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Advise and Consent explained Advise and Consent, review Advise and Consent, trailer Advise and Consent, box office Advise and Consent, analysis Advise and Consent, Advise and Consent ec48 ADVISE AND CONSENT Is A Study Of Political Animals In Their Natural Habitat And Is Universally Recognized As THE Washington Novel It Begins With Senate Confirmation Hearings For A Liberal Secretary Of State And Concludes Two Weeks Later, After Debate And Controversy Have Exploded This Issue Into A Major Crisis I Can Recall No Other Novel In Which There Is So Well Presented A President S Dilemma When His Awful Responsibility For The Nation S Interest Conflicts With A Personal Code Of Good Morals The New York Times

  • Paperback
  • 616 pages
  • Advise and Consent
  • Allen Drury
  • English
  • 09 August 2019
  • 9780380010073

About the Author: Allen Drury

In late 43, Allen Drury was a 25 year old army veteran looking for work A position as the US Senate correspondent for United Press International provided him not only with employment, but with insider knowledge of the Senate In addition to fulfilling his duties as a reporter, he kept a journal of his views of the Senate individual senators In addition to the Senate personalities, his jou



10 thoughts on “Advise and Consent

  1. says:

    Book Circle Reads 25Rating 4 of fiveThe Publisher Says ADVISE AND CONSENT is a study of political animals in their natural habitat and is universally recognized as THE Washington novel It begins with Senate confirmation hearings for a liberal Secretary of State and concludes two weeks later, after debate and controversy have exploded this issue into a major crisis I can recall no other novel in which there is so well presented a president s dilemma when his awful responsibility for the nation s interest conflicts with a personal code of good morals The New York Times My Review They s fags in this book Ack chew ull hom sexshulls Myrtle, git the Babble an we uns ll exercize it Allen Drury was a conservative He thought World Commanizm was a gonna ruin the New Nited States of Murrika They s a gonna take us over Ahem.As one might surmise from my initial response above, I have zero respect for conservatism, equating it with ignorance and intolerance I should know, as I was raised by parents whose politics were to the right of Hitler McCarthy was a fine, fine man and an upstanding American patriot to my mumsy and daddums Goldwater was a bit too liberal for them.So when I take exception to Drury s preachifyin and speechifyin , it is from an insider s point of view The Senate process of advising the President on his cabinet nominees and consenting to the appointment of officers of state is never brilliantly illuminated in all senses of that phrase than in this novel Drury, who very much knew whereof he wrote, brings a harsh actinic glare to the role of personal charisma and individual power in the business of the Senate The small, collegial nature of the Senate focuses the astounding power of the body onto a few key players The Majority and Minority Leaders, in particular, are vitally important to any legislation or appointment passing through the body.Drury reported on the Senate for United Press International When he came to write this book, he used two decades worth of knowledge to weave believable characters and put them in actual situations that have occurred in the Senate, and my gawd it is grim reading Human nature run rampant, greed and viciousness running roughshod over the needs of We The People, and craven poltroons running for re election from the second they take the oath of office.Sound familiar It should But this came out in 1959, and was based on men in office from 1939 to 1959 Nothing changes Never will All we the people can hope for is to elect a better class of scumbag read beholden to voters not banksters and billionaires once in a while.Drury is telling a story of a man s, well, tawdry and tacky infidelity as it figures into the national conversation cough Clinton cough The plot in many ways hinges on this private peccadillo, and even though it s never exactly made public, it s the linchpin of the events that followa suicide, an international crisis that reaches into space, and the death of a key player at a very delicate moment all come together to make the outcome seem inevitable from the outside.The genius of the story is that we, who have seen it all unfold, know that it was in no way inevitable It was an ad hoc decision based on an unforeseen turn of events by way of a surprise occurrence packaged as perfect control by the media.Sound familiar It should It was ever thus Always will be thus.Read this and weep Read this and realize that inaction on your part has huge costs Vote YOUR conscience, educate YOUR mind Unless you re conservative, in which case succumb to despair and sit out every election for ever, nothing you do will matter or help And for those who enjoy bemoaning a good novel s death at Hollywood s hands, there s a 1962 film of the book It is every bit as good as the book, in my never humble opinion.

