As did his countryman seventy-five years before, the author (Chief Washington Correspondent of the London Times) takes a descriptive rather than a perceptive look at American institutions and gives them a remarkably good rating. Like Lord Bryce, the author presents his views in a moderated manner imbued with good will for the nation in which he has been stationed for the last six years. None of his insights are really new but his different perspective enables him to put pieces together for American political science in a manner reminiscent of Frank Thistlewaite's laudable work on American history issued a decade ago. One of the book's central themes is that centripetal forces within our society have irreversibly moved the locus of power to the President and the federal government, to the detriment of Congress and state and local governments. He also recognizes what other commentators have noted in describing the Supreme Court as the initiator of quasi-revolutionary Juridical judgments that have had a profound political and social effect. His words on the decline of the Department of State and the rise of the Defense Department are validated by even a fleeting experience with Washington bureaucratic life. If everyone should read a comprehensive book on the state of the nation at least every second year, this book will prove to be an agreeable experience as well as an occasion of enlightenment.