In "Touched by Fire: Readings in Times of War," Shaun O'Connell draws us into the eerie atmosphere that pulled this country into itself in the late fall and early winter, when thoughts of war provoked hard questions and when, for a time, doubt became the stuff of eloquence.

The works discussed in this article include: Pledging Allegiance: The Last Campaign of the Cold War, by Sidney Blumenthal; Millie's Book, as dictated to Barbara Bush; An American Life, by Ronald Reagan; The Civil War: An Illustrated History, by Geoffrey C. Ward with Ric Burns and Ken Burns; and Under God: Religion and American Politics, by Garry Wills.

Reprinted from New England Journal of Public Policy 7, no. 1 (1991), article 9.



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