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Richard E. Cohen has 1 media appearance.

Sep
19
Richard E. Cohen
Booknotes, Sunday, September 19, 1999
Richard E. Cohen discusses Rostenkowski: The Pursuit of Power and the End of the Old Politics.

Until the 1994 election when Republicans took control of the United States Congress, Democrats had enjoyed immense legislative power for forty years. Most of them practiced old-school politics. Critics charged that they exploited corrupt powers of incumbency, but these Democrats also served their constituents in a time when the public still believed in their elected representatives. Dan Rostenkowski was among the half-dozen most influential members of Congress during the second half of the twentieth century, Richard E. Cohen writes in his biography, Rostenkowski: The Pursuit of Power and the End of the Old Politics. As chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, the congressman from Illinois influenced the nation’s tax laws, international trade, Social Security, health care, welfare, and other areas policies that affected most Americans. Richard E. Cohen’s political biography of Rostenkowski follows his rise to power from modest origins in the Democratic ward politics of Chicago’s Polish northwest side, to his legislative triumphs, and ultimately to his criminal conviction and imprisonment for abuse of House practice. Because Rostenkowski served so many years in Congress (1959-1995), his career offers a prism into the changing nature of the institution and of the Democratic party, a change that gradually brought a new bitterness to Washington politics. The rise and fall of Dan Rostenkowski mirrors the rise and fall of the House Democrats. Richard E. Cohen has written a compelling, eye-opening story of American politics at work, portrayed through the career of one of its most fascinating practitioners. —from the publisher's website (timspalding)… (more)

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