Landmark debates in Congress [electronic resource] : from the Declaration of independence to the war in Iraq /
Stephen W. Stathis.
Washington, D.C. : CQ Press, c2009.
xii, 514 p. : ill., maps ; 29 cm.
0872899764 (hardback : alk. paper), 9780872899766 (hardback : alk. paper)
More Details
Washington, D.C. : CQ Press, c2009.
0872899764 (hardback : alk. paper)
9780872899766 (hardback : alk. paper)
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 479-496) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2009-03-01:
Benjamin Franklin once characterized democracy as "two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch." While tyranny of the majority has been one aspect of the American Experiment, this has been counterbalanced by a spirit of compromise. Both extremes and various gradations in between are evident in the 52 chapters of this "rhetorical collection." Presenting excerpts of speeches delivered in the House of Representatives and the Senate, this volume seeks to give readers "a window into how Congress, seemingly constituting a cross-section of society, has wrestled with some of the most thorny questions facing American democracy." Such monumental issues as war, slavery, impeachment of the President, amendments to the Constitution, and other bones of contention illuminate the legislative process. Arranged chronologically, each segment opens with a two-page introductory essay that affords a historical snapshot of the country at that moment and the opposing forces that led to the legislation in question. A set of representative arguments, one for, one against, comes next. The verbatim transcripts, taken from the Congressional Record and other official sources, give a wonderful immediacy to what some might consider dull as dishwater. Special features include "The Final Vote" box with breakdown of yea or nay by chamber and political party for most debates and an extensive bibliography. Stathis, who is currently a senior staff member at the Congressional Research Service, has spent nearly 40 years as a congressional historian and is thus well acquainted with the subject matter. Likewise, CQ Press has specialized in publishing federal government reference books since 1945. Nothing similar appears to have been published recently, although the full text of speeches going back to 1873 has been available in the Congressional Record (Government Printing Office) and the Congressional Globe and Annals of Congress before that. Bottom Line A depiction of real people struggling to solve real problems, this book helps to humanize "the marble men"-and women-of our national legislative body. An appropriate purchase for any public or academic library but especially for those with strong American history or political science collections. [Available in ebook format later in 2009.]-Michael F. Bemis, Washington Cty. Lib., Woodbury, MN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Booklist, April 2009
School Library Journal, August 2009
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Main Description
Expert presentation and analysis of more than 50 pivotal historical debates, from the Declaration of Independence to authorizing war with Iraq &BAD:"If taxation is a badge of freedom, let me assure my friend that the poor people of this country are covered all over with the insignia of freemen.&BAD:"&BAD:-Rep. William Jennings Bryan, 1894 A fascinating look at history in the making&BAD:-and an eye-opening presentation of some remarkably colorful rhetoric&BAD:-Landmark Debates in Congress is a one-volume resource to more than 50 pivotal congressional debates. From colonial independence and individual rights to slavery, territorial expansion, and presidential powers, debates include the Bill of Rights (1789), the Revenue Act of 1894 (the origin of the income tax), FDR's court-packing plan (1937), Medicare and Medicaid (1965), Richard Nixon's 1974 impeachment, and the Iraq War resolution (2002).

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