OFF DEAD CENTER by Henry S. Reuss


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The subtitle, ""An Economic Policy for America and the Free World,"" is perhaps as misleading as the title itself is cryptic. Economic issues do comprise a major portion of this work, but in all fairness, this is less a blueprint for systematic action than a Congressman's report to his constituents. Author Reuss has ten years of service in Congress behind him, and his report is a fine, full, frank statement of political realities and alternatives as he sees them, ranging over such problems as the unification of Europe, the balance of payments conundrum, the foreign aid program, full employment vs. automation, and the civil rights struggle. He is at his best describing practical self-cures for ""the sick tissues of an ailing Congress--unrepresentative districts, built-in roadblocks to action, a Balkanized committee system, and an errand-boy's workload that diverts legislators from their primary duties"". The greatest sickness-- ""the power of a minority to frustrate the will of the majority""-- is not so easily cured, he admits ruefully. But an aware public and a determined executive branch should, in time, do the trick. This book is, at the very least, a notable contribution toward the first-named prerequisite.

Publisher: McGraw-Hill