"We are all -- every one of us -- members of several 'special interests.' By providing a practical guide to lobbying, Persuading Congress demystifies the ways in which citizens can influence legislation and achieve their public policy objectives. Anyone who wants to make a difference through legislation -- not just executives -- needs to read this book, master its lessons, and keep it handy."
"Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty."
-- CHOICE, January 2013 (full review 1-page PDF)
"Our nation has the greatest ideals, standing as that 'city upon a hill' for the world over to look toward with hope. Yet we have not always been as welcoming as we have proclaimed. Forbidden Citizens by Martin Gold tells the story of the exclusion of a specific group, the Chinese people, for racial reasons that were expressed in the most shocking terms. It is thorough, thoughtful, and highly relevant today. This work presents the best scholarship in the most accessible manner."
-- Frank H. Wu, Chancellor & Dean, University of California Hastings College of the Law, and the author of Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White (Basic Books)
"This landmark volume on the subject of exclusionary policies against Chinese and Chinese Americans is the culmination of lengthy research conducted while attorney Gold (Senate Procedure and Practice) represented a number of Chinese American groups. Divided into 11 chronologically ordered chapters, the book opens with an exploration of initial Senate debates over exclusionary measures and concludes with details on the repeal of such legislation. Congressional member quotations illuminate period sentiment. An appendix offers primary-source texts, document facsimiles, and discussion questions, and this makes for a valuable teaching tool.
VERDICT Expanding on the views in Erika Lee's At America's Gates (2007), this is an exemplary subject reference."
-- Library Journal, July 2012 (full review 1-page PDF)
"Forbidden Citizens presents a skillful review of the long and tortuous path from temporary to permanent exclusion of the Chinese from immigration and citizenship. It is rich raw material for scholars of race relations and immigration that deftly weaves legal history, congressional debates, regional and national history, and the relation of foreign policy and immigration."
-- Najia Aarim-Heriot, Professor, State University of New York at Fredonia, and the author of Chinese Immigrants, African Americans, and Racial Anxiety in the United States, 1848-82 (University of Illinois Press)
"Through engaging narrative, Forbidden Citizens expertly tells a story unfamiliar to most Americans, one that left a permanent scar upon the psyche of Chinese Americans and changed our nation forever. Martin Gold's thorough and pioneering research into decades of Congressional history brings to life the politics of Chinese exclusion in a way no one has."
-- Judy Chu, United States Representative (D-CA)
"In Forbidden Citizens, Martin Gold offers a sweeping and impressive documentation of the long and shameful legislative history of the mistreatment of the Chinese in this country. Forbidden Citizens is an exhaustive piece of research that will appeal not only to legal scholars and civil rights activists, but to any American curious about this grim chapter of our history."
-- Christopher Corbett, author, The Poker Bride: The First Chinese in the Wild West (Atlantic Monthly)
"Forbidden Citizens is a captivating recount of grave and forgotten injustices and efforts to correct them. No one knows more about the United States Congress than Marty Gold, and he engages the reader in a way only he can."
-- Orrin Hatch, United States Senator (R-UT)
"Anti-Chinese violence, discrimination, and rhetoric have a long, sordid history in America. It began with the first Chinese immigrants to North America in the 1840s and in some ways, at least rhetorically, continues to the present day. The anti-Chinese movement often took a federal political form that proved amazingly complex; and for the first time this legal history has been carefully and thoughtfully explained in Forbidden Citizens, from the initial congressional debates in the 1870s, through the passage of no less than nine Chinese exclusion laws, to the eventual repeal of fourteen statutes in 1943. All can be found in this one volume. It is a monumental achievement."
-- John R. Wunder, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and author Inferior Courts, Superior Justice: A History of the Justices of the Peace on the Northwest Frontier, 1853-1889 (Greenwood Press)
"Forbidden Citizens is a moving account of a regrettable part of American history. Marty Gold has done us all a service by bringing this story to light so that our past mistakes are never repeated."
-- Scott Brown, United States Senator (R-MA)
An important piece of scholarship, which vividly depicts the intensity of anti-Chinese and anti-Asian feeling that was widespread even among our intellectual and political elite only a century ago."
