Books: Restless On His Laurels

THE GOOD TIMES by Russell Baker; Morrow; 351 pages; $19.95

Russell Baker has worked for laughs at the solemn New York Times ever since his "Observer" column was established in 1962. For satire, parody and burlesque on short notice, he has few equals. He has had what many journalists would consider a dream career, and nobody tells him what to do. Or so it appears:

"My mother, dead now to this world but still roaming free in my mind, wakes me some mornings before daybreak. 'If there's one thing I can't stand, it's a quitter.' I have heard her say that...

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