When we first started this project, we thought up Monthly Reading Challenges for the longer books we had to finish. The idea behind the challenges was that if we raced each other to the final period of a particularly long novel with a prize awaiting the person who finished first, both of us would be more inclined to read the book more dutifully. It is the opinion of this writer that one reason both of us have fallen so woefully behind on the project is that we haven’t done a reading challenge in a long, long time.
With that in mind, the Pulitzer Project presents the May Reading Challenge, in which Joshua and Drew will race to the end of Allen Drury’s Advise and Consent.
Advise and Consent was a massively popular book when it was released back in 1959 (as is indicative of the image of Nixon and Kennedy discussing it just before their first television debate). It was a #1 New York Times bestseller and was adapted into a feature film that was also massively popular.
The #1 New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winner
Allen Drury’s Advise and Consent is one of the high points of 20th Century literature, a seminal work of political fiction—as relevant today as when it was first published. A sweeping tale of corruption and ambition cuts across the landscape of Washington, DC, with the breadth and realism that only an astute observer and insider can convey.
Allen Drury has penetrated the world’s stormiest political battleground—the smoke-filled committee rooms of the United States Senate—to reveal the bitter conflicts set in motion when the President calls upon the Senate to confirm his controversial choice for Secretary of State. This novel is a true epic showing in fascinating detail the minds and motives of the statesmen, the opportunists, the idealists.
From a Senate old-timer’s wily maneuvers, a vicious demagogue’s blistering smear campaign, the ugly personal jealousies that turn a highly qualified candidate into a public spectacle, to the tragic martyrdom of a presidential aspirant who refuses to sacrifice his principles for his career—never has there been a more revealing picture of Washington’s intricate political, diplomatic, and social worlds. Advise and Consent is a timeless story with clear echoes of today’s headlines.