Books: Daily Sanity

POOR RUSSELL'S ALMANAC by RUSSELL BAKER 212 pages. Doubleday. $6.95.

In the old fairy tale, the grumpy king runs a contest to find a jester who can make him laugh. Unsuccessful contestants go to the block. The winner gets a new suit of motley and the next-to-impossible job of making the king laugh again. In journalism, the dyspeptic despot is usually played by an editor who starts off saying something like "This page is too damn dull. It needs some humor." Serious words are then circulated among the clever headline writers and droll cityroom...

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