"The Imprint of Congress" by David R.              Mayhew

The Imprint of Congress David R. Mayhew

The Henry L. Stimson Lectures Series
Publication date:
08 Jul 2017
Yale University Press
176 pages: 210 x 140 x 17mm
9 b-w illus.
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What kind of job has America's routinely disparaged legislative body actually done?  In The Imprint of Congress, the distinguished congressional scholar David R. Mayhew gives us an insightful historical analysis of the U.S. Congress’s performance from the late eighteenth century to today, exploring what its lasting imprint has been on American politics and society.  Mayhew suggests that Congress has balanced the presidency in a surprising variety of ways, and in doing so, it has contributed to the legitimacy of a governing system faced by an often fractious public.

David R. Mayhew is Sterling Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Yale University and a specialist in American politics.

“Mayhew’s book is an important reminder that however awful Congress is to watch, its capacity to balance the presidency and represent a diverse society helps maintain the legitimacy of the American regime.”—Monkey Cage, The Washington Post

“An excellent book. Mayhew offers a unique perspective on a critical issue for evaluating the American constitutional system.”—Eric Schickler, University of California, Berkeley

“The scope of David Mayhew’s Imprint of Congress alone is simply breathtaking, but the economy of style makes the achievement even more impressive. The end result promises to become an essential ‘vest-pocket’ handbook for anyone interested in American political and policy history—or the nation’s future."—Richard Bensel, Cornell University