Books: Clueless in Washington

FACING THE LIONS by TOM WICKER 432 pages. Viking. $7.95.

When Benjamin Disraeli wrote Sybil and Henry Adams wrote Democracy, they invented the novel of politics with wit, coherent political philosophy and some insight into the great worlds of London or Washington in which they moved. In the century since, the novel of politics has come a long way—straight down. But the reader's fascination with power continues, and those Washington journalists who grope into fiction are as prolific as all get-out:

Allen Drury, Fletcher Knebel, and now Tom Wicker, worthy liberal columnist for the New York Times and formerly chief of its...

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