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Power Game: How Washington Works
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Power Game: How Washington Works

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  137 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Pulitzer Prize winner Hedrick Smith goes inside America's power center in Washington, DC to reveal how the game of governing was played in the 1980s.
Paperback, 816 pages
Published September 29th 1996 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 1988)
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I've read this book three times over the years. Once it was required reading in my Congress and the President course during my undergraduate work. Once I read it on my own, and most recently I referred back to it as I prepare for the Spring semester of 2015 as a college government teacher.

I find Smith's work to still be relevant and a compelling read.
After this recent snarl over the debt, I felt compelled to learn about how government works - not just the hierarchical system we learn about in government classes, but the tough wrangling of power and personality and special interest.

So here it is - the nature of the beast. The dense snarl of how the American political system works. This book was mainly written during the Reagan era, and makes the most references to his politics. But still, now that these once-contemporary events have become pa
Dated, with lots of inside-baseball crap about the Reagan administration. Too long. The author is depressingly complacent about the sleaziness of national politics, and it doesn't help that he doesn't have much sense of humor about it, either.
Everything I learned about Washington I learned from reading this. Ok, so that's not true, but when I read this book, back in Mr. Patchet's AP Government class senior year, it really opened my eyes and helped lay the foundation of skepticism towards government. It remains on my bookshelf after all these years because I think it's probably still somewhat relevant today.
Ben Haymond
This book is about politics in a specific time period (The Reagan presidency). But it doesn't feel dated at all. Smith uses examples that were comtemporary to him to illustrate principles that are still vital in today's political world. I learned more about the dynamics of American politics from this book than from some entire classes. A great read.
Written at the end of the Reagan era, the book is dated in the literal sense. But the problems that plagued the federal government in the 1980s have scarcely changed. Required reading for anyone looking to grapple with the great beast.

Michael Rushnak
Powerbrokers rule. Be one or lose if you're in the political arena! As they say, it's not beanball.
Heather Martin
Interesting if you like politics
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