November 09, 1998 12:00 PM

by James Carville

Anyone who even vaguely dislikes Ken Starr will find plenty of fodder in James Carville’s new book. Of course the Ragin’ Cajun, a leading Democratic strategist, is so partisan that he can write (with an almost-straight face): “As with mosquitoes, horseflies, and most bloodsucking parasites, Kenneth Starr was spawned in stagnant water.” But Carville’s facts are compelling and may cause even Starr supporters to question the prosecutor’s motives. Carville documents Starr’s ties to far-right-wing institutions, his bullying of witnesses and professional involvements (such as representing the tobacco industry while investigating a President who has pushed for anti-tobacco legislation) that suggest blatant conflicts of interest. Carville also accuses anti-Clinton zealots of bribing Arkansas state troopers and a key witness in Starr’s Whitewater investigation.

An oddly entertaining cross between a vitriolic rant and a legal brief, Carville’s tract will hardly come as news to Washington insiders. Other readers may find themselves wishing they were watching a videotape of the independent counsel answering the author’s disturbing charges. (Simon & Schuster, $14.95)

Bottom Line: Rollicking indictment by a leading Friend-of-Bill

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