Books: The Oval Fortress

THE IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY

by ARTHUR M. SCHLESINGER JR. 505 pages. Houghton Mifflin. $10.

America has a bad ache in its body politic. Nobody is sure whether the cause will fade away, linger on for three years, be drastically removed by a blunt legal instrument called impeachment, or yield to the less painful therapy of resignation. In the midst of such uncertainties, a measure of literary relief and historical perspective may be taken from the latest presidency book, this one by Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

The author, it should be admitted, has been a movie reviewer for Vogue, served as a knight in Jack Kennedy's Camelot...

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