This short memoir is a documented collection of conversations over many years between an unnamed, Democratic congressman and Atkinson. The congressman was originally angered when he discovered that Atkinson recorded the details of their conversations over the years, but he was mollified by the knowledge that his secrets had been kept. The congressman agreed to publish this book because of the “public’s ‘surprisingly boisterous disdain with Washington” that’s bubbled forth during the 2016 Presidential campaign.
The book is a sickening confirmation of what many of us have suspected for years about Congressional representatives. They are controlled by special interests, PACs, and billionaires who can line their pockets. They are for the most part keenly deceitful with their constituents and are primarily concerned with fundraising for their election campaigns so they can keep their cushy jobs. They rely on staffers to tell them how to vote on bills they don’t have time to read, and they know that the system is broken but aren’t motivated to fix it. He also notes apathy and lack of knowledge in the American voter. Even though the electorate is seemingly fed up, 90% of those elected are incumbents. “I understand the lack of trust and resentment voters have in Congress’ ability to do its job. But let’s face it, there’s no real incentive for us to change. Creative gerrymandering and the polarized electorate’s propensity to vote the party line pretty much guarantees the reelection of incumbents.” This book raised a new level of disgust with Congress within me.
Review Submitted by: Sandi Hauenstein
Rating: Highly Recommended
Challenge: Book read in one day; book printed by a small press.