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A book that will enthrall, fascinate, repel, puzzle and intrigue its readers. And many will read it that are ordinarily profoundly bored with its subject- what goes on behind the scenes in our nation's capital. Informed it certainly is. One feels that its author has been in on all the conferences, the deals, the private and public conferences, the cocktail parties, the state functions that make up its component parts. That he knows what makes men tick:- the Senators, in particular those he has singled out as the activating figures in the drama surrounding the confirmation- or the reverse- of the President's candidate for Secretary of State. Only a few days are involved here, but one follows in meticulous detail, each phase, seeing the steps now from one participant's side, now from another's. One shudders at the high sounding perorations- and the shallow beliefs behind them; the bribes of advancement that are offered, and too often accepted; the hints of making or breaking that come from high places. Inevitably there will be guessing as to identities. It promises to be the favorite parlor game of politicians and their adherents. The book is overlong; drastic cutting would have sharpened its fangs. But the end impression is that a powerful new writer, who can use the political arena as his theatre, has been introduced. August selection of the Book of the Month will take the hurdle of its length.

Pub Date: Aug. 11th, 1959
Publisher: Doubleday