The columnist imparts his views on such topics as Whitewater, Monica Lewinsky, the impeachment trial of Clinton, the debate over partial-birth abortions, the 2000 election, baseball, and the deaths of his mentor and father.
In the introduction to this, the seventh collection ofthe newspaper and magazine columns, book reviews, speeches, and occasional writings of George Will, he notes the bemusement with which some may react to his choice of title. W. H. Auden wrote his poem The Horatians from which the following lines are taken: We can only do what it seems to us we were made for, look at this world with a happy eye but from a sober perspective. The poem was written in 1968. It was a year notable in the United States for assassination, riot, war, and political violence unseen for the preceeding 100 years. If humanity could be instructed to view that world with a happy eye, can America today do any less, faced with the clearest and most coherent expression of national unity since the Second World War? With a Happy Eye But . . . is both a clear description of the attitude that informs these collected pieces (and the attitude of their creator) and an admonition to Americans.