The Dance of Legislation

An Insider's Account of the Workings of the United States Senate

Eric Redman
Foreword by Richard E. Neustadt

  • $24.95 paperback (9780295980232) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 2001
  • Subject Listing: History / American History; Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 320 pp., 5.25 x 8.25 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Contents

The Dance of Legislation has long been considered a classic description of the legislative process. In it, Eric Redman draws on his two years as a member of Senator Warren Magnuson's staff to trace the drafting and passing of a piece of legislation - S.4106, the National Health Service Bill - with all the maneuvers, plots, counterplots, frustrations, triumphs, and sheer work and dedication involved. He provides a vivid picture of the bureaucratic infighting, political prerogatives, and Congressional courtesies necessary to make something happen on Capitol Hill. In a Postscript to the 2000 edition, Redman reflects on how that process has, and has not, changed in the thirty years since the book was first published.
Eric Redman was a logger, longshoreman, Rhodes Scholar, and writing teacher, as well as a legislative aide. Today he is a Seattle attorney specializing in public policy and energy law. Richard E. Neustadt is Douglas Dillon Professor of Government emeritus, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

"The Dance of Legislation reads like a suspense novel: will a much-needed program of medical care for the ghettos, and for isolated rural areas, make it through the Congressional maze? Eric Redman . . . makes us feel the drama of the democratic process- the comedy, the grief, the moments of despair and triumph which he experienced in the course of a year on Capitol Hill."
- Harry McPherson, author of A Political Education
Foreword to the 2001 Edition
Foreword to the Original Edition
1) First Stirrings
2) Beginner's Lessons
3) Getting Serious
4) A Fresh Start
5) S.4106: Born or Stillborn?
6) A Senate Hearing
7) Decision in the Senate
8) Loose Ends
9) Interlude
10) Doctors in the House
11) A War of Nerves
12) A New Year's Resolution
Postscript to the 2001 Edition
List of Abbreviations

"What Redman has written about the evolution of a health bill could be written about comparable constellations of personalities and pressures affecting an education or a housing or farm or tax bill. But few writers have actually produced a book that has such a useful blend of information, self-deprecatory humor, and keen rendering of the distinctive atmosphere of Congress."
-New York Times Book Review

"An outstanding book for undergraduates interested in politics."