Advise and Consent

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For the constitutional confirmation procedure, see advice and consent.

Advise and Consent (1959) is a widely acclaimed novel by Allen Drury about a Senate confirmation battle for a nominee to become Secretary of State, who was suspected being a communist. This political fiction was published in 1959 and soared to the top of the New York Times bestseller list, and also won a Pulitzer Prize. The hearings concerning Alger Hiss are thought to have inspired parts of this book, as did the suicide of Sen. Lester Hunt (D-WY) in 1954 in his Senate office.[1]

Drury was a reporter who covered the U.S. Senate during World War II for a news wire, and later joined the staff of the New York Times.

This book was a favorite of Phyllis Schlafly, who quoted it in a positive way in her bestselling book against the Deep State in 1964:

In 1959 in the great novel Advise and Consent, the most disliked and distrusted Senator repeatedly exclaimed:
"I had rather crawl to Moscow than perish under a bomb."[2]

and again in her Safe - Not Sorry (1967):

And out of that fearful peril only the most iron-willed and nobly dedicated and supremely unafraid men could lead the nation.[3]

The sales ranking of this book as of Sept. 5, 2020 on Amazon.com, 706 pages in length, is:

Best-sellers rank #665,697 in Books
#2,755 in Political Fiction (Books)
#4,934 in Political Thrillers (Books)
#6,182 in Historical Thrillers (Books)

Drury's book was the basis for a 1962 movie directed by Otto Preminger. The movie's cast featured: Henry Fonda, Charles Laughton, Don Murray, Walter Pidgeon, Peter Lawford, Gene Tierney, Franchot Tone, Lew Ayres, Burgess Meredith, Eddie Hodges, Paul Ford, George Grizzard, Irv Kupcinet, Inga Swenson, and Betty White. (At the time, Lawford was the brother-in-law of then President John F. Kennedy.)

References

  1. https://www.boisestate.edu/bluereview/shocking-death-senator-lester-hunt/
  2. The Gravediggers, Chapter Nine, p. 60 (1964).
  3. 'Safe - Not Sorry, p. 145 (1967) (quoting Advise and Consent).