Tales from the Sausage Factory has many gifts for its audience: It describes the decline of the New York State Legislature from its long-forgotten pinnacle of excellence in the late 1970s and early 1980s to its disgraceful reputation today, and suggests a path to renaissance. It peels away the veil of mystery that hides the inner workings of the Legislature, and allows readers to understand how laws are really made. It presents one legislator’s personal experiences with the highs and lows, sorrow and exaltation, the mix of political ambition, commitment to public service, and personal relationships that get translated into law and policy. It shows how the interplay among legislatures and courts means that issues never entirely resolve, as one side or another simply renew the battle in a new arena. It offers four specific case studies in the making of public safety policy: organized crime control, the Rockefeller drug laws, sex offender notification, and gun control.