POLITICS: The Mesmerist

Harlem's handsome, husky Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr. talks more and does less about civil rights than anyone on Capitol Hill. In his 14 congressional years, he numbers his flamingly civil-righteous words in the hundreds of thousands, his headlines in the thousands—and his actual legislative achievements on the fingers of one flamboyantly waving hand. Yet Adam Powell is the living rebuttal to the notion that actions speak louder than words—and last week he proved it again. In his roughest political fight, bitterly opposed by Manhattan's Tammany Hall and New York's Democratic Governor...