Starting with the proposition that corruption in the U.S. Government grows steadily worse, yet armed with Paine's idea that ""nothing of reform in the political world ought to be held improbable"", this journalist seeks answers through a study of the Presidency and the presidential staff. He starts with the pathetic Warren Harding, showing that incapable man as a prisoner of the vicious, crooked men who surrounded him. Then down through incidents involving such questionable characters as Harry Vaughn or Sherman Adams, each succeeding president is seen as a man of ""good intentions"" who becomes increasingly powerless to control corruption from within. Solutions follow chapter upon chapter of criticism. A less complex White House organization, a stronger Presidency, and a government of departments and not unattached agencies, are some of these suggestions. Thoughtful reading for this election year.