A deft weaving together by author/syndicated columnist Wattenberg (The Good News is the Bad News is Wrong, 1984) of his columns from the 80's, with plenty of hindsight stitched on, as well as a long introduction that states the book's theme: "We are the first universal nation. 'First' as in 'number one.' And 'universal' both within our borders and globally." The several score of columns deal mostly with politics and economics ("If Jackson Were White," etc.), but some discuss family, children, even baseball, and a few dig into Wattenberg's first love, statistics and demographics (which also surfaces in various charts--on fertility rates, crime and drug rates, etc.). Good-humored, nimble (one column offers a clever comparison of the political biases inherent in the Mercator and other world maps), middle-of-the-road (on Mapplethorpe: "Don't censor the Mapplethorpes. . .And don't fund them with tax dollars"), this is sound, safe commentary that will especially appeal to those who agree with Wattenberg that "Washington is the capital of the nation that won the heavyweight title and remains the most important place in the world."