It’s not every day the old boss writes a great book that gets a lot of attention in D.C.’s very opinionated political inner circles.
So, providing full disclosure, Terence Samuel, author of the resourceful and revealing new insider’s view of the U.S. Senate, “The Upper House: A Journey Behind the Closed Doors of the U.S. Senate,” was my boss at one point when I worked at AOL.
Terry is funny and smart – in that modest, composed and thoughtful way. And, when I worked with him, it was clear he held (and nourished) an abiding fascination for congressional politics that was evident in the depth and breadth of his comprehension of the rules, personalities, history, politics and trivia of the US. Senate and House.
He cracked on staffers (read: me) when they couldn’t immediately differentiate the senior senator from the junior senator of any given state; back in 2005, he correctly predicted then-Senator Barack Obama would be elected president, when he was truly a longshot; and going to the President’s State of the Union address at the Capitol every year was greeted with the thrill most people reserve for, say, Super Bowl tickets.
Samuel’s politics is described as “left of center” by Washington Times writer, Claude Marx, who writes, “Fortunately, those who want to understand both the rules and the personalities that shape the modern-day Senate have a new resource available to them, ‘The Upper House: A Journey Behind the Closed Doors of the U.S. Senate.’ Former U.S. News & World Report congressional correspondent Terence Samuel has produced a concise, engaging and readable take on the subject.”
And while his politics might indeed be “left of center,” his opinions are reasoned, informed and practical.
Terry’s book may not be on the national radar yet, but it most likely will be. There aren’t a lot of books outside of lawmaker biographies or autobiographies that document the contemporary inner workings of Congress or the day-to-day lives of America’s legislators with clarity and color like Terry’s.
“I’m thrilled to see a Black author receiving accolades for a political book that is not about Obama,” Richard Prince quotes a friend at his online column Journal-isms.
Congrats, Terry. I’m reading the book and enjoying it.
Side note: This week, Richard Prince listed 10 non-fiction books to add to your reading list this summer. They are all set in Washington or written by Washington-based journalists, including Terry’s, and cover a range of subjects. See Richard Prince’s summer reading list.