September 21, 2009

New from JHU Press

In Praise of Deadlock: How Partisan Struggle Makes Better Laws

By W. Lee Rawls

The acrimonious debate over health care reform has made some commentators long for more bipartisanship. W. Lee Rawls might disagree.

As a practitioner who served for 14 years as chief of staff to two U.S. senators, Bill Frist and Pete Domenici, Rawls offers unusual insight into partisan struggle, which he sees as essential to advancing new policy and generating consensus. Grappling, he concludes, results in a nuanced, durable machine, producing better laws that have benefited from minority input. With budget reconciliations, filibusters and supermajorities making headlines, In Praise of Deadlock explains the legislative process and its checkpoints while maintaining a noncomformist respect for the hurdles and hang-ups inherent in the American system. ($40 hardcover; $20 paperback)