The Dance of Legislation
has long been considered a classic description of the legislative process. In it, Eric Redman draws on his two years as a member of Senator Warren Magnuson's staff to trace the drafting and passing of a piece of legislation -- S.4106, the National Health Service Bill -- with all the maneuvers, plots, counterplots, frustrations, triumphs, and sheer work and dedication involved. He provides a vivid picture of the bureaucratic infighting, political prerogatives, and Congressional courtesies necessary to make something happen on Capitol Hill. In a Postscript to the 2000 edition, Redman reflects on how that process has, and has not, changed in the thirty years since the book was first published.
In his youth, Eric Redman was a logger, longshoreman, Rhodes Scholar, and writing teacher, as well as a legislative aide. Today he is a Seattle attorney specializing in public policy and energy law. Richard E. Neustadt is Douglas Dillon Professor of Government emeritus, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
"The Dance of Legislation reads like a suspense novel: will a much-needed program of medical care for the ghettos, and for isolated rural areas, make it through the Congressional maze? Eric Redman . . . makes us feel the drama of the democratic process -- the comedy, the grief, the moments of despair and triumph which he experienced in the course of a year on Capitol Hill." -- Harry McPherson, author of A Political Education