Friday, February 21, 2014


When people talk about what goes on in Washington, D.C. they frequently wring their hands and wonder why opposing parties cannot get along and why the business of government cannot always get done. Three recent books on the shelves at the Monrovia Library go behind the scenes to explain why. Each is a page-turner. 

The relationship between President Ronald Reagan and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil is explored in Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked by television commentator Chris Matthews. It's an engaging history of these two powerful men and how their personal friendship allowed them to forge compromises. The President was a conservative Republican and an outsider in Washington and the Speaker of the House was a liberal Democrat and longtime insider, but both were able to work together to pass legislation. A balanced and fun read.

The Town: Two Parties and a Funeral by Mark Leibovich is a frothy and entertaining book that doesn't take political sides, but instead takes a look at what happens in our nation’s capital…after the curtain is pulled back. It is the story of who makes money, who goes to parties and how people get ahead.  News makers, journalists and behind-the-scenes power brokers are probed in often humorous and unflattering ways.  For readers who like to know the news behind the news.

The inside scoop of what really happened during the last presidential election is chronicled in Double Down: Game Change 2012 by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. Capturing the inside story, in all its blemished glory, it shares anecdotes not found on the evening news. Great stories from two longtime reporters.

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