TO BE A POLITICIAN by Stimson Bullitt


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This is an examination of the ""life led by politicians, their conditions of labor, habits of mind, the qualities which their work demands and some of their trade secrets"" by a Seattle lawyer who has twice run for Congress as a Democrat. What threatens to be merely some random, personal, perhaps cynical comments about the political scene turns out to be an extremely thoughtful exposition of what it takes to be a politician in the second half of twentieth century pluralistic America. He discusses who runs for public office, and why; the rewards of politics, and the drawbacks; the ethical dilemmas; the campaign -- changing party organization; the candidate -- the cult of the ""personality""- and he lists the qualities and virtues of the successful politician: moderation, sincerity, warmth- and more important -- a sense of history, an inner life, periods free from the responsibility of daily political decisions. An able, incisive effort which delivers much more than it promises.

Pub Date: March 19th, 1958
Publisher: Doubleday