Book Talk: Arc of Power: Inside Nancy Pelosi's Speakership 2005-2010

Arc of Power: Inside Nancy Pelosi's Speakership, 2005-2010

October 27, 2022 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Join Berkeley IGS for a book talk with John Lawrence, former chief of staff to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, documenting his insider perspective from 2005 to 2010.

Date: Thursday, October 27th, 2022 at 4:00pm

Where: 109 Moses Hall (IGS Library), UC Berkeley

Note: The Event will also be broadcast via Zoom.

About the Book:

Drawing from his thousands of pages of notes written while serving as chief of staff to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, John Lawrence has written a narrative documenting his insider perspective from 2005 to 2010. These momentous years included furious political and legislative battles over the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the economic recession, the 2008 presidential election, the productive first two years of Barack Obama’s presidency, as well as many key legislative products, such as the Troubled Assets Relief Program, the Affordable Care Act, and Wall Street reform.

Lawrence’s unique observations provide an unparalleled look at the interpersonal relationships of major political leaders and institutions and give readers a first-hand perspective of this significant period in political history. Utilizing more than 9,000 pages of transcribed notes from hundreds of conversations between top congressional and administration officials, readers can enter the room and experience the discussions of the key participants in real time.

Arc of Power provides a valuable account of the strategies, machinations, and challenges of congressional leaders as they gain, exercise, and lose power. Utilizing the voices of the men and women involved in the often—but not always—partisan clashes, this book examines the role of personalities, factions, parties, and political institutions in the formulation of national policy on key issues. Lawrence artfully demonstrates the challenges presented by intraparty factional disagreements when writing complex legislation and illustrates the institutional tensions between the House and Senate, and Congress and the White House, when the government is unified under one party or divided.

Lawrence offers valuable insights into the differing and often conflicting role played by the House and Senate given their design and composition, and shows how even a House led by powerful individuals is frequently undercut by the Senate, and how that weakness especially impacts the political power of minority populations.


Application Deadline: Sunday 11/6 at 11:59pm

Eligibility: Must be a registered UC Berkeley undergraduate student in Spring 2023 (seniors who will graduate in May 2023 are eligible). All years and all majors welcome. Applicants may participate in one Democracy Camp program annually; alumni of Democracy Camp in Berkeley can apply to Democracy Camp in DC in a subsequent year, and vice versa.

About: Democracy Camp is an experiential learning program designed for Cal undergraduate students interested in enhancing our democracy through public service. Democracy Camp in DC Fellows travel to Washington, DC for 9 days, where they...

  • Meet with public service professionals, including staffers and administrators from federal agencies and members' offices;
  • Stay at the UC Washington Center, home of the UCDC program;
  • Visit the US Capitol, the National Mall, and Smithsonian museums;
  • Network with Cal Alumni in the capital;
  • Build a supportive cohort of service-minded peers.
  • Fellows gain knowledge and resources to chart their career, and leave the program feeling engaged, empowered, and informed about how to make an impact in their communities and beyond!

Program Dates: May 19-27, 2023

Want to learn more? Contact with questions!

Thursday, October 13, 2022

6:30pm to 8:00pm

Registration Link: 

Event Contact: