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McGarr, Kathryn J
The whole damn deal : Robert Strauss and the art of politics / Kathryn J. McGarr
Alternate Title Robert Strauss and the art of politics
1st ed
New York : PublicAffairs, c2011
book jacket
Location Call Number Status
 3rd Floor  E840.8.S687 M44 2011    AVAILABLE
Subject Strauss, Robert S
United States -- Politics and government -- 1945-1989
Democratic Party (U.S.) -- History -- 20th century
Democratic Party (U.S.) -- Biography
Subject(s) Diplomats -- United States -- Biography
Politicians -- United States -- Biography
Political consultants -- United States -- Biography
Physical Description xxiv, 433 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Note Includes bibliographical references (p. 365-414) and index
Summary "Robert S. Strauss was for many decades the quintessential Democratic power broker. Born to a poor Jewish family in West Texas, he founded the law firm that became Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, and-while forever changing the nature of the Washington law firm-worked as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, special trade representative, ambassador to the Soviet Union and then Russia, and an advisor to presidents. As former first lady Barbara Bush wrote of Strauss in her memoir: He is absolutely the most amazing politician. He is everybody's friend and, if he chooses, could sell you the paper off your own wall." But it isn't the positions Strauss held that make his story fascinating; it is what he represented about the culture of Washington in his day. He was a master of the art of knowing everyone who mattered and getting things done. Based on exclusive access to Strauss, The Whole Damn Deal brings to life a vanished epoch of working behind the scenes, political deal making, and successful bipartisanship in Washington"-- Provided by publisher
"Robert S. Strauss was for many decades, the quintessential political operator. He played a pivotal role in US politics for more than fifty years, serving as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, US Trade Representative, and US Ambassador to the USSR and later Russia. He has advised and represented many US presidents for both major political parties. Yet, we know very little of this man who has been so influential behind the scenes. This is the story of how Bobby Strauss, a poor, Jewish boy from West Texas, became Robert S. Strauss, a lawyer and politician of national and international renown. Strauss entered national politics when Beltway outsiders were planning their takeover of the Democratic Party in the aftermath of the divisive 1968 Chicago convention. After the 1972 nomination and subsequent defeat of George McGovern polarized the old and new factions of the Democratic Party, Strauss became chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He managed to create a coalition of old guard conservatives, minorities, youth, and representatives of both labor and big business that resembled the patchwork Democratic Party we still have to this day. Strauss excelled at balancing accommodation and persuasion. He was proud to be an insider and a politician, even when those were considered dirty words, because he enjoyed the negotiations that politics then entailed. His Texas charm and political savvy won over both sides of the aisle in Washington. This book will describe what went on in the smoke-filled rooms, and in the bathrooms of the hotel suites, "where the real decisions were made," as Strauss likes to say. It is a vivid portrait of a bygone era of civilized Washington politics, when Republicans and Democrats worked together without fear of criticism. "-- Provided by publisher

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