Life in the Marble Palace: In Praise of Folly

FriesenPress
Free sample

As a 24 year former member of the United States Congress, Mr. Stearns describes the lessons he learned from getting elected and re-elected, his experience as a legislator and finally the lessons he learned about our Republic. These lessons go to the heart of explaining what must be done to preserve our 240 year experiment in democracy. He describes the tumultuous period of the Speaker Gingrich years, the 2008 Great recession, numerous scandals including the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and the loss and regaining of the Republican majority in the United States House of Representatives.
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About the author

Cliff Stearns is an Executive Director based in APCO Worldwide’s Washington, DC, office and serves as a member of APCO’s International Advisory Council. Recently he was elected President of the United States Association of Former Members of Congress (USAFMC). He is a former Member of Congress for Florida’s 6th district, where he gained extensive experience in telecommunications, technology, cybersecurity and international trade during his twenty-four years of service. Congressman Stearns was also a business owner of motels and restaurants before being elected to Congress. As chair of the Energy & Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, he helped increase transparency in the federal government and led the Solyndra investigation. Congressman Stearns served as the Republican leader on the Communications, Technology and Internet Subcommittee and was chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, where he enacted consumer privacy and data security legislation. He is a graduated of the George Washington University with a degree in electrical engineering. He was a captain in the United States Air Force and served four years as an aerospace project engineer providing satellite reconnaissance of Vietnam. He was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for distinguished service and meritorious achievement and later, as a Congressman, received the Air Force Association W. Stuart Symington Award, the highest honor presented to a civilian in the field of national security. Mr. Stearns lives in Ocala, Florida, with his wife Joan. He and Joan have three grown sons.
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Additional Information

Publisher
FriesenPress
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Published on
Nov 15, 2016
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Pages
192
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ISBN
9781460287620
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Biography & Autobiography / Political
Political Science / American Government / Legislative Branch
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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John David Dingell, the longest serving United States’ Congressman in history, and one of the House's most powerful chairmen, offers a unique, unforgettable, and refreshingly candid behind-the-scenes account of government and politics over the past eighty years.

Democrat John David Dingell served in the U.S. House of Representatives for fifty-nine consecutive years, from December 13, 1955 to January 3, 2015—the longest tenure of anyone in Congressional history. The son of a Congressman, Dingell worked in his father’s office from childhood and became a house page in 1938, when he was just eleven years old. Retiring from Congress at eighty-nine, he has witnessed some of the most significant events that have shaped our nation and the world.

In The Dean, Dingell looks back at his life at the center of American government and considers the currents that have reshaped our Congress and America itself, from his childhood memories of wartime Washington during the FDR administration, through the Reagan Revolution, to the election of the first black president, Barack Obama.

Rife with a wisdom that literally only Dingell can possess, The Dean is the inspiring story of some of the greatest congressional achievements, of which Dingell was an integral part, and of the tough fights that made them possible. Dingell offers a persuasive defense for government, explaining how it once worked honorably and well—in defeating Hitler, sending us to the moon, ending segregation, and providing for the common good of all our citizens. He argues that to secure our future and continue our progress, we must work together once again—lessons desperately needed today.

This is not simply the memoir of a cancer survivor. Nor is it just the memoir of a respected senator. This is an unprecedented glimpse into a man who is both. It is inspiration for people of all political persuasions; of how to persevere and succeed---despite what the doctors may say, despite what the tests might show.

In early 2004, Senator Specter was in the midst of a grueling primary race, facing significant opposition from the right as he worked to win his party's nomination to run for reelection for his Pennsylvania senate seat. It would be the most difficult election in his quarter-century career in the Senate. Following on its heels were two more challenges---the general-election race and opposition to his elevation as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, his lifelong ambition. He overcame all three challenges in time for his seventy-fifth birthday.

But exhaustion and fatigue---initially thought to be the aftereffects of months of vigorous campaigning---were found to be far more serious. After a series of tests and consultation with several doctors, Specter was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, Stage IVB, the most advanced stage.

He had received death sentences before and lived to tell about it. To Senator Specter, this diagnosis was another challenge. After all, he still had a job to do.

