THE TIGER IN THE SENATE: The Biography of Wayne Morse by A. Robert Smith
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THE TIGER IN THE SENATE: The Biography of Wayne Morse

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In the cloakrooms of the Senate he is called 'Tiger'""...and he ""sits flicking his tail...(from a) position of commanding vigilance in the protective tree of high principle."" Among many of the ""other beasts"" that inhabit the ""chamber of pressures"" that is the ""Senate jungle"", he is admired for his talents and courage, but deplored for his lack of discretion and his tendency to 'grandstand'."" Thus runs the theme of this vivid, fast-paced biography of Oregon's senior Senator, by a man who has spent 10 years as a Washington correspondent for Oregon newspapers. Wayne Morse, now chairman of important Senate subcommittees on Latin America and education, has made an inordinate number of lengthy speeches, written a staggering number of letters and documents, and been a party to a stupefying number of controversies in his long career in both appointive and elective public offices; thus he has been always newsworthy and the subject of an unusual amount of press coverage. What, then, remains for a biographer to write about? Smith has done a magnificent job of setting his review of Morse's career apart from the imperatives of political conflict with which journalists normally are faced, yet his surveillance of the record does justice to the best traits of his profession. From Smith, we learn a great deal about Morse as an embattled liberal in columnist Mark Sullivan's sense ""which says the main objective of real liberalism is protection of the individual citizen from arbitrary acts of government"", but additionally, and perhaps more importantly, we learn as much about American politics and the cobwebs of fiscal, philosophical, lobbyist, partisan, and personal metaphysics that festoon the corridors of the Capitol. No Advise and Consent has represented the rhythm of life of Washington's and the nation's body politic as well as this portrait of a tiger who refuses to be tamed. Halftones.

Pub Date: May 25th, 1962
Publisher: Doubleday