-- Stephen Hsu, Professor of Physics, University of Oregon
"Martin Gold presents in welcome detail both the disturbing story of how the U.S. Congress came to enact a series of federal laws that singled out Chinese immigrants for discriminatory treatment, and the story of how those laws were repealed.
"Beginning with the Chinese Exclusion Act enacted in 1882, these laws were the first time in our nation's history that Congress expressly singled out a group of immigrants for denial of citizenship rights, and for special exclusion under its immigration laws. But, as to the latter course, it was certainly not the last. There is a straight line from the enactment of the exclusion laws to the exclusionary immigration laws of the 1920s that effectively sealed the doors of the United States to Jews who might otherwise have been able to flee the conflagration of Nazi-occupied Europe.
"We do well to remember that the protection of the rights of any of us depends on protecting the rights of all. Gold's book is a stirring and timely reminder of that principle."
-- Richard T. Foltin, Director of National and Legislative Affairs, American Jewish Committee (AJC)
"Martin Gold's exceptional scholarly research on the legislative history of Chinese Exclusion Laws provides a compelling and troubling account of how Congress, a democratic institution of the people, enacted a series of discriminatory laws so contrary to our founding principles. Hopefully, this publication will not only bring to light the historic injustice inflicted on Chinese and Asian Americans because of these laws, but also offer a lesson on why we should not repeat this dark chapter in American history."
-- Michael C. Lin, Chairman, 1882 Project
"When this book was originally written, it bore the title "The Golden Rules of Advocacy," and the previous edition is still available under that name from Amazon.com. I discovered 'Golden Rules' on a trip to England, where I found it on sale at the information desk of the Royal Courts of Justice in London. As a recently retired trial advocate of 32 years experience, I was interested in the English perspective on trial advocacy. I bought the book and read it straight through on the flight home from England and was greatly impressed by Evans' knowledge of the essentials of trial advocacy. When I discovered 'Golden Rules' on Amazon.com, I wrote a glowing review.
Then I found 'Common Sense Rules,' and debated ordering it. I rightly suspected it was 'Golden Rules' under another name. After some time, I gave in to the urge to purchase, and I have not regretted it. 'Common Sense' is 'Golden Rules' revised and expanded, and set forth in a much more user-friendly format.
I lament the change of title, however. The term 'Golden Rules' conveys the high ethical standard set by the book far better than 'Common Sense'. You can have a head full of 'Common Sense' and still be as crooked as a corkscrew. Despite my preference for the former title, I cannot fault the publisher for the change. Either term is equally applicable. Maybe the third edition could be entitled 'The Golden Rules of Common Sense Advocacy'.
Reading this book would profit any advocate of any experience level. Judicious application of the advice contained in the book will make anyone a better advocate."
-- George R. (Bob) Dekle, Legal Skills Professor, University of Florida, Retired Assistant State Attorney, Third Judicial Circuit of Florida (successfully prosecuted Ted Bundy)
"I can't think of one more effective single thing WSBA could do to advance its skills training goals than to give a copy of CSRA to every newly admitted member. ... CSRA is my desert-island book. And when another lawyer washes ashore, as in a New Yorker cartoon, I'll be ready. Buy this book."
-- Lindsay Thompson, Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) Litigation Law Section Newsletter, Fall 2004
"The rules presented are sound and the book is easy to read. It is conducive to being read in short increments, as might well be the case for a busy trial lawyer or for one using it to brush up. I recommend that trial lawyers have this book on their shelves for use as a refresher, in preparation for a trial, or as the basis for daily reflection on trial advocacy."
-- Jason Hanson, Wisconsin Lawyer, September 2004
"Down to earth advice for the advocate. Keith Evans' book provides important, down-to-earth advice and guidance for both the novice and experienced advocate. Having adjudicated many, many cases, I wish every advocate would review these practical rules for effective advocacy. All advocates will benefit from this helpful book."
