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Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever Hardcover – November 4, 2003

3.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

South Dakota Senator Daschle's account of the 107th Congress recalls an unusually eventful time: congruent with President Bush's first two years in office, it featured the September 11 attacks; the anthrax contamination of the Senate's Hart Office Building generally, and Daschle's quarters specifically; and the dramatic switch of Vermont's Senator Jim Jeffords from Republican to independent, which gave Democrats control of the Senate and elevated Daschle to majority leader. For added measure, the first resolution supporting the planned war in Iraq was also passed in that Congress. Daschle conveys his insider view in a straightforward narrative offering unique insight into the political establishment's reaction to these events. Daschle's description of his frustrations with his Republican opponents provides a deeper understanding of 21st-century politics. Daschle's antipathy for House Speaker Tom DeLay is striking: "I find myself wondering," he writes, "how a person like Tom DeLay holds the power he does, while holding such extreme positions and taking such a heavy-handed approach to leadership." And Daschle expresses white-hot anger at President Bush, with his "Texas swagger," who launched his relationship with Daschle by saying, "I hope you'll never lie to me." Justified as this anger might have been, these examples make clear that Republicans and Democrats are divided by a deep and destructive fissure-a loss of bipartisanship that Daschle decries, and that, as he illustrates, devalues dissent and debate. 8 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

Tom Daschle, the Majority Leader of the historic 107th Senate, presents a candid insider?s account of the workings of the U.S. government during two of the most tumultuous years in the nation?s history.

The 107th Congress faced a time like no other in the life of the nation. This was the era of the first presidential election to be decided by the United States Supreme Court, the fifty-fifty Senate, the horror of September 11, the anthrax attacks on media and the government (including Daschle?s own office), the war on terrorism, corporate scandals that shook the economy, the inexorable move toward war with Iraq, and other dramatic events, all leading up to the historic midterm elections of 2002.

Through it all, Senator Tom Daschle had, with the exception of the President, the most privileged view of these unfolding developments, both in front of and behind the closed doors of government. In Like No Other Time, Daschle offers a riveting account of his singular perspective on a time when the nation faced deadly and elusive external enemies and a level of domestic political contention rarely seen in American history. Senator Daschle is un-flinching in his impressions of the key political figures of our time from both parties. The result is an acutely perceptive assessment of how our government met?and sometimes did not meet?the challenges of a remarkable era.

As it was during the years of the 107th Congress, the United States is once again at a critical and historic crossroads. Our choices, based on what we have learned from our recent past, will affect our future in profound ways. For Senator Daschle, the first and perhaps most important choice lies with what kind of representation and leadership we want in government. It is a choice between a political party with a core philosophical belief in the power of our collective will to confront these challenges through our government, and one dominated by a group of people who don?t like and don?t believe in government.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; 1st edition (November 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400049555
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400049554
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,236,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Unlike most memoirs written by politicians, this book focuses more on historical events than Tom Daschle's ego. At the same time, the book sheds light on Daschle's political philosophy as well as the amazing events between the 2000 and 2002 elections, including the remarkable 2000 presidential election, the evenly-divided Senate, Daschle's sudden switch to Majority Leader, September 11, and the anthrax attack on Daschle's office.
The book covers the tragic death of Senator Paul Wellstone and how it affected Daschle, as well as the 2002 election in which the Republicans retook the majority. It also gives you a sense of the incredible lengths to which the Bush Administration, the Republican congressional leadership, and people like Rush Limbaugh have gone to undermine Daschle. There's no sensationalism, yet some of the stories are quite dramatic -- these were, after all, tumultuous years. Like No Other Time is a well written, fascinating history lesson.
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A lot of tension in this book. Daschle was a participant in many of the major events described here: the Gore/Bush split vote, Trent Lott's apologized-and-rightly-so racism debacle, the Jim Jeffords defection, the 9/11 attacks, the anthrax attacks on Daschle's office, the Afghanistan and Iraq war decisions, and of course the dismal Democrat election defeats of 2002. I came away from each of these chapters impressed by the seriousness and emotional volatility of what was going down. Most of this stuff was the News to many of us; but to Daschle and other Congressmen, it was a series of almost daily make-or-break crises that had life-shattering and sometimes lethal consequences.
A favorite chapter was the account of Daschle's first meeting with George Bush, fascinating if somewhat creepy. The Senator's view of the President is of course mostly negative, but he also does a fair job of describing Bush's character strengths.
While the mudslinging and character assassinations that go on in national politics is common knowledge, it's disturbing to read about these things from an up-close perspective.
It's not all negative. Daschle describes his thoughts on the function of Congress. He quotes a history that describes it as "designed by geniuses to be run by idiots". Why have both a House and a Senate? To "cool down" new legislation, like pouring hot coffee into a saucer.
The current Congress strikes me as too divisive, though I'm sure that's been the case before. The Republicans clearly view themselves as the drivers. When they propose legislation, their approach is *the* approach; Democrats are imbeciles and traitors; divergent views aren't welcome. Dissenters should be pulverized, not reasoned with.
I heard this one on abridged Audio CD.
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By A Customer on November 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The Senator from South Dakota gives us a great look at two very eventful years in our history, from the chair of what has to be one of the most difficult jobs in the world, the minority leader of the United States Senate. The period Senator Daschle writes about may be considered a turning point in the history of the United States, and the account, from his unique perspective, sheds much light on this troubled time. A very well told chronicle of these turbulent years.
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By Kathy on December 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
It's easy to understand, after reading, why Senator Daschle choose to print his account of these extrodinary times. These events did not happen that long ago, yet I found myself remembering things I had forgotten and learning much that was new to me. I found it very interesting to read Daschle's almost hour by hour account of his experience during these historic events. Some may call parts of the book partisan. I think he's simply saying what he truly believes. There is a deep sense of genuiness throughout. You'll like the book!
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Format: Hardcover
"Like No Other Time" is Daschle's stream-of-consciousness diary of the last couple of years, covering Bush's arrival, the evenly split Senate, Sept. 11, the Anthrax attacks, Afghanistan, the Jeffords' switch, Paul Wellstone's death, his ruminations on running for president, Iraq, and the 2002 elections. I found Daschle to be a very engaging writer and really appreciated his up-close insight over what were intriguing yet distant news stories for me.
Unfortunately, Daschle's highly partisan opinions (e.g., Republicans are bad, Democrats are good) offset some very good reporting and commentary. I almost quit the book after the first few chapters. No doubt Republicans dealt him some underhanded blows, but responding with the same black-and-white mentality does not help his own credibility.
Some of "Like No Other Time", specifically the terrorist attacks, indeed describes heretofore extremely unique events that could make for interesting reading years from now. However, much of the events described in "Like No Other Time" is definitely like every other time in Washington, and while interesting now, probably won't sustain the book through multiple printings.
I like this book and, after completing it, like Tom Daschle, but "Like No Other Time" is really more of a serial magazine interview/article rather than history book.
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