  2. says:

    Lets see a controversial appointment to Secretary of State is voted on by the Senate seems I have heard that somewhere before LOLDialogue was brilliant which is how I judge most books well deserving of the Pulitzer it won and was based on a Wyoming US Senator who shot himself after his son was caught in a homosexual sting with police in the 1950 s.Strongly recommend this and not just for political junkies.

  3. says:

    Allen Drury was, for some years, the U.S Senate correspondent for United Press International This gave him a deep background of inside knowledge about the Senate, the Washington press corps, and the larger national and international political contexts of that day this was published in 1959 in which they operated And like many fiction authors before him, journalism honed his professional writing skills In these respects, for him writing political fiction was a natural evolution and with my budding interest in politics as a teen, I was naturally likely to read his book My curiosity was whetted by having seen the 1962 movie adaptation, starring Walter Pidgeon and Henry Fonda, on TV the book, of course, proved to be considerably deeper and substantial than the film, and the latter simplifies a great deal and takes various liberties to ratchet up the drama Unlike most of his press colleagues, Drury self identified with the political Right, mostly in terms of a strong anti Communism and a preference for a hawkish foreign policy based on a Cold War perception of the Soviet Union as existential menace to humanity and the U.S as the natural guarantor of the world s freedom and justice Today, he would be identified as a neoconservative This outlook constitutes the basic message of the book, and grows organically out of the Senate centered plot, with a president nominating a liberal intellectual perceived as favoring appeasement of the Soviets for Secretary of State, and the Senate having to vote on his confirmation But the novel succeeds as fiction because here Drury doesn t allow the message to take over and replace the story his primary focus is on the characters and their relationships, and the study of the dynamics of political decision making He lets his viewpoint be a seasoning for an artistic confection, not an in your face obsession that would turn the book into a tract and the characters on all sides of the issues are realistic, flesh and blood humans, not political cartoons.The novel is divided into four major parts books , each with a different Senator as viewpoint character and a short final section that s a sort of epilogue All of these men the Senate of that day was still almost exclusively a boy s club , and the secondary cast as well, are excellently drawn some are likeable than others Orrin Knox was the one I liked best, and could identify with to a degree , but all have foibles Drury s portrayal of the culture of the 1950s Senate, the political climate of the Cold War, and the kinds of political intrigue that operate when principles are intermixed with personal ambition and self interest, strike me as spot on So does his unflattering portrayal of the press corps, which was already shaping up as an ideologically monolithic propaganda machine Some aspects are dated for instance, Democrats with a position like Drury s on foreign policy would no longer be largely represented in the Senate the terms Democrat and Republican aren t used in the book, but the two parties are still clearly identifiable , nor would we find Dixiecrats, like Seab Cooley, from the Jim Crow South there today But for the time that the book was written, it s realistic The author writes well, and crafts a genuinely involving story He earned his Pulitzer Prize at a time when it still meant something.Goodreads lists this as 1 in an Advise and Consent series I m not sure Drury actually named the series as such, but he did write some five sequels over a period of 16 years, all of which I ve read and most of which I ve rated at one star They suffer, for one thing, from the fact that they all supposedly take place within a period of about two or three years of each other but during the long real time of the writing, U.S political culture changed epochally, and it s not possible to see the later books as really part of a consistent setting with the earlier ones Also, they move away from the central focus on the Senate, the realm Drury knew first hand and was most at home in describing, to arenas he knew less well and captures less plausibly But they suffer most from a steadily decreasing literary quality, and a steadily rising inverse increase in ideological stridency and loss of temperance and nuance, with the characters becoming caricatures and the plots being subsumed by message driven tracts IMO, it s a pity the author attempted to write sequels, rather than quitting while he was ahead Riffing on the title here and one of the later ones, a high school classmate of mine observed that someone should tell Drury Cease and Desist, which I thought wasn t a bad idea But this first novel remains a worthy achievement that I d recommend.

