Forty of the nation's wives-and-mothers-next-door also occupy major political positions. Ten are portrayed here in innocuous profiles that stress their hardworking, (usually) pleasant, but forceful images. The author, a magazine writer whose prose is very chatty, interviewed most of the subjects, which include Senator Margaret Chase Smith, Assistant Secretary of Labor Esther Peterson, and Judge Constance Motley (a former NAACP attorney who has made a ""breakthrough for both minorities""). Four congresswomen, one mayor, and an ambassador also appear. The most interesting part of the book, however, is an introduction calculated to get a lot of hens' danders up: Mrs. Lamson notes that though more than half of the American voters are women, only 2.5 percent of the top politicos are women. It's not that women can't win elections--though in the foreword former Senator Maurine Neuberger notes that this is a big problem. It's mainly that party bosses are very stingy with nominations: ""The only time to run a woman,"" according to the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, ""is when things look so bad that your only chance is to do something dramatic."" Well!