Anyone who complains about the author's left-wing views, which are obvious, is pretty much missing the point of the book. Left vs. right is only one axis, orthogonal to and in many ways less significant than older distinctions - Whig/Tory, Court/Country, federalist/parliamentary, etc. What, you say? Those are old issues, no longer relevant today? In fact they are as important today as ever, and are infrequently discussed in the modern United States because only one approach to them is allowed by the Holy Constitution...and that's precisely Lazare's point.
According to Lazare, the Constitution and the religious awe in which it is often held (even to the extent of my feeling compelled to capitalize the word) form the straitjacket in which our current looney-bin government and culture are confined. He seems to feel particular hatred for the amendment clause, but this brings us to the major flaw in this book. Despite his claim that the barriers to amendment are too high, Lazare himself discusses examples (e.g. Prohibition) that might lead one to the opposite conclusion. Likewise, though he favors a strong unicameral legislature, his commentary on the conduct of House members hardly support his own argument. In the end, much of the essential message of the book is muddied and lost.
Despite these flaws, though, this book provokes thought on a variety of matters not limited to the form of government. Of particular interest is the way Lazare discusses the relationships between abstract concepts such as separation of powers or individual rights to very concrete concerns such as public-health policy and urban sprawl. While his leftist tendencies do become annoyingly apparent in the later chapters, the attempt to tie everything together is laudable. Even if you disagree vehemently with all of Lazare's views, including the central thesis, the book is well worth reading in the spirit of broad intellectual exploration.