How Congress Evolves

How Congress Evolves : Social Bases of Institutional Change

3.88 (26 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


In this greatly entertaining tale of of one of our most august institutions, Nelson Polsby argues that among other things, from the 50s to the 90s, Congress evolved. In short, Polsby argues that air conditioning altered the demography of the Southern States, which in turn changed the political parties of the South, which transformed the composition and in due course the performance of the US House of Representatives. This evolutionary process led to the House's liberalisation and later to its transformation into an arena of sharp partisanship, visible among both Democrats and Republicans. This book breathes new life into the dusty corners of institutional history, and offers a unique expanation for important transformations in the congressional environment.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 177.3 x 226.1 x 22.9mm | 521.64g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • numerous figures and tables
  • 0195161955
  • 9780195161953

Review quote

Nelson Polsby always offers a fresh and insightful perspective on Congress. Few observers pull together the historical perspective, and original analysis and trenchant observations as well as Nelson Polsby does. * Congressman Lamar Smith (R. Texas) * Polsby, one of the nation's leading congressional scholars, presents a short, readable, and insightful book about institutional change that will have enduring value. This will most certainly become a classic. * Choice * Polsby's How Congress Evolves is crisply written and argued, moving logically toward an explanation of how Congress changes over time. It should be read by anyone serious about the subject of how political institutions evolve. * The Weekly Standard * A fascinating history of how the House has developed. * The New York Review of Books *
show more

About Nelson W. Polsby

Nelson Polsby is Heller Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley where he has taught American politics and government since 1967. A close Congress watcher for more than 40 years, he is the author of, among others, Congress and the Presidency, and Presidential Elections (with Aaron Wildavsky, 10th edition.) He is editor of the Annual Review of Political Science and writes often for the Op-ed pages of the LA Times, Boston Globe, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.
show more

Rating details

26 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 23% (6)
4 46% (12)
3 27% (7)
2 4% (1)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X