  4. says:

    One of the burdens of My Big Fat Reading Project see the Writing page on my profile is slogging my way through long tomes like Advise and Consent It was the 4 bestseller in 1959 and went on to be the 1 bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winner in 1960 The New York Times Book Review stated, Advise and Consent will stand as one of the finest and most gripping political novels of our era The book stayed on that paper s bestseller list for over 100 weeks It is the story of a fictional American President s attempt to put a new Secretary of State into his cabinet, an action which requires confirmation by the Senate Robert Leffingwell, the nominee, is seen as an appeaser of Communist Russia by the conservative senators but is a darling of the liberals The fight to get Leffingwell confirmed is down and dirty, ruining lives and causing great upheaval in the Senate.Interestingly, though I was being taught the forms of United States government in high school during the same time the book was popular, not much of it stayed with me I had to do a quick review of Congressional terminology and positions, but once I got a grip on ranks such as Majority Leader, President of the Senate, Senior Senator, etc, the characters and their battles came alive Reading the book then became an education in how the Senate works its relationship to the Presidency, the media, and the voters back home as well as the daily life of a Senator You could not pay me enough to be a Senator and I was confirmed in my belief that democracy in practice differs widely from its high flown ideals Advise and Consent is not the pageturner its fans claim it to be, but it is a dramatic story still read today and is considered to have started a genre political novels set in Washington, DC Allen Drury, who started his professional life as a US Senate correspondent for United Press International, became a ponderous fiction author His attention to detail drove me to distraction, his characterizations are complex but artless, and he repeats himself Compared to a civics textbook however, the book is wildly exciting and humanized the Congressional men and women we hear about in the news.I am glad I read it The novel did to explain the 1950s and 1960s American views on communism that almost anything else I have read so far.

  5. says:

    I read this book one other time, many decades ago, probably in high school or when I was in the Navy All I remembered about it was that I had read it once, and that it was a political novel about a Senate confirmation battle in Washington, which could be guessed from the title Well, I read it again and enjoyed it thoroughly The novel was originally published in 1959 and won the Pulitzer in 1960 Drury does a masterful job of writing a novel about post war America with a complete fictional cast of characters, and he really does capture a number of timeless elements about representative democracy The only part that clanked was his treatment of the race to the moon, which was understandable because that part was still a decade in the future when he wrote His treatment of that was really off The rest of it was gripping.

  6. says:

    Because of Bob Leffingwell, the Administration was going to have a hard time Why couldn t he have picked any one of ten thousand other outstanding Americans Why the one most likely to cause trouble Sound familiar It s a paragraph that could have been written in today s climate.Alan Drury received the Pulitzer Prize in 1960 for his fictional account of the detailed interactions of the Senate and the White House around a Secretary of State cabinet confirmation More importantly it is a story of the carnage that ensues Advise and Consent is unquestionably a work of some real import Drury was both a journalist and prolific author The book exhibits great attention to detail and is based on the author s inside knowledge covering the DC political beat as a reporter for some years Despite being written almost sixty years ago, there are some obvious parallels in this book to the recent cabinet and Supreme Court nominee hearings in the Senate Without giving the plot away in this book there are tragedies that result, despite the appearance of decorum and respect It s politics after all The book is seeing a bit of a relevance revival based on the 24 7 news cycle coverage of the confirmation hearings during the Trump presidency.Robert A Leffingwell is the fictional nominee and his confirmation process is the basis for the book We actually don t hear much from him though as he prefers silence as he doesn t want to inadvertently tank his own appointment Rather it is the four ranking senators and the President and Vice President who the story keys on and where 90% of the dialogue is attributed The press also plays a big role in getting the scoop, but most of the journalists are simply referred to by the newspaper they represent The book is a bit dated and at 600 pages is a tad too lengthy for my taste The book features few women characters of any depth and as a result upon reading there is a decidedly male vibe One can envision the cigarette smoke and nicotine stained stuffed shirts worm their way through the Senate offices Despite the men s only atmosphere Drury deftly captures in a very realistic way, and with all of the correct lingo, the Senate during the 1950 s Along with the imagery he managed to both educate and tell a few interesting stories in the process 3.5 to 4 stars

  7. says:

