A life of Roscoe Conkling and a thoroughly entertaining sidelight on New York of post Civil War days. Here was a character that somehow just missed fire, a man who rose to the top of the tree in New York politics, but never achieved what he hoped for, in national life. It is a vivid, swift moving narrative, which recreates the period, and recaptures the man and his contemporaries. Should be of interest, on the basis of its subject matter, to older men and women, to whom the name of Roscoe Conkling still stands for something; and on the basis of its style, its viger, its pungency, should interest anyone who enjoys filling in the gaps in a background of our national life. But it wont sell itself.