A basic explanation of the process of running for political office in the U.S. Samuels, a political editor of NBC's Today Show, discusses why people run for office, what party labels mean, how tickets are balanced, the nominating process, and how campaigns are organized. Political terms and slang abound, but all are defined in context and included in a nine-page glossary. Personal portraits of successful candidates such as Mike Mansfield, Margaret Chase Smith, Carl Stokes, and Barbara Mikulski conclude each chapter. Using a conversational style, the author has tried to simplify the most complicated political system in the world. Sometimes, e.g., while explaining modern campaign strategy, she succeeds; but in discussing the electoral college, patronage, and party labels, she merely defines terms and leaves the reader crying for more detailed information. An oversimplified presentation that will need backup from other sources.