Email this review


This is the second volume of the trilogy begun with Preserve and Protect which in turn is all part of the Advise and Consent series and it's nice to know there's only one more to go before completing the ""tertiary phase of tedium gravis."" These are the words of a real live columnist, Russell Baker, and probably Mr. Drury doesn't have any more use for him than the other commentators since he gives them names like Walter Dobius and Frankly Unctuous. Drury, also like someone else we know, is spooked by the possibilities of ""ominous"" ""civil rebellion"" as epitomized by NAWAC (National Anti-War Activities Congress) and the assassinations with which the book begins -- those of about-to-be-president Ted Jason's be-lov-ed wife Ceil and his running mate Knox (Knox's wife will later be kidnapped and killed). The story is only too easy to summarize as Jason comes in as chief of state with an overwhelming mandate and with the conviction that there must be peace everywhere -- in Panama where we've been conducting a Vietnam type war, with Russia, and with all internal factions. His idealism is undercut particularly by his Vice-President and he is clobbered on all sides; impeachment is raised but denied by the Supreme Court, at one point under siege; and at the end our ""man of peace"" effects it. Drury of course writes for that intellectually paunchy middle American who likes everything simplified; but except for the fact that the president's middle name is Montoya -- and that there's another character called Wattersill -- there's really nothing to remind you of what's going on in the real world which is so much more interesting, not to say threatening.

Pub Date: Oct. 12th, 1973
Publisher: Doubleday