A well-paced, exhaustively researched biography of Robert Strauss, the well-connected lawyer, politician, businessman and diplomat known in some circles as “Mr. Democrat.” Readers interested in national politics will find McGarr’s first book packed with compelling stories about her subject’s varied and intriguing career, the evolution of the Democratic Party from the 1950s to the ’90s and the changing tone in Washington during the same period.
As Kathryn McGarr reveals in The Whole Damn Deal: Robert Strauss and the Art of Politics, Robert Strauss created an archetype. He was the big talker, the power broker, the guy who knew everybody and got things done. Strauss was born in the small town of Lockhart, Texas, to an immigrant couple known locally for their kindness and industry. In spite of poverty and their provincial surroundings, Strauss’s parents instilled in him the virtues of culture and intellect.