Donald A. Ritchie
The U.S. Congress: A Very Short Introduction
September 14, 2018 Comments.. 682
The U S Congress A Very Short Introduction Many scholars believe that the framers of the Constitution intended Congress to be the preeminent branch of government Indeed no other legislature in the world approaches its power Yet most Americans

  • Title: The U.S. Congress: A Very Short Introduction
  • Author: Donald A. Ritchie
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 316
  • Format: Paperback
  • Many scholars believe that the framers of the Constitution intended Congress to be the preeminent branch of government Indeed, no other legislature in the world approaches its power Yet most Americans have only a murky idea of how it works In The U.S Congress, Donald A Ritchie, a congressional historian for than thirty years, takes readers on a fascinating, behinMany scholars believe that the framers of the Constitution intended Congress to be the preeminent branch of government Indeed, no other legislature in the world approaches its power Yet most Americans have only a murky idea of how it works In The U.S Congress, Donald A Ritchie, a congressional historian for than thirty years, takes readers on a fascinating, behind the scenes tour of Capitol Hill pointing out the key players, explaining their behavior, and translating parliamentary language into plain English No mere civics lesson, this eye opening book provides an insiders perspective on Congress, matched with a professional historians analytical insight After a swift survey of the creation of Congress by the constitutional convention, he begins to unscrew the nuts and pull out the bolts What is it like to campaign for congress To attract large donors To enter either house with no seniority He answers these questions and , explaining committee assignments and committee work , the role of staffers and lobbyists, floor proceedings, parliamentary rules, and coalition building Ritchie explores the great effort put into constituent service as representatives and senators respond to requests from groups and individuals as well as media relations and news coverage He also explores how the grand concepts we all know from civics class checks and balances, advise and consent, congressional oversight work in practice, in an age of strong presidents and a muscular Senate minority no matter which party is in that position In this sparkling addition to Oxfords Very Short Introduction series, Donald Ritchie moves beyond the cynicism and the platitudes to provide a gem of a portrait of how Congress really works.

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    1 Blog on “The U.S. Congress: A Very Short Introduction

    1. Mark Desrosiers says:

      This my first stab at one of the Oxford Very Short Introductions -- stylish and quick couple-hour reads about topics we think we know about but probably don't. Such as magnetism, happiness, deserts, the Norman Conquest, and. the U.S. Congress. Here, the current historian of the Senate, Donald A. Ritchie, gives us us a breezy-yet-deep view of the institutions origins, powers, and dysfunctions, with lots groovy trivia and anecdotes. He's like the tour-guide of my dreams: bright, frank, cynical, ge [...]

    2. Raymond says:

      A good refresher about America's legislative branch.

    3. Chris Casey says:

      It's hard to understand how Senate Historian Donald Ritchie managed to cover so broad a topic as the U.S. Congress in such a small volume, but there's no questioning that he succeeded tremendously in doing so. More than just an academic overview, and despite it's small size, Ritchie still manages to illustrate his descriptions of Congress' inner workings with photos, illustrations, and anecdotes. I'd recommend this not just as an intro to Congress for a beginner to the topic, but as an enjoyable [...]

    4. Eric says:

      A very accessible, concise description of Congress from an insider that helps explain its inner workings--with a healthy dose of history and trivia. An easy and engaging read, informative for how short it is.

    5. Benjamin says:

      I think I'll assign this for my GOV 334 course next January.

    6. Mills College Library says:

      328.73 R598 2010

    7. Samantha says:

      Important to understand the United States Congress, but it's pretty boring.

    8. Meghan says:

      Helpful, though obviously not terribly challenging or in-depth, look at the U.S. Congress and its history, function, and challenges.

    9. Behrooz Parhami says:

      After reading "American Political Parties and Elections: A Very Short Introduction" (see my review), I decided to peruse this book to expand my knowledge of the American political system in the wake of what happened in 2016. Like other books in Oxford’s “A Very Short Introduction” series, this volume packs a lot of information in its 146 pocket-size pages, and it has an informal and highly accessible writing style. In the book’s preface, the author indicates that even though he has spent [...]

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