Popular concepts and misconceptions of that powerful, although generally unseen outgrowth of democratic procedure, the lobbies or special interest groups are thoroughly aired in this exhaustive, complete account of their structure and workings. Since lobbies are proved to flourish best when the executive is weak and parties are decentralized, today's need is for wider understanding and deeper knowledge of the everyday political process, for stronger political parties, discipline, platforms and programs, determinedly upheld. There is careful examination of lobbying in the past, on national and state levels, of the famous investigations of their activities; there are surveys of insurance companies' corrupt practices, of lobbies that balked pure foods and drugs laws, of Wilson's unsuccessful fight against tariff lobbies, of New Deal legislation hampered by them. Then the victory over them in the passage of the Securities and Exchange Act, the passage of the Regulation of Lobbying Act in 1946, which is still imperfectly enforced, and the recent lobby which killed post-war bills for low-rent housing, slum clearance and urban rehabilitation while forcing through removal of housing controls, and the Buchanan Committee's finding that they are ""basically a reflection of the state of our economy"". But Schriftgiesser indicates that the present system of pressure politics is bound to expand, that it is not an evil but an important and necessary ingredient of democracy only if there are strong political parties and programs to counterbalance and check it. For civic minded, thinking citizens, current events followers -- an eye-opener.