His cancer treatments came as he reached the height of his power---surrounded by political storms that polarized Washington and threatened to shut the Senate down. His leadership positions made it his job to manage Supreme Court nominations and public- health appropriations as he faced his own illness. He had fought on public-health issues for years, but now it added potency to the message that the messenger was ailing himself.
The phrase "Never give in" became Specter's mantra, invoking the famous words from Churchill in his battle with cancer. This moving book describes the treatment the Senator received and offers his advice on how to handle the side effects (both visible and private), hair loss, and of course, maintain a nearly daily squash regimen. So, how does one move forward when faced with mortality? It's simple. Work.

In 1993, Alan J. Dixon’s political career came to an end with a defeat—the first one in his forty-three years of elected service. Beginning his legislative career in 1950 as a Democrat in the Illinois House of Representatives, Dixon also served in the Illinois State Senate, worked as state treasurer and secretary of state, and concluded his political career as a U.S. senator. The Gentleman from Illinois is an insider’s account of Illinois politics in the second half of the twentieth century, providing readers with fascinating stories about the people he encountered and events he participated in and witnessed during his four decades of service. With a degree of candor often unheard of in political memoirs, The Gentleman from Illinois reveals Dixon’s abilities as a storyteller. At times chatty and self-effacing, Dixon pulls no punches when it comes to detailing the personalities of major political figures—such as Mayor Richard J. Daley, Adlai Stevenson, Paul Simon, and presidents of the United States. Indeed, he uses this same honest approach when examining himself, fully describing the setbacks and embarrassing moments that peppered his own life. As a moderate Democrat who regularly crossed party lines in his voting and his views, Dixon also shares his thoughts on the proper way to run a government, the difficulties of passing legislation, the balancing act required to be a statewide official, and other valuable observations on local, state, and national politics. Full of behind-the-scenes insights presented in 121 short vignettes, The Gentleman from Illinois entertains as much as it informs, making it a necessary book for everyone interested in Illinois politics.
A brilliant, authoritative, and fascinating history of America’s most puzzling era, the years 1920 to 1933, when the U.S. Constitution was amended to restrict one of America’s favorite pastimes: drinking alcoholic beverages.

From its start, America has been awash in drink. The sailing vessel that brought John Winthrop to the shores of the New World in 1630 carried more beer than water. By the 1820s, liquor flowed so plentifully it was cheaper than tea. That Americans would ever agree to relinquish their booze was as improbable as it was astonishing.

Yet we did, and Last Call is Daniel Okrent’s dazzling explanation of why we did it, what life under Prohibition was like, and how such an unprecedented degree of government interference in the private lives of Americans changed the country forever.

Writing with both wit and historical acuity, Okrent reveals how Prohibition marked a confluence of diverse forces: the growing political power of the women’s suffrage movement, which allied itself with the antiliquor campaign; the fear of small-town, native-stock Protestants that they were losing control of their country to the immigrants of the large cities; the anti-German sentiment stoked by World War I; and a variety of other unlikely factors, ranging from the rise of the automobile to the advent of the income tax.

Through it all, Americans kept drinking, going to remarkably creative lengths to smuggle, sell, conceal, and convivially (and sometimes fatally) imbibe their favorite intoxicants. Last Call is peopled with vivid characters of an astonishing variety: Susan B. Anthony and Billy Sunday, William Jennings Bryan and bootlegger Sam Bronfman, Pierre S. du Pont and H. L. Mencken, Meyer Lansky and the incredible—if long-forgotten—federal official Mabel Walker Willebrandt, who throughout the twenties was the most powerful woman in the country. (Perhaps most surprising of all is Okrent’s account of Joseph P. Kennedy’s legendary, and long-misunderstood, role in the liquor business.)

It’s a book rich with stories from nearly all parts of the country. Okrent’s narrative runs through smoky Manhattan speakeasies, where relations between the sexes were changed forever; California vineyards busily producing “sacramental” wine; New England fishing communities that gave up fishing for the more lucrative rum-running business; and in Washington, the halls of Congress itself, where politicians who had voted for Prohibition drank openly and without apology.

Last Call is capacious, meticulous, and thrillingly told. It stands as the most complete history of Prohibition ever written and confirms Daniel Okrent’s rank as a major American writer.
The Pulitzer Prize winning classic by President John F. Kennedy, with an introduction by Caroline Kennedy and a foreword by Robert F. Kennedy.

Written in 1955 by the then junior senator from the state of Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage serves as a clarion call to every American.

In this book Kennedy chose eight of his historical colleagues to profile for their acts of astounding integrity in the face of overwhelming opposition. These heroes, coming from different junctures in our nation’s history, include John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Thomas Hart Benton, and Robert A. Taft.

