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The setting for this preposterous novel is a National Youth Conference called by the President for the sub-rosa purpose of solidifying student support for the current administration. Various fantions, so ludicrous here as to be beyond the realm Of parody, compete for control of the conference. There is Truslow (too fast?) the Civil Rights firebrand who wants to use the conference as an occasion to embarrass the President and as a signal for revolt throughout the country; Kenton Parks, leader of the frivolous faction, whose homosexual background will discredit him; and the supreme pragmatist and ""moderating"" force, Shaker Adams who maneuvers the President's advisors into supporting his ""program"" and eventually securing for him the chairmanship of the conference. Then there are the girls whose names define their roles: Melissa St. Clair (wealthy, insulated), Freda Summers (too free with her favors), Connie Reid (gullible, willing tool of the wheeler-dealers). Explosive AssembLy is a very poor fictional counterpoint to the realities of government manipulation of student activities. It really has more in common with Where the Boys Are though it can't even measure up to those limited standards.

Pub Date: Sept. 29th, 1967
Publisher: Doubleday