-- Jay Grenig, Arbitrator
"Keith Evans, the author of Common Sense Rules of Advocacy for Lawyers, is an experienced trial lawyer. He has studied the game from the inside and he has seen things others have missed. He has distilled his experience and offers it up in the brisk aphoristic style that brought him his success in the courtroom. The book is a valuable review for the old timers and an excellent primer for those who are starting the climb."
-- Jacob A. Stein, Stein, Mitchell & Mezines, Washington, DC
"Common Sense Rules of Advocacy for Lawyers is a superb how-to book for the trial lawyer. The author, Keith Evans, walks the reader through the essentials of effective trial advocacy, teaching every step of the way while at the same time never sounding the slightest bit like a lecturer. The scope of the book -- everything from what to wear in the courtroom to writing a trial brief -- is truly impressive, yet the author maintains a tone that is refreshingly readable. The author never loses sight of the underlying rules of evidence, procedure, and ethics, but his real genius is translating those rules into -- as the title says -- common sense rules of advocacy. I wish I had had this book when I was a young lawyer. I highly recommend it."
-- Karl Tegland, author, "Courtroom Handbook on Washington Evidence"
"Advocacy is an art as well as a skill, and Keith Evans presents the rules of mastering that art in a very down to earth manner. Filled with humor and eminently readable, his book is a great introduction for the new lawyer and a wonderful learning tool for the advocate with experience."
-- Sherman L. Cohn, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center
(first national President of American Inns of Court)
"This is a wonderful 'Bible' for the trial lawyer who wants to win. If only we had had this in law school!"
-- Browne Greene, Greene, Broillet, Panish & Wheeler, Santa Monica, CA
"Not just for lawyers! Common Sense Rules of Advocacy for Lawyers contains valuable insights and practical lessons for anyone who advocates for a living, including mediators, facilitators, and others who may not readily admit to practicing the subtle art of advocacy. Lawyers advocating in ADR settings will also greatly benefit from Keith Evans' book, which is why I recommend it in my Alternative Dispute Resolution course at the University of Colorado School of Law."
-- Steve Clymer, J.D., mediator, arbitrator, and facilitator with ACCORD Dispute Resolution Services, Inc.
"This is a remarkable compendium of useful advice presented in a straightforward, entertaining manner. If new advocates could have only one 'how to' book this would be it."
-- Roxanne Barton Conlin, Roxanne Conlin & Associates, Des Moines, IA
(first woman President of Association of Trial Lawyers of America)
"Keith Evans' Common Sense Rules of Advocacy for Lawyers is a delightful and valuable read for trial lawyers and teachers of every level of experience. For the novice, it is like having a seasoned veteran of the courtroom wars as a mentor. It is full of sound advice and useful examples. Barrister Evans will help the greenest litigator look and act competently before a jury. For old war horses and trial advocacy teachers, Evans' list of rules is a valuable checklist of "DO's" and "DON'T's" reminders. Even the most experienced trial lawyer can pick up some new techniques here. I will heartily recommend it to my Trial Advocacy students."
-- Frederick C. Moss, Professor, Dedman School of Law, Southern Methodist University
"This is a terrific guidebook that should be followed by all young trial lawyers. While it is true that these rules are based upon common sense and that most seasoned trial lawyers will figure them out over time, this book will allow young advocates to benefit from all the painful lessons learned by inexperienced lawyers before them."
-- Philip H. Corboy, Corboy & Demetrio, Chicago, IL
"The latest title in TheCapitol.Net "Communication Series", Common Sense Rules Of Advocacy For Lawyers by author and lawyer Keith Evans focuses upon the advocacy role lawyers have in advancing or defending their client's interests. After an informative introduction, specific chapters effectively and accessibly address the dimensions of advocacy; the mandatory rules of advocacy; advocacy as "theater"; the psychology of advocacy; the examination of witnesses; direct examination; cross-examination; re-direct examination; final argument; written advocacy; and advocacy in the age of high technology. Enhanced for the reader with a definitive conclusion, various appendices, and a comprehensive index, Common Sense Rules Of Advocacy For Lawyers is a welcome contribution to professional and law school libraries, and an invaluable candidate for use as a principle curriculum textbook, or at the very least, an important addition to a law student's supplemental reading list."
