Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What is Matthew Green reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Matthew N. Green, author of The Speaker of the House: A Study of Leadership (Yale University Press).

His entry begins:
I tend to read a lot of American history in my spare time, interspersed with the occasional work of fiction. I'm currently reading three books: the first falls in the former category, the other two in the latter.

The first is Zachary Schrag's The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro. A graduate student in my department recommended it to me, and I'm glad he did. I've always assumed that the D.C. subway system, popular among the thousands of tourists who visit the nation's capital, was equally popular when it was first proposed, developed, and constructed. But in fact, it had to compete with highways for attention and funding, was nearly killed by a stubborn and petulant congressional committee chairman, and faced strong resistance from many local communities who did not want stations nearby. Schrag describes how the subway was affected by the profound political and social changes that took place in the 1960's and 1970's, and how the...[read on]
Matthew Green is an assistant professor of Politics at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Originally from northern California, he worked as a congressional aide for five years before getting his Ph.D in political science at Yale University. He teaches a variety of courses on American politics, but he has a particular passion for Congress.

Among the early praise for The Speaker of the House:
"An illuminating approach to questions of congressional leadership. The author integrates innovative new analysis of the Speaker's legislative activities and the best secondary literature in a creative fashion. [...] This book should be required reading for scholars of American politics and in courses that emphasize the role of congressional leadership."
–C. Lawrence Evans, College of William and Mary

“A rare accomplishment. The author does impressive and novel work.”
–David Mayhew, Yale University

“This book represents a major advance in the study of congressional leadership, both in terms of the extensive new evidence Green has collected on what modern House speakers have actually done to influence legislation, and the theory he has developed which takes us beyond viewing congressional leaders as passive agents of legislative majorities.”
–Randall Strahan, Emory University
Learn more about Matthew Green at his faculty webpage and Amazon author page.

Writers Read: Matthew Green.

--Marshal Zeringue