Now, a half-century later, the book remains a moving, powerful, and relevant testament to the indomitable national spirit and an unparalleled celebration of that most noble of human virtues. It resounds with timeless lessons on the most cherished of virtues and is a powerful reminder of the strength of the human spirit. Profiles in Courage is as Robert Kennedy states in the foreword: “not just stories of the past but a book of hope and confidence for the future. What happens to the country, to the world, depends on what we do with what others have left us."

Along with vintage photographs and an extensive author biography, this book features Kennedy's correspondence about the writing project, contemporary reviews, a letter from Ernest Hemingway, and two rousing speeches from recipients of the Profile in Courage Award.  Introduction by John F. Kennedy’s daughter Caroline Kennedy, forward by John F. Kennedy’s brother Robert F. Kennedy.

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

“Lichtman has written what may be the most important book of the year.”  —The Hill

"It is still striking to see the full argument unfold and realize that you don’t have to be a zealot to imagine some version of it happening…Lies. Abuse of power. Treason. Crimes against humanity. Martial law. Lichtman throws everything Trump’s way.." —Washington Post

Professor Allan J. Lichtman, who has correctly forecasted thirty years of presidential outcomes, makes the case for impeaching the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump

In the fall of 2016, Distinguished Professor of History at American University Allan J. Lichtman made headlines when he predicted that Donald J. Trump would defeat the heavily favored Democrat, Hillary Clinton, to win the presidential election.

Now, in clear, nonpartisan terms, Lichtman lays out the reasons Congress could remove Trump from the Oval Office: his ties to Russia before and after the election, the complicated financial conflicts of interest at home and abroad, and his abuse of executive authority.

The Case for Impeachment also offers a fascinating look at presidential impeachments throughout American history, including the often-overlooked story of Andrew Johnson’s impeachment, details about Richard Nixon’s resignation, and Bill Clinton’s hearings. Lichtman shows how Trump exhibits many of the flaws (and more) that have doomed past presidents. As the Nixon Administration dismissed the reporting of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as “character assassination” and “a vicious abuse of the journalistic process,” Trump has attacked the “dishonest media,” claiming, “the press should be ashamed of themselves.”

Historians, legal scholars, and politicians alike agree: we are in politically uncharted waters—the durability of our institutions is being undermined and the public’s confidence in them is eroding, threatening American democracy itself.

Most citizens—politics aside—want to know where the country is headed. Lichtman argues, with clarity and power, that for Donald Trump’s presidency, smoke has become fire.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The inside story of Donald Trump’s first two years in Washington as viewed from Capitol Hill, a startling account that turns “Congress into a Game of Thrones book” (Trevor Noah, The Daily Show).
 
Taking readers into secret strategy calls and closed-door meetings from the House to the White House, Politico Playbook writers Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer trace the gamesmanship and the impulsiveness, the dealmaking and the backstabbing, in a blow-by-blow account of the power struggle that roiled Congress.

Moving from the fights for advantage between Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer; to Mitch McConnell’s merciless, Machiavellian handling of the sexual assault accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; to Paul Ryan’s desperate, failed attempts to keep Mark Meadows from pushing Trump into a government shutdown over immigration, The Hill to Die On bristles with fresh news and tells the story of what really happened in some of the most defining moments our era.

Like The West Wing for Congress, or Shattered meets This Town, The Hill to Die On tells an unforgettable story of politics and power, where the stakes going forward are nothing less than the future of America and the lives of millions of ordinary Americans.

Praise for The Hill to Die On

“[Sherman and Palmer] go deep inside the halls of Congress to document the deal making, backstabbing, power struggles and political knife fights that have roiled the nation’s capital during President Donald Trump’s first two years in office. . . . Anything but boring.”—USA Today, “5 Books Not to Miss”

“[The Hill to Die On] painstakingly chronicles the return to divided government and the restoration of an institutional check on a mercurial chief executive. . . . The book depicts a foul-mouthed president in love with his own reflection, a House GOP encased in the amber of self-delusion, and Nancy Pelosi’s unblinking focus on twin prizes: recapturing the House and returning to the speaker’s chair.”—The Guardian

“If you are one of the many Americans who hates Congress, this book is for you. In the Washington depicted in Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer’s new book, there are no heroes—only winners and losers. . . . With these lawmakers, Sherman and Palmer get inside their heads and capture what they’re thinking in real time.”—The Washington Post
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