The story of Mike Mansfield's influential fifteen-year reign as Senate Majority Leader is colored with some of the most important events of this century: the election of John F. Kennedy, the Kennedy and King assassinations, student and political unrest of the late Sixties, Vietnam, Watergate, the Nixon resignation, and numerous important pieces of legislation from the era, among them the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Valeo, Secretary of the Senate under Mansfield, writes about the Senate and Mansfield's role in national affairs from 1961-76. He argues that Mansfield was instrumental in shaping a more egalitarian kind of Senate than that of the 1950s, when Lyndon B. Johnson was Majority Leader.
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