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While fighting a war for the Union, the Republican party attempted to construct the world's most powerful and most socially advanced nation. Rejecting the common assumption that wartime domestic legislation was a series of piecemeal reactions to wartime necessities, Heather Cox Richardson argues that party members systematically engineered pathbreaking laws to promote their distinctive theory of political economy. Republicans were a dynamic, progressive party, the author shows, that championed a specific type of economic growth. They floated billions of dollars in bonds, developed a national currency and banking system, imposed income taxes and high tariffs, passed homestead legislation, launched the Union Pacific railroad, and eventually called for the end of slavery. Their aim was to encourage the economic success of individual Americans and to create a millennium for American farmers, laborers, and small capitalists. However, Richardson demonstrates, while Republicans were trying to construct a nation of prosperous individuals, they were laying the foundation for rapid industrial expansion, corporate corruption, and popular protest. They created a newly active national government that they determined to use only to promote unregulated economic development. Unwittingly, they ushered in the Gilded Age.
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Minority Rights, Majority Rule seeks to explain why majority parties have consistently been so powerful in the U.S. House of Representatives while minorities often prevail in the Senate. Dr. Binder charts the history of minority rights in both chambers and explains how partisan battles--fought under rules inherited from the past--have shaped the creation and suppression of minority rights. Dr. Binder's statistical analysis and historical work provide the first comprehensive account of the development of minority rights in Congress and contribute to literature on the historical development of Congress.
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The federal government wastes your tax dollars worse than a drunken sailor on shore leave. The 1984 Grace Commission uncovered that the Department of Defense spent $640 for a toilet seat and $436 for a hammer. Twenty years later things weren't much better. In 2004, Congress spent a record-breaking $22.9 billion dollars of your money on 10,656 of their pork-barrel projects. The war on terror has a lot to do with the record $413 billion in deficit spending, but it's also the result of pork over the last 18 years the likes of: - $50 million for an indoor rain forest in Iowa - $102 million to study screwworms which were long ago eradicated from American soil - $273,000 to combat goth culture in Missouri - $2.2 million to renovate the North Pole (Lucky for Santa!) - $50,000 for a tattoo removal program in California - $1 million for ornamental fish research Funny in some instances and jaw-droppingly stupid and wasteful in others, The Pig Book proves one thing about Capitol Hill: pork is king!
How America's Essential Institution Works, and How It Doesn't
Author: Robert G. Kaiser
Category: Business & Economics
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This is an account of how Congress today really works, and doesn't, that follows the dramatic journey of the sweeping financial reform bill enacted in response to the Great Crash of 2008. The founding fathers expected Congress to be the most important branch of government and gave it the most power. When Congress is broken, as its justifiably dismal approval ratings suggest, so is our democracy. Here, the author, whose career at The Washington Post has made him a keen and knowledgeable observer of Congress, takes us behind the sound bites to expose the protocols, players, and politics of the House and Senate, revealing both the triumphs of the system and (more often) its fundamental flaws. This book tells the story of the Dodd-Frank Act, named for the two men who made it possible: Congressman Barney Frank, brilliant and sometimes abrasive, who mastered the details of financial reform, and Senator Chris Dodd, who worked patiently for months to fulfill his vision of a Senate that could still work on a bipartisan basis. Both Frank and Dodd collaborated with the author throughout their legislative efforts and allowed their staffs to share every step of the drafting and deal making that produced the 1,500-page law that transformed America's financial sector. The author explains how lobbying affects a bill, or fails to. We follow staff members more influential than most senators and congressmen. We see how Congress members protect their own turf, often without regard for what might best serve the country, moreeager to court television cameras than legislate on complicated issues about which many of them remain ignorant. In this book the author shows how ferocious partisanship regularly overwhelms all other considerations, though occasionally individual integrity prevails.
