Reviews

This book about Doc Hastings provides an in-depth look at Congress during the exciting, but difficult years between 1995 and 2015.  It describes his many contributions both to the House and to his district during that time.

 Although he rarely sought the spotlight, his colleagues considered him a true legislator, who thought government should be the servant of the people, and not its master, and who could be counted on to carry out difficult assignments when asked.  That is why he is one of only a handful of members of the House of Representatives to have chaired two standing committees.  He was an ally and remains a close friend.

John Boehner
Member of Congress (R – OH) (1995-2015)

Speaker of the House of Representatives (2011-2015)―Doc and I served together for much of our congressional careers and . . . often saw the political turmoil Smith describes from different viewpoints, but his description of it holds true.


Mark Smith has already written excellent biographies of former Tacoma mayor and U.S. Senator Harry Cain and Tri-Cities community icon Sam Volpentest. Now he has written a very readable and interesting biography of former 4th District congressman Doc Hastings and the times in which he served.

Doc and I served together for much of our congressional careers, and while we often disagreed on policy matters, we worked closely together on Hanford and other important statewide issues. We often saw the political turmoil Smith describes from different viewpoints but his description of it holds true.

Norm Dicks
Member of Congress (D-WA) (1977-2013)―Mark Smith’s compelling, insightful biography of Doc Hastings introduces a statewide audience to an under-rated Eastern Washington conservative with a conscience.


Mark Smith’s compelling, insightful biography of Doc Hastings introduces a statewide audience to an under-rated Eastern Washington conservative with a conscience.

John C. Hughes
Legacy Washington Historian 

Mark Smith’s new book about Doc Hastings is a welcome addition on two counts.

First, it recognizes the often unappreciated contributions of Doc Hastings, one of our state’s longest-serving congressmen, to his district, his state, his Party, and to his country. Doc and I were close when we served together in Congress. His personal values and his solid, conservative principles drove his politics and he never wavered from either.

Smith’s book also describes the divisive political events that occurred during Doc’s twenty years in Congress. Republican activists entered from stage right. They became the establishment, overreached, struggled to recover, and then were threatened again from the right because they were no longer conservative enough for the next group of activists. The Democratic Party was the mirror image of the process, only from the left.

Smith is a fine storyteller and his book is a valuable primer on how we came to be where we are.

Slade Gorton
US Senator (R-WA) (1981-1987) (1989-2001)


20 years of dams,  Hanford and abortion. New book out on Hastings

Matt Taylor
Tri-City Herald
May 7, 2018

During the first of their 20 years in Washington, D.C., Doc and Claire Hastings held quiet holiday parties, serving wines from their home state for staff members of the congressman.

They were happy occasions, and it was the kind of thing that contributed to the reputation of Hastings’ office as a busy but congenial shop.

Eventually, though, the parties moved to restaurants.

Tri-Cities author C. Mark Smith risks a historian’s opinion in his new Hastings biography as to why the shift in locales: Doc’s home had snow white carpeting. Even Washington red wines were a risky delight.

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