A circumscribed and rather tentative collection of 17 tales, 1941-75. There are three standouts: Frederik Pohl's well-known "The Children of the Night," a devastating satire on the role of PR in politics; R. A. Lafferty's effervescent examination of the very strange "Polity and Customs of the Camiroi"; and a masterful, engrossing Wyman Guin story of a society divided into coexisting but mutually hostile telepathic/technological blocs. Elsewhere, old favorites reappear: Asimov's "Franchise," with super-computer Multivac electing a new president by interviewing one single representative American; Michael Shaara's view of 2066, when the job of president has grown too onerous for any one person to handle; Christopher Anvil's device to make negotiators forget words like "war" and "communism." And there are also robot politicians (John Jakes, more Asimov), angry political assassinations (Barry N. Malzberg), an amusing/satirical reactionary robot president (Ward Moore), a president who fakes an illness in order to promote his talented but unelectable vice president (Randall Garrett), and a secret, elite government-within-the-government (Sam Sackett). Filled out with mediocre contributions from Arthur C. Clarke, Frank Herbert, Robert A. Heinlein, Stanley Schmidt, and Larry Eisenberg: topical yet often bland fare--good enough for politically-oriented diversion, too un-probing to please serious sf fans.