Droll, no-nonsense prescriptions for the body politic, by the editor of the Progressive Review. Smith (Shadows of Hope: A Freethinkers Guide to Politics in the Time of Clinton, 1994) offers numbers of specific, hands-on ideas for citizens intent not on fixing but on ""transforming and replacing the system. . . that controls America,"" injecting it with new levels of democracy, common sense, and compassion, so that the system, now dominated by large, entrenched interests, ""serves and does not rule."" The pace tends to be hectic, as Smith surveys everything from the national debt to the need for new kinds of sewer systems, offering both brief summaries of the problems and succinct suggestions for remedies. There is an abundance of (clear) lists and statistics, and most of Smith's analyses are presented as terse, often witty, paragraphs. That makes the book eminently browsable, but sometimes confusing. Insights are tossed off with abandon, and it is, at times, hard to tell what Smith thinks is important and what merely amusing or outrageous. Nonetheless, a useful, stirring, and ingenious guidebook for perplexed citizens.