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Advise and Consent (Advise and Consent #1)

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,489 Ratings  ·  134 Reviews
ADVISE AND CONSENT is a study of political animals in their natural habitat and is universally recognized as THE Washington novel. It begins with Senate confirmation hearings for a liberal Secretary of State and concludes two weeks later, after debate and controversy have exploded this issue into a major crisis.

"I can recall no other novel in which there is so well present
Paperback, 616 pages
Published June 28th 1981 by Avon Books (first published 1959)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Richard Derus
Mar 12, 2013 Richard Derus rated it really liked it
Book Circle Reads 25

Rating: 4* of five

The Book Description: ADVISE AND CONSENT is a study of political animals in their natural habitat and is universally recognized as THE Washington novel. It begins with Senate confirmation hearings for a liberal Secretary of State and concludes two weeks later, after debate and controversy have exploded this issue into a major crisis.

"I can recall no other novel in which there is so well presented a president's dilemma when his awful responsibility for the na
Apr 22, 2015 Werner rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of political fiction
Allen Drury was, for some years, the U.S. Senate correspondent for United Press International. This gave him a deep background of inside knowledge about the Senate, the Washington press corps, and the larger national and international political contexts of that day (this was published in 1959) in which they operated. And like many fiction authors before him, journalism honed his professional writing skills. In these respects, for him writing political fiction was a natural evolution; and with my ...more
Douglas Wilson
Aug 21, 2016 Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it
I read this book one other time, many decades ago, probably in high school or when I was in the Navy. All I remembered about it was that I had read it once, and that it was a political novel about a Senate confirmation battle in Washington, which could be guessed from the title. Well, I read it again and enjoyed it thoroughly. The novel was originally published in 1959 and won the Pulitzer in 1960. Drury does a masterful job of writing a novel about post-war America with a complete fictional cas ...more
Nancy Burns
Aug 11, 2015 Nancy Burns rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pultizer
Fat novel about a fight in the US Senate about the confirmation of the President's nominee for Sec. of State.
It sounds boring...but was on the NYT bestseller list for 102 weeks!
Pulitzer Prize winner 1960.

Books about US politics "Advise and Consent (Drury)is good...but it is not the best one. See review for the top 3!

If you read or listen to Advise and Consent...I've added a list of the senators I could remember to the end of my review. It can be a useful reference at the begining!

Here is my rev
Jul 03, 2012 Rob rated it liked it
This book won a Pulitzer 50 years ago and was made into a film by Otto Preminger. I'd seen the movie years ago; one of its notable aspects was a gay subplot, which entailed a scene that was the first time a wide audience had seen an amusingly lurid depiction of a gay bar.

I'd always meant to go back and read the (long out of print) book, so I finally slogged through a library copy. It's written in a stilted, antique prose style that's akin to a verbal equivalent of the mid-20th century newscastin
Nov 06, 2011 Judy rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: political fiction fans

One of the burdens of My Big Fat Reading Project (see the Writing page on my profile) is slogging my way through long tomes like Advise and Consent. It was the #4 bestseller in 1959 and went on to be the #1 bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winner in 1960. The New York Times Book Review stated, "Advise and Consent will stand as one of the finest and most gripping political novels of our era..." The book stayed on that paper's bestseller list for over 100 weeks!

It is the story of a fictional American
Frank Stein
Apr 18, 2013 Frank Stein rated it really liked it

A strange and thoughtful novel about the nomination of a Secretary of State. This is perhaps not an obvious subject for a page-turner, but this book won the Pulitzer back when it was published in 1959 and was quickly turned into a successful (and worthwhile) film. At moments it even approaches greatness.

The book focuses on a handful of Senators and their struggles over the confirmation of someone about whom they have their doubts. It is clear that Drury used his time reporting on the Senate in
Oct 08, 2015 Jerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There was in this system the enormous vitality of free men, running their own government in their own way. If they were weak, at times, it was because they had the freedom to be weak; if they were strong, upon occasion, it was because they had the freedom to be strong; if they were indomitable, when the chips were down, it was because freedom made them so.

