn612 Church St.rnAnn Arbor, MI 48104rnVisa/MasterCard call (800) 878-6141rnNOVEMBER 1996/39rnrnrn