When Joel Klein came up for approval as chief of the Justice Department's antitrust division last summer, even some Democratic Senators viewed him as a doormat for Big Business and tried to step on his appointment. All that changed last week when Klein audaciously hauled mighty Microsoft into court. Former critics now applaud him as a true trustbuster. The New York Times, which had called Klein's appointment "disheartening" in July, finds him to be "sensible" and "right" to take on Microsoft.

The scholarly but combative Klein, who stands 5 ft. 6 in. in his running shoes, appears to be an unlikely...

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