Nation: The Four Parties

As professor of political science at Williams College, erstwhile Washington bureaucrat, sympathetic biographer of F.D.R. and J.F.K., and unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Congress from Massachusetts, James MacGregor Burns has a lot of ideas about politics. Among other things, Liberal Burns is a strong believer in the notion that the President of the U.S. should firmly lead the Congress—and that is the central theme of his latest book, The Deadlock of Democracy: Four Party Politics in America.

Burns is pretty unhappy about present-day politics. Says he: "As a nation we have lost control of...

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