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COVER: In the New Age of gurus and crystals, nothing is what it seems

Nobody knows just when it all started or what it all means, but millions of Americans now find themselves trying to learn about their former lives, cure illness without medicine, meet travelers from other galaxies, know the unknowable. And through the center of the fad runs the actress, dancer and now best- selling writer- teacher Shirley MacLaine. See Living.


NATION: The superpowers’ odd couple may produce some surprises in Washington

Although Reagan and Gorbachev will meet only to sign a treaty on medium- range nuclear missiles, their common interests could lead to better relations. — The President sticks by Star Wars despite budget cuts and discouraging evidence from laboratories. — In Atlanta and Oakdale, La., bureaucratic bungling leads to riots by Cuban prisoners. — Chicago mourns its mayor.


BUSINESS: This holiday season all the new toys seem to talk — or shoot — back

Parents, beware: the stores are filled with jabbering dolls, video villains, electronic spaceships and kiddie camcorders. But many of the latest playthings leave little to the imagination and nothing in the pocketbook. — The Farmbelt is celebrating a good harvest and a modest recovery, but U. S. agriculture is still too reliant on federal aid. — Ailing E. F. Hutton is listening — to potential buyers.



Duarte links a bitter foe to an infamous murder. — Haiti cancels its presidential elections. — What to do about China’ s little emperors.



The front of the car turns this way, the back goes that way . . . Four- wheel steering is the latest innovation from Japan’ s automakers.



Giant law firms have begun to resemble the huge, dollar- conscious corporations they serve, and are encountering some parallel problems.


Show Business

Hollywood is going to the dogs. The screens are full of snappy thespians, from Hooperman’ s Bijoux to Spuds MacKenzie.



In Empire of the Sun, Steven Spielberg grows up onscreen. — Walker is a mock epic that lies grandly and giddily about Nicaragua.



With his piercing intelligence and emotional candor, Stephen Sondheim reigns as master of the Broadway musical theater.



A retrospective of the works of early U. S. Modernist Charles Demuth offers sly eroticism and bold emblems of industrial America.



Has this year’ s passion to learn the inner secrets of presidential candidates outstripped our ability to interpret their meaning?

7 Letters

10 American Scene

55 People

60 Medicine

61 Video

84 Music

85 Books

94 Milestones

Cover: Photograph by Ken Regan — Camera 5

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