The best of Rolling Stone, once the pulp guide to 60's counterculture, now the slick Baedeker of near-mainstream arts. No wonder that Rolling Stone has grown respectable and rich; even the earliest of the 33 essays, interviews, photographic portfolios, and novel excerpts reprinted here display an exceptional energy and perceptivity. The magazine's contributory stars are all on display: Hunter S. Thompson writing of the ferocity of politics both local and national; Joe Eszterhas on Kent State; Jonathan Cott drawing the best out of interviewee Mick Jagger; photographer Annie Leibovitz capturing the home-life of John and Yoko. The emphasis is, of course, on rock 'n' roll--Dylan, Springsteen, Michael Jackson among the interviewed or profiled--but with further pieces on Watergate, Vietnam, Tom Wolfe on ""Style,"" and P.J. O'Rourke on ""Cocaine,"" etc., this lushly illustrated volume proves a fascinating chronicle of two decades of the American-British scene.