The Watergate hearings. A nation watches while an administration crumbles; a nucleus of men and women around the President mutters, ”We’re going down for this? A nation that sat still for the bombing of Cambodia has finally had enough?” At least one woman had the wit to ask herself, ”How can I turn this into a plus?” You probably remember her. Pretty, blond, brilliant wardrobe? Yes, Maureen ”Mo” Dean. Without pausing to brush up on the elements of style, Dean launched her literary career in 1975 with Mo: A Woman’s View of Watergate.

Marketed as ”an unforgettable look at a Washington many would prefer to keep private,” Capitol Secrets, her third book, is a description of the hell that ensues when rich and beautiful Laura Christen attempts to become the first woman Speaker of the House. If this is indeed an accurate portrait of life in our nation’s capital, we are in deeper and more banal trouble than hitherto imagined. Fortunately, one suspects Dean’s insight into our seat of government is almost as slight as her acquaintanceship with Strunk and White. C-

Capitol Secrets
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