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The House: The History of the House of Representatives

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  108 ratings  ·  12 reviews
The first–ever narrative nonfiction history of the House of Representatives, by the National Book Award–winning historian.

Robert Remini, one of the preeminent historians of our times, was chosen by the Library of Congress to write this official – and fascinating – history.

Throughout America's history, the House has played a central role in shaping the nation's destiny. In
Hardcover, 624 pages
Published April 25th 2006 by Smithsonian
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David Eppenstein
Excellent history of the People's House and the people that served there.
Frank Stein

This book was funded by the House of Representatives itself, and from that I expected a somewhat dry institutional history. That is at least partially accurate. The book marches through its chapters with a steady lockstep, covering every decade in about 25 pages, and focusing on the Speaker, political leaders, and a few key events in each time period. It relies on a pretty rigid form and adheres closely to it.

But in covering the entire 200-odd years of American history through the perspective of
The House provides an accessible summary of the political history of the United States through the lens of the House of Representatives. It covers the key controversies of Presidential power, state vs. federal and legislative battles between parties. It does an excellent job of looking at how the role of the Speaker has changed and focusing on the two most powerful speakers Henry Clay and Sam Rayburn. It is very easy to read and quick for those with a good background in US history who can focus ...more
Julian Haigh
Great book on the history of the House of Representatives in the states. From the very beginning of the republic there was dispute around slavery with the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Masterful speakers and committee members are highlighted and you get a feel of the pulse of the institution as it goes through various stages and rules. Fantastic book for a look at the broad-scope US history to act as a refresher.
Allen Garvin
After The Most Exclusive Club, above, I looked through the shelves at Borders for a book on the House, and got this. Overall, it's reasonably satisfying, though a better title might be 'The History of the United States with special emphasis on the house'. There are a lot of asides about American history that has little or nothing to do with the workings of the actual House. The best parts, the most substantive, are the sections on the Jacksonian era and the period right before the Civil War. It ...more
A phenomenal one volume history of the US House of Representatives. All the inside stories of the House, past and present, make the words jump off the page. The institution comes alive in this excellent work by Remini. If you want to know how the House came to be the House it is today, this is the book for you.
Neil Baer
The stories about the early House sessions are very entertaining and for me, the best part. The book is by no means a comprehensive guide to the House, but it gives a nice introduction to the different eras and personalities within those eras.
Pretty good for covering two hundred years of legislators, debates, momentous legislation, fires, stabbings, shootings, and other everyday goings-on at the Capitol.
Excellent one volume history of the U.S. House of Representatives. A great survey.
Great book if you are Gov/History geek...otherwise...prepare for a map.

Although a documented work, it lacks the scholarly vigor expected.
Carl Johnson
Good way to put current politics in proper context.
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