Me the people "The system is broken." This lament is heard constantly these days. But it's the same system we've always had. Resistant to change, to be sure, but, as the New Deal and the Great Society proved, capable of major reform.
Author of How Washington Really Works, Peters, trained as a lawyer, joined the Peace Corps at 34 and then left government service to found the highly regarded liberal magazine The Washington Monthly, now approaching its 20th year. In this genial but frustratingly self-effacing autobiography, he relates how he raised money to start the magazine and how he "edits by argument.'' He discusses his professional relationship with such writers as Richard Rovere and James Fallows, and modestly relates how he fulfilled his editorial goal to ``look at Washington the way an anthropologist looked at a South Sea Island.'' Peters dilates on latter-day issues that worry him, including ``credentialism'' and its relationship to the decline in the quality of teaching in public schools, the adversary system in American law and politics and how it breeds paranoia, and the machismo of the American male, which, he points out, is nowhere so dangerous as in foreign policy.