Books: Left, Righteous, Left

GO EAST, YOUNG MAN

THE EARLY YEARS

by WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS

493 pages. Random House. $10.

Scarcely seven pages into this autobiography, a reader wonders briefly why William Orville Douglas cannot leave well enough alone. He has just related his Republican mother's belief that "if the rich are disenchanted, then we are all unemployed." Immediately the distinguished jurist adds, "Even at the age of 14, I did not buy that theory." He seems compelled to explain that he leaped practically from the womb as a full-blown liberal and has never since been sullied by the errors of complacent conservatism. And as he...

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