In the election year 1952 veteran lawyer-lobbyist Richard Passmore is recruited by a Mississippi senator to derail a primary election challenge by upstart Congressman Jimmy Biddle. Richard, a low-key but skillful operator, maneuvers to better understand Jimmy Biddle and to discover evidence that may scuttle his campaign. Richard's efforts take him to the halls of Congress, the dinner tables of influential Washingtonians, and the Mississippi battleground, where he observes the contestants' contrasting campaigns and the local social and racial caste system. His investigations are assisted by the adult children of a late friend and Mississippians sympathetic to his cause, but they are complicated by the intervention of a mysterious foreigner. Told against the background of a year of national election upheaval, 1952 is a tale about politics, history, deception and change.