A SHADE OF DIFFERENCE by Allen Drury

A SHADE OF DIFFERENCE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It Can't Happen Here (Sinclair Lewis- 1935) foresaw an American Fascist revolution -- and was not too many years later too close to truth for comfort. In A Shade of Difference Allen Drury has projected Congress and Washington, the United Nations and New York in a future that has enough of the roots of disaster evident today to be read with any degree of comfort. A reversal of the words of his title might come closer to the theme of his story- ""A Difference of Shade""- for here the dark races are pitting their strength of resentment and numbers against the white races and their tradition of dominance. And the battlefields are Congress and the UN. The immediate point at issue is the freedom from British suzerainty of Gorotoland; the lever used by their personable and impressive young ruler (drawn in broad carcature) is America's still unsolved integration problem. And one of the manipulators, more or less self-elected, is the Ambassador from Panama, whose secret goal is to ape Nasser and seize the Canal and throw off the economic yoke of the USA. All sorts of pressures, violent tactics, ruthless, self-seeking, force the USA to the wall, its somewhat naive aspirations torn to shreds, and censure threatened in a joint resolve. Drury has used the same stage sets as in Advise and Consent:- top secret conferences, Washington cocktail parties, club luncheon rooms, the private offices of the key men in government, the bedrooms where other kinds of battles are fought. He has used some of the same characters. He tells a compelling story at too great length; he overlabors his points and shatters our complacency (if we have any left); he injects occasional notes of sentiment- and through flashbacks paints in some contrasting careers of self-made Americans. The market that found Advise and Consent enormously readable will take this in stride. Here is another contemporary- and beyond-novel dealing with the chitchat as well as the more profound thoughts on issues that are with us -- yesterday, today, tomorrow.

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1962
Publisher: Doubleday