The U.S. Congress: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | July 7, 2010

byDonald Ritchie

not yet rated|write a review
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 more than thirty years, takes readers on a fascinating, behind-the-scenes tour of Capitol Hil l- pointing out the key players, explaining their behavior, and translating parliamentary language into plain English. No mere civicslesson, this eye-opening book provides an insider's perspective on Congress, matched with a professional historian's 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 tocampaign for congress? To attract large donors? To enter either house with no seniority? He answers these questions and more, explaining committee assignments (and committee work), the role of staffers and lobbyists, floor proceedings, parliamentary rules, and coalition building. Ritchie exploresthe 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 Oxford's 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.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$11.52 online
$11.95 list price
Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25
Prices may vary. why?
Please call ahead to confirm inventory.

From the Publisher

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 more than thirty years,...

Donald A. Ritchie is Historian of the U.S. Senate. His books include Our Constitution; The Oxford Guide to the United States Government; Press Gallery: Congress and the Washington Correspondents; Reporting from Washington: The History of the Washington Press Corps; and Electing FDR: The New Deal Campaign of 1932.

other books by Donald Ritchie

Doing Oral History
Doing Oral History

Kobo ebook|Aug 7 2003

$13.09 online$16.99list price(save 22%)
The U.S. Congress: A Very Short Introduction
The U.S. Congress: A Very Short Introduction

Kobo ebook|Jun 21 2016

$6.19 online$7.99list price(save 22%)
Reporting from Washington: The History of the Washington Press Corps
Reporting from Washington: The History of the Washingto...

Kobo ebook|Mar 15 2005

$15.39 online$19.99list price(save 23%)
see all books by Donald Ritchie
Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 6.75 × 4.5 × 0.68 inPublished:July 7, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195338316

ISBN - 13:9780195338317

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of The U.S. Congress: A Very Short Introduction

Reviews