The good political novels are few and far between and this was written with a social satirist's skill. The Southern Governor here crows right off the page like the reincarnation of that old rooster, Ol' Earl Long, the primitive poet of down yonder politics. Gov. Cullie Blanton plays his senators like banjos, plucking at their nerve endings over the phone. He's got the State University stacked as his own house of cards and he's got integration starting there. He also drives his colleagues to nervous snorts of Old Phlegm Cutter with speeches that build to--""We came out of our hills and off our farms, nearly a hundred years ago to fight against Old Glory. We took up arms and shot men marchin' under her stars and bars. And...it...was...a...mistake!"" Blanton forces history down the Red-Necked gullet. It's all set down by the reporter/amanuensis who rode Blanton's bandwagon for eight years, amused, disgusted, admiring. The book is out of All The King's Men territory and it's got our vote.