Rebels and Reactionaries (A Laurel book) - Mitchell Cohen

I read through this anthology with great enthusiasm. I find I have a preference for ambiguous stories, ones that present a situation and either the author admits uncertainty how to interpret it, or characters in it are troubled; thus, the ending of "A Mayor and His People" suits my mood. I really liked "My Kinsman, Major Molyneux", "A Coup d'Etat", "An Anarchist". "The Grand Inquisitor" seems to be Dostoyevsky in conflict with himself. "Gedali" has the mood, but I found it just a bit confusing. Others in a realistic mode or semi-realistic that I really liked were "Mario and the Magician", "Simplicio", "The Imaginary Jew" (with its remarkably fine last paragraph), the trio by African writers ("The Martyr", "Vengeful Creditor", "At the Rendezvous of Victory"), "One of These Days" by Gabriel García Márquez. I won't list the last four wonderful stories, just see the table of contents. George Orwell's justly famed essay "Shooting an Elephant" says what it thinks right out but supports those statements with subtle arrangement. For the most part, stories in a fantastic, comic, or allegorical mode pleased me less; but Luisa Valenzuela's chilling little paradox "The Censors" is really memorable. I enjoyed E. M. Forster's whimsy "What Does It Matter?" (a post-humously published piece that shows an unfamiliar side of that writer). Borges considers the construction of history in "Theme of the Traitor and the Hero". Jomo Kenyatta's fable "The Gentlemen of the Jungle" works just like it ought. Vladimir Voinovich, in "Circle of Friends", takes on Stalin with good black humor but I suspect it pales next to the real thing (nothing like dictators for unintentional comedy of the blackest sort). Best of all, the arrangement of the stories is good: although they're in rough chronological order, they're also thematically placed so that they enhance each other.