Not until an amorphous accumulation of familiar anecdote and sprawling commentary has been played out does the author speak up and tell us what it's all about: namely that all stylistic resources used to reach the voter must be used in the interests of truth, rather than ""mythology."" Your ""fat friend"" (a memorable quip from Beau Brummel referring to George II) is all vested interests which prevent the citizen from ascertaining things as they are in high places. With many glimpses of the greats, past and present, mainly in American and Canadian politics (although Churchill and De Gaulle have peak prominence), the author from a huge distance meanders toward his main thesis with dollops of ""satire,"" ""insult and abuse,"" ""image making instances,"" ""slogans and postures,"" and applications that surely overlap. Some of De Gaulle's intricate international maneuvers are included in a chapter titled ""the Princely Style,"" although the examples given reveal more fancy footwork than posture; and why a ""talking horse"" shows up in the chapter on slogans and postures is anyone's weary guess. The author has a point to make and a stance--he deplores the public attitudes of the present administration--but too much anecdotal avoirdupois for an athletic finish.