Man of the House: The Life and Political Memoirs of Speaker Tip O'Neill .

Man of the House: The Life and Political Memoirs of Speaker Tip O'Neill .

by Tip O'Neill

In the all-but-vanished tradition of ward healer, the retired Speaker of the House, writing in the first person, blends treacle (I would work to make sure my own people could go to places like Harvard'') and shrewdness (power accumulates when people think you have power''), idealism and pragmatism, humor and heft as he relates anecdotes about the national figures he has dealt with in Washington, D.C., and politicians in Massachusetts where he spent eight terms in the legislature before joining Congress in 1952.

Like a good Irish pol who can carry on six conversations at once,'' O'Neill talks about baseball, poker and his boyhood gang, issues of governance and the functioning of Congress, in which he served for 34 years.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Biography
  • Rating: 4.06
  • Pages: 387
  • Publish Date: August 12th 1987 by Random House
  • Isbn10: 0394552016
  • Isbn13: 9780394552019

What People Think about "Man of the House: The Life and Political Memoirs of Speaker Tip O'Neill ."

And when you do, you have an obligation to help out the next group that comes along." I believe it too.

American politics was almost comically corrupt in the first half of the twentieth century, but for all its graft, the street corner nepotism that characterized machine politics of the Progressive Era also kindled the fires of labor-friendly, growth-enhancing programs that finally smashed the Gilded Age. While O'Neill's political instincts were forged in these early battles, we remember him most during those years just after the elites staged their comeback with the so-called "Reagan Revolution," when he rose to the occasion and embraced his role as the nation's greatest defender of its beleaguered social welfare system. Relations with Curley came to a head in 1948 when the mayor, fresh out of jail and back in city hall, chose to include only two members from the state house in the 1948 delegation to the DNC. O'Neill was then minority leader of the house democrats, and he and his colleagues ran their own slate of delegates against Curley's, thus provoking the Mayor's ire: Then Curley himself called me. If you ever louse up this house again while I'm Speaker, I'm going to break this thing right over your head.") Early 20th century politics was outrageously unethical but effective, and O'Neill always enthusiastically embraced his image as a working class, street corner pol. He lambasts Reagan's supply-side economic agenda, and lays into the "real weirdos" of the Republican Party who were swept into Congress in 1981including the man who would serve as the next GOP Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.

Tip ONeills political career mirrored and followed the history of the middle 1900s. Favorite Character: Tip ONeill comes across well in his own story, of course he should, though. Favorite Scene: JFK trying to get Tip to back him, but respecting him because he wouldnt throw over a friend who he had known forever for political expediency. When Jerry Ford called Tip to tell him that Nixon was going to resign, officially, and asked Tip for some advice and Tip gave it to him because they were friends. And at the end of the conversation, Tip tells Ford. Pacing: The story is well paced without over focusing on any one aspect of ONeills political history. You can tell reading this that Tip wouldnt have fit in with todays backbiting me first, me again, and then me some more modern Washington political sensibility. Theres a telling quote in the book where ONeill was at dinner with Kenny ODonnell, JFKs special assistant and appointments secretary, who was there that day in Dallas when Kennedy was shot. At the nadir of this chapter of the book, ONeill commented that when ...Kennedy was president, people had trust in their government. ONeill having a conversation with the Senate Majority Leader, Mike Mansfield, about whether they should be concerned about Nixons finger being on the button as his political world fell apart around him. Fords pardoning of Nixon as he explained it to ONeill just prior to its announcement seemed to be more in line with a man trying to save another from committing suicide. Reading this recollection of ONeills casts the Nixon pardon by Ford in a new light for me. Casting call: George Wendt could totally play Tip ONeill in a movie.

tip oneil is the epitome of a true politician review soon i remember absolutely dreading the fact i had to read this piece for my political science class at the beginning of our semester.

Man of the House left me with a great wistfulness for the era when progressives were both progressive and pragmatic, and our politicians recognized the value and necessity of political compromise.

This book was helpful in learning more about the U.S. House of Representatives. The next day, when Robert Walker of Pennsylvania tried something similar, I called Charlie Rose, the member in charge of television in the House, and told him I thought the cameras should pan the entire chamber. Charlie informed the camera crew, and when they showed the empty hall, Walker looked like a fool.

When narrating about his interactions with President Reagan Mr. O'Neill purposed to justify that his presidency was shambolic and filled with a lack of commitment for the job. President Reagans political reputation as a true statesman and protector of the American realm remains vivid and will stand firm in the days to come as an emblem of the intricacies of political science and God's divine intervention to promote his servants.

The bottom line is that he was one of the last of the "Old School" politicians who understood the art of politics.