Prominent public figures praise book by Government Center professors

March 01, 2011

"Congressional Investigations and Oversight: Case Studies and Analysis" (Carolina Academic Press 2010) has earned strong reviews from public figures with special appreciation of the complexities surrounding a nationally publicized, high-profile congressional investigation. The book was co-authored by Professor Lance Cole, who directs the Center for Government Law and Public Policy Studies, and Professor Stanley M. Brand.

Former U.S. Senator Paul S. Sarbanes (Democrat from Maryland) called the book "a comprehensive and indispensable compendium of the law and history of congressional investigations over the past century." Sarbanes first came to national attention when, as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, he introduced the first article of impeachment against President Richard Nixon in the Watergate investigation. He went on to serve 30 years in the U.S. Senate, playing key roles in the congressional investigations of the Iran-Contra Affair, Whitewater, and the accounting scandals involving Enron, WorldCom, and other major corporations that precipitated passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. He called the book “essential reading for everyone who wants to understand how Congress works and what it can accomplish when our nation faces grave problems and challenges.”

Praise for the book has come from both sides of the political aisle. Kenneth Duberstein, former White House Chief of Staff to President Ronald Reagan, emphasized the practical value of the book: "For any government official, trade association executive, corporate government relations head or lobbyist facing the prospect of a congressional investigation or oversight hearing this book is a must. The authors have together over fifty years of experience involved in guiding such bodies or representing clients or commenting on the powers and procedures of this most unique of legislative institutions – the congressional inquiry. No Washington rep should be without a copy for their desk."

George Stephanopoulos, ABC morning news anchor, observed that co-author Brand, who is the distinguished fellow of law and government at Penn State Law, "is the wise man of Washington probes. He’s conducted them. He’s defended clients (including me) involved in them. He’s thought hard about how they are used and abused. This comprehensive text on Congressional Investigations and Oversight reflects all of that wisdom and experience, and it is the essential resource on this vitally important topic."

"Our objective with this book was to put together a complete and up-to-date resource on this fascinating intersection of law, politics, and history," said Cole. "We presented the material in the book as a series of case studies with analysis and commentary so that the book would have broad appeal in the academic community beyond law schools."

Cole said the congressional investigative and oversight process has played a "vital role" in U.S. history and has helped shape the legal system and popular culture. "McCarthyism, Watergate, and Iran-Contra -- to name just three examples -- are chapters in our national history that are simply too important to relegate to a single academic discipline," he said. Cole anticipates that students of law, government, and political science can benefit from the book.

  • 'Congressional Investigations and Oversight: Case Studies and Analysis' has been co-authored by Penn State Law professors Lance Cole and Stanley Brand.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 22, 2015