    A strange and thoughtful novel about the nomination of a Secretary of State This is perhaps not an obvious subject for a page turner, but this book won the Pulitzer back when it was published in 1959 and was quickly turned into a successful and worthwhile film At moments it even approaches greatness The book focuses on a handful of Senators and their struggles over the confirmation of someone about whom they have their doubts It is clear that Drury used his time reporting on the Senate in the early 1940s to create well rounded characters based on real people, and sometimes the book approaches a roman a clef The world weary but dedicated Majority Leader Bob Munson mirrors the real former Majority Leader Alben Barkley the ornery South Carolina Senator Seab Cooley mimics the real life Appropriations chair Kenneth McKellar and the nominee himself has attributes of both Alger Hiss and David Lilienthal, namely, a proud progressive with a vaguely communist past there s even a kinda womanizing Kennedy stand in Perhaps most surprising, Drury takes the story of Lester Hunt, the real Senator who killed himself in 1954 when it was revealed his son was gay, and turns him into Utah Senator Brigham Anderson, a character who is in fact gay, and who wrestles with his sexuality and others attempts to exploit it The drawing of Anderson is touching and heartfelt for any age, but cannot help but be so for being part of a book written for a popular audience in the 1950s.Every once in a while Drury s love of the Senate overtakes him, and reading the book becomes not a little like reading pages of the Congressional Record something I do enough of already , and sometimes his anti communist fervor becomes too prominent, but on the whole this is a balanced, intelligent and loving look at the Senate and the country it represents, as told through characters that one really cares about.

  8. says:

    The United States Senate has the constitutional right to advise and consent to the nomination of the President s selection for Secretary of State This rigorous approval process is the basis for Allen Drury s 1960 Pulitzer Prize winning novel Throughout this massive 656 pages work, Drury endeavors to posit both the good and the bad, the hectic and shabby, but sometimes the moving and noble aspects to America s politicians as well as our governmental system of checks and balances One reason for the novel s length is the development needed for each of Drury s multiple first person narrators The escalating story is told by at least four main characters, each of which are fully developed It is tempting to try to link some of the fictitious characters to famous 20th century politicians For example, the nominee for Secretary of State can easily be confused with the historical Alger Hiss case in 1948 And the president s health concerns were reminiscent of those with which Franklin Delano Roosevelt struggled during his tenure However Drury provided some important twists to historical characters The hot headed Wyoming senator seems much akin to Joseph McCarthy, however he is consumed not by anti communism, but rather with a rabid liberal worldview And some aspects to this story seem timeless Politicians are still prone to seek to win the day and destroy their opponents using underhanded and vicious personal attacks The press is portrayed as myopic and one sided in their objective profession Why shouldn t we throw everything we can at anybody who gets in the way However the novel also gives hope that there are still those who will not sell their soul for personal gain and who can be civil even in their disagreements Drury reminds the reader that if our legislative system is reduced to solely Power and Ambition, then there is not much difference between American and totalitarian regimes and machinations This novel was powerful and gripping highly recommended

  9. says:

    There are good parts of this book it won a Pulitzer overturning the committee, as it would 13 years later to deny Gravity s Rainbow, so, grain of salt , and some of the descriptions of pain and fatigue of the politickLing life are very evocative and telling.Overall, though, politically it s detestable, and even if I agreed with it, its lionization of Senators Doing American Things with honor and dignity is incredibly stupid, especially considering the outcome reasonable people disagree, but one senator, a shouting, unhinged lunatic, is without nuance and exists to be castigated by absolutely everyone, as does the mustache twirling villain of the piece The others don t see real consequences of their actions well, they do, and feel bad about it, which absolves them.Overall it s a portrait of the special glory of American Politics, unironically, which is a joke considering that the President blackmails a principled Senator to death FOREIGN RELATIONS This is a book about the dangers of being too soft on the Soviets, a bold and shocking position to take in 1959 it wasn t , and the jeered strawman slogan is I would rather crawl on my knees to Moscow than die under an atom bomb Which.I would We all should Nuclear war isn t just killing people It s total ecological devastation of all species and their futures, and the destruction of earth I think being reasonable with the Russians demonic beings that crave only America s total destruction should have been a goal of foreign relations, not a derided plea from unreasonable cowards.Of course, the foreign relations here aren t exactly nuanced The British ambassador the only Brit, as the other ambassadors are the only ones of their nationality is a distant, quippy artistocrat, the Indian ambassador is a nosy, craven appeaser, the Russian ambassador is a hostile and shitty ambassador with no pretense of diplomacy with the US.At the end of the day, the honorable men make honorable stands I think the Senate has one woman, one Latino maybe and one Hawaiian guy, from Hawaii, but otherwise it s all men, all white, all paternalistic as hell When the handsome, too perfect young Senator has a crisis, his wife, to whom he has been emotionally distant for like a decade, is narratively chastised for being upset by his continued failure to open up to her, rather than supporting him unequivocally as he continues to lie to her in the face of anonymous threatening agents Women exist as wives to support husbands They may do so intelligently and compassionately, but men are at the forefront.Overall there are no other people of color There is surprising sympathy for a probably gay man whose wartime affair is revealed, but not denounced although it s in such oblique language it s a little too awful to mention , although he isn t happy about the consequences It strikes me that the hero of the final stretch of the book a tart, straight talking Illinois senator who is the President s old rival denounces the current state of America You know, the golden age we re supposed to hearken back to Do you want a war, Senator Of course he didn t want a war he just wanted an end to this flabby damned mushy nothingness that his country had turned herself into And he particularly wanted an end to the sort of flabby damned thinking that the nominee and his kind represented the kind of thinking, growing out of the secret inner knowledge that a given plan of action is of course completely empty and completely futile, which forces those who embark upon it to tell themselves brightly that maybe if the enemy will just be reasonable the world will become paradise overnight and everything will be hunky dory It was quite obvious to Senator Knox that the enemy would never be reasonable until the day he could dictate the terms of American surrender, and it was with an almost desperate determination that he returned again and again to the task of trying to make this clear to his countrymen It was doubly frustrating because it was quite obvious that his countrymen knew it They knew it, but they didn t want to admit they knew it, because that would impose upon them the obligation of doing something about it, and that might bother them, and they didn t want that COME ON.

