Bob Dole: American Political Phoenix

Stanley G. Hilton, Author McGraw-Hill/Contemporary $18.55 (280p) ISBN 978-0-8092-4561-1
This unauthorized biography of one-time presidential contender Dole by a former Senate staff aide traces the rise of a small-town Kansas native from county attorney to congressman and powerful Senate minority leader, and recounts his abortive race for the Vice-Presidency in 1976 and Presidency in 1980. Fiercely ambitious, independent, a workaholic, Dole suffered a crippling war injury and rehabilitation prolonged by years of incompetent medical care that apparently strengthened his determination to establish his identity and power. Termed by some a political chameleon and opportunist, he has moderated his extreme conservatism, sought to shed the ``hatchetman'' image of his Nixon days and, with the influence of an equally pragmatic wife, has curbed his abrasive ways and caustic wit, according to Hilton. He has also risked antagonizing the Far Right by attacks on the budget deficit and big business abuses and by his advocacy of civil rights and programs for the poor and handicapped. With Dole now out of GOP presidential contention, this book's chance of success about equals the former candidate's. Photos not seen by PW. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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