Adlai Stevenson: A Study in Values. by Herbert J. Muller, hardcover (very good condition, first edition)
Making judicious use of public speeches and private remarks, Muller chronicles Stevenson's career, from his New Deal service and vexed governorship of Illinois to the U.N. The Presidential campaigns of '52 and '56 are dissected at length. Despite his great admiration for Stevenson, Muller repeatedly acknowledges that the Egg of Head (as the public and Macbird saw him) was a political thinker who never grasped a number of important domestic and foreign policy issues. His high brow was more a matter of style, wit, revulsion against the static complacencies of the Eisenhower administration, and a belief that rational discourse is possible--and necessary--in politics. And his famous indecisiveness reflected a forceful character and a wobbly mind, not weak-tempered intellectuality. What Muller shows about Stevenson qualifies what he says about his status as the embodiment of mature liberalism...but then Muller, like Stevenson himself, never succeeds in defining the tenets of the liberal tradition. Nor does he compare Stevenson to other liberals like Kefauver and Fulbright...or substantiate his fishier epithets (""the most esteemed ambassador in the U.N.""). But this is a solid, outspoken book by an author well known for his series of works on freedom--of greater interest, perhaps, than the future ""psychological investigations"" and ""definitive biographies"" he leaves to others.