**The most exciting publishing venture so far this season is already winning pre-publication fanfare, heated discussion, wherever advance readers meet. White, a journalist whose ability to make contemporary history tinglingly alive, proves here that he can take the usually cold ashes of a political campaign and inject such a sense of immediacy and participation that one almost feels again the tensions, the uncertainties, the emotional partisanship that our recent close Presidential race engendered. And at the same time, as White (who traveled with both candidates) reflects the events with extraordinary objectivity, the kernel of the philosophy back of the process emerges, making this a permanent contribution to the study of our democratic procedures. Through the inside story one gets the whole pattern of the pre-convention months in extraordinarily human terms; the gruelling struggle in the primaries -- state by state; the pressures, the tensions under which some cracked, and the climax in first the fight for the nomination in San Francisco, then the fight for the platform in Chicago. The ""decisions, acts and accidents"" of the campaign itself; the mounting fervor and growing sense of confidence that surmounted the terrific hurdles Kennedy encountered -- and the perceptive analysis of the disintegration of the Nixon image -- are drawn in sure strokes. And the whole is done against a frame of reference that is the nation, with the shifting centers of population, the growing pains of awakening internationalism, the discomforting awareness of the contradictions between our ideals and our performance. As midsummer selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, this is a sure candidate for immediate success.