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Congress and the People: Deliberative Democracy on Trial (Woodrow Wilson Center Press) Hardcover – March 24, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Woodrow Wilson Center Press
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press (March 24, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801863074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801863073
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,796,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An interesting volume on Congress and its democratic relationships with the people." -- Choice



"The author, a long-time Republican staff member in the U.S. Congress who played a key role in the events leading up to and following the Republican takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994, eschews the traditional memoir in favor of a more ambitious approach. Certainly, Wolfensberger relies on stories from his tenure in the House, but he also plays the role of historian and political scientist." -- Neil Berch, Controversia

Review

"This book contains the best and finest understanding of Congressional behavior I know and makes anew -- and in the context of current political issues and means of communication -- our founders' case for deliberative, representative democracy." -- Anthony C. Beilenson, former U.S. Representative from California


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Warren Dickey on October 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
D. R. Wolfensberger has produced a work that is exceptionally relevant for our times. While many books of the political science genre are boring and confusing to the average reader, Congress & The People: Deliberative Democracy On Trial was interesting to read and easy to understand. The Founders of our nation instituted a system of representative, deliberative democracy in which Congressional representatives, Congressmen and Senators, are elected by the people and represent their constituency in creating and passing laws that govern this country. The alternative to that is a direct democracy in which the whole of the citizenry vote on every particular bill. The author provides an exacting background analysis into how and why the Founders decided on the form of representative deliberative democracy that, while having evolved somewhat, is still in use today. The book begins in the post-Revolution United States, as the Founders discuss what the Constitution should consist of and how the federal government should be structured. After covering all that it took to create the Constitution and the three branches of our current government, the author moves the reader briefly through the early 20th century providing a look at how Congress has changed over roughly one hundred years. Following this brief stop the reader finds himself in the post-Vietnam War 1970s. For the next eight chapters the author discusses changes to Congress and Congressional procedures due to such influences as improved mass media, television, Vietnam, presidential impeachment, calls for term limits, etc.. The final chapter delivers a thoughtful conclusion that provides a capstone explanation of Congressional behavior from the past to the present and what the future of deliberative democracy should be.Read more ›
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By Clark Biggs on November 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I stumbled on this book at a good friend's home and, having nothing better to do, started thumbing through it. Well, an hour later I realized that I had stumbled on something quite remarkable. You would assume from the subject matter that it would be dry and heavy going. Not so. I found it most absorbing, giving insight to the real Congress, not what you might discern from news reports. The author obviously knows and enjoys his subject and it comes through clearly and informatively.
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