Nikki Amdur
June 14, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

A generation after Network, media critic David Shaw is still mad as hell. In this witty send-up of the ”neopuritans” who try to dictate society’s behavior, he writes, ”To me, the glass is almost always half-full, and I resent those who try to persuade everyone that the glass is not only half-empty but cracked — and leaking a fluid that is either a deadly poison or a dangerous aphrodisiac. Or both.” The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist (the Los Angeles Times) disses everyone from the nutrition Nazis (”Are we going to outlaw butter? Require warning labels on ice cream?”) to the neo-prohibitionists (”Trying to frighten everyone into thinking one sip of white zinfandel will be fatal”). Filled with surprising statistics and amusing factoids, plus the dish on radical thinkers from Shakespeare to Camille Paglia, The Pleasure Police is an in-your-face report that should be required reading for anyone who believes — or needs to be reminded — that we still live in a free country. A

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