March 24, 1991
OUT OF STEP: NOTESFROM A PURPLE DECADE.Jonathan Yardley.Villard.264 pages. $20. Dudgeon, I believe, is the word for Jonathan Yardley's all-too-accustomed state of mind in this collection of columns from the Washington Post. More often ranging from a low to a middling dudgeon than the classic high sort, it pervades all but a dozen or so of these 64 slightly dispiriting, remarkably brave commentaries on the colorful 1980s.Dispiriting, because he addresses "cultural and literary affairs, education both higher and lower, the press and the media, the ebb and flow of American social life," things that touch us directly; and he's telling us, in effect, that America is in serious danger of going down the drain.