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The exhilarating, prescient story of the four-month campaign that changed American politics forever. Let the People Rule tells the exhilarating story of the four-month campaign that changed American politics forever. In 1912 Theodore Roosevelt came out of retirement to challenge his close friend and handpicked successor, William Howard Taft, for the Republican Party nomination. To overcome the power of the incumbent, TR seized on the idea of presidential primaries, telling bosses everywhere to “Let the People Rule.” The cheers and jeers of rowdy supporters and detractors echo from Geoffrey Cowan’s pages as he explores TR’s fight-to-the-finish battle to win popular support. After sweeping nine out of thirteen primaries, he felt entitled to the nomination. But the party bosses proved too powerful, leading Roosevelt to walk out of the convention and create a new political party of his own. Using a trove of newly discovered documents, Cowan takes readers inside the colorful, dramatic, and often mean-spirited campaign, describing the political machinations and intrigue and painting indelible portraits of its larger-than-life characters. But Cowan also exposes the more unsavory parts of TR’s campaign: seamy backroom deals, bribes made in TR’s name during the Republican Convention, and then the shocking political calculation that led TR to ban any black delegates from the Deep South from his new “Bull Moose Party.” In this utterly compelling work, Cowan illuminates lessons of the past that have great resonance for American politics today.
Author: Margaret E. Wagner,Gary W. Gallagher,Paul Finkelman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
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A resource compiled by a panel of expert advisors and arranged by topic covers all aspects of the Civil War and is augmented by dozens of maps, more than 100 photos and informative tables and lists. Reprint.
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The presidential historian charts the progression of American power from George Washington to George W. Bush, revealing the exercise of power through the office as it has developed into an "imperial" seat of authority, in an updated edition of the classic history. Reprint.
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From the 19th century, when northern cities were home to strong abolitionist communities and served as a counterpoint to the slaveholding South, through the first half of the 20th century, when the North became a destination for African Americans fleeing Jim Crow, the Northeastern United States has had a long history of acceptance and liberalism. But as historian Jason Sokol reveals in All Eyes Are Upon Us, northern states like Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut were also strongholds of segregation and deep-seated racism. In All Eyes Are Upon Us, historian Jason Sokol shows how Northerners—black and white alike—have struggled to realize the North’s progressive past and potential since the 1940s, efforts that, he insists, have slowly but surely succeeded. During World War II, the Second Great Migration brought an influx of African Americans to Northern cities, forcing residents to reckon with the disparity between their racial practices and their racial preaching. On the one hand, black political and cultural leaders seemed to embody the so-called northern mystique of enlightenment and racial progress. All of Brooklyn—Irish and Jewish residents, Italian immigrants, and African Americans newly arrived from the South—came out to support Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947 and led the Dodgers to six World Series games. Republican Ed Brooke was elected to the Senate from Massachusetts in 1966, becoming the nation’s first black senator since Reconstruction and winning a state whose population was 97% white. David Dinkins became the first black Mayor of New York in 1990, promising to resolve the racial tensions that wracked the city. But these achievements were by no means perfect, nor were they always representative of the African American experience in the Northeast. White Northerners who rallied behind Jackie Robinson or voted for Ed Brooke were rarely willing to reconsider their own prejudices or the policies of segregation that reigned. Jackie Robinson, like many African Americans in Bed-Stuy and Brownsville, faced housing discrimination in Brooklyn and in suburban Connecticut; Ed Brooke was undone by the anti-busing violence in South Boston; and David Dinkins’ brief tenure was undermined by ongoing racial violence and a backlash among white voters. These political and cultural victories had been significant but fragile, and they could not transcend the region’s racial strife and economic realities—or the empty claims of liberalism and color-blindness made by many white Northerners. But the gap between white liberal yearning and the segregated reality left small but meaningful room for racial progress. As Sokol argues, the region’s halting attempts to reconcile its progressive image with its legacy of racism can be viewed as a microcosm of America’s struggles with race as a whole: outwardly democratic, inwardly imbalanced, but always challenging itself to live up to its idealized role as a model of racial equality. Indeed, Sokol posits that it was the Northeast’s fierce pride in its reputation of progressiveness that ultimately rescued the region from its own prejudices and propelled it along an unlikely path to equality. An invaluable examination of the history of race and politics in the Northeast, All Eyes Are Upon Us offers a provocative account of the region’s troubled roots in segregation and its promising future in politicians from Deval Patrick to Barack Obama.