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1. Congress And Its Members
2. How Congress Works and Why You
3. Parliament and Congress: Representation
4. Congress Reconsidered
5. Congress Shall Make No Law: The
6. Congress: The Electoral Connection,
7. Bob Drinan: The Controversial
8. The Futurological Congress: From
9. Testifying Before Congress: A
10. Persuading Congress: A Practical
11. The Broken Branch: How Congress
12. The U.S. Congress: A Very Short
13. The Mummy Congress: Science, Obsession,
14. Baseball Americana: Treasures
15. The American Congress
16. On These Walls: Inscriptions &
17. The Library of Congress Civil
18. The Library of Congress World
19. The Congress of Vienna: A Study
20. Indians and Colonists at the Crossroads

1. Congress And Its Members
by Roger H. Davidson, Walter J. Oleszek, Frances E. Lee
Paperback: 625 Pages (2009-07-22)
list price: US$59.95 -- used & new: US$49.00
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Asin: 0872899675
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Davidson, Oleszek, and Lee s focus on Congress as both a legislative institution and as a group of reelection-minded politicians has proven to be an extraordinarily effective and accessible way for thousands of students to understand the institution and the law-making process. A proven classic, the twelfth edition of Congress and Its Members features careful revising, new scholarship, and crucial updating.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible!Completely Biased.Inaccurate.One-sided.
I heard about bias in academia but that did not prepare me for this book.The bias and political agenda of the authors was so apparent it was insulting to read.They leave out information that does not support their agenda and dismiss little inconviences like the Constituion.Do not belief, for one second, that you are getting balanced information or an accurate representation of party views.This is a sophmoric demonization of everyone the authors don't agree with and the promotion to sainthood of everyone on they do agree with.This book was used for a Masters program but it will most likely be replaced.Strangely enough, most grad students want to make up their own minds.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Well Done Guide for those interested in Law
Normally, Law has been such a struggle for me to understand. This book, long as it may be, has very good guidelines on how politics really work and why politicians struggle the way they do. Would recommend it to anyone interested in Law and Politics.

5-0 out of 5 stars Really Fast
I ordered this book with about a dozen other text books, and this was the first one to arrive, and it was brand new.Thanks.

3-0 out of 5 stars Knowledgeable review of mechanics but not effectiveness
The authors are acknowledged experts on the mechanics of the U.S. Congress. They convey acquaintance with the human side of the institution through a folksy style and many anecdotes. They describe "two Congresses", the first relating to constituents, and the secondto colleagues. What about performance? What about effectiveness?

Polls now (2008) record an all-time low of 9% for Congress's approval rating. This highlights the authors' glaring myopia and essential omission of the reason for the existence of Congress - to manage the affairs of the nation in a balanced and efficient way.

No doubt, most Senators and Representatives do an excellent job of helping their constituents. They know that reelection depends on this service. The U.S. Congress is probably unique in the world in citizens' access to effective assistance in interfacing with government on a personal level.

But it was not until I recently had occasion to compare U.S. lawmaking with that in leading European nations' parliaments that I realized - to my shock - the arbitrary, serendipitous, and dysfunctional way Congress has come to function since the 1960s. In EU nations' parliaments the party in power initiates a concept for a new major law by first sending it to a relevant ministry. There the concept gets a careful assessment: short-term, long-term impact, vetting with various constituenciesaffected by the proposed policy, cost, etc. A draft law with the assessment comes back to the governing party or coalition. It is then submitted to the full parliament for debate, amendment, and vote. The pre-analysis process catches conflicts with earlier laws, policies that will generate problems or hostilities gaps and other weaknesses. Dialoging and communication is key.

The post-1970s U.S. system could not be more different. ~10,000bills [pour into each (2-year) Congress. The majority get no action at all in the standing committees- many are framl;u introduced mainly to register activity and concern about issues with constituents. Many are blatantly partisan and narrowly drawn. Even more carefully written bills are rarely coordinated with other authors - or similar initiatives in other committees. Except for assessing cost and links to existing law the fate of bills is largely at the discretion of committee chairpersons and majority leaders. Partisan gridlockhas largely paralyzed Congressional activity in the big issues. In these or noncontroversial areas Members feel free to write fragmentary, intrusive, micromanaging laws in areas where Congress has no formal expertise - like science, environment, that should rightfully be in the hands of professional agencies. With the enormous crush of new bills and other activities that every committee and the Congress as a whole must manage, there is no way Congress can maintain continuous oversight over detailed programs initiated by past enacted legislation.

So it is no wonder that in the past 30 years or more the landscape has become littered with failed or foundered Congressional initiatives - each of which may have begun with enthusiasm and often substantial funding outlays.It's shocking but part of the reason that the U.S. is in the trouble it is in,that experts like the authors, as well as politicians,can absorb themselves in their special interests and forget all about "minding the store". Three stars for mechanics - zero for the rest.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best textbooks on the subject
I have ordered this book in its many editions for classes that I have taught on Congress and Legislative Politics.It is one of the best general texts available--and readily accessible to those who are simply interested in the politics of Congress.

One of the key points made by the authors is that there are "two Congresses": One of these is the Congress of "how a bill becomes a law," of the actions and politics characteristic of Capitol Hill.The other is the operation of representatives in their home districts, acting on behalf of their constituents, "the folks back home."The two worlds that members of Congress live in (Washington D. C. and "back home") can produce tensions and dilemmas for members of the legislature.But these conflicts help us to understand the complex nature of Congressional politics and decision-making.

Lawmakers cannot just live in the one Congress or the other.They must navigate and negotiate between the two.

This text covers the full territory, from the history of Congress, to how one ends up getting elected to Congress, to how Congress works and its interactions with other key political actors, to the policy process of which Congress is a key.

For anyone--students or citizens--interested in the nature of Congress, this represents a good starting point.
... Read more

2. How Congress Works and Why You Should Care
by Lee H. Hamilton
Paperback: 168 Pages (2004-01-28)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.54
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Asin: 0253216958
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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How Congress Works and Why You Should Care is a concise introduction to the functions and vital role of the U.S. Congress by eminent former Congressman Lee H. Hamilton. Drawing on 34 years as a U.S. Representative, Hamilton explains how Congress reflects the diversity of the American people, serves as a forum for finding consensus, and provides balance within the federal government. Addressing widespread public misperceptions, he outlines areas where Congress can work better and ways for citizens to become more engaged in public affairs through their representatives in Washington. How Congress Works and Why You Should Care is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the inner workings of Congress, and how all citizens can participate in its unique mission.

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Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Also changed my view of Congress for the good
Like another reviewer I came away with a far better understanding of what Congress does and why it can be so difficult. Hamilton doesn't pull any punches in addressing - and to a certain extent agreeing with - many of the standard criticisms but he highlights why it can be changed and how it needs to be changed. This is a very well written, balanced, view from trenches that left me feeling quite optimistic about an institution that, although far from perfect, is still within the grasp of the average person to change, or at least influence.

It's light on technical detail (eg. passage of a bill) and partisan political viewpoints, fortunately, and is sprinkled with interesting anecdotes. The writing style is way more engaging than I would have expected about a book of this nature and it's slim enough that it gets to the point without unnecessary padding. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars really changed my view of Congress for the positive
The other two reviews are much more well-written than I can type, but still wanted to add a positive review since I think it is a terrific book.I was very cynical of Congress before reading this book.Hamilton really gives an excellent overview of the responsibilities of the members and how they come to make decisions about legislation and pass it through.Though he describes how it is not perfect, it is still works a whole lot better than I gave it credit for.I am really much more optimistic that there are people in there that care and that my voice can make a difference.I really never took time before to consider all of the reforms that are in place to keep members of Congress honest and how it is really in their best interest to be honest.The book was so easy to read and at a length that I could actually finish, but still caused me to reconsider many things.The book was very much written for the average person.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Enlightening and Inspirational Take on an oft Misunderstood Institution
This is a very good overview of how the legislative branch of the federal government works. After 34 years in the House of Representatives, the author is a certified expert on his subject and he treats it objectively in a nonpartisan manner. The book opens with a spirited and convincing defense of the institution, continues with a critical look at what improvements can be made, and concludes with an impassioned plea for increased civic participation.

From the first page of the book, Hamilton tackles the public's "far less grand view of Congress" and the lack of trust they have in the institution. He systematically addresses each of the public's main concerns, and although it is a bit repetitive and his defense of certain topics (most specifically "pork" spending) is not convincing, he is overall successful in his arguments. Hamilton hammers home the importance of Congress's role in balancing the power of the three branches of the federal government and lists many of its major accomplishments (ie the federal highway system and civil rights legislation). A representative democracy requires debate and compromise, which can appear to be slow and messy to an outsider, but is necessary to build consenus and ensure that no one branch of government becomes to powerful.

The author does not blindly support institution of Congress and points out several key areas of reform. He calls upon members of Congress to be more civil (something that declined significantly during his tenure), more willing to tackle the tough issues, and have a more strategic, longer term mindset with an eye towards the impact on the greater public good. Hamilton acknowledges that money has too much influence on campaigning and further ethical reforms are still needed. It is also important to maintain "good process," ensuring that members don't bypass critical steps in the legislative process. A strengthened relationship with the White House would also allow the executive branch to consult with more subject matter experts and make better policy decisions.

