When a book combines solid scholarship with an important but hitherto neglected subject, it is a rare find indeed. When it also is written in a fresh, interesting, and supremely readable manner, there does not seem to be anything left to ask for. But when the historian who wrote it is able to look above and beyond his chosen period and offer us valuable parallels and object lessons for today's world, then the reader is doubly informed and rewarded. Professor Chambers' present volume has all these major virtues to recommend it, and countless minor ones besides. is topic is the genesis of the modern political party system; beginning with the chaos of non-party politics"" which prevailed at the time of the emergence of the United States, he details the rise of the Federalist and Republican parties through Jefferson's presidency, by which time the pattern for modern democractic action had established itself. His approach is a combination of ""the analytical concern of political science and the narrative address of history."" Implicit throughout, but never intruding upon the historical purpose, are two main arguments: first, that political parties are essential in any modern democratic state; and secondly, that the new nations of Asia and Africa must find their own way to their own parties and political systems, as we did between 1776 and 1805.