Life Among the Cannibals: A Political Career, a Tea Party Uprising, and the End of Governing As We Know It

Front Cover
St. Martin's Press, Mar 27, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 384 pages
1 Review

A revealing memoir of how Washington is changing---and not for the better

During a storied thirty-year career in the U.S. Senate, Arlen Specter rose to Judiciary Committee chairman, saved and defeated Supreme Court nominees, championed NIH funding, wrote watershed crime laws, always staying defiantly independent, “The Contrarian,” as Time magazine billed him in a package of the nation’s ten-best Senators. It all ended with one vote, for President Obama’s stimulus, when Specter broke with Republicans to provide the margin of victory to prevent another Depression.

Shunned by the GOP faithful, Specter changed parties, giving Democrats a sixty-vote supermajority and throwing Washington into a tailspin. He kept charging, taking the first bursts of Tea Party fire at public meetings on Obama’s health care--reform plan. Undaunted, Specter cast the key vote for the health plan.

In Life Among the Cannibals, Specter candidly describes the battles that led to his party switch, his tough transition, the unexpected struggles and duplicity that he faced, and his tumultuous campaign and eventual defeat in the 2010 Pennsylvania Democratic primary.

Taking us behind the scenes in the Capitol, the White House, and on the campaign trail, he shows how the rise of extremists---in both parties---has displaced tolerance with purity tests, purging centrists, and precluding moderate, bipartisan consensus.

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Life Among the Cannibals: A Political Career, a Tea Party Uprising, and the End of Governing As We Know It

User Review  - John - Goodreads

I really have a new respect for the senator. This book had some really interesting details but also was redundant at times. It got 'long' at the end, but overall I am happy I read it. Read full review

About the author (2012)

SENATOR ARLEN SPECTER, son of Jewish immigrants, grew up in Kansas, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania, served as an editor of the law journal at the Yale Law School, and was a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. As an Assistant Counsel to the Warren Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy, he developed the Single Bullet Theory. As Philadelphia District Attorney, he created a national model for the modern prosecutor’s office, sought life sentences for career criminals and realistic rehabilitation for first offenders, and trail-blazed prosecutions for police brutality. During thirty years in the U.S. Senate, he served as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, the Intelligence Committee, the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. He presided over the confirmation hearings of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito, and his questioning of Judge Robert Bork, by many accounts, prompted the Senate to reject Bork’s nomination. He led successful efforts to triple funding for the National Institutes of Health. In 2007, Time magazine named him one of the Ten-Best Senators. He currently practices law in Philadelphia, lectures at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and recently hosted a pilot of PBS’s Arlen Specter’s The Whole Truth, a public-affairs television program that cuts to the heart of the day’s toughest national political issues.

CHARLES ROBBINS served as Senator Specter’s communications director in his Senate office and on his presidential campaign. He is the author of the forthcoming novel The Accomplice as well as coauthor, with former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, of the forthcoming The U.S. Senate, and coauthor of Senator Specter’s Passion for Truth. A former newspaper reporter and Navy reserve officer, he is a graduate of Princeton University, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and the master of fine arts program at Queens University of Charlotte. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Bibliographic information