The final chapter outlines how the public can participate in governmental affairs and why it is important to do so. Hamilton calls upon us all to become more involved by becoming more educated on the process and issues (which will also make us less cynical), vote in all elections, contact and get to know their representatives (they listen to us more than we think), and become more active in community and interest groups. The book includes many examples of individuals who have made a significant difference to the country and will hopefully inspire other future successes as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Substantive View from inside Congress
This book is especially valuable because the author's insights on Congress come from his long legislative career. It is a substantive view of the legislative branch from the inside.

Hamilton provides a good sense of the usually messy process involved in a bill becoming law, explaining how powerful members can often circumvent the normal process, and sometimes even avoid bringing a bill into committee.

After reading this book, I came away with a better operational sense of politics---the compromise, listening, and coalition building that are essential in our democracy. I also learned more about how power affects the system---in the House, for example, the party in the majority can set the rules for debate, and thus controls a lot of the legislative process. Power shifts as well---over the years, speakers have become less powerful, committee heads more so. Some members can command more national attention than others, which adds weight to whatever issue or initiative they are pushing.

But more significant than the how is the why. Hamilton makes a great case for the average citizen getting civically involved, and he explains the positive impact government can have in our lives. He doesn't mince words in acknowledging government's faults. But he also explains that some common criticisms people have of government---that politicians compromise too much, and that the process is too slow---are actually misplaced because these types of things are part of the democratic process itself. Autocracies tend to work quickly. Democracies are more complicated, often more messy, but ultimately more represenative. ... Read more

3. Parliament and Congress: Representation and Scrutiny in the Twenty-First Century
by William McKay, Charles W. Johnson
Hardcover: 600 Pages (2010-07-22)
list price: US$160.00 -- used & new: US$127.97
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Asin: 0199273626
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Parliament and Congress describes and compares the constitutional background and procedures of the parliament in congress. Currently unsolved problems often have much in common, in vexed areas such as ethics requirements or how procedural rules permit minorities fair access to legislative time before majorities prevail. British successes include the enhanced authority and effectiveness of select committees and the acquisition of more debating time by the creation of a parallel Chamber. Unsolved problems at Westminster begin with the powers and status of the Lords, and go on through the search for more effective review of EU activities, adapting parliamentary scrutiny to more sophisticated government financial information, and making better use of legislative time without diminishing back-bench rights.

The accelerated pace and extent of procedural changes in Congress is problematic. Constant pursuit of campaign funds, increased party exploitation of Members' ethical shortcomings, and partisan reapportionments, have diminished collegiality and compromise. Business is conducted with greater predictability, with fewer quorum calls, postponement and clustering of votes, and by utilization of ad hoc special orders, often in derogation of openness and minority rights in the House. Minority complaints have been frequent and occasionally extreme. Conversely constant filibuster threats in the Senate have enhanced minority party power there. An 'inverse ratio' between the greater complexity, importance, and urgency of pending legislation on the one hand, and diminution of deliberative capacity, fairness. and transparency on the other, has been repeatedly demonstrated, especially at the stage of final compromises between the Houses. ... Read more

4. Congress Reconsidered
by Lawrence C. Dodd, Bruce I. Oppenheimer
Paperback: 441 Pages (2008-12-19)
list price: US$59.95 -- used & new: US$47.75
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Asin: 0872896161
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Always a classic, Dodd and Oppenheimer's Congress Reconsidered is the recognized source for in-depth, cutting-edge scholarship on Congress geared to undergraduates. Thoroughly updated -- with ten brand new pieces and the others completely revised -- this ninth edition includes cogent, timely analysis of the 2008 congressional elections, as well as coverage of: 

  • the 110th Democratic Congress,specifically its energy policy, its handling of the Iraq War, and its taxing and spending; 
  • the role of committees in Congress;
  • leadership by women and minorities in Congress;
  • the effects of campaign finance reform;
  • differences in legislative activity between the Republican and Democratic Congresses;
  • party coalition-building across the postwar era;
  • and perspective on campaigns, elections,and political careers from member of Congress Daniel Lipinski.
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Value!
Great value for the price.The book arrived promptly, and it is in great shape.Very little wearing and markings in the book.I plan to buy from this again.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Perspective on Congress
I read this book for a grad class and was pleased at how the text looked at the institution of Congress from a multiplicity of perspectives. The "freshness" of this text is its best selling point. The research and anecdotes are from 3-5 years ago, not 30 to 50. While not necessarily for the armchair political science aficionado, it is a good text for thinkers who want to know how Congress really does work. ... Read more

5. Congress Shall Make No Law: The First Amendment, Unprotected Expression, and the U.S. Supreme Court (Free Expression in America)
by David M. O'Brien
Hardcover: 150 Pages (2010-09-16)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$21.56
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Asin: 1442205105
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The First Amendment declares that _Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . . _ Yet, in the following two hundred years, Congress and the states have sought repeatedly to curb these freedoms. The Supreme Court of the United States in turn gradually expanded First Amendment protection for freedom of expression but also defined certain categories of expression_obscenity, defamation, commercial speech , and _fighting words_ or disruptive expression-as constitutionally unprotected. From the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798 to the most recent cases to come before the Supreme Court, noted legal scholar David M. O'Brien provides the first comprehensive examination of these exceptions to the absolute command of the First Amendment, providing a history of each category of unprotected speech and putting into bold relief the larger questions of what kinds of expression should (and should not) receive First Amendment protection. O'Brien provides readers interested in civil liberties, constitutional history and law, and the U. S. Supreme Court a treasure trove of information and ideas about how to think about the First Amendment. ... Read more

6. Congress: The Electoral Connection, Second Edition
by Professor David R. Mayhew
Paperback: 216 Pages (2004-11-10)
list price: US$19.50 -- used & new: US$15.00
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Asin: 0300105878
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In this second edition to a book that has now achieved canonical status, David R. Mayhew argues that the principal motivation of legislators is reelection and that the pursuit of this goal affects the way they behave and the way that they make public policy. In a new foreword for this edition, R. Douglas Arnold discusses why the book revolutionized the study of Congress and how it has stood the test of time. The book also contains a new preface by the author.

Praise for the earlier edition:

“Any short list of major analyses of Congress must of necessity include David Mayhew’s Congress: The Electoral Connection. It is a pleasure to have this aged-in-the cask classic reissued, and the foreword by Arnold and preface by Mayhew are a valuable bonus.”—Fred Greenstein

•Winner of the Washington Monthly Political Book Award for 1974

David R. Mayhew, Sterling Professor of Political Science at Yale University, is the author of many books, including Divided We Govern, America’s Congress, and Electoral Realignments, all published by Yale University Press.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Mayhew's Evidence Tells All - In Congress, Reelection Is Job #1
David Mayhew's Congress: The Electoral Connection examines the activities of the individuals and the specifics of the institutions of the US House of Representatives, in an effort to determine the primary goals of House members elected to serve America and their constituents in the House. The thinking is that understanding House members' motivations better will allow observers to predict their actions.

He's well qualified to address this topic, having taught at Yale on political and legislative institutions since 1968.

Mayhew concludes that the main motivation behind what United States Congressmen say and do is not the best interests of the folks back home or even the well-being of their country - they are mainly concerned with their own reelection. In fact, he goes further, dismissing the idea that reelection is one of many motivations of Congressmen, saying that they are "...indeed, in their role [in Washington] as abstractions, interested in nothing else." He goes on in this book to display evidence, in the name of activities of Congresspeople and the policies and institutions of the House of Representatives, that supports his thesis well.

Don't be dismissed by the book's brevity and breezy tone. It's packed with insight and supportive data. And, don't think that this 1974 book is irrelevant to today's Congress. The themes and pressures ring true to today's world.

The conclusions are disheartening to those of us hoping for more from our elected leaders, but Mayhew's tone isn't cynical, just factual. Congress: The Electoral Connection is a foundation on which a library of research has been conducted on US political institutions. Political science students and those interested in how the direction of our country is set should read it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Congress The Electoral Connection
The goals of individual congressmen have a significant impact on the quality and power of Congress as an institution.The exact role of Congress is a much debated issue but it can be safely stated that at a minimum, Congress is to make quality public policy, which in aggregate, benefits the nation as a whole.The extent to which this is achieved is in large part dependent on the willingness and ability of Congress as a collection of individual goals and desires to strive toward this end.

David Mayhew assessed that the main goal of congressmen was to gain re-election.In this never ending quest for popular support, the legislative and oversight duties of congressmen takes a back seat to advertising, credit claiming and position taking.In other words, Congress' vast resources are expended in allocating benefits to small constituencies and not toward responsible, cohesive and nationally oriented public policy.Staff and office material are used for keeping in touch with constituents and casework.Committees are platforms for position taking and pork barrel politics.And parties and party leaders focus on doling out favors, setting agendas and protecting the habits and routine of the organization.This results in delay, narrow policies directed at small segments of the population, a tendency to favor the legislative preferences of organized constituencies, especially those with a proven power to deliver money, manpower and votes, and finally symbolism.The end product is poor public policy with little cohesion and direction.

Mayhew's assessment of what drives individual members of Congress could be debated.But his conclusion that the policy making is fragmented and disjointed is difficult to argue with.

1-0 out of 5 stars Really?
Mayhew comes to the earth-shaking conclusion that politicians want to be re-elected. Do you really need to read a book to tell you that -- give me a break! This was known by my grandfather who never attended school beyond the third-grade. Save your time and save your money.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent survey of congressional activities
Despite the fact that Mayhew's "Congress: The Electoral Connection" was published in 1986, the congressional goals discussed by Mayhew are still very relevant.Mayhew discusses three possible Congressional goals: 1)reelection, 2)gaining influence, and 3)producing good public policy.He also discusses the factors that effect the actions of Congressmen, such as: political parties, constituencies, committees, political action commitees, house and senate leadership, etc...

5-0 out of 5 stars Reelection matters, but so does policy
Although the review of the book by the gentleman below certainly delvesinto some of the major issues that Mayhew offers in this classic polticalscience text, he ignores one of the major points of the book:Mayhew'spoint that legislators are constantly seeking reelection, that it drivesthem, is mitigated by his belief that the *reason* they are seekingreelection is so that they can pursue particular goals -- policy orotherwise. Reelection does drive them, but is only a MEANS, not an end.Impact on national, state or local policy -- or other political goals -- isthe reason they continue to work diligently to be reelected. After all,they can't enact legislation if they aren't members of the body in thefirst place. ... Read more

7. Bob Drinan: The Controversial Life of the First Catholic Priest Elected to Congress
by Raymond SchrothS.J.
Hardcover: 300 Pages (2010-11-01)
list price: US$32.95 -- used & new: US$21.75
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Asin: 0823233049
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Raymond Schroth's Bob Drinan: The Controversial Life of the First Catholic Priest Elected to Congress shows that the contentious mixture of religion and politics in this country is nothing new. Four decades ago, Father Robert Drinan, the fiery Jesuit priest from Massachusetts, not only demonstrated against the Vietnam War, he ran for Congress as an antiwar candidate and won, going on to serve for 10 years.

Schroth has delved through magazine and newspaper articles and various archives (including Drinan's congressional records at Boston College, where he taught and also served as dean of the law school) and has interviewed dozens of those who knew Drinan to bring us a life-sized portrait. The result is a humanistic profile of an intensely private man and a glimpse into the life of a priest-politician who saw advocacy of human rights as his call.

Drinan defined himself as a "moral architect" and was quick to act on his convictions, whether from the bully pulpit of the halls of Congress or from his position in the Church as a priest; to him they were as intricately woven as the clerical garb he continued to wear unapologetically throughout his elected tenure. Drinan's opposition to the Vietnam War and its extension into Cambodia, his call for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon (he served on the House Judiciary Committee, which initiated the charges), his pro-choice stance on abortion (legally, not morally), his passion for civil rights, and his devotion to Jewish people and the well-being of Israel made him one of the most liberal members of Congress and a force to be reckoned with. But his loyalty to the Church was never in question, and when Pope John Paul II demanded that he step down from offi ce, he did so unquestioningly. Afterward, he continued to champion the ideals he thought would make the world a better place. He didn't think of it in terms of left and right; as moral architect, he saw it in terms of right and wrong.

This important book doesn't resolve debate about issues of church and state, but it does help us understand how one side can inform the other, if we are listening. It has much to say that is worth hearing. ... Read more

8. The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy
by Stanislaw Lem
Paperback: 156 Pages (1985-10-28)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$6.39
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Asin: 0156340402
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Bringing his twin gifts of scientific speculation and scathing satire to bear on that hapless planet, Earth, Lem sends his unlucky cosmonaut, Ijon Tichy, to the Eighth Futurological Congress. Caught up in local revolution, Tichy is shot and so critically wounded that he is flashfrozen to await a future cure. Translated by Michael Kandel.
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Customer Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars Unique
I love How indifferent the narration is to everything. When a Molotov cocktail ignites several people in the hallway of the hotel, it is merely stated,as though the narrator is unfazed by the event. Hilarious and psychopathic. Only Stanislaw Lem could think this way;really weird and random things.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the best.
In my (admittedly) limited experience, The Futurological Congress is to science fiction what Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas is to "straight" fiction - florid, immersive, gorgeous, and - most of all - tactile.

Fear and Loathing will give you a taste of what the hippies thought they were on to.Congress will leave a very similar taste in your mouth - while it may not iconify a generation, it definitely captures an aspect of the zeitgeist that Fear and Loathing rides into the sunset.

If you've never heard of Lem, if you're vectoring in from a Thompson-esque background.... if you have a need for some HEAVY ideas with some ZING!.... start here.

This is, simply put, the best English translation of a non-English work I've ever read.Trained and studied critics will more accurately typify the how and the why... at the end of the day, you've NEVER read ANYTHING like this.Swerving between Burroughs at his most coherent and Thompson at his most In Touch, The Futurological Congress will defibrillate even the most jaded of science fiction fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading For Sci-Fi Fans
The Futurological Congress is among the greatest works of Science Fiction ever written, and it is considered by many (myself included) to be S. Lem's finest work.

Set in the not too distant future, Congress is narrated by Ijon Tichy, who recounts the events of his visit to the Futurological Congress. The irony is that the titular event never really occurs thanks to a popular uprising in the host country. Poor Tichy dies only to be resurrected in a future where society is regulated by an endless array of psychotropic drugs.

In today's world of Ritalin, Ambien, Cialis, Prozac, and so on, Lem's drug fueled vision of the future seems eerily prophetic. The translation (from the original Polish) does an excellent job with the laundry list of psuedo-drugs Lem invents for the citizens of the future, and preserves his trademark cynicism and eye for human foibles. Written under the heavy-hand of Soviet rule, Congress is full of digs at government, bureaucracy and the man's timid resistance to manipulation.

An amazing and bizarre story, full of wit and remarkable insight, Congress resonates to this day and rightfully earns its place at the pinnacle of intelligent Sci-Fi.

2-0 out of 5 stars Experimental Science Fiction with a great message
I need to start out by saying that I am not as well read in Science Fiction as I am in other genres.

Stanislaw Lem writes with a style that is inaccessible for me, but I could see as being accessible for other people. This book, published in 1971, was too psychedelic for me and consisted of too many sexual themes. Upon coming to the conclusion of the book, I was disappointed not with the ending but that the ultimate message of the book was such a great message that I wish it had been told in a different way because the ultimate message would have stood out more with better focus and direction and I believe could have been told without the strong sexual references. Also note: I do not believe that my evaluation of the book and the way it was structured had anything to do with the translation, too.

Bottom line: If you're interested in experimental Science fiction, a quick read, and are prepared to read some sexual and psychedelic themes, then as a reader you should not have a problem with the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Where am I? What day is this?
The past and future ooze into the moment of now within this timeless masterwork.So many layers of reality paint an amorphous reflection of our modern world.This sort of transcendent insight will revise society's concept of our common ground.Perhaps, Lem's byproducts (e.g. Ubik roll-on) will bring us back to where the happening is.Such is art. ... Read more

9. Testifying Before Congress: A Practical Guide to Preparing and Delivering Testimony before Congress and Congressional Hearings for Agencies, Associations, ... NGOs, and State and Local Officials
by William N. LaForge
Hardcover: 450 Pages (2010-06-23)
list price: US$77.00 -- used & new: US$76.61
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Asin: 1587331721
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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When Governor Mitch Daniels (Indiana) compared testifying before Congress to getting a root canal, he was being polite. Sitting vulnerably at a witness table under hot television lights while members of the House or Senate stare down at you from above is not just intimidating; it can wreck your career, your company, and your credibility if you say the wrong thing.

As a practical guide to assist witnesses and their organizations in preparing and delivering Congressional testimony, this book is designed for use by anyone or any organization called upon to testify before a committee of Congress, and for those who are providing assistance in preparing the testimony and the witness. This book serves as a guide through the unique maze of the Congressional hearings process for virtually any witness or organization, including federal departments and agencies, the federal judiciary, members and staff of the legislative branch itself, associations, corporations, the military service branches, NGOs, private and voluntary organizations (PVOs), public interest entities, state and local governmental officials and institutions, and individuals who are chosen to appear as a witness before Congress for any reason on any topic.

Similarly, in the world of academics and scholarship, this reference work can be helpful to scholars and writers in think-tanks and research organizations, as well as to faculty, researchers and students engaged in the study of law, business, government, politics, political science and the legislative processes of government.

This book can also serve as a reliable reference source and helpful tool for law, lobbying, government relations, accounting, and other public policy-related service industry professionals who are involved with the Congressional hearings process on behalf of their clients', their customers' and their own public policy, legislative and government relations interests.

Testifying Before Congress demystifies the Congressional hearings process, and assists witnesses and their organizations to be well-prepared when appearing before a Congressional committee to testify.

The principles in this book may also be used by those preparing for hearings before federal agencies and international tribunals, as well as state and local governmental bodies. However, the major thrust of this work focuses on the distinct Congressional hearing process and its major elements.

More than 20 endorsers--who include one current and one former governor, a city mayor, corporate CEOs and industry leaders, directors of top law and lobbying organizations, the Chairman of Bank of America, several past and present top government officials and agency directors, a bar association president, law school deans and university leaders, and heads of non-governmental organizations (see all endorsements at the book's web site)-- strongly recommend this book for lobbyists, executives, associations, government officials, academics, and virtually anyone who is called to testify before Congress.

"Testifying Before Congress is the best "how to" resource that I have seen -- it is well-researched, experience-based, and thoughtfully written, with a dash of humor added for good measure."
- Samuel M. Davis, Dean of the School of Law, The University of Mississippi

Full Table of Contents and endorsements atwww.TCNTBC.com

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Authoritative and insightful
Bill LaForge has written a highly accessible guide to demystifying and mastering the art of the Congressional hearing.Mr. LaForge is a highly respected Washington lobbyist and teacher of the craft of public policy. He brings more than three decades of experience -- as a government official, Senate appropriations committee staff director and a Washington lawyer/lobbyist -- to write one of the best books of its kind.The text is an authoritative reference work for use by witnesses preparing to enter the lion's den on Capitol Hill, as well as those counseling and preparing a witness to testify before a Congressional committee or subcommittee.

5-0 out of 5 stars Used this for Recent Senate Testimony - and IT WORKS!
I'd just received my copy of Testifying Before Congress when I'd gotten the call to come before a Senate committee to testify for a bill of great importance to me. It was such a relief to open the book up and find everything I needed. Mr. LaForge's practical, no-nonsense approach, enhanced with real life examples and a tad of humor, made it an easy read and helped to make my experience not just successful, but also fun. Thanks to the author for bringing us this great resource. I am keeping it within reach from now on.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lesson for us all
To be sure, Mr. LaForge's book is a valuable desk reference for anyone who prepares to testify before Congress, and the book should be included in every law library.Sprinkled with the humor that can only be the unedited truth, LaForge has writen a consummate guide to what can be an overwhelming process.

For those laymen among us, who are not fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to perch in that Congressional hot seat, Testifying Before Congress is the political science equivalent to Everything You've Always Wanted to Know About Testifying Before Congress but Were Too Clueless to Ask.

Very few of us realize the intricacies of this valuable part of our democratic process, and LaForge's book is a perfect accompaniment to a government or a political science class.The appendix, asking and answeringquestions about testifying before Congress, is a must for teachers.

5-0 out of 5 stars SJReview
As a community banker, I have had the honor & privilege to serve our trade association in Washington, D.C. in an effort to seek reform and better legislation for the industry.Although I have not been asked to testify before congress, I often fear the possibility.However, with this book by Bill LaForge, those fears are relieved.It is a fantastic work and aid to assist anyone with the task before them.Great book!

5-0 out of 5 stars An absolute MUST!
This book, Testifying Before Congress, is an invaluable resource for anyone who faces the prospect of testifying in a Congressional hearing - particularly in today's highly partisan atmosphere wherein political points are often attempted at the expense of the witness and relevant testimony.

I cannot imagine anyone, and particularly those who serve and answer to public stakeholders, even considering sitting in the hot seat without having gained the invaluable counsel shared in this comprehensive work.

Kudos to Mr. LaForge! ... Read more

10. Persuading Congress: A Practical Guide to Parlaying an Understanding of Congressional Folkways and Dynamics into Successful Advocacy on Capitol Hill: How ... from Congress: Candid Advice for Executives
by Joseph Gibson
Hardcover: 156 Pages (2010-02-24)
list price: US$27.00 -- used & new: US$21.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 158733173X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Persuading Congress, by Joseph Gibson, is a very practical book, packed with wisdom and experience in a deceptively short and simple package.What happens in Congress affects all of our lives and extends into every corner of the economy. Because so much is at stake there, businesses and other interest groups spend billions of dollars each year trying to influence it.Yet, most of these efforts are doomed to futility from the outset. Only a small percentage of the bills introduced in Congress actually become law, and most interested parties do not fully understand why those few bills succeed. More importantly, how to get Congress to do what they want remains a mystery to them. It is as if everyone in the place is speaking in the ancient Greek of the first democracy.This book will help you understand Congress. Written from the perspective of one who has helped put a lot of bills on the President's desk and helped stop a lot more, this book explains in everyday terms why Congress behaves as it does. Then it shows you how you can best deploy whatever resources you have to move Congress in your direction.You need no longer wonder what goes on in Congress. The book will allow you to read the news every day and understand what drives congressional actions. More importantly, you will no longer waste your time and money on lobbying and advocacy strategies that do not help your cause or, worse yet, actually hurt it. You will also learn when congressional actions can and cannot happen allowing you to spend your resources elsewhere if necessary.Because you have limited time, this book sticks to the basics and its chapters are short so that it can be digested rapidly in smaller chunks. Its advice applies to anyone who wants to affect the outcomes in Congress."By providing a practical guide to lobbying, Persuading Congress demystifies the ways in which citizens can influence legislation and achieve their public policy objectives. Anyone who wants to make a difference through legislation -- not just executives -- needs to read this book, master its lessons, and keep it handy."-- F. Christopher Arterton, Dean, Graduate School of Political Management, The George Washington University"This revealing book pulls back the curtain on the Congressional decision-making process and, best of all, provides invaluable advice to corporate executives on effectively influencing not just national and local legislation but the corporate environment as well."-- Robert Clements, Chairman & CEO, EverBank Financial Corp40 chaptersSummary of ContentsPart I: How Congress WorksA. The Internal Dynamics of CongressB. External Influences on CongressPart II: How You Can Influence CongressA. Facts of LifeB. Personal ToolsC. Intellectual ToolsD. Environmental ToolsE. Practical ToolsF. OpportunitiesG. Long-Term ConsiderationsAppendicesIndexComplete Table of Contents online at www.PersuadingCongress.com ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Briefing for Leaders That is Right on Target!
In a city crowded with people and groups clamoring to tell you "how Washington Works," I think this book does a very good job of cutting through the jargon and the nonsense and providing a clear, concise, and supremely practical guide to understanding and working with Congress. The author obviously has a lot of experience operating at a high, inside, level in the Legislative Branch, and he succeeds in distilling that knowledge down to the most important points and conveying them in an accessible and logical way to the reader. It's like getting an in-person briefing or personal memo from a seasoned Washington hand showing you the ropes. Although geared primarily toward business executives and others with interests pending before the House or Senate, I found the book to still contain insight for anyone interested in what motivates legislators or wondering how to get their attention and help. If you are a business leader or other busy person who wants or needs the bottom line on Congress, this is a good place to start.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read this book before you come to the Hill
I worked with Joseph Gibson as a legislative clerk and no one was more clear and understanding of how to manage the legislative process. After reading this book you will see how to promote your ideas to Members or staff without wasting your time. An easy to read book that will help anyone make a difference. The book is well thought out and is written for anyone needing to communicate to the Hill.

5-0 out of 5 stars Really useful
I flew to Chicago from New York yesterday, and brought Persuading Congress with me. A perfect read. By the time I touched down, the book was finished, and I was able to bring some great ideas to my business meeting. One of the clearest, most succinct books I've read.
... Read more

11. The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Institutions of American Democracy)
by Thomas E. Mann, Norman J. Ornstein
Paperback: 320 Pages (2008-08-29)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195368711
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Broken Branch offers both a brilliant diagnosis of the cause of Congressional decline and a much-needed blueprint for change, from two experts who understand politics and revere our institutions, but believe that Congress has become deeply dysfunctional. Mann and Ornstein, two of the nation's most renowned and judicious scholars of government and politics, bring to light the historical roots of Congress's current maladies, examining 40 years of uninterrupted Democratic control of the House and the stunning midterm election victory of 1994 that propelled Republicans into the majority in both House and Senate. The byproduct of that long and grueling but ultimately successful Republican campaign, the authors reveal, was a weakened institution bitterly divided between the parties. They highlight the dramatic shift in Congress from a highly decentralized, committee-based institution into a much more regimented one in which party increasingly trumps committee. The resultant changes in the policy process--the demise of regular order, the decline of deliberation, and the weakening of our system of checks and balances--have all compromised the role of Congress in the American Constitutional system. From tax cuts to the war against Saddam Hussein to a Medicare prescription drug benefit, the Legislative process has been bent to serve immediate presidential interests and have often resulted in poorly crafted and stealthily passed laws.Strong majority leadership in Congress, the authors conclude, led not to a vigorous exertion of congressional authority but to a general passivity in the face of executive power.
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Customer Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent non partisan overview of the declining state of our first branch.
The most readable political science piece I've come accross. As long term Congressional fellows, and stewards of the history of the institution, they surpass expectations. What could have been a dry collection of their writings for 'Roll Call' and the congressional quarterly, instead maintains enough narrative to appeal to the lay man, with enough empiricism to make it viable material for any student interested in American politics. If you read this and feel a partisan agenda behind it, read the reviews of the book, especially those by Newt Gingrich and Daschale.In summary, this work is a fantastic antidote to the infotainment offered by the major media outlets.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Happy Customer
The book was just as they said it was and it arrived very quickly. I am very happy with my purchase from amazon!

3-0 out of 5 stars Yep, Still Broken
Mann and Ornstein's "The Broken Branch" already needs an update to catch up on all the dysfunction since 2006.Congress' inability to accomplish much of anything is explained fairly well here, though the book is at its best when it offers the history of the Congress instead of the brief highlights it offers on more recent news events such as the attempt to change the filibuster rules (the so-called nuclear option), Terry Schiavo, and the multi-hour Medicare Part D vote.

A missing piece is a thorough discussion of the the consolidation of policymaking power in the Executive Branch.Congress has not only lost power due to a lack of institutional knowledge or partisanship, but also as a result of the President's increased budgeting authority, large staff, and regulatory powers since the 1930s.

Another weakness is how much time Ornstein and Mann, who are both excellent scholars of Congress, spend talking about their own efforts at reform.Reading the book, you would think there had been no reform efforts unless Ornstein and Mann were behind them.That seems unlikely despite their influence on the hill and the respect many have for them.

As stated above, it is time for an update to the story to include the two years of dysfunction since the 2006 election.The Republican minority has run roughshod over the Democratic majority, using procedural techniques to grind Congress to a halt and practically force Democrats to adopt the same practices they decried when in the minority.Part of the problem is just a philosophical difference.Democrats never let Congressional business grind to a complete halt because they believe in the power of government to create change.Republicans, broadly speaking, do not really care if an appropriations bill passes so they are happy to put Congressional business on hold endlessly.Mann and Ornstein offer no solution for this, and the only one might be a more active and engaged citizenry.

There are, of course, good people on both sides who want to reform Congress and keep the policymaking process running smoothly, but the current system is set up to be adversarial, money intensive, and leadership driven.Not a recipe for success unfortunately.As a partisan Democrat and former hill staffer, I probably share part of the blame as part of the problem, and this book and the current inability of Congress to do much of anything is a grim reminder of that.

5-0 out of 5 stars Important Book
This book is important. When you realize how much power Congress has and how little they have been doing, and how little institutional responsibility everyone on Capitol Hill seems to have, you will begin to fear that America may be on the start of a downward slide.

5-0 out of 5 stars What do they do?
I want a job, where by I can inform the boss, when I will work, how long I will work, and what my benefits will be.When I will go on vacation, how many vacations I will take per year, and how long said vacation will be.Oh yes I want to enform my employer what my salary will be, when I get a raise, and what that amount of that raise will be.

I will refuse to meet with any of my employers, I will only meet with "Lobbists," and I will never discuss a pending law with my fellow law makers, and any and all significant laws will only be voted on in the deadof night to keep my employers in the dark.

I will spend most of my time in Washington chasing dollars so that I can keep this very wonderful job.You know I have to be able to tell my employers what a good job I am doing so that they will return me to my position, in two years, or maybe give me a promotion.

A dream job, and the title you would have would be "Congressman," or "Congresswoman."Oh did I mention I would be jetted around the world at the expense of Exxon, DuPont, or General Motors?How good is that?The really good part is it will not cost me one thin dime.

Besides, my employers are stupid.They do not keep any checks and balances on my activities, and care not what lie falls out of my mouth.I can dilute the powers and responsibilities of my office, "The War Powers," as an example.Once we are in a war, I can relenquish oversight ofa few idiots who happened to have joined the military and may loose their lives, is not my concern, because that may get in the way of my "Dollar Chasing."Besides I can just rubber stamp what ever the president wants, look busy, and that keeps him happy.No one will rat on me because we are all doing it together.And I do not have to worry about the news media, because they are too busy smelling after Brittney Spears.

The good life, you think?All I can say is we get what we deserve.We as Americans do not keep ourselves informed, we will not pick up a newspaper, and definately not a book so that we know what is happening to our freedoms, or our nation.Well here it is all laid out for you the author has done the hard part, now all you have to do is read it.

Solutions are offered up here as well, but they too are as about as useless as udders on a bull, if we the people pay no attention.

... Read more

12. The U.S. Congress: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Donald A. Ritchie
Paperback: 168 Pages (2010-07-07)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$6.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195338316
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Many scholars believe that the framers of the Constitution intended Congress to be the preeminent branch of government. Indeed, no other legislature in the world approaches its power. Yet most Americans have only a murky idea of how it works.
In The U.S. Congress, Donald A. Ritchie, a congressional historian for more than thirty years, takes readers on a fascinating, behind-the-scenes tour of Capitol Hill--pointing out the key players, explaining their behavior, and translating parliamentary language into plain English. No mere civics lesson, this eye-opening book provides an insider's perspective on Congress, matched with a professional historian's analytical insight. After a swift survey of the creation of Congress by the constitutional convention, he begins to unscrew the nuts and pull out the bolts. What is it like to campaign for congress? To attract large donors? To enter either house with no seniority? He answers these questions and more, explaining committee assignments (and committee work), the role of staffers and lobbyists, floor proceedings, parliamentary rules, and coalition building. Ritchie explores the great effort put into constituent service--as representatives and senators respond to requests from groups and individuals--as well as media relations and news coverage. He also explores how the grand concepts we all know from civics class--checks and balances, advise and consent, congressional oversight--work in practice, in an age of strong presidents and a muscular Senate minority (no matter which party is in that position).
In this sparkling addition to Oxford's Very Short Introduction series, Donald Ritchie moves beyond the cynicism and the platitudes to provide a gem of a portrait of how Congress really works. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars An Informative and Concise Introduction to the U.S. Congress
The government of the United States is divided into three branches - legislative, executive and judiciary. These branches are represented by Congress, the President and the Supreme Court. Even though in the public's mind the executive branch might appear to be the most important and powerful, it is the legislative branch to which the U.S. Constitution assigns the most important role. This stems from the idea that this is by far the most representative of all the branches of the federal government, and in some sense comes closest to reflecting the actual popular will. In light of that, anyone who is interested in understanding American domestic politics needs to know what exactly the role of Congress is, both as it is spelled out in the Constitution as well as how it operates in practice.

No single book can do justice to the entire history and its complexity of such an important subject, but this very short introduction provides the reader with a very good first step toward that end. The book tries to present an impartial view of the U.S. Congress by presenting its history and the evolving role that it has played in U.S. domestic policy. The book presents many vignettes and anecdotes that illustrate some of the more interesting themes. A lot of space is dedicated to the way that Congress operates in practice as opposed to its purely legal status within the federal government. In this respect, this is a very valuable book even for those who think they understand the operation of Congress fairly well from their civics classes. The book also dispels certain misconceptions that have been entrenched about workings of Congress. Another interesting aspect of this book concerns the comparisons between the U.S. Congress and a few other parliamentary bodies around the world, and the British Parliament in particular. Overall this is a very well organized book that provides an interesting read, and a useful primer on one of the most important political institutions in the world. ... Read more

13. The Mummy Congress: Science, Obsession, and the Everlasting Dead
by Heather Pringle
Paperback: 384 Pages (2002-06-19)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$5.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0046HAKNK
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Now available in paperback -- The Mummy Congress is "clear, direct and intense . . . all the stories sparkle. Pringle is a crack-shot storyteller." --New York Times Book Review

Perhaps the most eccentric of all scientific meetings, the World Congress on Mummy Studies brings together mummy experts from all over the globe and airs their latest findings. Who are these scientists, and what draws them to this morbid yet captivating field? The Mummy Congress, written by acclaimed science journalist Heather Pringle, examines not just the world of mummies, but also the people obsessed with them.Amazon.com Review
Mummies fascinate us. As we peer at their withered flesh, we are glimpsing a type of immortality. Heather Pringle tells the stories of some of these "frail elders"--and the scientists who study them--in The Mummy Congress.

Pringle details the tension between the preservationists, who want to protect the ancient dead and refuse to unwrap them, and the dissectionists, who see mummies as a repository of scientific data waiting to be studied. She also introduces the reader to the preserved dead from around the world--from the bog bodies of northern Europe to the mysterious Caucasian-looking mummies from China's Tarim Basin, from Egyptians in linen shrouds to incorruptible Christian saints, and from Lenin in his Moscow mausoleum to Incan children found on Andean mountaintops.