-- Midwest Book Review
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"Previous victims of the congressional hearing root canal will ask themselves, 'Where was this invaluable book when I needed it?'"
-- Mitch Daniels, Governor, Indiana
"Testifying before Congress isn't a fair fight, and there are few rules to protect you. Bill LaForge has packed years of experience, seeing congressional hearings done well and done very badly, into this practical book, Testifying Before Congress. If you are a corporate leader summoned to testify before Congress and you want to survive what could be one of the most horrible, and dangerous, experiences of your career, you must read this extremely valuable book. If you are a lobbyist or government affairs professional advising a client who will be testifying before a congressional committee, you must give them this book before they dig whatever hole they are in even deeper. If you want to make the fight fair, prepare yourself and read this book."
-- Charlie Cook, Editor and Publisher of The Cook Political Report, Political Analyst for the National Journal Group
"Bill LaForge has written a thoughtful guide for those who are called to testify before the House or Senate. His insights are right on target."
-- Thad Cochran, United States Senate
"Testifying before Congress is a critical opportunity to tell your organization's story, but to do it effectively, it pays to have the advice of an old pro. Bill LaForge's excellent how-to guide to the hearings process and preparation of witnesses is a 'must-read' for any executive called to testify on Capitol Hill."
-- Susan Neely, President & CEO, American Beverage Association
"Bill LaForge has written the perfect resource for anyone who wants to understand the congressional hearings process or who is preparing to testify before Congress. This book opens the door to the world of congressional hearings, and lays out a path to excellence for witnesses testifying on Capitol Hill."
-- Charles A. Bowsher, Comptroller General of the United States (Retired)
"Being called to testify on Capitol Hill can be a career high point or a disaster. Whether your organization is a not-for-profit or a Fortune 100 company, you will want this practical guide by Bill LaForge at the ready when you face one of the most important moments in the life of a citizen."
-- Dan Perry, President & CEO, Alliance for Aging Research
"Testifying Before Congress by Bill LaForge is a gold mine for anyone engaging in the congressional hearings process."
-- Richard E. Wiley, Managing Partner, Wiley Rein LLP
"Testifying before congress is a new but increasingly necessary experience for most business leaders. Bill LaForge's book, Testifying Before Congress, is a practical and comprehensive how-to guide that should be required reading before your first experience on the 'hot seat' in front of a congressional committee."
-- Chad Holliday, Chairman, Bank of America
"Testifying Before Congress is the bible for anyone engaging in the congressional hearings process and the preeminent guide for any witness preparing to testify before Congress. This deskbook 'picks the lock' of the congressional hearings process and the preparation of witnesses. Everything you want to know to prepare your client or the head of a federal agency to testify before Congress is thoroughly discussed in this exceptional guidebook. This informative 'how-to' guide should be required reading for every new congressional staffer and for the congressional relations staff of every federal department and agency. Bill LaForge's book is a very useful, one-of-a-kind, comprehensive treatise that provides an excellent road map. Private and government practitioners -- and their clients -- will be well-served by consulting this valuable guide before going to testify on Capitol Hill."
-- Lawrence Baca, President, Federal Bar Association, and Deputy Director of the Office of Tribal Justice in the Department of Justice (Retired)
"This insightful and instructive treatise is ideal for mayors and other municipal officials who deal with the U.S. Congress and its committees, and it provides excellent background and preparatory guidance for those testifying or preparing witnesses for testimony before Congress."
-- Susan Narvaiz, Mayor, City of San Marcos, Texas
"I wish I had a book like Bill LaForge has produced when I first testified before Congress. The year was 1958; I was testifying on behalf of the Methodist Student Movement; and Bill was still in short pants. Now LaForge is sharing his years of experience with us, and he has turned out a unique manual for anyone who wants to, or must, appear before a congressional committee, from ordinary citizen to experienced advocate. This book can become for congressional testimony what Robert's Rules of Order has become for legislative procedure."