If you crossed the Three Musketeers with House of Cards, you’d have a bastard child who looked a lot like Advise & Consent.

And the writing
Christopher MacMillan
Sep 08, 2011 Christopher MacMillan rated it really liked it
The majority of "Advise and Consent"'s mammoth 760 pages are intelligent, explosive, and magnetic, and would have warranted nothing less than a 5-star rating -- a very rare quality for what is essentially a page-turner.

But in the last 200 pages, author Allen Drury begins to lose focus and lose steam, and as a result, the book starts to lag. This is so frustrating, given the sheer magnitude and awesomeness that the book began with and carried straight through towards the end. What a shame.

Larry Hostetler
Aug 04, 2013 Larry Hostetler rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Larry by: No one
Shelves: 2013
Well-written, as one would hope with a Pulitzer-Prize winning book (although it's not always been the case). It provides an inside look at the workings of the Senate, at least as it was in the late 1950s. Interesting now in its presentation of the USSR getting to the moon first. But prescient in the assessment of the varying sides on how to deal with the Soviet Union - whether war-mongering or accommodation. The way in which Washington works, both politically and governmentally, is shown, and in ...more
Jan 27, 2015 ^ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Orators & those interested in politics.
This book challenges its prospective reader with an impressive 638 pages; each page of text is of 47(!) close-spaced lines (compare to 39 lines per page in a 1999 ppbk of Sebastian Faulks’ “Charlotte Gray”, and 23 lines per page in a 2005 ppbk of Frank Beddor’s “The Looking Glass Wars”. How long, I wondered, would it realistically take to actually read this American metaphorical behemoth?

I ploughed straight in and made something of a pig’s ear of the first twenty or so pages. What chance had I
Nicholas Whyte
Dec 17, 2010 Nicholas Whyte rated it really liked it

Another little reading project of mine: as well as reading the best-selling novels of 100 year ago, as I have done this year and last year, I decided to try the best-selling novel of 50 years ago, a political tale by a long-serving Washington journalist, which soon after (1962) became a film starring Henry Fonda and Charles Laughton (the latter's last role before he died).

The plot concerns the nomination of a new Secretary of State by an ailing President
Jun 07, 2008 Carole rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I love this book! I am so glad I was reminded of it. This was first published in 1959, and The Literary Guild (my book club at the time) chose it as a monthly selection. I enjoyed it at the time, but I wasn't terribly interested in politics 'way back then so I really didn't get the bigger picture during that first read.

If you are into politics (and who isn't these days?) and especially if you'd like to know how Congress -- the Senate in particular -- works, read this. It's a thumping good read i
Jan 15, 2009 James rated it really liked it
Shelves: pulitzer-prize
Re-reading Advise and Consent(and watching the 1962 Otto Preminger movie by the same name), after a span of several years, I am reminded of my original reading and seeing the film version in the late 1960s. Drury followed up this first novel with a handful of sequels and over a dozen other books, but none of them came close to the popularity of the 1959 hit — ninety-three weeks on the best-seller list, a play, a movie and a Pulitzer (the Pulitzer Board overriding their committee’s recommendation ...more
Mar 15, 2011 Karla rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of vintage politics, soap operas
Shelves: fiction, politics
I devoured this book over the course of a few days several years ago. While Drury's style is a bit repetitious now and then, especially with character's tics and quirks, it was a rich little soap opera about confirmation hearings and all the grandstanding, political haymaking, and behind-the-scenes lives of the politicians. Most memorable was the rising star senator who's in the closet and living a lie. It was titillating for the era, and he naturally doesn't have an HEA, but he was among the mo ...more
John Guffey
Mar 11, 2016 John Guffey rated it really liked it
Shelves: pulitzer-winners
"Why do we live and work and strive, only to achieve no more than new destructions of one another?"

