How does one arrive at a life in politics and policy? What happens to one’s ideals when confronted with the reality that, in Washington, the only way to get things done is compromise? Who are the men and women who help shape our national agenda, and what drives their work? Dispatches from the Eastern Front provides fascinating, intensely personal, yet universal answers to these central questions.
Recounting four decades inside Washington politics, Gerald Felix Warburg brings remarkable candor to a most unusual memoir. An idealistic California Baby Boomer transported to the intimidating world of Capitol Hill policymaking at a young age, Warburg finds himself working to reform nuclear energy, strategic arms control, and foreign policy. As his access and power grow, greater challenges loom: How to maintain principles while cutting deals, and how to balance public purpose with private interests. An eclectic career reveals the slow and often painful development of emotional intelligence for work at the highest reaches of the public arena.
Dispatches takes listeners inside the closed conference rooms in the U.S. Capitol where leaders strike legislative bargains, to the inner circles of presidential campaigns where advisors jockey for position, and to the firms where well-paid lobbyists use their expertise to advance the interests of corporations and NGOs. Up close and personal profiles of many of our current national leaders emerge.
Warburg has crafted a highly literate memoir chronicling the political education of a generation, along the way offering a subtle but effective call to the young to enter the public arena. His sage advice tells how, and why, to construct a career in public service, with irrepressibly optimistic counsel that will make Dispatches from the Eastern Front a political science standard for years to come.