Books: Queen for a year

THERE SHE IS: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MISS AMERICA by Frank Deford. 351 pages. Viking. $10.

Threatened institutions, like endangered species, have often demonstrated remarkable powers of survival. There is the Roman Church, the British House of Lords, the German General Staff and the Miss America Pageant. Criticized as lily-white by civil rights groups, demonstrated against by Women's Lib, condescended to by intellectuals and the New York Times (which has been known to spare two paragraphs deep inside to report the winner), Miss America annually blooms like a crop of late summer...

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