The new Romans are the old ugly Americans, and this selection of pieces, candid and almost wholly comminatory, have been selected on the basis of their ""literary merit."" Since they represent much of Canada's younger talent, the merit is there--one could have wished for a wider range of ""opinions"" since they are almost wholly political in focus and seemingly three out of five condemn American leadership (Johnson) and the war in Vietnam with occasional comments on the racial ferment. There are essays: a series of funny parodies by one Ray Smith; poems including an elegy to Che Guevara by the editor: occasional names the American well-read reader will recognize (Farley Mowat; Mordecai Richler--""we are nicer""; Margaret Laurence with an affecting piece on a Negro youngster killed in Detroit). There is very little evidence of Canada's Cinderella stepsister syndrome; for the most part this is a doomsday book annotating not so much America but American policy, rather reiterative if read en bloc. We must be doing something else wrong.