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Politics or Principle: Filibustering in the United States Senate Paperback – November 1, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0815709510 ISBN-10: 081570951X Edition: First

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Many Americans of a certain age may remember the filibuster as Jimmy Stewart's final courageous act in the 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but the real significance of the filibuster is rarely appreciated and frequently misunderstood in American politics. In this excellent study, the authors (political science, Univ. of Minnesota) provide readers with everything they might ever need to know about the history, use, and effectiveness of the filibuster. Not since Franklin L. Burdette's Filibuster in the Senate was published in 1940 has this subject been treated to such a comprehensive and intelligent analysis. For example, the authors, employing statistical means, test the proposition that contemporary resort to the filibuster happens for more partisan motives and for more trivial issues than at any other time in the Senate's history, and discover that this is not the case. Overall, this is a fine book that any student of Congress should read.?Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ. Lib., Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"The filibuster has become so encrusted with myth, anecdote, and self-serving interpretation that it tends to be appraised in either demonic or sentimental terms. In this book, Binder and Smith present a hard and methodologically impecable study that is one of the most satisfying examinations of any aspect of the legislative process that I have read in recent years. It is a superb piece of work." —Ross K. Baker, Rutgers University

"With their clear-eyed analysis, Binder and Smith have succeeded in stripping away the layers of myth and misunderstanding that have shrouded the filibuster's role in American politics, and exposed it for what it unfortunately has become: a procedural straitjacket placed on the will of the American people. The book and the balanced, thoughtfully conceived reforms it advocates are long overdue and should be required reading for the next Senate." —Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, United States Senator, Connecticut

"Finally, a book that thoroughly examines the effects of Senate rules and institutions on political behavior and policy. This well-written, admirably documented book makes an important contribution to our understanding of the U.S. Senate. I highly recommend it." —Mathew D. McCubbins, University of California, San Diego

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Politics or Principle: Filibustering in the United States Senate
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