Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Book Review—Pennsylvania Avenue: Profiles In Backroom Power

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I recently read the book Pennsylvania Avenue: Profiles In Backroom Power by John Harwood and Gerald F. Seib.

Both authors are Washington political correspondents.

This book is a series of brief chapters about a variety of Washington political players.

Some of those profiled are lifelong insiders. Some came to insider power through unusual channels. Others are looking to change or reform the system in some way or another. 

If you are a close follower of politics, you may feel much of the ground covered is familiar. Though I doubt there are many who could claim they are aware of the careers of all the men and women discussed.  

In any case, this book has the virtue of being both brief and comprehensive at the same time.

I read it flying between Houston and Boston. Half going to Boston, and the other half flying home to Houston.

Given that I spent a lot of time looking out the window, I’d say the book is of a length manageable to the average busy person.   

Despite the welcome brevity, an impressive number of paths to power, and the implications of that power, are reported upon. Taken as a whole, it gives the reader plenty of information to consider.

Also, it leaves the reader with the sense that the little person does not have much chance in the halls of power—Unless the little person hits the Super Lotto and decides to fund political candidates with all the winnings. 

Here is the New York Times review of Pennsylvania Avenue. 

July 2, 2008 - Posted by | Books, Politics | , , ,

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