Books: Potomac Melodrama

CAPABLE OF HONOR by Allen Drury. 531 pages. Doubleday. $5.95.

It is not necessary to master an art to become successful at it. There are celebrated singers who cannot hold a note and artists who cannot grasp the essentials of form and color. Then there is Allen Drury, who happens to be a bestselling novelist without much talent for writing. But Drury has a special gift—a reportorial eye and ear for detail and atmosphere, an expertise about political power, and a seasoned newsman's disdain for cant.

Capable of Honor is the third book in a tetralogy that Drury launched with his successful, widely...

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