Peppered with fascinating snippets of information--for example, for centuries artists were sold on a pigment called "mummy," a transparent brown made from ground-up mummies--The Mummy Congress makes for lively, if somewhat ghoulish reading. Highly recommended. --Sunny Delaney ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars "In listening to their stories, I had begun to see how much a part of our lives the dead are"
The Mummy Congress is a little-known triennial gathering of mummy experts and enthusiasts who present papers and new research in obscure places where mummies are prevalent. Author Heather Pringle was looking for a subject on which to base an article for "Discover" magazine when she heard about the Congress meeting in the North Chilean port town of Arica. Arica borders the Atacama Desert which is one of the driest places on earth and therefore providing perfect conditions for the long term preservation of the dead. Pringle was so impressed by the gathering that she traveled to visit other mummy experts to put together this study of tidbits and general information surrounding mummies.

Once Pringle left the Mummy Congress which, in audiotape format is before the end of the first side of tape 1, it was a little confusing as to what was going on. She does not mention the Congress again until the end and sort of dove into a hodgepodge of mummy stories. The first story connected to the Congress because it is a point of contention between many of the participants: mummy autopsies. Pringle observed an autopsy conducted by University of Minnesota pathologist Dr. Aufderheide. At first she was appalled by the rough treatment needed to dissect the mummy (sometimes a hacksaw was used) and, being of the "conservationist" school of thought revolving mummies, she was on the side of leaving the ancient dead untouched. Her views apparently changed when she considered the viewpoints of "dissectionists", especially Karl Reinhard of the University of Nebraska who discovered Chagas disease in a mummy found in Texas. She learned that ancient tissues can be used to understand illnesses suffered today.

The section on drug barons (nicotine and cocaine found in ancient hair samples) was not as revealing as the section on dissection and diseases. The next section covered bog bodies and the manner in which they were killed with specific stories on Tollund Man and Yde Girl. When visiting Tollund Man, that was constantly watched by a guard, she failed to point out that only the head and a foot (the latter being displayed separately) were preserved. The rest of the body is fake. The section entitled "Invaders From the West" considered "what happened when the ancient dead revealed a history that many preferred to bury." In this case, it was the discovery of Caucasian-looking mummies in northwest China. Also on the subject of race, the work of those trying to find the original race (guided by their own biases) was discussed but that section was more historical curiosity tidbits as was the next section on mummy merchants which looked at the use of mummies for producing paper (unlikely) and medicines.

Pringle's study also has sections on "The Incurruptibles" (saints who seem to be divinely preserved), the mausoleumists who worked on Lenin, the self-preservation of Buddhists, and a touching section on the mummies of Chinchorro children in northern Chile and southern Peru--the oldest human remains ever found. The audiobook is on four cassette tapes and, as is described above, covers a large range of topics from as far back as 5000 B.C. to the current times. The subject of the "Mummy Congress" actually gets lost in all the other topics covered, but it is a nice overview of mummies and may pique readers' interests into diving more deeply into specific mummy subjects.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very intriguing book
I happened upon this book when my 2yo handed it to me at the library.In an interest to escape to the children's section without a meltdown from either the 2yo or my 1yo, I hastily checked it out.Turns out, the author weaves a fascinating tale of mummies around the world.Other reveiwers have more eloquently extrapolated on the books good points so I won't repeat all that they have said, but suffice it to say that I have been reluctant to put this book down each night.I especially like how she has organized the book into chapters about each topic and the way that she paints such wonderful pictures of the mummies that she has seen and the researchers who study them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Are You My Mummy?
I kept spotting this book as I browsed the bargain books at the local mega-bookseller. I'm normally leery of books with mummies and Egyptian stuff on the cover as most of them seem to be pretty thin on content and real heavy on the same old sensationalist or quasi-New Age stuff with a handful of glossy and colourful images intended to get the rubes to buy in. The price seemed right (under $5.00) so I decided to see what the back cover had to say about the content. The back of the Fourth Estate paperback didn't tell me much, but on the other hand it didn't discourage me from looking inside the book either.

From the first page: Heather Pringle is a journalist and writer who has written on archeology and ancient cultures in numerous magazines including Discover, National Geographic Traveller, New Scientist, Science and Geo. She is also the author of two books, including In Search of Ancient North America. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.

That pretty much sold me - a solid non-fiction science writer.

The Mummy Congress starts with the convening of Third World Congress on Mummy Studies in Arica, Chile and gives us a good sense that this small field of study is made up of very dedicated people that share the same (almost maniacal) interest in mummies. Absent seem to be the snake oil salesmen, taking the liberty of calling themselves Egyptologists, we are more familiar with. Pringle uses the characters at the congress as her jumping off point for her narrative about the various kinds of mummies that exist, the way they are discovered, preserved, studied and at times desecrated for profit.

Some of the things you will learn about while reading:

* The dissection of mummies in Egypt where they are more plentiful than anywhere else and where the bits and pieces of those not fortunate enough to have celebrity mummy status end up.
* Studies of mummies for ancient drug use and parasites that inhabited them while alive.
* Origins of the "Bog People" and their ritual killing before being tossed into bogs.
* Controversies over Caucasian looking mummies discovered in Northern China dating from before Europeans officially made any trips that far east.
* The origin of the word "mummy" and it's roots in the for profit capitalization of ground up mummy bits packaged as medicines, elixirs and artists paint.
* Famous sideshow proprietors of mummified remains and their exhibitions.
* The Vatican's interest in the study of mummified remains.
* The mummification of Communist leaders.

An overall well written book that manages to convey lots of factual information (with a meaty bibliography and a good index) while keeping the reader entertained with colourful characters and vivid descriptions of this fascinating field of study that spans the entire globe. If you like non-fiction and/or mummies this is a great read. I didn't find any pitfalls in this book, except for the chapter on parasites which gave me the creeps while reading it in the middle of the night.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but not great
"The Mummy Congress" narrates the study of mummies around the world, with its takeoff point being a meeting of mummy experts at the edge of Chile's Atacama desert. Pringle travels, interviews, observes, researches and reports. There are far more mummies around, including some being created even today, than you would have dreamed of. In addition to the Egyptian mummies --so plentiful they are almost without value -- there are "incorruptible" saints, bodies occasionally preserved in clayey English graves, dried natives of the Atacama desert, and Caucasian-seeming mummies that the Chinese government has placed off limits to investigators. The book will interest history buffs, chemists (because the preservation methods vary) and trivia fans. Much of what she learns and tells us is indeed interesting, but not riveting. There is no central person whose story is compelling; it is not like Dava Sobel's "Longitude", which followed the lifetime quest of John Harrison to create the world's first chronometer. The book is handsomely produced, with excellent photographs. It's the sort of thing you will like if you like this sort of thing. (Abraham Lincoln joke.)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to the topic
The writer brings a journalistic approach to the topic of mummies and the sub-title of the bookclearly defines the multiple angles she chose to follow. She covers a great deal of territory, both geographically (all the continents except Antarctica) historically, psychologically and morally.

In a sense this is almost an "Encyclopedia of the Mummy" because it covers so many aspects of mummy hunting, dissecting and preserving. Most mummy hunters seem obsessed by their quest. They may be after mummies for scientific, historic, theatric or religious reasons, but hunt them they must. This raises moral issues; after all these were once human beings that we are putting on display, slicing for DNA or just carting off to some museums storage room. Can we justify it if we, say, understand some disease better after the research? Or is it just voyeurism for us all to know what the Iceman ate for his last meal?

The writer introduces us to individual mummy hunters, strong characters all, and the unusual places they work. Her writing is clear and vivid, if a trifle long. She is at her best describing the moral and psychological issues surrounding our fascination with mummies and the way they relate to our own mortality anf hopes for immmortality. ... Read more

14. Baseball Americana: Treasures from the Library of Congress
by Harry Katz, Frank Ceresi, Phil Michel, Susan Reyburn
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2009-10-01)
list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$16.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061625450
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A lavishly illustrated history of America's game, from the unparalleled collections of the Library of Congress

Baseball, the sport that helped reunify the country in the years after the Civil War, remains the National Pastime. The Library of Congress houses the world's largest baseball collection, documenting the history of the game and providing a unique look at America since the late 1700s. Now Baseball Americana presents the best of the best from that treasure trove. From baseball's biggest stars to street urchins, from its most newsworthy stories to sandlot and Little League games, the book examines baseball's hardscrabble origins, rich cultural heritage, and uniquely American character.

The more than 350 fabulous illustrations—many never before published—featured first-generation, vintage photographic and chromolithographic baseball cards; photographs of famous players and ballparks; and newspaper clippings, cartoons, New Deal photographs, and baseball advertisements. Packed with images that will surprise and thrill even the most expert collector, Baseball Americana is a gift for every baseball fan.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Delightfully different look at baseball
I'm puzzled as to what Mr. Sheehy expected in this book, because I find it a refreshingly different look at the national pastime, told through lithographs, magazine images, cigarette cards and the like.It is clearly not intended as a rigorous history, but a fun look at how baseball has been viewed by artists and writers through the years.

It is true that aside from short articles on Cuban and Little League baseball, there is not much here aside from the Major Leagues.While the Negro Leagues are not featured, there is a nice article on Jackie Robinson.I particularly liked the articles dealing with baseball songs (many of which I've never heard of!) and baseball in the movies.

