In his 14 years as Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts' Seventh District, Thomas J. Lane shouted no loud hurrahs. He went after no headline-making legislation, built up no powerful machine; his campaigning was neither colorful nor costly. He dressed unostentatiously, usually in blue suits; he neither drank nor smoked nor went out on the town nights; he read almost nothing but magazines and the newspapers (at bedtime, as sedatives) ; he owned a Cadillac he did not like to drive. His great pleasure, it seemed, was to stop strangers in the streets, in...

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