As the title suggests, Senator Ribicoff (D. Conn.) is a partisan of the liberal politics of hope which falls somewhere between the politics of joy and counterculture despair. Politicians of course usually seek the middle ground and Ribicoff follows form, perhaps not so much consciously as instinctively. Addressing himself to some of ""the great problems confronting this country,"" he progressively chews around the edges of school desegregation, working class racism, housing, welfare and poverty, the economy, and the shrinking status of the individual -- while deliberately ignoring the War, drugs, crime, and loss of government credibility because ""substantial dialogue already exists in those areas"" (but if this is Ribicoff's problem-selection criterion, one is entitled to question why he wrote this book at all, since there is dialogue aplenty about the issues he does discuss). And what the Senator has to say has been said many, many times before: ""Integrated education is our goal"" blahblah though it can't be achieved without opening up the suburbs to housing for low-and-moderateincome families blahblahblah and while we must never lose sight of our liberal humanitarian values we can't go too fast because ""We are dealing with human beings, and human beings, since Adam, have been known to fall, to have prejudices"" blahblahblahblahblah and ""Guaranteeing jobs by itself will not make employment a meaningful concept for many of those on welfare"" because day-care facilities are also required blah and ""All of this will cost money."" Excerpts of this forensic blah will appear in a forthcoming spring issue of Harper's magazine.