On April 22, 1970, Henry Ross Perot of Dallas, Texas, one of the half-dozen richest men in the United States, was so new to wealth, at forty, that he was not listed in Poor’s Register and had just appeared for the first time in Who’s Who in America. Only a small fraction of his fellow countrymen had ever heard of him. Many who had met him by happening to sit next to him on airliners had not found him particularly impressive or interesting. Barely five and a half feet tall, with a naïve, straightforward gaze, an unamused smile, a crooked nose, a hillbilly East Texas accent, and a short crewcut tended like a tennis lawn, he was inclined to talk at length and with enthusiasm about things like patriotism and the Boy Scouts of America. ...