" 'If you do that you won't be liked...' 'I don't give a damn about being liked,' he had retorted impatiently, 'but I sure as hell intend to be respected.' "

"There are ways of dealing with other people which are just and honest and honorable and decent; and these have not been changed."

There are a lot of good quotes from this one. I loved the portion of the book about Brigham Anderson and would giv
Aug 05, 2016 Amy rated it it was ok
There are good parts of this book--it won a Pulitzer (overturning the committee, as it would 13 years later to deny Gravity's Rainbow, so, grain of salt), and some of the descriptions of pain and fatigue of the politickLing life are very evocative and telling.

Overall, though, politically it's detestable, and even if I agreed with it, its lionization of Senators Doing American Things with honor and dignity is incredibly stupid, especially considering the outcome--reasonable people disagree, but o
Tio Stib
Dec 29, 2014 Tio Stib rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Admittedly, I often shy from lengthy books and when I discovered that this book was nearly 30 hours of listening time, I was slow to start it. However, Drury won the Pulitzer Prize with this novel and it was made into a big screen movie in 1962, which while showing my age, I still
remember for its powerful dramatic performances. So strengthened, I began the book.

I found it mesmerizing. Why? It’s plot revolves around a conflict of opinions and ideologies in the United states Senate, a body
I admitt
Sep 06, 2014 Paul rated it it was ok
The first 200 or so pages of "Advise and Consent" pages have the reader nostalgic for a Washington that no longer exists -- one where statesmanship, civility and cooperation mattered, and our elected representatives didn't rush home after Congress adjourned at 5:00 on Thursday to gladhand constituents and schmooze potential donors, they stayed in DC and formed the kind of lasting bonds that made compromise and progress possible. The next 200 pages of "A&C" (as the author so cutely calls it i ...more
May 26, 2015 Samyann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read by Allan Robertson, Advise and Consent is approximately thirty four hours of listening. I read this book in paperback format for the first time in the 60s, a good five years after it’s initial publishing date. Ever since then, this book has been ‘in my mind’ as the pinnacle of expressing Washington politics in fictional form. Although written in an era of cold-war fears, the Washington political machinations haven’t changed a bit and Allen Drury does a magic job. As an aside, Drury was a UP ...more
May 12, 2009 Beatles24 rated it really liked it
An evocative portrayal of Washington politics - Peccadiloes, leadership, stunning arrogance, and a sense of public service all mixed into a hodge podge of a narrative. I loved the way intrigue is explained in this book and the machinery of government doing all it can to sometimes help and other times derail the process of providing basic services to its people. On the whole, a bit of a labored read but enough to keep it moving at a nice pace.
Feb 05, 2016 Nannette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Advise and Consent
Written by: Allen Drury
Narrated by: Allan Robertson
Length: 33 hrs and 17 mins
Series: Advise and Consent, Book 1
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:05-13-15
Publisher: ListenUp Audiobooks

