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The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis

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The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis Cover

ISBN13: 9781586489366
ISBN10: 1586489364
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Journalists have called the U.S. Senate an empty chamber; politicians have lamented that the institution is broken—yet the Senate was once capable of greatness. Senators of the 1960s and 70s overcame southern opposition to civil rights, passed Great Society legislation, and battled the executive branch on Vietnam, Watergate, and its abuses of power. The rights sweep of the 1980 elections shattered that Senate, leaving a diminished institution in its wake.

Ira Shapiro spent 12 years working for Senators Gaylord Nelson, Abraham Ribicoff, Thomas Eagleton, Robert Byrd, and Jay Rockefeller. The Last Great Senate is his vivid portrait of the statesmen who helped steer America during the crisis years of the late 1970s, transcending partisanship and overcoming procedural roadblocks that have all but strangled the Senate since their departure. The Last Great Senate is necessary reading for all those who wonder how the Senate used to work and what happened to the worlds greatest deliberative body.

Review:

"At a time when the hapless U.S. Congress has received low approval ratings, Shapiro, a former Senate staffer and now an international trade lawyer, looks back at a golden era of lawmakers who performed admirably in a period of domestic and foreign crisis in the late 1970s. Using Capitol Hill documents, media accounts, and interviews with congressional and White House officials, he shows this was a time of active legislators on both sides of the aisle putting aside partisanship and ideology to create a national energy formula, strengthen the Panama Canal treaty, control a tax revolt, investigate Watergate, and stifle numerous crises in the Mideast. Shapiro ably paints the political stumbles of the 'outsider' administration of President Jimmy Carter in dealing with a congressional powerhouse consisting of senators Robert Byrd, Howard Baker, Ted Kennedy, Jacob Javits, Henry 'Scoop' Jackson, Richard Lugar, and George McGovern. The administration and the Senate were at odds over nuclear weapons reductions, OPEC schemes, and saving financially troubled New York City and Chrysler. In his chronicle of Beltway politics, Shapiro's excellent account of wise, capable U.S. senators putting constitutional concerns over party and ideology to do the people's business is a prime example of how Washington can overcome its present deadlock. Agent: Kathleen Anderson." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Ira Shapiro came to Washington in 1975 and spent 12 years working in senior positions in the Senate, playing important roles in accomplishments as diverse as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Senate Code of Ethics, and completing the Metrorail system. During the Clinton administration, he served as a leading U.S. trade negotiator, ultimately earning the rank of ambassador. He lives in Potomac, Maryland.

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Garylovestoread, September 24, 2013 (view all comments by Garylovestoread)
As the country barrels toward another potential government shutdown, I urge everyone to read The Last Great Senate to remind us of what the Congress used to be and the reasons we've gone so far off course. In The Last Great Senate, Ira Shapiro talks about outstanding individuals who not only believed in their various causes, but also worked to see how they fit into the daily life of Americans. While a Ted Stevens (Alaska) or Phil Hart (D- Michigan) or a George McGovern (D-South Dakota) or a Jacob Javits (R- New York) fought for their contsituents, they also took the extra steps of compromising with their fellow Senators in making this country great. These Senators had to discuss Vietnam, Watergate, the Panama Canal Treaty, Health Care legislation, the Iranian Hostage Crisis, illegal surveillance of US citizens by the CIA and FBI and various other transgressions. And unlike today's Congress which refuses to acknowledge what is best for the country, these outstanding members of Congress in the period of The Last Great Senate, took the extraordinary step of seeing not only the individual tree, but also the entire forest. I urge everyone to read this book as soon as possible to remember what the political process can still be if we try. I for one, am sending my copy of this book to my Senators and asking them to read it and to recreate what a magical place the Senate was and still cound be.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781586489366
Author:
Shapiro, Ira
Publisher:
PublicAffairs
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
US History-General
Subject:
Congress
Subject:
US History - 20th Century
Subject:
Politics-United States Politics
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20120231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
including an 8-pp. B/W photo insert on t
Pages:
512
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » US History » 1960 to 1980
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis Used Hardcover
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Product details 512 pages PublicAffairs - English 9781586489366 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "At a time when the hapless U.S. Congress has received low approval ratings, Shapiro, a former Senate staffer and now an international trade lawyer, looks back at a golden era of lawmakers who performed admirably in a period of domestic and foreign crisis in the late 1970s. Using Capitol Hill documents, media accounts, and interviews with congressional and White House officials, he shows this was a time of active legislators on both sides of the aisle putting aside partisanship and ideology to create a national energy formula, strengthen the Panama Canal treaty, control a tax revolt, investigate Watergate, and stifle numerous crises in the Mideast. Shapiro ably paints the political stumbles of the 'outsider' administration of President Jimmy Carter in dealing with a congressional powerhouse consisting of senators Robert Byrd, Howard Baker, Ted Kennedy, Jacob Javits, Henry 'Scoop' Jackson, Richard Lugar, and George McGovern. The administration and the Senate were at odds over nuclear weapons reductions, OPEC schemes, and saving financially troubled New York City and Chrysler. In his chronicle of Beltway politics, Shapiro's excellent account of wise, capable U.S. senators putting constitutional concerns over party and ideology to do the people's business is a prime example of how Washington can overcome its present deadlock. Agent: Kathleen Anderson." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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