It's tough enough putting bank robbers, drug pushers, muggers, and pimps in the clink. Putting away white collar criminals -- especially politicians -- requires a legal superman, a prosecuting tiger with an instinctive lust for the jugular, a single-minded servant of the state who lets the investigative chips fall where they may and then cashes them in for convictions. Such a person, says Hoffman, is Herbert J. Stern, the youthful U.S. attorney for the district of New Jersey, who, with the aid of his old boss Frederick Lacey and the full cooperation of the state's senior Senator Clifford Case, has landed more Garden State politicos -- Newark's ex-Mayor Hugh Addonizio, former Congressman Cornelius Gallagher, Woodbridge's ex-Mayor Walter Zirpolo, Hudson County's ex-boss John V. Kenny, and scores of others -- in the jug than you can count, unless you want to add up the subtitle. Hoffman describes each case as it unfolded, with special emphasis on Stern's technique of ""discovered corruption"" and his courtroom style (a combination of what one judge called ""boy scout antics,"" a steel-trap memory for detail, cultivation of the jury ""as carefully as a florist does his delicate orchids,"" and the cunning of a big cat). To hear Hoffman tell it, Stern has no ambition beyond doing what he's doing right now -- being the country's best U.S. attorney. In his last book, Lions in the Street (KR, p. 490), Hoffman gently muckraked the big New York law firms; here he might be ingenuously making a lawyer the people's choice.