Although it's more reportage-in-depth than a novel, as was its predecessor-The Dollar Diploma, this is a literate and lucid guide to what's been happening in suburbia during the mid-Fifties. Its hero, Harry Beauclerk, is a middle-aging lawyer who awakens from a split-level torpor to go against the organization man, his moeurs, minks, mortgages and marriages. When a cheap tie-up between county bureaucrats and big business starts to bulldoze a treasured stretch of seashore called Battle Run, Harry finds propinquity makes for politics and he runs for councilman on the Democratic ticket in a community where a vote for anything other than the GOP means one less chance at heaven. Along the way he's supported or spoofed by Vi, his wife; Orson of the saturnine wit and anarchistic pipe dreams; Parris, a rich man with ideals; and Win, a sociologist who proves to be a methodological moron. The biggest vote in the history of the precinct clobbers Harry, but he goes back to his books with plans to bring the ""sons of bitches"" to court and defeat them there. All this is done with lots of good talk, accurate satire, telling characterizations and a spinning camera eye which catches supermarkets, the Legion, DAR, WCTU, PTA, kaffeeklatches, school boards and Clubs with devastating effect.