When I was a teen in the 1970’s, and reading everything I could get my hands on, my mother suggested Advise and Consent by Allan Drury. I did not pick it up until I was 53 years old and my mother had been gone twenty-seven years. Mom, you were right. It is a fantastic book and well worth reading ov
Kevin Baird
Nov 05, 2015 Kevin Baird rated it liked it
Drury puts together an interesting universe based on his experiences as a Senate reporter. Even people casually familiar with the politics of the era will recognize some of the inspirations: Roosevelt and Truman, Joe McCarthy, the Alger Hiss case, and so on. Unfortunately, Drury undercuts the story he wants to tell by the way he structures the book. By splitting it into five parts, centering the first four around particular characters, and then exploring their background in detail, he interrupts ...more
Andrew Schulz
Aug 17, 2015 Andrew Schulz rated it it was ok
Long-winded, repetitive, far-right wing, humourless, but I had no taste when I read it in high school, and it suckered me in at an age when I was susceptible to any form of alarmism. The Internet has cured me of that. This won a Pulitzer Prize, because it is an impressive portrait of 50's Washington politics, and has a rather Tolstoyan sweep to it, but there are far too many galumphing big soap operas out there like this already. I'm only putting it down this much because I spent far too much ti ...more
Jul 25, 2010 Ron rated it really liked it
I thought it was hot stuff then. Now its just sad that it's so mild compared to current Washington politics.
Sep 19, 2014 Howard rated it really liked it
Wow, what a political thriller! Written more than 50 years ago it goes behind the scenes of DC politics in a big and detailed way. It is a massive book, more than 700 pages in my old yellowed small print paperback. Slow moving in places as the author really gets into the developing characters in profound depth, while a real page turner in other places making it hard to put down. Understandable why it was almost two years on the bestseller list in its day. Much of this book is still relevant and ...more
Aug 13, 2016 Claire rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
What a stupendous portraiture of the proceedings in my nation's capital!

My page-by-page notes make an interesting chronology. Perhaps within the next twenty years my stoicism will become rock-solid and I won't twitch a muscle when my cat departs, which would rip me apart presently.

This author has become so close to me over the past summertime by means of this method of beating one soundly over the head...

I will progress by means of question and answer:
1. What was it?
2. What did I like so much a
Sean O'Hara
Sep 01, 2015 Sean O'Hara rated it really liked it
Before The West Wing and House of Cards there was Advise and Consent. Written by a senior Capitol Hill correspondent, the book was the bestselling novel of 1960, won a Pulitzer prize, and got turned into an Otto Preminger film starring Henry Fonda, Peter Lawford, Charles Laughton and Burgess Meredith (view spoiler). Although it's sunk into obscurity in recent years, it's stil ...more
Bill Peacock
Nov 16, 2010 Bill Peacock rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Bill by:
I have been aware of Allen Drury for sometime because I had one of sequels to Advise and Consent in my bookshelf--it was originally from my mother's library. When I saw that National Review listed Advise and Consent as one of the best conservative novels, I decided I had to read it.

Since I didn't have a copy, I started with what I did have, its sequel, Preserve and Protect. That meant when I did read Advise and Consent, I already knew the ultimate outcome of the story. It wasn't a bad way to re
Roxanne Russell
Sep 02, 2013 Roxanne Russell rated it liked it
Shelves: pulitzer-fiction
This book was the last on my list to finish and be current on having read all of the Pulitzer Prize Winners for Fiction since 1918. It was not a particularly remarkable capstone, but it was a good read.
Drury has skills as an observer of humanity and political systems (from a Western centric, white male pov) and knack for humor. He clearly knew about Washington DC. He uses plot movement narrative strategies that kep me interested- built suspense, juxtaposed events to processes in ways that weigh
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Goodreads Librari...: Add Audible audiobook, please 3 18 May 22, 2015 07:01PM  
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In late '43, Allen Drury was a 25-year old army veteran looking for work. A position as the US Senate correspondent for United Press International provided him not only with employment, but with insider knowledge of the Senate. In addition to fulfilling his duties as a reporter, he kept a journal of his views of the Senate & individual senators. In addition to the Senate personalities, his jou ...more
More about Allen Drury...

Other Books in the Series

Advise and Consent (6 books)
  • A Shade of Difference
  • Capable of Honor
  • Preserve & Protect
  • Come Nineveh, Come Tyre: The Presidency of Edward M. Jason
  • The Promise of Joy (Advise and Consent, #6)

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“It’s starting to snow,” Kitty announced excitedly. “Do you suppose we will all be able to get back home all right? Washington gets so confused when it snows.” 0 likes
“Son, this is a Washington, D.C. kind of lie. It's when the other person knows you're lying, and also knows you know he knows.” 0 likes
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