A book with this title might be anything from straight textbook history to a spiderweb of philosophical generalities; David Bazelon's runs the gamut, and covers a good deal of other territory besides. Whether it belongs on the political science shelf or amongst the belles letters is a matter for bemused dispute. Written during -- or rather, ""made inevitable by"" -- a fellowship at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., it is less a study of what power is or has been than a speculation on what it might become. Readers of Mr. Bazelon's earlier volume, The Paper Economy, will be somewhat prepared for his fascinating, and often bewildering, brand of para-economics; others are in for a surprise. The main argument here takes the form of a plea for the ""New Class"" (also called the ""working intellectuals"") to shed their abhorrence of ""practical politics."" As the ""middle dogs"" of today, they should team up with the underdogs and, with a ""fresh set of political gestures"" work for realistic goals in a realistic fashion. Suggestions include the founding of a ""liberal bank"" for non-profit causes, where this New Class can ""put its money where its mouth is."" In just such breezy prose, with an inexhaustible supply of jovial vituperation, Mr. Bazelon takes a swipe at everything within his reach.