A collection of articles which appeared in Life, Esquire, Holiday, etc. during the past six years. It is divided into two parts. The first comprises profiles of eight public figures, each of whom presumably exhibits a congeries of allegiances. The second is supposed to reflect the author's own loyalties. The essays on Alger Hiss, the Spanish Civil War International Brigade veterans, Mary McCarthy, the Cassinis, Mailer, Fulbright, Romney and McNamara don't really pursue the theme of conflicting ideals and duties. Self-evident cases aren't elaborated -- Romney's Mormonism vs. civil-rights stand, or the Abraham Lincoln brigadiers' feeling that they were good Americans as well as leftists, or Fulbright's devotion to his constituency and enlightened foreign policy (all of which seem to be pseudo-conflicts anyway). More complex cases like Hiss and McNamara receive little analysis. The second section covers skiing, permissive education and coy reminiscence without even the factitious unity of the first. So forget about the theme: it's still slick, intelligent, pleasant light reading.