Reviews

“Ben Nelson is a prankster but this book isn’t intended to be one of his jokes. He’s dead right. The Senate as a widely admired deliberative body is in danger of becoming a smaller version of the fractious, divided House. With humor, behind-the-scenes drama, and thoughtful insights about the Senate’s decline, Nelson also includes perceptive comments from a number of our colleagues to offer a way forward—so we all can save the Senate!”

Claire McCaskill, former U.S. Senator (Missouri)

“Ben Nelson’s book has never been more timely or necessary. With sharp insight, honesty, and wit he takes readers inside the United States Senate to reveal how this bulwark of our democracy worked well not so long ago. Nelson traces its fall into partisan division and rancor and outlines how we all can restore the Senate--through bipartisanship, courtesy, and a willingness to see past each others’ differences, for the benefit of all Americans.”

Harry Reid, former U.S. Senate Democratic leader (Nevada)

“Ben Nelson paints a clear picture of the way things in American politics ought to be, but this book equally reveals what the political reality is today. Nelson then mixes in messages of hope to remind us about what politics can be, but he leaves it to us to determine what American politics will be in the future.”

Mark Pryor, former U.S. Senator (Arkansas)

“Senator Ben Nelson offers compelling insights about his time as a conscientious public servant—as he covers historical events and issues such as 9/11, the Affordable Care Act, Supreme Court appointments, dealings with U.S. presidents, and more. Politics was his way of life and the book reads as a folksy narrative by a senator in the know. Democratic U.S. senators from Nebraska have been rare. It is noteworthy throughout the book how Senator Nelson could navigate through the Republican voters and prevail as a governor and a senator. I am not sure when another Ben Nelson Democrat will emerge.”

Peter J. Longo, author of Great Plains Politics

“Sen. Ben Nelson was a workmanlike senator; serious, bipartisan, curious, and capable. This book is a reflection of his work on big issues that seem distant but inform our present: the Bush tax cuts, 9/11 and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, TARP, the Affordable Care Act, and early Senate feuds over judicial appointments—including the one over Brett Kavanaugh. Nelson explains how legislation moves; how relationships are built and how they sometimes shift; how the gears of government grind or mesh—depending on the way they are used or misused. . . . You can hear a straightforward plea for a Senate in which senators can without sanction move between both parties and forge compromise; a place where movement is valued over stasis; a place where ideology doesn’t ceaselessly triumph over practicality.”

Major Garrett, chief Washington correspondent for CBS News