Historical Dictionary of the U.S. Congress

Historical Dictionary of the U.S. Congress

by Scot Schraufnagel
     
 

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Consisting of two houses-the Senate and the House of Representatives-and 535 members-100 Senators and 435 Representatives, the U.S. Congress forms the legislative branch of the United States Government. Primarily charged with composing the laws of the United States, the Congress also is responsible for creating all bills for revenue; laying and collecting taxes;

Overview

Consisting of two houses-the Senate and the House of Representatives-and 535 members-100 Senators and 435 Representatives, the U.S. Congress forms the legislative branch of the United States Government. Primarily charged with composing the laws of the United States, the Congress also is responsible for creating all bills for revenue; laying and collecting taxes; borrowing money; printing money; regulating commerce; declaring war; administering postal services, military services, and lower courts; and promoting the progress of science and the arts through grants. The Historical Dictionary of the U.S. Congress is intended to provide greater civic understanding for young Americans and to provide a handy reference to more serious students of the legislative process in the United States. This is done through a chronology, an introductory essay, appendixes listing the dates Congress has been in session and all the people who have held leadership positions in Congress, a comprehensive bibliography, and over 500 cross-referenced dictionary entries on congressional leaders, elections, and legislative practices. This book is an excellent access point for high school students, college students, and anyone interested in a better understanding of the legislative process in the United States.

Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
This deceptively small, single-volume dictionary by Schraufnagel (Northern Illinois Univ.) features over 500 entries that cover broad topics such as the budget, along with more obscure topics, e.g., one-term congressional representative and former Speaker of the House William Pennington. Although some entries are 200-plus words in length, most are relatively short. Entries are supplemented with several extras, including a list of acronyms, a lengthy bibliography organized by topics, a very brief list of Internet resources, and three appendixes. The appendixes include the dates of every congressional session; a list of major congressional players, including minority and majority whips and leaders in the House and Senate; Speakers of the House; Senate presidents/Senate presidents pro tempore; and each of the 27 amendments to the US Constitution. The dictionary includes a 14-page chronology that highlights more than 200 significant moments in the history of the federal legislative branch, from the Constitutional Convention of 1787 through the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act in 2010. With the exception of a list of Internet resources that seems like an afterthought, the supplemental material is quite useful. The entries are concise and well written, and the dictionary as a whole is an excellent resource. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates; general readers.
Choice
This deceptively small, single-volume dictionary by Schraufnagel (Northern Illinois Univ.) features over 500 entries that cover broad topics such as the budget, along with more obscure topics, e.g., one-term congressional representative and former Speaker of the House William Pennington. Although some entries are 200-plus words in length, most are relatively short. Entries are supplemented with several extras, including a list of acronyms, a lengthy bibliography organized by topics, a very brief list of Internet resources, and three appendixes. The appendixes include the dates of every congressional session; a list of major congressional players, including minority and majority whips and leaders in the House and Senate; Speakers of the House; Senate presidents/Senate presidents pro tempore; and each of the 27 amendments to the US Constitution. The dictionary includes a 14-page chronology that highlights more than 200 significant moments in the history of the federal legislative branch, from the Constitutional Convention of 1787 through the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act in 2010. With the exception of a list of Internet resources that seems like an afterthought, the supplemental material is quite useful. The entries are concise and well written, and the dictionary as a whole is an excellent resource. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates; general readers.
Reference Reviews
Dr. Schraufnagel’s book is a useful addition to the Scarecrow series. It is a small mine of information on two hundred years of Congressional history but kept within a brief compass.
American Reference Books Annual (ARBA)
The Historical Dictionary of the U.S. Congress has a handy list of acronyms and abbreviations, a chronology, an introduction, a dictionary covering 237 pages, several appendixes (Congressional Session Dates, Leaders of Congress, and The Constitutional Amendments), and a bibliography. The chronology reveals the start of Congress in Philadelphia Pennsylvania May 14-September 17, 1787 to current March 21, 2010 the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act. Crucial are the well-written essays in the dictionary on those leading Congress and amendments in addition to the easy-to-read definitions of words associated with Congress. Appendix A, Congressional Session Dates, show the 1st Congress 1789 to the 111th Congress 2010. The times of the chart displays the number of sessions, the beginning date, end date, and days in session. Appendix B, Leaders of Congress, furnishes the Congress number, names, party, and states for House and Senate leaders. Appendix C, The Constitutional Amendments, discusses each of the 27 amendments. The reference is useful for all canvassers of Congress and is a must have for academic, public, and government libraries.
American Reference Books Annual
The Historical Dictionary of the U.S. Congress has a handy list of acronyms and abbreviations, a chronology, an introduction, a dictionary covering 237 pages, several appendixes (Congressional Session Dates, Leaders of Congress, and The Constitutional Amendments), and a bibliography. The chronology reveals the start of Congress in Philadelphia Pennsylvania May 14-September 17, 1787 to current March 21, 2010 the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act. Crucial are the well-written essays in the dictionary on those leading Congress and amendments in addition to the easy-to-read definitions of words associated with Congress. Appendix A, Congressional Session Dates, show the 1st Congress 1789 to the 111th Congress 2010. The times of the chart displays the number of sessions, the beginning date, end date, and days in session. Appendix B, Leaders of Congress, furnishes the Congress number, names, party, and states for House and Senate leaders. Appendix C, The Constitutional Amendments, discusses each of the 27 amendments. The reference is useful for all canvassers of Congress and is a must have for academic, public, and government libraries.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810871960
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
08/11/2011
Series:
Historical Dictionaries of U.S. Politics and Political Eras Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
334
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Scot Schraufnagel is professor of political science at Northern Illinois University.

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