This superb biography of the first head of the U.S.I.A. coming soon after the appointment of Murrow to this crucial post highlights some of the basic reasons for the selection of these two not unlike reporter colleagues. Not only this but other contemporary spot-news items have roots in issues and events dating from Davis' lifetime and are bound up with the history of his career as a journalist and commentator. Burlingame's book therefore has an unremitting quality of immediacy rare for biography, even in the case of this author who has more than a dozen books to his credit. What the New Yorker's E. B. White once called ""the honest vibration of his (Davis') high principles"" comes through in Burlingame's writing. In compact word pictures, devoid of sentimentality and reminiscent of Davis' own terse reporting style, Burlingame reveals the courageous spirit of a great American. From an obscure Indiana railroad town to a Rhodes scholarship to the city room of The New York Times to the precarious chair of Director of the Office of War Information to his famous place in front of a network microphone, Elmer Davis was a stalwart defender of ""freedom of the mind"" and a fearless seeker after all the ""dimensions of truth"". The unprecedented rise of responsible news broadcasting to its eventual maturity is only one of the fascinating undercurrents in a book packed with important ideas about the American way of life. What Advise and Consent represents in the field of fiction, shares in the world of reality. It is Americana without apology for patriotism.