One of the most critical issues facing lawmakers today is a loss of confidence in legislative institutions. Rosenthal (political science, Rutgers Univ.), a columnist for State Government News, examines the causes and consequences of this "institutional decline" at the state level and makes recommendations for reform. Rosenthal proposes balancing the standards of appearance, fairness, and responsibility to guide ethical conduct. While he argues that the media have unfairly fueled an erosion of trust, he also believes that much can be done to improve legislative conduct; he argues, however, that unnecessary ethics laws can further impede the legislative process. His carefully reasoned and researched book is recommended for academic, government, and large public libraries.Laurie Bartolini, Legislative Research, Springfield, Ill.