-- Richard F. Celeste, President, Colorado College; Former Governor of Ohio, Peace Corps Director, and Ambassador to India
"Testifying Before Congress is a superlative work. The book has the depth of background and the precision of practicality to make it a helpful treatise for the practitioner as well as a thoughtful textbook for use by professors in classes on Public Policy or Congressional Oversight. It should be on the bookshelf of anyone who follows the business of Congress."
-- Jim Rosenblatt, Dean, Mississippi College School of Law
"With Testifying Before Congress, Bill LaForge has provided an invaluable and comprehensive resource for law school faculty, students, and researchers interested in gaining an in depth understanding of how congressional committees organize hearings and how witnesses prepare for testimony."
-- Judith Areen, Paul Regis Dean Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus, Georgetown Law
"Bill LaForge's excellent treatise, Testifying Before Congress, is the ideal 'one-stop-shopping,' easy-to-use reference for any witness preparing to testify before Congress. For example, Chapter Four focuses on the details of preparing the witness to testify. It discusses in practical detail the use of prepared materials and witness preparation, including making certain the witness knows what to expect. Every corporate and association executive should have this valuable resource tool available before venturing into the congressional hearings process."
-- Larry D. Thompson, Senior Vice-President for Government Affairs and General Counsel, PepsiCo; former Deputy Attorney General of the United States
"The congressional hearings process with its tough questions, full media coverage and complicated array of participants has become a bewildering spectacle. In this book, Bill LaForge draws on his experience as a congressional staff member as well as a lobbyist to bring coherence to the process and much needed advice for those charged with providing testimony. He sets these hearings nicely within the legislative process to highlight their importance for the development of public policy. He is an excellent coach for witnesses in preparing effective testimony, delivering it successfully and responding to difficult questions. His experience as an adjunct professor in the School of Business at The George Washington University has broadened the targeted audiences to include faculty and students involved in courses in the American legislative process, business and government relations and business representation and lobbying. Both practitioners and academics will find this book enlightening. It is an enjoyable read as LaForge includes examples throughout to bring the Congressional Committee rooms to life with conflicting interests often waging heated battles in shaping public policy."
-- D. Jeffrey Lenn, Associate Vice President for Academic Operations and Professor of Strategic Management & Public Policy, The George Washington University
"Testifying Before Congress should be on the desk of every government relations professional in the corporate, association, agency and private firm arenas."
-- Jack Gerard, President and CEO, American Petroleum Institute (API)
"This is a time when the interest in understanding the workings of Congress is particularly acute. For those of us who have spent time in the halls of the House and Senate and now have an interest in helping others understand how these institutions function, their relationship to the other branches of government and the changing patterns of power, this book could not come at a better time. Bill LaForge has given us a new tool to use in helping students truly understand the greatest deliberative body in the world."
-- Sheila Burke, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
"Bill LaForge has written an important treatise on congressional investigations and the legislative process. It blends a thorough understanding of the purpose of congressional investigations in gathering and evaluating information on a wide range of issues with an informative and practical guide to the preparation for and participation in the hearing process. With its step by step approach to dealing with the preliminary fact finding process, the Committee hearing and the legislative report, including the nuances of an uneven playing field, it is must reading for lawyers and witnesses involved in this critical governmental function."
-- Mark H. Tuohey III, Partner, Brown Rudnick
"I wish I had this book before I testified in front of a Senate committee examining eye safety and computer use. I sat at a table with two academicians and peered at a group of Senators sitting above us - quite an intimidating experience. What you see on the evening news or C-SPAN doesn't reflect the reality of testifying before Congress. As physicians we were prepared with the facts but totally unprepared for dealing with the process. A must reference for associations or NGOs!"
-- William L. Rich III, MD, FACS, Medical Director of Health Policy, American Academy of Ophthalmology
"Testifying Before Congress is the best 'how to' resource that I have seen -- it is well-researched, experience-based, and thoughtfully written, with a dash of humor added for good measure."
-- Samuel M. Davis, Dean of the School of Law, The University of Mississippi
"For anyone or any group delivering testimony to Congress, Bill LaForge's book should serve as the bible for preparation and delivery of the message. It is a must for those who approach this sometimes intimidating experience."
-- David Pryor, Former U.S. Senator (D-AR), Dean of The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and Director of The Institute of Politics, Harvard University
"Bill LaForge has penned the definitive treatise on the preparation and delivery of congressional testimony, and a valuable resource for scholars, researchers and staffers. Packed with how-to insight, it's leavened with humor."
-- Charles Babington, Congressional Reporter, The Associated Press
"Testifying Before Congress captures the magic formula for successful advocacy inside the Beltway. Bill LaForge provides a masterful road map to help you navigate the congressional testifying process and identifies every opportunity to make concise and compelling arguments to achieve your desired result."
-- Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President, Western States Petroleum Associationback to top
Foreword: Alan Frumin
2019 Benjamin Franklin Award Winner
"A clear explanation of the workings of the United States government that should be required reading for politically engaged Americans."
-- Kirkus Reviews (full review)
"An ideal guide, Richard Arenberg leads the way through the labyrinth of congressional procedure. Having staffed in both the House and Senate, crafted legislative tactics, and taught how Congress works, he can explain complex issues lucidly."
-- Donald A. Ritchie, Historian Emeritus, U.S. Senate
"It is an effective reference textbook, complete with an extensive index and a clear, helpful glossary of Congress-related terms. Diagrams make more complex processes, like the route of a measure through the House and Senate, more clear and are useful in combination with the prose explanations. Especially valuable are the review questions at the end of each chapter, which are summative without getting bogged down in small details.
Two particularly interesting and engaging elements stand out. One is the book’s references to historical figures involved in the creation of Congress. Quotations, such as of James Madison referencing why the Senate was formed, make it easier to trace connections between modern practice and the initial reasons for the government’s development. Secondly, the text effectively addresses polarization, noting the recent trend toward party-based polarization and the lack of collaboration across the aisle. By citing specific points in the process of creating new laws where senators and representatives are collaborating less, the text advances an implicit thesis that Congress is subtly changing its way of operating to favor methods that do not require convincing very many people from opposing parties when working to pass important legislation. Congressional Procedure offers insider-level understanding of how legislation passes through the House and Senate, handling a dry topic with great precision and clarity."
-- Foreword Reviews (full review)
"This hands-on practitioner's guide cuts away veils of mystery to shed light on the rules governing Washington's most impenetrable institution, the United States Congress. From 'regular order' to special rules to filibusters, amendment trees, and how the system has broken down in recent years, Professor Arenberg uses his experience and expertise to explain clearly both the how and the why behind the House and Senate and their peculiarly unique ways of doing business. A great guide for navigating the rapids."
-- Ken Ackerman, Of Counsel, Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC "Impressively informative, exceptionally well organized and accessibly presented, Congressional Procedure is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Political Science collections and supplemental studies reading lists."
-- Midwest Book Review
"In Congressional Procedure, Richard Arenberg provides the ultimate guide and master blueprint to the legislative process, how Congress should function, and how it operates today. During my 34 years in both the U.S. House and Senate, I witnessed firsthand that process dictates policy, and is central to Congress’s capacity to solve problems. This book is an essential resource and eminently accessible behind-the-scenes look at the machinery of lawmaking."
-- Olympia Snowe, U.S. Senate (R-ME) (1994-2013); U.S. House of Representatives (1978-1993)
"Professor Richard A. Arenberg’s lively and accessible description about how Congress works is a must read for everyone wanting to know more about the contemporary Congress. It educates scholars and journalists who write about the legislative branch, students, the public, and political practitioners about the inside machinery of congressional procedure. Arenberg’s wisdom about Congress is a combination of years of experience on the Hill and his careful scholarship. It is a thorough and careful account of the organization, processes, and procedures of the House and Senate."
-- James A. Thurber, University Distinguished Professor of Government and Founder (1979) and Founder and Former Director (1979-2016) of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University
"The actual rules of Congress, written and unwritten, are rarely mastered even by the members themselves. All the formalities matter, but so do the folkways that govern their daily application. Arenberg has written a sophisticated and invaluable primer on both. It may take time to be familiar with the ins and outs of Capitol Hill, but Arenberg gives us a great place to begin and an excellent manual to carry with us on the way."
