This apologia for the much maligned Washington columnist builds a strong case for reporting news which apparently isn't fit to print, vide Sherman Adams' vicuna coat, the early castigations of Joseph McCarthy, Senator Dodd's financial shenanigans, all items that appeared first in Pearson's ""Washington Merry-Go-Round."" Klurfeld, who has been Walter Winchell's ghost (on political stories) for over twenty-five years and who has no bias against scandal-mongering, here puts Pearson's files and confidential papers to use to bolster the open record. He outlines the stages of Pearson's forty-year career and names names in the columnist's controversial battles with Capitol Hill, Presidents, and the Pentagon. Personages include FDR and Truman, with whom Pearson had a ""love-hate relationship,"" Cissy Patterson (the owner of the Times-Herald and his former mother-in-law) who frequently scorched him in print, General Patton, Harry Vaughan, Adam Clayton Powell. Harry Truman, who once called Pearson an ""s.o.b.,"" later revised his opinion: ""He takes the side of the less privileged."" Even so--one questions the validity of a booklength defense of a man who is no more important than his columns.