Tolchin, Susan J(ane) 1941-
TOLCHIN, Susan J(ane) 1941-
PERSONAL: Born January 14, 1941, in New York, NY; daughter of Jacob Nathan and Dorothy Ann (Markowitz) Goldsmith; married Martin Tolchin (a reporter), December 23, 1965; children: Charles, Karen. Education: Bryn Mawr College, B.A., 1961; University of Chicago, M.A., 1962; New York University, Ph.D., 1968. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Jewish.
CAREER: Educator and author. City College of New York, lecturer in political science, 1963-65; Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY, assistant professor of political science, 1965-71; Seton Hall University, South Orange NJ, member of staff, 1971-73; Mt. Vernon College, Washington, DC, associate professor of political science and director of Institute for Women and Politics, 1975-78; George Washington University, Washington, DC, professor of public administration, 1978-98; George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, professor of public policy, 1998—. Board member, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 1985-2000.
MEMBER: American Political Science Association, American Society of Public Administration, National Academy of Public Administration (board member, 2002—).
AWARDS, HONORS: Founders Day Award, New York University, 1968; Teacher of the Year designation, Mt. Vernon College, 1978; Aspen Institute fellow, 1979; Dilthey fellow, George Washington University, 1983; Marshall Dimock Award, American Society for Public Administration, 1997, for article; Trachtenberg Award for research, George Washington University, 1998.
The Angry American: How Voter Rage Is Changing the Nation, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 1996, 2nd edition, 1999.
Contributor to periodicals, including Public Administration Review.
with husband, martin tolchin
To the Victor: Political Patronage from the Clubhouse to the White House, Random House (New York, NY), 1971.
Clout: Womanpower and Politics, Coward, McCann (New York, NY), 1974.
Dismantling America: The Rush to Deregulate, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1983.
Buying into America: How Foreign Money Is Changing the Nation, Times Books (New York, NY), 1988.
Selling Our Security: The Erosion of America's Assets, Knopf (New York, NY), 1992.
Glass Houses: Congressional Ethics and the Politics of Venom, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 2001.
The Tolchins' works have been translated into Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.
SIDELIGHTS: Susan J. Tolchin is an expert in public administration who has published several books with her husband, Martin Tolchin, including To the Victor: Political Patronage from the Clubhouse to the White House and Clout: Womanpower and Politics. The couple's collaborative work Dismantling America: The Rush to Deregulate argues that the federal agencies maligned during Ronald Reagan's presidency as unnecessary and wasteful were actually beneficial to a substantial portion of the American public. Martin F. Nolan, writing in the New York Times Book Review, observed that with Dismantling America the Tolchins "challenge supply side politics and economics." He added, "On the domestic side of the political agenda in 1984, there is … no more important book."
In 1988 the Tolchins published Buying into America: How Foreign Money Is Changing the Face of Our Nation, which traces the extent to which foreign investment in America's businesses has altered the country's economic structure and stability. In his New York Times Book Review assessment, Robert Kuttner deemed Buying into America "well documented and deftly written." He noted that the book "is very good at distilling specific policy options," and called it "a superb stimulus to further thought on a subject that has attracted surprisingly little debate."
Tolchin and her husband also penned 1992's Selling Our Security: The Erosion of America's Assets, in which they explore the increasing dependence of American businesses on foreign investment. The volume also presents an agenda for rectifying this problem, which the Tolchins perceive as a significant threat to American economic viability and strength. Noting that Selling Our Security is likely to inspire debate, a Publishers Weekly reviewer called the book a "hard-hitting report."
Glass Houses: Congressional Ethics and the Politics of Venom examines the ethics process of the U.S. Congress. Once, the ethics process was an infrequently used measure invoked only to restrain truly inappropriate behavior. In more recent years, however, the ethics process has become a tool in partisan politics, disintegrating into "the interminable, vicious witch hunts that characterized the Republican Congress," according to Nicholas Confessore in a review of the Tolchins' book for the Washington Monthly.
The Tolchins explain that in the 1960s there was no formal ethics process in place; situations were dealt with as they emerged. They discuss prominent ethics cases of the 1990s, including Abscam, the Keating Five, and the Packwood investigation, backing their discussion with information gleaned from interviews and other research. A Publishers Weekly writer expressed the opinion that, while Glass Houses is somewhat superficial in its coverage, overall it serves as an "adroit, convincing examination of the ethical pressures and problems that continue to confront our representatives in Congress." The Tolchins conclude that, despite the numerous abuses of the ethical process, lawmakers today are more honest and ethical than they have been at any time in the past, simply because they know that it is unlikely they will be able to hide any unsavory behavior.
Apart from her husband, Tolchin has also authored The Angry American: How Voter Rage Is Changing the Nation. First published in 1996, the book examines the economic, political, and psychological basis for the increased outward expressions of voter disillusionment and dissatisfaction with publicly elected officials that followed the 1996 presidential elections.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, May, 1999, review of The Angry American: How Voter Rage Is Changing the Nation, p. 231.
Bloomsbury Review, September, 1996, review of The Angry American, p. 24.
Booklist, September 14, 1996, review of The Angry American, p. 187; October 15, 2001, Mary Carroll, review of Glass Houses: Congressional Ethics and the Politics of Venom, p. 362.
Business Week, December 19, 1988, Denise Demong, review of Buying into America: How Foreign Money Is Changing the Face of Our Nation, p. 14.
Choice, February, 1997, review of The Angry American, p. 1038; April, 2002, T. Fackler, review of Glass Houses, p. 1500.
Chronicle of Higher Education, September 27, 1996, Rachanee Srisavasdi, review of The Angry American, p. A9.
Foreign Affairs, summer, 1988, William Diebold, Jr., review of Buying into America, p. 1120.
Harvard Business Review, January-February, 1989, Abraham Rotstein, review of Buying into America, p. 38.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, January 1, 1984, p. 9; March 27, 1988, p. 10.
National Journal, October 20, 2001, Michael Posner, review of Glass Houses, p. 3281.
New York Times, January 6, 1984.
New York Times Book Review, October 16, 1983, p. 15; February 21, 1988, p. 9.
Political Science Quarterly, fall, 1988, Jewel Bellush, review of Buying into America, p. 568.
Political Studies, September, 1998, Brian Girvin, review of The Angry American, p. 811.
Publishers Weekly, August 3, 1992, review of Selling Our Security: The Erosion of American Assets, p. 55; September 3, 2001, review of Glass Houses, p. 78.
Washington Monthly, October, 2001, Nicholas Confessore, review of Glass Houses, p. 58.
Washington Post Book World, January 8, 1984, p. 4.