Since I write fiction, I have always enjoyed seeing the way authors of fiction weave their political and social leanings into their books. It is a very sophisticated way to influence others without coming right out and hitting them in the face, and I believe it has a place in literature. Besides this, if the author has done his research carefully and does not deliberately distort the facts, one can learn about real events without having to laboriously work his or her way through a text. John Jakes' novels illustrate this. If you have never read SOMETHING OF VALUE by Robert Ruark, WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams, or CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER by Tom Clancy, try them all and see what I mean. They are all immensely different, but they all show how the authors felt about the world when they wrote them. Besides that, they are very good reading!