Here is a reference work that is also meant to be a teaching tool, helping its readers comprehend the complex processes and development of the legislative branch of the U.S. government. It describes in simple language selected persons, events, and terms associated with Congress, including arcane terms such as Blue-slip procedure, Morning hour, andShadow senators. Also included are significant court cases, major elections, scandals, and other controversies and many of the rules and customs that regulate congressional behavior.
The signed articles are arranged alphabetically from Abscam to Yielding, with a list of entries, an index, and cross-references enabling the user to find material. Further readings at the end of each article and a selected bibliography of print materials direct readers to other sources. Some black-and-white illustrations and a few tables supplement the text.
A similar work is Congress A to Z (4th ed., CQ, 2003). Its more extensive illustrations and tables make it suitable for the classroom, even though some of the material needs updating. Other, more comprehensive works on this subject include the four-volume Encyclopedia of the United States Congress (Simon & Schuster, 1995), the two-volume CQ's Guide to Congress (5th ed., 1999), and the classic Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-1989 (GPO, 1989), but they were not designed as instructional tools, and they also are now out of date.
This new work should be useful for students, general readers who'd like to know more about how Congress works, and newcomers to the Washington scene. Recommended for high-school, public, and undergraduate libraries. Sally Jane
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Written by an expert on the topic, this comprehensive A-to-Z volume contains all the material a reader needs to understand the United States Congress, including the people, events, and terms involved in the legislative branch of government. It also provides explanations of the relationships between the legislative and other branches of government, court cases, elections, political opponents, congressional leaders, scandals, controversial issues, and the inner workings of Congress. Entries include: Backdoor spending; Tom DeLay; Filibuster; Impeachment powers; Lobbying; Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, Jr.' Pork barrel; Racial gerrymandering; Recess appointments; Savings-and-loan crisis; Speaker of the House; and Daniel Webster.
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