Can it happen here? Given a blend of a Harding, an Eisenhower, a cabinet of self-servers, dedicated to the status quo of financial security with hemispheric isolation, and a public that demands a hero-image to tell them ""all is well, it's not for them to worry"" -- and it might well happen here. Tristram Coffin has projected something like this in a bitter, cynical novel about a small-time military hero who was manoeuvred into the Presidency and who thought all he had to do was leave it to his advisors -- and go for a nature walk or a fishing trip. Russia would accept his promise to disarm Germany; West Germany would be acquiescent; our allies would be relieved; a radio broadcast would settle the ruffled surface. This reader was far more aware of the tongue in cheek approach than convinced of any last moment reprieve of fundamental change in the hero-image. And frankly for much of the time it was depressing rather than disturbing reading.