Most of these reprints from Esquire, New York, The New Yorker, More, and the Daily News--with Ken Auletta's self-serving ""Second Thoughts"" appended after the longer pieces--simply don't warrant preservation in hard covers. Strongest are the first two: the New Yorker profile of Ed Koch (fully one-third of the book) in which the Mayor puts forth his theories on black anti-Semitism, among other things (some readers, Auletta notes, considered him too sympathetic to Koch, while others felt the Mayor came off as ""a fool""); and a highly uncomplimentary Esquire article on Roy Cohn--whom Auletta assures us that he did not ""set out to get"" (but, on the other hand, it was too bad Cohn invited him to his birthday party because that meant Cohn ""did not think I got him,"" and ""I wish he had""). The rest is an agglomeration of short pieces on Rockefeller, Carey, Brown (""A surprising number of Democrats don't take Brown seriously""), Beame, Nadjari, and many more--including several of strictly local and transient interest. On the national scene, Auletta is unflustered by his 1976 prediction that Carter would be ""a tougher leader"" than many were saying: look at Carter's performance in such areas as energy, the Middle East, and the Panama Canal. But he made a ""mistake"" with Nelson Rockefeller, Auletta acknowledges at the end of an article on the press coverage of Rocky's death: he postponed an interview from what turned out to be Rockefeller's last day alive! Yesterday's political small-talk, most of it, from a journalist who's capable of bigger and better things (The Streets Were Paved with Gold, 1979).