MAKING PEACE by Marylouise Oates


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 Another rehash of 60's politics--now in a debut novel by a former Deputy National Press Director for the Vietnam Moratorium, featuring, not surprisingly, the press secretary for a 1967 Washington peace march and her scary brush with the CIA. Great expectations hang heavy in the world of 60's politics as Annie O'Connor, Catholic girl gone liberal and hard-working press secretary for the Fall Offensive Against the War, attempts to woo reporters from the New York and Washington papers with wild tales of what important politicos are going to make a stand for peace at the Offensive's Labor Day march. Taken for granted by the good ol' boys of the leftist elite--including Tom Burnett, WASP princeling and head of the offensive; Ed Kapinksy, Red diaper baby and committed radical; and Reverend Tyler, a great civil-rights speaker with some nasty personal habits--Annie looks for advice and moral support from Bitsy Clark, an upper-class black activist, and Joe Pisano, an ambitious D.C. reporter, as she prays that her hints to the press that liberal Congressman Mark Mulligan will make the first public stand against Johnson's war will actually prove true. What Annie and her friends don't realize is that ugly machinations are already at work to prevent such an event from taking place- -schemes that will result in a blackmail attempt on Mulligan and in Burnett's violent death. As events transpire, Annie can hardly believe that her antigovernment paranoia is proving correct--the CIA is behind it all, in league with a frightened liberal mafia bent on controlling the growing public hysteria against the war and, if possible, the course of future foreign policy. Oates manages to convey the excitement and complexity of political warfare competently enough, but her characters remain shallow stereotypes--rendering this a largely forgettable journey into the past.

Pub Date: Oct. 10th, 1991
ISBN: 0-446-51541-8
Page count: 336pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1991


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