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The Dance of Legislation: An Insider's Account of the Workings of the United States Senate Paperback – February 1, 2001
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"An outstanding book for undergraduates interested in politics."―Choice
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Top Customer Reviews
Scholars of the Congress should read this, if for no other reason than to get a basic handle on how the Congress actually works, rather than how they think it works in fancy regression analyses. But more than that, it's the starting point for a whole genre of work such as Showdown at Gucci Culch, Conflict and Compromise, and The Bill (all of which are must-reads as well). Even a casual observer of politics can get excited and interested.
This was in an era that is fundamentally different than the one we live in today: not only could things be created with relative ease, but because there was a deeper consensus in American politics at that time (i.e. both parties were trying to do things that they deemed good for the country and were willing to work together to do so). That means that Redman's experience has far less relevance to what passes for politics now.
Today, in spite of the current administration's legislative accomplishments, what you get instead is symbolic posturing, ideological positioning that fails to consider in an honest way what the country needs, i.e. both parties refuse to see any merit in what the other party is proposing and hence votes almost purely on partisan lines. This trend developed the decade after Redman wrote this book in the 1970s, so I am by no means saying this is recent.
In many ways, the contrast in the way politics was done then and now is the most valuable contribution of the book and great for any class on politics or for the interested layman. That is what makes this a classic that will live, however much it dates the book. It is also superbly written.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very insightful. You feel as if you are in the room as negotiations are taking place.Published 15 months ago by john w. sealey
This is an excellent depiction of the legislative process for the making of a law from an insider's point of view. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Pat Gilman
This personal account of legislation provides interesting background that many do not know. The legislative process is certainly more complex than most might think.Published on September 18, 2013 by Colton Bjerke
This book is the most informative and best written book I have ever read on politics. It's filled with humor and candid comments about the United States Congress.Published on October 21, 2002