Johnnie Byrne, M. P., ""the most unmitigated, grasping and self-important bastard... "", is under the magnifying glass in a scrutiny of the little man whose achievements are without an iota of integrity (a political subject which, perhaps, has had more attention in the United States than in the United Kingdom). Now in the House of Commons, Johnnie has climbed -- through the working class, through the war, through his election,- to make use of everything to his own advantage, to divorce himself from his past, and to turncoat, evade and self-justify all his actions. Caught in the squeeze of a local and an international issue, of an affair with much younger Pauline -- which leads him to miss the question in the House on which he had given a promise, of his wife's leaving him, of the challenge of a fight for his incumbency, Johnnie finds that Pauline is more realistic than he -- and that his wife will come back. Settling for this, Johnnie is again the betrayer when a government position is offered him, contingent on his ditching his wife.... Written by an M. P. whose knowledgeability of English politics -- and politicians, informs it, this is no mincing, leisurely treatment but an unsparing handling of a public man, his professional and private life, carried by a speeding sense of intrigue and cumulative disintegration.... with no -- and never -- any love from anyone. An able, seeing, if not always feeling, portrait, this dissection is of interest in its parallel to American counterparts. Strong publisher backing. But we feel very British, and thereby limited.