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by James Burnham


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The central place of Congress in the American political tradition. Burnham provides a very well constructed narrative of what Congress was intended to be within the American governing structure. The founders clearly intended for this branch of government to be the center of the policy making process. Today, however, that no longer is the case, and what many would argue is that this is in part responsible for the failings of the American political system.

Most Americans would probably be surprised to hear that, in 1959, James Burnham, a leading political thinker questioned whether Congress would survive, and whether the Executive Branch of the American government would become a dictatorship

Most Americans would probably be surprised to hear that, in 1959, James Burnham, a leading political thinker questioned whether Congress would survive, and whether the Executive Branch of the American government would become a dictatorship. In the last decade, members of Congress have impeached a president, rejected or refused to consider presidential nominees, and appear in the media criticizing the chief executive. Congress does not exactly appear to be at risk of expiring.

The central place of Congress in the American political tradition, the decline of its power and prestige during the 20th century. Burnham provides a very well constructed narrative of what Congress was intended to be within the American governing structure

The central place of Congress in the American political tradition, the decline of its power and prestige during the 20th century.

James Burnham (November 22, 1905 – July 28, 1987) was an American philosopher and political theorist. Burnham was a prominent Trotskyist activist in the 1930s, as well as a well-known isolationist

James Burnham (November 22, 1905 – July 28, 1987) was an American philosopher and political theorist. Burnham was a prominent Trotskyist activist in the 1930s, as well as a well-known isolationist. In later years Burnham left Marxism and became a public intellectual of the American conservative movement.

Burnham originally intended Congress and the American Tradition as a. .The book is organized into three distinct parts James Burnham (1905-1987) began his career as a professor of philosophy at New York University.

Burnham originally intended Congress and the American Tradition as a response to liberal critics of Senator McCarthy's investigations of communist influence in the United States. The book is organized into three distinct parts. The American System of Government," analyzes the concept of government, ideology and tradition, power, and the place and function of Congress within the American government. James Burnham (1905-1987) began his career as a professor of philosophy at New York University.

Burnham, James, 1905-1987. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Chicago, H. Regnery Co. Collection. inlibrary; printdisabled; ; china. Uploaded by Lotu Tii on December 21, 2011. SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata). Terms of Service (last updated 12/31/2014).

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It parallels the loosely defined liberal ideology rampant in American government and institutions, with the flow, ebb, growth, climax and the eventual decline and death of both ancient and modern civilizations.

James Burnham, Congress and the American Tradition, New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2003, orig. Chicago: Henry Regnery C. 1959. Robert H. Durr, John B. Gilmour, and Christina Wolbrecht, Explaining Congressional Approval, American Journal of Political Science 41(January 1997)175-207. James Burnham was a literary modernist who after an experience with Trotskyite Marxism gained renown for The Managerial Revolution (1941), a study of executive centralization. Alert to the threat of totalitarian rule, Burnham joined intellectual forces with defenders of liberty in the renewal of conservatism after World War II.

The central place of Congress in the American political tradition, the decline of its power and prestige during the 20th century, and the possibilities of restoring its influence constitute the themes of this brilliant book.Part I of Congress and the American Tradition provides a classic exposition of the original principles of American government. Part II is a reasoned, dispassionate assessment of the present position of Congress. Part III is a realistic evaluation of the future of Congress.Steering a middle road between wishful thinking and prophecies of doom, Burnham presents his subject with clear-eyed calmness. "The choice of liberty, made for us at the nation's beginning by the Founding Fathers, is now up for review." Refusing to harangue or cajole, he leaves us free to choose as we wish.

Comments: (3)

Flarik
Burnham provides a very well constructed narrative of what Congress was intended to be within the American governing structure. The founders clearly intended for this branch of government to be the center of the policy making process. Today, however, that no longer is the case, and what many would argue is that this is in part responsible for the failings of the American political system. The reason that the legislature was intended to be the center of government was the link it had to the people, and the consequences that had for the reputation for those occupying those seats. Congress, it was thought by the founders, would not do anything to harm, the country because it would harm their names. The founders had it wrong, and Burnham helps to explain why this is the case.
Xcorn
Burnham's book is a fine history of the slow degeneration of Congress as an institution, from it's beginnings as the heart of our gov't, to it's present state as an irritating side show that mainly serves to siphon public money off to various local interests. That, in fact, is one of the things Burnham defends, and this is the book's primary flaw. While it gives a fine account of the creeping imperialism of the executive branch, it offers nothing but jeremiads. The practical solutions to this problem, such as making Congress larger, are not seriously considered. Worse yet is the author's tendency to defend the more backward aspects of Congressional life, such as special interest politics. It is all well and good to say that Congress defends the rights of the few against the many and stands in the path of mob tyrannny, but it is undeniable that it is all to often a leech that exists only to expropriate the wealth of one segment of society and pass it on to another. Burnham's blind allegience to outworn gov't mechanisms is his great flaw. The first principles he adheres to are as valid as ever, but they need a new embodiement more suited to our own times and troubles. Romantic nostalgia for the days of Webster and Calhoun is counterproductive.
Zugar
Burnham's book is an outstanding historical overview of the nature of Congress as an institution. The strength of the work is in its thoughtful application of founding principles to the historical working and devolution of Congress up until the late 1950s. As such, the reader should not expect the book to deliver much in the way of specific therapeutic prescriptions for contemporary problems; it is far better utilized as a sobering reminder of basic requirements for an ordered republic, with current students of the American regime doing the applicative work to the issues of our own time.
Congress and the American Tradition download epub
Politics & Government
Author: James Burnham
ISBN: 0895267179
Category: Politics & Social Sciences
Subcategory: Politics & Government
Language: English
Publisher: Gateway Editions (January 1, 1997)
Pages: 430 pages