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 UPI journalist with years and years of inside information and friends. The reader need only imagine the early sixties, a bountiful time post WWII, pre Vietnam era. Take away modern amenities such as the cell phone and the Internet, replace all with phone booths (Imagine a bank of phone booths for the press in the capitol.), manual typewriters, the power of the written press, radio news, and the black and white TV evening news that we lived with at the time.  Throw in post McCarthy era fear of Russia and Communism. Advise and Consent was written in 1959 and won the Pulitzer in 1960.

Thus is the setting for a congressional Advise and Consent of the President’s nominee for Secretary of State. The first half of the book is primarily setup. There are many characters and a myriad of personalities who, in the second half of the book, will be familiar old friends … or nasty enemies … of the reader. Which is which, well, that likely depends on you’re political persuasion. No spoilers, but the process involved is very realistic and a terrific American government history lesson.

The narration by Allen Robertson is stellar. It is apparent from his reading that he is a fan of Allen Drury and the story of Advise and Consent. Well worth the credit and you will be listening to this book more than once … as will I.

Enjoy!

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