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The Most Exclusive Club: A History of the…

The Most Exclusive Club: A History of the Modern United States Senate

by Lewis L. Gould

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4206 The Most Exclusive Club A History of the Modern United States Senate, by Lewis L. Gould (read 3 Sep 2006) This is a 2005 history of the U.S. Senate from 1900 to 2005. When I saw it on the library shelf I knew I had to read it. The author is an emeritus history professor at the U. of Texas. He deprecates many Senators, including Robert M. LaFollette, but says good things about John Worth Kern, Mike Mansfield, and Tom Daschle. The book is full of interesting things, some of which I did not know--including why Senator Lester Hunt killed himself in 1954. (I was in Washington at the time but never heard what this book tells.) He tells of Senators such as Key Pittman, John McClellan, Russell Long, Everett Dirksen, Thomas Hennings, and Harley Kilgore and their problems with alcohol. A lot of the information was not new to me, but it is good to read a continuous account of the whole 105 years. This was a fun book to read. ( )
  Schmerguls | Oct 24, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465027784, Hardcover)

The Senate was originally conceived by the Founding Fathers as an anti-democratic counterweight to the more volatile House of Representatives, but in the twentieth century it has often acted as an impediment to needed reforms. A hundred years ago, senators were still chosen by state legislatures, rather than by direct elections. Now, in the wake of the 2004 elections, and the consolidation of Republican control, the Senate is likely to become a crucible of power shifts that will have enormous impact on American politics in the twenty-first century. In The Most Exclusive Club, acclaimed political historian Lewis Gould puts the debates about the Senate's future into the context of its history from the Progressive Era to the war in Iraq. From charges of corruption to the occasional attempt at reform, Gould highlights the major players, issues, and debates (including the League of Nations, the McCarthy hearings, and the Iran-Contra affair) that have shaped the institution. Beyond the usual outsized figures such as Lyndon Johnson, Strom Thurmond, and Barry Goldwater, Gould also tells the story of the lesser-known Senate leaders who have played a vital role in America's upper house. Filled with colorful anecdotes, this is a long-awaited history of one of the most powerful political bodies in the world, written by a master. Gould's sweeping narrative combines deft storytelling with a fresh look at the crucible of contemporary political debate and decision-making.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:33 -0400)

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"In this narrative, acclaimed political historian Lewis L. Gould chronicles over one hundred years of Senate history, from the Progressive Era to the war in Iraq. In addition to outsized figures such as Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr., William E. Borah, and Lyndon Johnson, Gould also highlights the stories of lesser-known Senate leaders who have played vital roles in America's upper house."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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