"In this excellent volume, two extraordinarily qualified Senate veterans explain and defend, with clarity and impressive research, the Senate filibuster. With their deep understanding of, and respect for, the institution of the Senate, they point to the need to protect minority rights and to build consensus ?and they propose evolutionary reforms to reduce filibuster abuse. This book deserves to be read and considered carefully by all who respect, and want to understand better, the world’s greatest deliberative body."
-- Lee H. Hamilton
Former U.S. Representative
Director, The Center on Congress at Indiana University
"During my years in the Senate, I learned that you should never get involved in a legislative fight without Bob Dove's advice and counsel. Nobody knows more about the rules and history of the Senate than he does. Defending the Filibuster--Soul of the Senate should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand one of the hallmarks of our democracy."

-- Senator Bob Dole
"A timely, well-researched, and cogently argued defense of the filibuster by two veterans of the Senate staff who understand the issue and its consequences? Those commentators who think the Senate’s rules make no sense need to read this book."
—Donald A. Ritchie
Author,
The U.S. Congress: A Very Short Introduction
“As we would expect from two experts who were part of so many historic Senate debates in the past thirty years, Rich Arenberg and Bob Dove have written an historically grounded and eloquent defense of the Senate’s tradition of protecting minority views by allowing extended debate until 60 Senators vote to end it. They defend this tradition as the “soul of the Senate?because it protects minority rights and helps Senators reach a consensus or compromise on controversial legislation. They acknowledge that those who have routinely and repeatedly resorted to the threat of the filibuster in recent years are abusing the rules, but Arenberg and Dove offer some practical reforms to the Senate rules that preserve the principle while removing the abuse, such as limiting or even eliminating debate on the motion to proceed to a bill. But ultimately, as the book effectively demonstrates, the problem of gridlock and obstruction in the Senate is not so much in the Senate rules, but rather, as Senator Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, puts it, “It is in the lack of restraint in the exercise of the prerogatives under the rules.?
-- Senator Carl Levin
"While I am not a fan of the filibuster, this is probably the most thoughtful treatment of the subject ever written and well worth pondering even for those of us who think it is profoundly undemocratic. A must read for any student of the Congressional process."
-- Gov. Michael Dukakis
Former Democratic presidential candidate
“To anyone who knows and loves the Senate, and to anyone who wants to know more about American politics and history, this book is a joy to read. Two of the most respected people to work in the Senate over the past several decades have teamed up to write a book about the filibuster, but not just a memoir or a rigid defense of the practice. Rich Arenberg and Bob Dove provide fascinating history, much of it new to me, insightful examples from their own service, and reasoned arguments in clear language. Every reformer, including those who want to eliminate the filibuster entirely, and those who want to change it to fit the times, owes it to himself or herself to read this book and ponder the authors' message. If it doesn't make you stop and think through your own assumptions again, the problem lies with you and not in this excellent book.?
-- Norman Ornstein
Author
It’s Even Worse than It Looks and The Broken Branch
"Back in the day, the late 1970s to be exact, I was a staffer for a U.S Senator. On two occasions I remember sleeping in the office for weeks on end, as Republicans filibustered with glee. Madness! At least that was how it felt at the time. Over the next several decades i worked on Wall Street, and, on many occasions,railed against the filibuster for gumming up the works. So I came to this book with a powerful bias toward rejecting the authors' assertions. That said, not too far into the pages I began to lose my sense of naive outrage. And mid-way through the text, they had convinced me that the filibuster needs to stay. They begin with some interesting folklore/history on the evolution of the tool.. They segue quickly to the recent past, reminding readers that 'Republicans throwing monkey wrenches into the system', a few years back was Democrats denying Bush his presidential wishes. The book then expands its focus, homing in on critical moments in our history when the rights of a minority were well served. It's a good read. It is surprisingly light given its admittedly wonkish subject matter. I highly recommend it to anyone who cares about our government, and it's efficient functioning. "
-- Author Robert Barbera
The Cost of Capitalism: Understanding Market Mayhem and Stabilizing our Economic Future
“The much-maligned filibuster gets an unusual defense in this important book. Covering the historical use of the filibuster and other obstructionist devices, including the "hold" and "filling the amendment tree," Arenberg and Dove maintain that a check upon the tyranny of a majority and the time afforded to careful consideration of complex legislation make preserving the filibuster a necessity. The authors fear that a Senate without filibusters would become like the House, where the majority party can run roughshod over the minority. Excessive partisanship has led to an increase in filibusters, the authors argue, but abolishing the filibuster is not the solution to partisan polarization. Vietnam, Watergate, and the Clinton impeachment, not the filibuster itself, led to the bad blood in Washington. In fact, the authors argue, the power of an unrestrained majority would only exacerbate divisive partisanship. Rich in historical anecdotes about instances when the strange antics to delay Senate decisions actually led to better policy making, this book will become the "go to" authority on the filibuster. This volume should be valuable to general readers, students, and research faculty. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers, undergraduate students, graduate students, research faculty.?
-- R. J. Gelm
Professor
University of La Verne
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