Robert Remini: Long awaited history of the House published





On 26 April, the long awaited history of the House of Representatives by Historian of the House Robert V. Remini was unveiled at an event at the Library of Congress. In attendance were author Remini, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, Secretary of the Smithsonian Lawrence Small, and President and CEO of HarperCollinsPublishers Jane Friedman. Also in attendance was former history teacher and now member of Congress John B.
Larson (D-CT) whose legislation (P.L. 106-99) served as the catalyst for the first comprehensive history of the House targeted to the general reader.

The book, titled “The House: The History of the House of Representatives” is published by Smithsonian Books (an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers) and is available for $34.95 in bookstores (and via the Internet) nationwide. Remini had the challenge of condensing over 200 years of history into a 625-page book. The author, who is principally a historian/biographer found conceptualizing his first institutional history a challenge. Remini’s thoughtful narrative solution was to chronicle the first through the 108th Congress by highlighting the struggle between principle and pragmatism. To that end he showcases not just events but the many colorful personalities who have contributed to making the institution what it is today. Remini drew heavily on manuscript materials as well as the congressional records, newspaper accounts, letters, diaries, memoirs, and his own interviews with many current and former members. The result is a rich history of “the people’s House.”


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