Irwin s analysis provides some of the most comprehensive evidence that I have seen that the impediments to meaningful and constructive public policymaking in the House have grown substantially since the 1960s. Milton C. Cummings Jr., coauthor of Democracy Under Pressure: An Introduction to the American Political System
Lewis Irwin s analysis of both changes and continuities in the legislative process in Congress in the 1960s and 1990s is perceptive and sophisticated. He concludes that the individual legislator is still crucial to effective action. President Bush should read this book! John Brademas, Member, U.S. House of Representatives, 1959 1981"
From the Back Cover
Irwin argues that the interpersonal "glue" that held 1960s-era legislators together has been weakened, diminishing the strength of a resource once available to aid would-be legislative champions. This is evidenced by the House being a much less civil and congenial institution today than it was in the 1960s. Consensus building, too, has given way to a war of attrition, leading to a marked increase in contextual impediments to the realization of legislative success. This does not mean, however, that the underlying ingredients of legislative success have changed, only that, in sum, there is a distinct "chill" in the House as members pursue their business.