Allen Drury's Advise and Consent is one of the high points of 20th century literature. It is a seminal work of political fiction, as relevant today as when it was first published. A sweeping tale of corruption and ambition cuts across the landscape of Washington, DC, with the breadth and realism only an astute observer and insider can convey.
Allen Drury has penetrated the world's stormiest political battleground and the smoke-filled committee rooms of the United States Senate to reveal the bitter conflicts set in motion when the president calls upon the senate to confirm his controversial choice for secretary of state. This novel is a true epic, showing in fascinating detail the minds and motives of the statesmen, the opportunists, the idealists.
From a Senate old-timer's wily maneuvers, a vicious demagogue's blistering smear campaign, and the ugly personal jealousies that turn a highly qualified candidate into a public spectacle to the tragic martyrdom of a presidential aspirant who refuses to sacrifice his principles for his career, never has there been a more revealing picture of Washington's intricate political, diplomatic, and social worlds. Advise and Consent is a timeless story with clear echoes of today's headlines.
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By BookReader on 27-05-15
Advise and Consent
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Read by Allan Robertson, Advise and Consent is approximately thirty four hours of listening. I read this book in paperback format for the first time in the 60s, a good five years after it’s initial publishing date. Ever since then, this book has been ‘in my mind’ as the pinnacle of expressing Washington politics in fictional form. Although written in an era of cold-war fears, the Washington political machinations haven’t changed a bit and Allen Drury does a magic job. As an aside, Drury was a UPI journalist with years and years of inside information and friends. The reader need only imagine the early sixties, a bountiful time post WWII, pre Vietnam era. Take away modern amenities such as the cell phone and the Internet, replace all with phone booths (Imagine a bank of phone booths for the press in the capitol.), manual typewriters, the power of the written press, radio news, and the black and white TV evening news that we lived with at the time. Throw in post McCarthy era fear of Russia and Communism. Advise and Consent was written in 1959 and won the Pulitzer in 1960.
Thus is the setting for a congressional Advise and Consent of the President’s nominee for Secretary of State. The first half of the book is primarily setup. There are many characters and a myriad of personalities who, in the second half of the book, will be familiar old friends … or nasty enemies … of the reader. Which is which, well, that likely depends on you’re political persuasion. No spoilers, but the process involved is very realistic and a terrific American government history lesson.
The narration by Allen Robertson is stellar. It is apparent from his reading that he is a fan of Allen Drury and the story of Advise and Consent. Well worth the credit and you will be listening to this book more than once … as will I.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By James on 29-06-16
An American Essential Read
I have read this book several times over many many years. The listening to it reinforces the relevance of the story. The fact that it was written a half century ago and is as contemporary as last week is a testament to both the prescience of the author and to the continuity of American democracy.
The narration is subtle and diverse. A thoroughly enjoyable audio treat. A must for students of history.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful