In Capable of Honor, Allen Drury picks up his story of Washington politics where A Shade of Difference ended.
Familiar faces from the cast of his two previous whopping political novels are here again, but this time Drury’s focus is the role of media in shaping political opinion.
Capable of Honor by Allen Drury
Doubleday, 1966. 531 pp. 1966 bestseller #4. My grade B+.
Drury’s wrath is turned on Walter Dobrius, nicknamed “Walter Wonderful” by the politicians who despise the columnist’s all-too-successful attempts to sway American voters and world opinion to right-thinking as Walter defines it.
Walter has picked California Governor Ted Jason as the peace candidate American needs as president.
Walter is willing to do whatever it takes to elect Ted and defeat the incumbent president who, with his secretary of state, has ordered American troops into Africa and Panama to protect American interests.
In pursuit of peace, Walter and Ted are happy to accept the support of certain well-organized and violent organizations at the party convention.
Unfortunately, they have no ability to control those supporters.
Drury presents complex characters caught in a bewildering situations.
Although he is vehement in his denunciation of the types of behaviors he considers un-American, Drury has sense enough to not let his rhetoric overwhelm his story.
The novel remains timely even after 50 years.