In this cacophonous political year, biographies of the leading contenders--particularly one titled ""Hubert""--are suspect of being wired for a sectarian anthem. After a benign reconstruction of Humphrey's forebears and admittedly attractive all-American boyhood, the author sets to the business of accumulating threads and a few consistent patterns to create a portrait of HHH fit to hang: soft on socialism and international Communism while over-expedient. Humphrey's tolerance of the alleged Communist influence in Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party: his charter membership in the ADA: his come-lately attitudes toward anti-Communist moves and legislation all position the accusing finger. The author scoffs at Humphrey's purely political and ""too-late"" move in proposing an amendment to the Internal Securities Act in 1954 to outlaw the Communist Party. Although there is a sprinkling of push-button adjectives (""fellow-traveling,"" ""Stalinist,"" ""dupes"" etc.) and one dirty pool dig into HHH's draft status in World War II, this is heavily, if selectively, researched: well written. Cool conservatism, outdated by events.