-- Ron Elving, Senior Editor and Correspondent / NPR News, Executive in Residence / School of Public Affairs / American University
"Congressional Procedure delivers on its promise. It is a clear, concise, straightforward guide to how Congress operates. It has just enough detail to explain what is going on without descending into unnecessary minutia. It will serve readers well as either a handy desk reference for members, staff, and anyone else who needs to understand Congress or a textbook for any course on Congress."
-- Joseph Gibson, Author, Persuading Congress
"Richard Arenberg understands the workings of the Senate as well as anyone I know. Congressional Procedure reflects his wealth of experience, common sense, political savvy, and extensive knowledge of the legislative process."
-- Carl Levin, U.S. Senate (D-MI) (1979- 2015)
"Richard Arenberg knows Congress from the inside out, from his decades working inside the Senate to his years teaching about it and writing about it. His book, Congressional Procedure, reflects his experience and insights. The title does not do it justice: this book is a primer on all things Congress, a comprehensive and readable guide to what Congress is supposed to do, what it actually does, and why there is sometimes a disconnect."
-- Norman J. Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
"I wish I had known Richard Arenberg when I was a reporter in Washington. My life would have been easier, my mistakes fewer. As readers of this extraordinary and lovingly executed book will find, Arenberg knows every muscle and sinew of the legislative process: the genius and even the weaknesses of the Congress of the United States. Every reporter, lobbyist, political scientist -- indeed, every citizen -- will gain by reading this fascinating explanation of Congress and how it works and, at times, stumbles."
-- Llewelyn King, Executive Producer and Host of "White House Chronicle" on PBS
"Congress is both the most important and the least functional branch of our democracy. Few appreciate this more than Richard Arenberg, who spent 34 years on Capitol Hill working for Paul Tsongas, George Mitchell, and Carl Levin. During challenging moments throughout our history, the traditions of Congress have helped to keep dysfunction at bay. In this thorough and accessible work, Richard explains these traditions. If we are to restore the American people's faith in our government, we have to understand what ails the modern Congress. Congressional Procedure is a terrific place to start."
-- Michael Bennet, U.S. Senate (D-CO) (2009- ) "In this comprehensive treatise on Congressional procedure, Richard Arenberg hands us the keys to the lockbox filled with the mysteries of how Congress really operates at all levels. It is superbly written by a long-time Congressional insider who provides us with an education on many levels, yet makes it a practical guide that is useful for professionals, scholars, and casual observers alike. From the Constitutional analysis and explanation of the intricacies and nuances of the legislative process in both houses of Congress, to the description of Senate and House floor procedure, the budget process, and non-legislative functions of Congress, Arenberg covers the waterfront in this must-read for anyone engaged in or studying the legislative processes of Capitol Hill."
-- William N. LaForge, President, Delta State University, and Author, Testifying Before Congress "The author of the prize-winning book, Defending the Filibuster, celebrates the importance of the rules and traditions of the House and Senate and astutely warns of the dangers of 'weaponizing' procedure in crafting this authoritative source for anyone seeking to grasp Congressional rules."
-- Niki Tsongas, U.S. House of Representatives (D-MA) (2007- )back to top
"The Deskbook is a highly readable, timely and comprehensive resource on Congressional operations and procedures. It is a consistently reliable tool for any student of Congress and any legislative practitioner, regardless of their level of experience."
-- Martin B. Gold, Covington & Burling, Washington, DC
"The Congressional Deskbook is almost too good to be true. The breadth and depth of its coverage of Congress and of the institution's innumerable rules and practices are truly extraordinary. Most importantly, such detail is presented in an exceedingly accessible and efficient fashion. I have no doubt that the Deskbook will become an indispensable teaching tool and reference volume in my teaching and research pursuits."
-- Sarah Binder, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, The George Washington University
"It is hard to imagine an interested citizen or policy practitioner who would not learn something from the Congressional Deskbook."