It is also true that there is little coverage after about 1960 and none after 1970, but if you're willing to overlook that point, this will make a nice book for your coffee table.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent coffe table book..........
Great book, esp. if you're interested in early (pre-1900) baseball history....large, colorful reproductions of old prints and cards.....Reminded me of why I loved baseball....and why I don't love it now...:-(

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Baseball Book
Great pictures. Easy reading. Wonderful history of baseball.My husband loved it for Christmas.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful treasure!
This is such a cool book that even non-baseball fans will enjoy it. I am giving two as Christmas gifts and already gave one as a birthday gift. Next year I'm buying a copy for myself. I love all the old pictures...I think the photos and images are what really makes the book. And the price is so reasonable, too!

3-0 out of 5 stars Not worth most baseball bookshelves
I have to admit to being tremendously disappointed by this book. Rather than offer a comprehensive view of how baseball impacted American culture, it offered a stale and tired overview of baseball by using old pictures and bare bones description. Very little mention is made of the Negro leagues, in fact just enough so you could say they were not ignored. The entry of Jackie Robinson to professional baseball is downplayed as much as possible and momentous on field achievements like Joe D's hitting streak are virtually ignored. The book also acts as if baseball stopped being a real sport in 1970.Gee I guess Game Six in 1975 and Cal Ripken never happened.

All in all, a waste of time if you ask me.There are much better books about baseball on the market! ... Read more

15. The American Congress
by Steven S. Smith, Jason M. Roberts, Ryan J. Vander Wielen
Paperback: 456 Pages (2009-06-22)
list price: US$60.00 -- used & new: US$40.66
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Asin: 0521749069
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The American Congress provides the most insightful, up-to-date treatment of congressional politics available in an undergraduate text. Informed by the authors' Capitol Hill experience and nationally recognized scholarship, this book presents a crisp introduction to all major features of Congress: its party and committee systems, leadership, and voting and floor activity. The American Congress has the most in-depth discussion of the place of the president, the courts, and interest groups in congressional policy making available in a text. The authors blend an emphasis on recent developments in congressional politics with a clear discussion of the rules of the game, the history of key features of Congress, and stories from recent Congresses that bring politics to life. No other text weaves into the discussion the important ideas of recent political science research. The book includes the most comprehensive list of suggested readings and Internet resources on Congress to date. ... Read more

16. On These Walls: Inscriptions & Quotations in the Library of Congress
by John Y. Cole
Paperback: 128 Pages (2008-10-30)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$10.41
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Asin: 1857595459
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This book provides a guide to inscriptions and often famous quotations on the walls of the Library of Congress ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book!
I was enthralled by this book! I loved looking at the large photographs of all kinds of artwork in the Library of Congress, much of it on the walls and ceilings. The descriptions were descriptive, factual, and very interesting. It made me want to visit the Library of Congress again and pay better attention to my surroundings!

4-0 out of 5 stars A Long Overdue Compilation

If you go to the Library of Congress, bring your binoculars.There is some beautiful work with exquisite detail high above your head.You can buy post cards of it or pick up pamphlets that show and describe the more outstanding works.A lot of it is just, well, "there" with no context. At last, someone, John Cole, who has been a tireless promoter of libraries though his work at The Center for the Book, has put it all together.

For me, it was not so much the inscriptions, but the ability to actually see the detail of these wonderful examples of classical public art.

Interestingly, the list of artists at the back shows very few name recognition artists. Some are known for studying with the famous. Quite a few have other large scale works in state capitol buildings, libraries and other cultural institutions, parks, etc.

One draw back is that at the maps in the end do not note the locations of the works, you have to flip back and forth for that. Another is that while this book would have been more expensive in a larger format, the content would be much better presented if it were.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful pictures and descriptions
I have wanted a book of pictures of The Library of Congress.I was happy when a colleague let me know of this book.I have always felt that I couldn't spend enough time in The Library of Congress to get all the information that is just posted on the walls.This book has helped me to gather a lot of that.This book is a must for anyone that wants good quotes for their own libraries.

5-0 out of 5 stars On These Walls: Inscriptions & Quotations in the Library of Congress
This book is an excellent overview of the history of the Library of Congress.It is full of color pictures of the interior, the accompanying narrative provides all of the quotations and inscriptions on the walls. I purchased this after a dinner meeting at the Library.I was overwhelmed by the sheer beauty and complexity of the place, with no time to explore. The book has been an excellent supplement. ... Read more

17. The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference
Paperback: 976 Pages (2009-11-24)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$0.11
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Asin: 1439148848
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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"The Civil War was the most dramatic, violent, and fateful experience in American history. . . . Little wonder that the Civil War had a profound impact that has echoed down the generations and remains undiminished today. That impact helps explain why at least 50,000 books and pamphlets . . . on the Civil War have been published since the 1860s. Most of these are in the Library of Congress, along with thousands of unpublished letters, diaries, and other documents that make this depository an unparalleled resource for studying the war. From these sources, the editors of The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference have compiled a volume that every library, every student of the Civil War—indeed everyone with an interest in the American past—will find indispensable." —From the Foreword by James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best single volume on the war
Even considering James McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom, I really think this book is the best single volume on the entire war.It has been exhaustively researched, but it is written very well and is a true page turner, even at nearly 1000 pages.If you wanted to get at least a closer look at topics regarding the war, this is the place to start.Chapters are devoted to antebellum America, wartime politics, battles, the armies, weaponry, the naval war, prisons and POWs, medicine, the home front, reconstruction, and even a chapter on preservation issues.And inside every chapter there are great looks at the personalities on both sides and major issues, whether military or political or personal.Because it is both entertaining reading and so thoroughly researched, this book is truly a must have for a Civil War buff or someone just starting out.As a history buff, I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, wonderful reference work!
I had been looking for something like this for years. A brilliant compendium of information, attractively laid out. Parts of it are well-written enough to read as narratives; other parts are mostly useful as references (similar to encyclopedia entries).Not aimed solely at the hard-core Civil War buff, but useful in the library of anyone interested in American history who wants a solid and user-friendly overview of virtually every facet of the Civil War.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly readable and informative single volume
If one wishes to have a single volume of the civil war in all its various aspects, one would be hard pressed to find a better treatise than the nearly 1,000 page Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference.

It does not deal with the battles in depth as do so many other volumes on this epic struggle between North and South.Nevertheless, the battles on land and water are described and accompanied by many well executed maps.Descriptions of the armies and their weaponry are treated in detail, as is the treatment of prisoners of war.There are time lines on politics, slavery, naval encounters, and reconstruction.

The chapters that are most significant, from my point of view, are those that deal with nonmilitary aspects of the war:the economic differences of the north and south, the importance of religion in the lives of Americans, a brief account of slavery in the United states, a history of the beginning and development of the rift that led to the conflict.An excellent chapter of nearly one hundred pages deals with the politics the war. A rather grim, but enlightening, chapter discusses the treatment of the wounded (many amputations), the fight to control disease, and people important in establishing policy and organizing hospitals and field teams of doctors and nurses. A part of wartime history often relegated to the sidelines is the home front.A separate chapter on this subject corrects that neglected topic. A lengthy chapter considers the reconstruction following the end of hostilities.And where else but in this considerable tome would one find not only an account of the armies and battles but also one of the civil war in literature and the arts.After wading through this book, if your curiosity is stimulated to pursue a topic in greater depth then browse the final two chapters, where you will find lists and descriptions of civil war novels, poets and poetry, music, cinema, stage plays, and television movies and documentaries -- all dealing with the civil war.Also a list of organizations that promote the preservation of battlefields, others that document the civil war veterans and their descendants, reenactments of the war, a listing by state of major artifact and archival collections, and important publications on the civil war.

There is no single volume that is more wide ranging in its treatment of the civil war.The editors and the contributors are to be congratulated for putting into one highly readable volume almost anything one might want to learn about the civil war.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Reference For Civl War Buffs
The Desk Reference contains more than 100 photographs, maps and numerous tables that provide interesting facts and information about the Civil War. It is well organized and contains an easy to use list of Contents. It covers all aspects of the war, from major armies and key battles to prisons, medical care and events occuring on the home front. It doesn't read as a novel because it's purpose is to become a good reference source. James MacPherson wrote in the Preface to the book, " You will soon be impressed. and you will soon be hooked. Your knowledge and understanding of this greatest of American wars will expand and deepen more than you thought possible from a single volume." ... Read more

18. The Library of Congress World War II Companion
by Margaret E. Wagner, Linda Barrett Osborne, Susan Reyburn, Staff of the Library of Congress
Hardcover: 1008 Pages (2007-10-02)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$12.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743252195
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The noted historian John Keegan called World War II "the largest single event in human history." More than sixty years after it ended, that war continues to shape our world. Going far beyond accounts of the major battles, The Library of Congress World War II Companion examines, in a unique and engaging manner, this devastating conflict, its causes, conduct, and aftermath. It considers the politics that shaped the involvement of the major combatants; military leadership and the characteristics of major Allied and Axis armed services; the weaponry that resulted in the war's unprecedented destruction, as well as debates over the use of these weapons; the roles of resistance groups and underground fighters; war crimes; daily life during wartime; the uses of propaganda; and much more.

