HAIL TO THE CHIEF by James Reichley


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Report repeated from the December 15th bulletin, when scheduled for earlier publication, as follows: ""The scene of this novel is the Republical National Convention in Chicago, some time during the 1960's, and the subject is the selection of the Republican nominee for the Presidency. Charles Danser, handsome and cynical, highly paid political writer, discovers that the Governor of Oregon, the leading candidate, is backed by tainted big-money oil groups in Texas. It happens that the Governor's wife Julia is Charles' ex-mistress, and Charles is still reluctantly in love with her. Julia persuades Charles not to publish his information because she believes it is false. It comes out anyway, and as a result General Lucas Truscott gets the nomination after four days of hectic backstage deal-making and convention-hall dramatics. . . . The novel poses the questions: how much effect did Charles have on history? Are national conventions a serviceable institution or not? Was it just good luck that the best man for the job happened to receive the nomination? In working out his answers the author goes at great length into the minds of the principal characters and writes page after page of political philosophy. What results is a long and turgid story with a few dramatic scenes. The biggest question it poses remains unanswered: what does the clever Charles see in a harebrained nitwit like Julia?

Pub Date: May 2nd, 1960
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin