IN THE SHADOW OF THE DOME: Chronicles of a Capitol Hill Aide by Mark Bisnow

IN THE SHADOW OF THE DOME: Chronicles of a Capitol Hill Aide

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From a former Congressional aide who's now a D.C. attorney: a lighthearted collection of anecdotes that offers a behind-the-scenes look at Washington political life. It's difficult to tell whether Bisnow is awed more by the figures that routinely passed him in the hallways of power, or by the power itself that he was granted as a spokesman for his employers. Bisnow began his career as an unpaid constituent letter-writer for Hubert Humphrey, and went on to work at writing speeches, defining issues, and pounding out legislative compromises for Representatives Don Bonker and John Anderson and Senators John Heinz and Robert Dole. While he expresses concern that Congressional aides are expected to do the thinking for Congressmen who can't review everything they have to vote on, Bisnow doesn't present any examples of aides who abused their long leash, but instead portrays Congressional workers as diligent and obedient. In fact, whenever he chooses to bring up what an outsider might consider questionable behavior, he is quick to justify it--whether it be forging Congressional signatures on letters to constituents and foreign leaders, or accepting Dole's offer to fill a post as a committee aide after the committee work had died down, so Bisnow could spend time helping Dole prepare for his race in the 1988 Presidential primaries. An enthusiastic and enjoyable account that occasionally rankles for its wide-eyed boosting of the US political system.

Pub Date: June 28th, 1990
Publisher: Morrow