The Daily Telegraph has a review of Patriots today that captures more of the point of the book than anything I've yet seen.
Towards the end of this funny and alarming book, the hero, young Walter Schotzke, has a conversation with Senator Philip Hazen, the only decent man to be found on Capitol Hill. The elderly Senator advises Walter, the aimless heir to a mustard fortune, about survival in Washington. ''You have to pick a side and stick to it,’’ he tells him. ''But isn’t this whole idea of 'sides’ kind of stupid?’’ asks Walter. ''Yes, it is,’’ replies Hazen, ''That’s exactly why it must be enforced so strictly!