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What Senators Read About During Vote-a-Rama: Iran Deal

One of Iran's most notable former diplomats, the ex-spokesman for the nation's nuclear negotiation team, wrote the most popular book spotted on the Senate floor during the annual vote-a-rama. A hardcover copy of "Iran and the United States: An Insider's View on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace," by Princeton scholar Seyed Hossein Mousavian, sat atop the stack of folders Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., cradled Thursday night. At least four other copies of the 368-page insider account were spotted on the desks of fellow Democrats, including Sens. Chris Coons of Delaware and Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Veteran senators had advised their colleagues to "bring a good book" to help get through the long night. And Mousavian's unique firsthand perspective on the troubled relationship between Iran and the U.S., described by the publisher as blend of "memoir, analysis, and never before seen details of the many near misses in the quest for rapprochement," apparently fit the bill. But it did not look like a page-turner. CQ Roll Call never saw a senator crack the spine of the tome. They appeared more interested in chatting up colleagues, reading legislation or tapping away on phones and tablets — allowed on the floor for the vote-a-rama — than reading about Iranian culture, revolution and the rise and fall of the modern reform movement. The book culminates with Mousavian's roadmap to successful nuclear negotiations. By comparison, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch kept his eyes glued to "The Summit: Bretton Woods, 1944: J.M. Keynes and the Reshaping of the Global Economy," a book about World War II, the Cold War and domestic and international political economy. Hatch plowed through its 480 pages, underlining and highlighting passages as the voting marathon dragged on. Related: Rand Paul Proposes Higher Defense Spending — If It's Paid for Voting Marathon: More Test Marketing Than Attack Ads Vote-a-Rama Presents Political Peril for Vulnerable Incumbents Start Preparing Now for the Budget Vote-A-Rama Democrats Outline Floor Strategy for Budget Battle The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.
Topics: budget iran