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Reviews

"A remarkably vivid portrait of Congress in the mid-1970s. It is hard to put down and downright fun to read."

"Lawrence has produced a fascinating account of the Class of '74, who transformed Congress in the aftermath of Vietnam and Watergate. Students of American politics must read this gripping story of these turbulent years on Capitol Hill."

"Drawing upon his three decades of experience as a congressional staff member and his training as a historian, John A. Lawrence has written a remarkable, entertaining book about the individuals and inside politics of the post-Watergate cohort in the House of Representatives and their unintended contribution to contemporary political polarization."

"Congressional reforms enacted during the 1970s revolutionized American lawmaking. In The Class of '74, John A. Lawrence masterfully examines the people and politics that redefined 'regular order' in the House of Representatives—in ways that were intended, and in ways that were not. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how Congress worked in the past, does work now, or could work in the future."

"A most welcome fresh look at a critical period in the history of Congress and the role played by the legendary Class of 1974. Lawrence marshals his formidable skills as an historian and his savvy as a senior congressional staffer to produce an important and enlightening book."

"In the wake of the Watergate scandal, the historic election of 1974 remade the Congress with waves of fresh-faced reformers. But what did the changes they brought actually mean? John A. Lawrence delivers the surprising answers in these engrossing pages."

"With the insights of a long-time insider, the deep research of a first-rate historian, and a lively and readable style, John Lawrence has produced the definitive account of the rise and impact of the most consequential congressional class in the twentieth century. As one who was immersed in Congress at the time, reading The Class of '74 was at times déjà vu all over again, but I also learned a great deal about Congress then and its impact on Congress now. This will be a landmark volume on congressional history."

"John A. Lawrence has written a wonderful book shedding fresh light on how a single congressional class changed the House—and deepened the process of partisan polarization that defines American politics. This book should be assigned in every course on Congress and read by anybody eager to understand the roots of our current political distempers."

"John Lawrence has a novelist’s grasp of Capitol Hill. With The Class of '74 he shows us what Richard Nixon wrought. With the fall of a president came the young, educated, new generation anxious for power. The 'Watergate Babies' were out to change history. Facing them across the chasm of time were the encrusted figures who’d ruled Congress for decades. And what characters they were! I’ve never read anyone who 'gets' Congress and its characters as Lawrence does. He feels the Hill’s story because he spent years feeding on it."

"The Class of '74 is a must-read for congressional scholars. Lawrence is able to explain the first branch of government to laypeople in an accessible and entertaining fashion."

"The Class of ’74 is an important and entertaining political biography of a unique group of legislators and a deeply researched history of a period of major change in our politics. John Lawrence has written a fascinating account that sheds new light on Congress’s past and reveals deeper truths about its present."

"John A. Lawrence offers a remarkable political history of the forces and characters that shaped the arrival and accomplishments of the post-Watergate Class of '74. Lawrence draws from decades of unparalleled experience on Capitol Hill to produce an insightful and compelling account of how these newcomers changed laws and reformed Congress—inadvertently unleashing decades of change that brought us today’s hyper-partisan and often stalemated Congress."

"John A. Lawrence’s recounting of the congressional class of 1974 makes for fascinating reading as well as a compelling exploration of the origins of partisan polarization. As he traces the careers of these Congress members from their dramatic electoral triumphs in 1974 to their final retirements in 2014, Lawrence provides insight into the transformation not only of the US Congress but also our politics."

"If you want to know how we got to this bitterly partisan time in politics, read this book. Through hundreds of fascinating interviews plus rigorous research, Lawrence shows us how unintended consequences of congressional 'reforms' started the country along this poisonous path. "

"An essential work of congressional history."

"And [Lawrence] was about a month from publishing The Class of ’74: Congress After Watergate and the Roots of Partisanship, his timely book on the uses and abuses of congressional power."

"This is an exceptionally useful study of congressional dynamics. Taking full measure of how House members actually think and act, the author includes telling anecdotes sprinkled with occasional salty language. Highly recommended."

"The Class of '74 is an interesting, readable exposition about the reformers, their struggle to transform the legislative branch, and the consequences of their choices. Reading The Class of '74 reveals as much about Congress today as it does about Congress 44 years ago. Lawrence, a visiting professor at the University of California who spent several years serving as chief of staff to then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), tells a story that is not only interesting in its own right but helps explain, in Frum's words, how we got here."

The Class of '74
Congress after Watergate and the Roots of Partisanship
QTY:
$29.95
Publication Date: 2018
Status: Available
Usually ships 2-3 business days after receipt of order.
Trim Size: 6" x 9"
Page Count: 416 pages
Illustrations: 20 b&w photos
ISBN: 9781421424699