  10. says:

    The majority of Advise and Consent s mammoth 760 pages are intelligent, explosive, and magnetic, and would have warranted nothing less than a 5 star rating a very rare quality for what is essentially a page turner.But in the last 200 pages, author Allen Drury begins to lose focus and lose steam, and as a result, the book starts to lag This is so frustrating, given the sheer magnitude and awesomeness that the book began with and carried straight through towards the end What a shame Advise and Consent tells the story of what happens in the US Senate when the President of the United States startles the world by nominating a controversial wild card named Robert A Leffingwell to the position of Secretary of State It s a decision that sends shockwaves through Washington, and the flabbergasted senators are left with the task of either supporting Leffingwell or attempting to stop him To add to the confusion, soon information is brought forth that Leffingwell may or may not have been involved with the Communist Party at one point remember this book came out at the height of the Cold War Advise and Consent is told through the points of view of four main characters Democrat Bob Munson is the President s always loyal right hand man who the President entrusts to see that Leffingwell s nomination gets passed Seab Coolley is an ageing battle axe Republican Senator whose firebrand ways cause lots of tumult on Capitol Hill, despite his essential faithfulness to his fellow senators, regardless of what side of the aisle they sit on Brigham Anderson is a Democrat who nonetheless is driven by acting out of fairness first and foremost and his fairness tells him to go against the President and try to defeat Leffingwell and Orrin Knox is a senator who does what s best for the senate and for the country, but who can t shake the bitterness over losing the Democratic Presidential bid against the President who he is now forced to obey While Munson s, Coolley s, and Anderson s books burst with electricity from page one, Orrin Knox s book is much less interesting, much less realistic, and becomes stricken with sentimentality It is also inexplicably the longest of the four sections, and as such, it is such a disappointment to blast through over 500 pages of unique literary excellence only to be brought down with a thud for the last chunk of the novel.But this is still a great novel, and one which must have raised a few eyebrows in its day I won t say why, but let s just say that Brigham Anderson has quite the secret Drury has based much of what has happened in Advise and Consent on the lives and actions of real US politicians, but even so, the man has a knack for creating characters that we are interested in and who we come to care about Even Seab Coolley so set in his right wing ways, and causing so much trouble for the Democrats is likeable In fact, he s lovable, and was my favourite character in the whole book, for his Zeitgeist bravado, his cunning intellect, and his surprisingly humane side that continued to pierce through again and again as the book progressed.With over 100 characters in total, Advise and Consent in a one of a kind book which, in the end, falls short of being a perfect novel, but most of it actually was perfect The first 500 pages of Drury s Pulitzer Prize winner are something I will remember fondly and carry with me as being one of the most biting, gripping, and enjoyable reading experiences I ve ever had, and this is still a novel I would recommend without hesitation to everyone It s a true time capsule of the 1950s political climate in America.

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