TITLE: The House: The History of the U.S. House of Representatives
SPEAKER: Robert Remini
EVENT DATE: 2006/05/09
RUNNING TIME: 40 minutes
Historian Robert V. Remini discussed his recently published book, "The House: The History of the U.S. House of Representatives."
Remini's single-volume history traces the development of the House of Representatives from a struggling, nascent body to the venerable powerhouse it has become over the past two centuries. The history is told through the lens of America's first through 108th federal Congresses--from the House's origins in 1789 in a chamber in New York reserved for 65 male members drawn from the elite of the founding 13 states to today's heterogeneous body of 435 located in Washington. The struggle between principle and pragmatism is showcased through the many colorful personalities who have made the institution what it is today.
The House Awareness and Preservation Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-99) directed the Library of Congress to commission and oversee the first comprehensive narrative history of the U.S. House of Representatives for the general reader, under the oversight of the Committee on House Administration. Congress intended the book to foster an appreciation for the institution of the House, not only for the general public but also for current and future members of the House. In response to the bipartisan passage of this legislation, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington appointed Robert V. Remini as distinguished visiting scholar of American history in the Library's John W. Kluge Center in order to research and write this book.
Speaker Biography: Professor of history and the humanities emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Robert Remini received his bachelor's degree at Fordham University and master's and doctorate degrees at Columbia University. In addition to his three-volume biography of Andrew Jackson, he is the author of biographies of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, as well as a dozen other books on Jacksonian America. On April 28, 2005, Remini was appointed historian of the U.S. House of Representatives.