The ghost of our most flamboyant conservative newspaper publisher, Colonel (""Bertie"") Robert R. McCormick, is here wryly reanimated by a former employee and longtime newsman. Waldrop writes entirely without malice, despite a personal defeat at McCormick's hands. His apologies for the Colonel's ultra Rightist eccentricities and cannonades of self-opinion, sculpt that monumental bore into a human being. Anyone who has read the four-color blaze of McCormick's Chicago Tribune, or his frantic attacks on Roosevelt, the New Deal and England, will be genuinely astonished to discover the intelligence of the Colonel's thinking. And this is despite the Colonel's capacity for instant self-contradiction, impenetrable rhetoric and a writing style that occasionally made him ask his editors what he meant, he didn't know either' Remarkably, his maddening opinions were often absolutely Justified in the light of his personal experience. (McCormick also headed the New York Daily News, which often opposed the Tribune on Roosevelt and foreign policy.) The Trib's policy was explicit: ""Any American in a position of power or influence who allows any consideration but the selfish interests of America to guide him is a traitor."" That Bertie really was balmy at times is indicated by the furies which rove him frequently to smash all his bedroom furniture to pieces (like Welles in Citizen Kane.) Excellent, although editorial excerpts and perhaps several collages of Trib headlines would have been a boon.