Drawn from the unparalleled collections of the institution that has been called "America's Memory," The Library of Congress World War II Companion includes excerpts from contemporary letters, journals, pamphlets, and other documents, as well as first-person accounts recorded by the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. The text is complemented by more than 150 illustrations. Organized into topical chapters (such as "The Media War," "War Crimes and the Holocaust," and two chapters on "Military Operations" that cover the important battles), the book also include readers to navigate through the rich store of information in these pages. Filled with facts and figures, information about unusual aspects of the war, and moving personal accounts, this remarkable volume will be indispensable to anyone who wishes to understand the World War II era and its continuing reverberations. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars A companion for those who want to know the war beyond the fighting
This is a companion that tells a lot about the war that has to do with the non-military aspects of the war -- homefront, media, politics, aftermath -- than the military aspects.Leaders, weapons and operations comprise less than one-third of the book.There are no index citations for the Battle of the Atlantic [although it is briefly mentioned in the portion of the book covering submarines], Matthew Ridgway, or James Gavin.The operations that are covered have a useful format of Primary Objective, Forces, Commanders, Military Losses, and Result, as well as a short synopsis of the operation.

The Companion is more useful as a secondary reference work than as a primary.There is similar information in greater detail in Wikipedia entries.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Good Resource
I find this book to be a very good resource. In addition it is very vell organized and easy to read. A very good book for students and people with a general interest in the subject.

(One error I did find was that Albert Speer's name was left off the list of defendants at the first Nuremberg trial on pages 927 and 928)

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent illustrated survey
This is a very attractive and extensive survey of World War II. It should be invaluable to the student of the period, enlightening to the history enthusiast, and an important reference work for scholars. It has an emphasis on the American experience overall, but adequately covers the relative involvements of all the major national powers (and many minor ones) from the level of private citizens and front-line soldiers, to the generals and leaders of states. There are discussions of individual combat weapons and machines as well as the composition, strategy and movement of entire armed forces. Topics are liberally illustrated with photographs and artwork, and supported with many letters, personal experiences (such as those collected from the Veterans History Project), maps, charts, statistics, and quantitative analyses to help the reader absorb the information.

The text is concise and easy to read, and includes a 35 page index and well organized chapter headings to help the reader search out topics of interest. At the end of each chapter, the authors have compiled principle sources and further reading.

Overall, this is quite a comprehensive survey (at 942 pages of text), of a topic of profound importance. Highly recommended. ... Read more

19. The Congress of Vienna: A Study in Allied Unity: 1812-1822
by Sir Harold Nicolson
Paperback: 320 Pages (2001-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$6.98
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Asin: 080213744X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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In 1812, at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, a congress convened in Vienna in which the fate of Europe was to be determined for the next hundred years. Attending were the great statesmen of the time -- the wily French foreign minister, Talleyrand; his brave but misguided British counterpart, Lord Castlereagh; the conservative Austrian chancellor, Prince Metternich; and the idealistic but unstable tsar Alexander. Beginning with Napoleon's harrowing retreat from Moscow, the pace of the narrative holds throughout the negotiations in the Austrian capital, where the power struggle to both restore a lost world and ensure a stable future took place. Harold Nicolson's classic is narrative history at its best. "With swift pace, clear focus and a series of brilliant character sketches, this is narrative history at its best." -- The New York Times; "[The Congress of Vienna is] for all men . . . who are willing to learn, from experience of the past, lessons which apply most urgently today." -- The Atlantic Monthly. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Nicolson's Diplomatic Universe
The author, Harold George Nicolson (1886-1968), served in the British Foreign Office from 1909 to 1929 prior to his impressive career as a scholar and writer. The present book was originally published in 1946 and clearly reflects Nicolson's diplomatic experiences.`The Congress of Vienna. A study in Allied Unity, 1812-1822' is a historical (re)construction of the background, negotiations and result of the Vienna Congress in 1814-15. This chronologically structured volume begins with Napoleon's abandonment of his troops on the Russian fields in December 1812 and ends with the collapse of the conference system after the Congress of Verona in 1822. This unusual periodization is due to the author's intention with the work, namely to present "an examination, in terms of the past, of the factors which create dissension between independent States temporarily bound together in a coalition" (p. 46). According to Nicolson, the formation of the final coalition (The Quadruple Alliance) that defeated Napoleon began in 1812 and was dissolved ten years later.

The main argument runs as follows: The basic principle that is required in order to establish an alliance is an agreement between at least two states to "subordinate their separate interests to a single purpose" (p. 49). In 1813 (as well as in 1914 and 1939) the purpose was the defeat of a common threat and enemy. However, once victory seems in reach, the common purpose begins to fade away on behalf of the separate interests of the allies. In other words, the constitutive element in the alliance is crumbling. The political controversials between the members are only brought to the surface once the war enters its final stage, even though the disinterests might have been latent all the way. Therefore, the negotiators often lack the necessary rational judgment once the political matter with the defeated enemy has to be settled which often results in frail peace treaties.

This explanation theory appears very universal in its wording, which methodologically is a problem because it is only tested empirically on the Quadruple Alliance against Napoleon. But it is apparent, though, that the theory (as a hypothesis) seems applicable to the two world wars of the twentieth century as well. The Versailles Settlement, in retrospect at least, does not seem as the result of a very rational calculation, and concerning WWII we are already too familiar with the clash of separate interests between the two wartime allies, the United States and the USSR.

Except for this issue of the seemingly general theory there are other flaws in the book. Nicolson's statement that Castlereagh's plans for a `just equilibrium' objectively were ideal is difficult to maintain. Sure the scheme of the foreign secretary might have generated a perfect balance of power on the continent including Russia, but this was exactly in the (subjective) interests of Britain. As long as there would be no continental rival Britain would remain the world's undisputed leader. Nicolson does not deny this either but maintains that the British solution would have been the better for Europe at large. Why then, one must ask, was this plan rejected? I think the explanation is that the other great powers simply were not willing to accept British supremacy in order to establish a perfect equilibrium on the continent. If every continental power was prevented from gaining some kind of hegemonic status so should Britain. That is exactly why each power continued to achieve a balance-of-power-solution on its own principles claiming that this particular scheme would be perfect. Castlereagh's proposal was no different than any other idea.The reason for Nicolson's flaw is, perhaps, that he does not come up with any definition of the concept of `power'. Directing his attention at the negotiators' various proposals to a post-napoleonic Europe he precludes any discussion of the power base of the participants. This is probably why Henry Kissinger has commented that Nicolson was "ascribing to negotiating skill what may have been due to a great many other factors" (Kissinger: A World Restored, p. 342).

One last critique of this book: documentation lacks! Having in mind that the author solely draws on secondary sources (due to the war Nicolson was not able to consult archives across the continent) and that references are omitted, the reader must remain critical regarding the precise wording of quotes and exacts dates and times.

Though I have focused on the negative, the book also includes many positive aspects. It is brilliantly written with an eloquence that ought to inspire many present day historians. What is an even greater delight is that Nicolson is completely aware and straightforward with his philosophy of history, that is the forces that determine historical process and the directionality of history.

The book is suitable not only to professionals but also to the average historical minded reader. ... Read more

20. Indians and Colonists at the Crossroads of Empire: The Albany Congress of 1754
by Timothy J. Shannon
Paperback: 288 Pages (2002-10)
list price: US$21.00 -- used & new: US$16.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0801488184
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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On the eve of the Seven Years' War in North America, the British crown convened the Albany Congress, an Anglo-Iroquois treaty conference, in response to a crisis that threatened imperial expansion. British authorities hoped to address the impending collapse of Indian trade and diplomacy in the northern colonies, a problem exacerbated by uncooperative, resistant colonial governments.

In the first book on the subject in more than forty-five years, Timothy J. Shannon definitively rewrites the historical record on the Albany Congress. Challenging the received wisdom that has equated the Congress and the plan of colonial union it produced with the origins of American independence, Shannon demonstrates conclusively the Congress's importance in the wider context of Britain's eighteenth-century Atlantic empire. In the process, the author poses a formidable challenge to the Iroquois Influence Thesis. The Six Nations, he writes, had nothing to do with the drafting of the Albany Plan, which borrowed its model of constitutional union not from the Iroquois but from the colonial delegates' British cousins.

Far from serving as a dress rehearsal for the Constitutional Convention, the Albany Congress marked, for colonists and Iroquois alike, a passage from an independent, commercial pattern of intercultural relations to a hierarchical, bureaucratic imperialism wielded by a distant authority. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Shannon gets it right
Dr. Shannon has exploded a series of myths in this landmark study.His research is impeccable, his analysis bulletproof, and his writing elegant.Anyone interested in the collapse of the British Empire in North America should read this book and, I daresay, commit major parts of it to memory.

You may have seen Dr. Shannon on The History Channel commenting on the authenticity of popular movies like Dances with Wolves and The Patriot.This man is serious, smart, and incisive.Read this book and hope he is working on more. ... Read more

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