A corporate bio with a coat of whitewash so thinly applied you'll blush at Cart's contention that ""this book presents an outsider's perception of Prudential. . . ."" The behemoth in question is the No. I mutual insurance company, now in its centennial year. Cart hammers continually, as if in a chewing gum jingle, on the theme of corporate altruism, public service and selfless leadership. All of the executives of the ""Pru,"" as it is affectionately called by its friends and employees, are festooned with laurels for their good looks, warm hearts and business genius--from John F. Dryden, the ""Father of Industrial Insurance"" and a buddy of J. P. Morgan who founded the Prudential Friendly Society in 1875 to Carrol M. Shanks who caught hell for some shady inside deals with a subsidiary in 1960. Cart exonerates him--who isn't trying to make a buck?--and also explains away these other affairs: Charles Evans Hughes' investigation of corporate misconduct circa 1905, a case of nepotism re the younger Dryden who succeeded to the throne, yet another Shanks deal having to do with providing scrap metal to pre-WW II Japan and the wooing of the Park Board of Minneapolis in order to erect an eyesore, as the network expanded from sea to shining sea. The excess of paeans makes a Madison Avenue copywriter look reticent. The boys in the shop may get this in lieu of a Christmas bonus.