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Cover for The Meanest Man in Congress

The Meanest Man in Congress

Jack Brooks and the Making of an American Century

Timothy McNulty, Brendan McNulty, Jim Wright (Preface by)


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A native of Beaumont, Texas, and a World War II veteran, Jack Brooks represented Texas's Ninth District for forty-two years in the U.S. Congress. One of the most influential congressmen you've never heard of, the indefatigable Brooks is finally getting his due in this first full biography. The Meanest Man in Congress chronicles in fascinating detail not only a remarkable lawmaker's career--spanning the tenures of ten U.S. presidents--but also the epic sweep of American history in the latter half of the twentieth century, from the Kennedy assassination to the Iran-Contra affair. Packed with anecdotes based on Brooks's personal correspondence, interviews with his peers and family members, and more, this meticulously researched biography traces the incredible life and times of a true public servant, a man who applied his tenacious will to practical, across-the-aisle governance for the good of his constituents and his country. At a time when Brooks's brand of selfless service is in short supply and American politics has become a zero-sum game, distinguished authors Timothy McNulty and Brendan McNulty bring into high relief the character of a man who knew how to compromise and bargain, negotiate and cooperate to get things done.

NewSouth Books, 9781588383211, 576pp.

Publication Date: May 10, 2019

About the Author

"Jack Brooks was a master. A canny politician, legislative craftsman, consummate man of the House Five minutes of listening to him hold forth on the floor taught me more about the way our government works than years in the classroom. And he made it fun! I'll always be grateful for his many kindnesses." -- ABC News Chief Anchor, George Stephanopoulos