The American Congress: The Building of Democracy
Congress is the heart and soul of our democracy, the place where interests are brokered, laws are established, and innovation is turned into concrete action. It is also where some of democracy's greatest virtues clash with its worst vices: idealism and compromise meet corruption and bitter partisanship. The American Congress unveils the rich and varied history of this singular institution.
Julian E. Zelizer has gathered together forty essays by renowned historians to capture the full drama, landmark legislation, and most memorable personalities of Congress. Organized around four major periods of congressional history, from the signing of the Constitution to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, this volume brings a fresh perspective to familiar watershed events: the Civil War, Watergate, the Vietnam War. It also gives a behind-the-scenes look at lesser-known legislation debated on the House and Senate floors, such as westward expansion and war powers control. Here are the stories behind the 1868 vote to impeach President Andrew Johnson; the rise of Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress and a leading advocate for pacifism; and the controversy surrounding James Eastland of Mississippi, who carried civil rights bills in his pockets so they could not come up for a vote. Sidebars further spotlight notables including Huey Long, Sam Rayburn, and Tip O'Neill, bringing the sweeping history of our lawmaking bodies into sharp focus.
If you've ever wondered how Congress worked in the past or what our elected officials do today, this book gives the engaging, often surprising, answers.
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Governance JOHN LAURITZ LARSON
THE PARTISAN ERA 1830s1900s
Territorial Expansion BARTHOLOMEW H SPARROW
Impeachment DONALD A RITCHIE
THE COMMITTEE ERA 1910s1960s
The Transformation of the Congressional Experience ERIC RAUCHWAY
Economic Regulation in the Progressive Era ELIZABETH SANDERS
Investigating Communism DONALD A RITCHIE
The Second Reconstruction TIMOTHY N THURBER
The Warren Court and the Political Process L A POWE JR
The Great Society EDWARD D BERKOWITZ
The Vietnam War FREDRIK LOGEVALL
The Environment PAUL C MILAZZO
THE CONTEMPORARY ERA 1970sToday
Congressional Reform BARBARA SINCLAIR
The Seventeenth and Twentieth Amendments to the Constitution DAVID E KYVIG
Womens Activism ALISON M PARKER
The Transformation of American Immigration Policy DANIEL J TICHENOR
Prohibition THOMAS R PEGRAM
The First World War Joseph A MCCARTIN
The Forgotten New Deal Congress PATRICK MANEY
Conservatism and Constituency Politics ALONZO L HAMBY
The Cold War RANDALL BENNETT WOODS
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