This book proved a disappointment, to me, but the success of the yellow journals day in, day out, prove the dependability of a market for meretricious scandal mongering. There is an ironic note in this whole portrait of the build-up of a fore-flusher into a popular hero. One gets the flavor in a few pages. Then --for another 500 pages, one wades through the sordid details, -- as a go-getter of the most unpleasant type builds his house of cards (and gets away without collapse). Each step of his climb means sacrifice of honor, of wife, of friends, as he gets into Congress (mid-19th century), stages an act of ""heroism"" even to losing a leg, and gaining a reputation, at Gettysburg, plays every dirty angle of politics, even to murder when the plan to use blackmail to get the man his wife loved fails, seeks the spotlight of a sensational trial, wins the diplomatic post in Spain and juggles the international cards, and at the last pulls all the stops to save himself conviction as a swindler. As as What Makes Sammy Run; an unpleasant in a more stereotyped, less streamlined fashion (period place mellerdrama details of the love nest et al). I didn't like it.