To understand American politics and government, we need to recognize that members of Congress are more than agents of societal interests and preferencesthey also act with some autonomy and consequence in the public sphere. In this illuminating book, a distinguished political scientist examines the actions of members of Congress throughout American history, assessing their patterns and importance and their role in the U.S. system of separation of powers."This refreshing and interesting book offers an entirely new perspective on Congress's history and its role in U.S. politics. It is a book that every student of Congress will want to read."-Gary C. Jacobson, author of The Politics of Congressional Elections
In this important book,Mayhew uses common sense to turn historical scholarship into data. And he fulfills his purpose,to evaluate public affairs in a democracy rather than merely to deplore its passing.