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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.

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 HUNDR EDTN:THE RISE OF THE EXTREME RIGHT IN RUSSIA, by DATE:TH/0/TH 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. …


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