The Firsts: The Inside Story of the Women Reshaping Congress

The Firsts: The Inside Story of the Women Reshaping Congress

by Jennifer Steinhauer


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A lively, behind-the-scenes look at the historic cohort of diverse, young, and groundbreaking women newly elected to the House of Representatives in 2018 as they arrive in Washington, D.C., and start working for change, by a New York Times reporter with sharp insight and deep knowledge of the Hill.

In November 2018, the greatest number of women in American history entered Congress. From Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and “the Squad” to “the Badasses” with national security backgrounds, from the first two Native Americans in Congress to the first two Muslim women, all were swept into office on a wave of grassroots support, diverse in background, age, professional experience, and ideology.

In The Firsts, New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer follows these women’s first year in the 116th Congress, chronicling their transition from running trailblazing campaigns to the daily work of governance. In committee rooms, offices, and conversations on the run through the halls of the Capitol, she probed the question: Would Washington, with its hidebound traditions, change the changemakers, or would this Congress, which looked a little more like today’s America, truly be the start of something new?

Vivid and smart, The Firsts delivers fresh details, inside access, historical perspective, and expert analysis as these women—inspiring, controversial, talented, and rebellious—do something truly surprising: make Congress essential again.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616209995
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date: 03/10/2020
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 123,484
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Steinhauer has covered numerous high-profile beats in her twenty-five-year reporting career at the New York Times, from City Hall bureau chief and Los Angeles bureau chief to Capitol Hill. She won the Newswoman’s Club of New York Front Page Deadline Reporting Award in 2006 for her reporting on Hurricane Katrina. She has written a novel about the television business, and two cookbooks.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The New Arrivals 1

1 French Heels, Kidney Punches, and the Dead Husbands' Club 13

2 They Did It Their Way 36

3 Now What? 67

4 Whose Party Is It, Anyway? 98

5 Reclaiming Their Time 123

6 Crisis at the Border 143

7 This Is What Diversity Looks Like 158

8 Lived Experiences 184

9 The Lasts 199

10 To Impeach or Not to Impeach 215

11 Paving the Way 225

Acknowledgments 235

Endnotes 237

Index 253

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