Walter Lippmann may have opined that Herbert Bayard Swope was a ""vastly overrated man"" but hardly anyone else thought so while his galvanizing energy gave the New York World its opinionated vitality. The Twenties were, in any case, the glory age of New York journalism with Heywood Broun, F. P. Adams, and Lippmann writing for Swope at the World and the Algonquin set at its peak. Swope's panache transcended them all and Lewis has zoomed in on the scene via the man who knew everyone worth knowing and (some thought) said everything worth saying. The former St. Louis gambler and horse-player counted among his friends Harpo Marx, George S. Kaufman, and Woodrow Wilson, and his high-voltage existence was shared by his redoubtable wife Maggie, who became one of New York's most famous hostesses. A man known chiefly for what he was, not what he did, Swope nonetheless introduced the Op-Ed page for outspoken commentary; more, his Inside the German Empire (which received the first Pulitzer in 1917) began the pattern of ""Inside"" coverage. Eventually Swope left the Worm (it folded soon after), and with the aid of buddy Bernard Baruch became a rich man and a public figure. But here the narrative, like Swope's life, loses some of its punch. An entertaining popularization without the class of E. J, Kahn's Worm of Swope (1965).