Mr. Liston's aim is to show how the average citizen can make his way through the massive bureaucracy of the federal government in order to obtain information, exert influence, and get assistance in solving problems. Unfortunately, in the first part of his ""handbook,"" he presents a maze of superfluous material which largely obscures these roads. Though he makes frequent references to ""Watergate"" as examples of how citizen influence was effective in affecting government policy, he actually shows little of the process by which that influence became powerful enough to matter. And, though we are made very aware that there are lots of officials spending lots of money (enough dollar bills spent in one year to reach from the earth to Venus), and though the author gives us lots of addresses of lots of departments, the reader is left with little idea of the steps he should take in his quest to influence or to gain assistance. The last third of the book, consisting of an alphabetical list by subject, with addresses and brief descriptions of some relevant agencies, is not necessarily handier than the standard reference books Liston finds difficult to use; a student interested in the Peace Corps might not think to look under ""Action"" for an address. ""This list of governmental functions has hardly qualified as fun reading. Nor does it particularly inform a person on how to get in touch with the government,"" says the author referrring to a list of local governmental activities. He might well have been referring to the whole book.