-- Steve Frantzich, Professor, Department of Political Science, U.S. Naval Academy
"The Congressional Deskbook is a treasure trove of practical information on the U.S. Congress. It can be used effectively as a basic text on the operations of the legislative branch and as a reference guide for answers to simple and complex questions about the first branch of government. An essential resource for those working within, reporting on, lobbying, or just trying to understand our very complicated and essential national legislature."
-- Thomas E. Mann, W. Averell Harriman Chair and Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institutionn
The Congressional Deskbook is perfect for anyone who wants to understand how Congress works. It is concise, clarion clear and comprehensive all at once. It is spare and crisp -- but it never oversimplifies. It is written in lay language, but it never 'dumbs it down.' The Congressional Deskbook is a unique tool, one that I use regularly"
-- David Hawkings, Senior Editor, Congressional Quarterly
"The Congressional Deskbook puts between two covers what would take most people hundreds of hours to track down separately (let alone decipher). It pulls it all together by using concrete examples and documents to make things easily understandablee--no mean feat given the labyrinthine ways of Congress."
-- Don Wolfensberger, Former staff director, House Rules Committeee
"The Congressional Deskbook is the perfect one-stop reference tool for anyone seeking information on the legislative branch of government. Beyond the valuable information about how Congress works and how bills become laws, the Congressional Deskbook takes the reader inside the Capitol, explaining the customs and power structuree. If you want to know how House and Senate leaders are chosen or if you are searching for a list of those who have lain in state or in Honor in the Capitol Rotunda or how federal spending decisions are made, this reference book has all that plus more."
-- Gebe Martinez, Reporter covering Congress and politics, The Houston Chronicle
"I first came across the Congressional Deskbook in the spring of 2004 and can't imagine getting along without it in the future. The Deskbook contains an amazing amount of highly useful information for anyone who deals with Congress or wants to fully understand its workings. It has clear and pertinent information on legislative procedure and organization, how to contact members of Congress, committees, and subcommittees, and includes a chapter on the budget process, a chapter on "How to Monitor and Research Congress," and a comprehensive glossary of legislative terms. The Congressional Deskbook is of great value to academicians, public administrators at all levels of government, politically engaged citizens, lobbyists, and policy advocates. I know of no other book that explains the people, politics, policy, and procedures of Congress so completely, clearly, and skillfully. The authors are to be commended and thanked for giving us an all-in-one-place fabulous guide to Congress."
-- David H. Rosenbloom, Distinguished Professor of Public Administration, School of Public Affairs, American University
"The Congressional Deskbook is an excellent and user-friendly compilation of helpful information about Congress that provides valuable insight into the legislative processes on Capitol Hill. I use it in my government relations practice, and it is required reading in the graduate school course I teach on business representation and lobbying."
-- William LaForge, Winstead Sechrest & Minick, Washington, DC
"A valuable, detailed, and highly functional synthesis of information about the legislative branch. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All collections."
-- CHOICE (click for full review)
"An excellent resource for individuals seeking to learn or expand their knowledge of Congress and our system of lawmaking. What's best about the book is that it puts so much valuable information into one place and provides hundreds of additional resources, should the reader desire to learn more."
-- Wisconsin Lawyer (click for full review)
"No personal, professional, academic, or community library political science collection can be considered complete without the inclusion of the Congressional Deskbook."
-- Midwest Book Review, February, 2001back to top
"It is a valuable tool for a wide variety of searchers interested in polishing their information gathering skills. Summing up: Recommended. All levels."
-- CHOICE (click for full review)
"This gem is not too overwhelming for a novice, yet librarians and practitioners will also find it to be a very practical and valuable resource. It will prove its worth in gold at the reference desk."
-- Deborah Lynne Wiley, Online, Jan/Feb 2007, page 63
"Peggy Garvin is the 'go-to' Washington expert on how to effectively locate, evaluate and leverage information from federal and state government websites. If you buy one book this year to assist you in researching on the web, make it this one!"
-- Sabrina I. Pacifici, Founder, Editor, Publisher, LLRX.com and Author of the blog on law and technology news, beSpacific.com, Washington, DC
""Real World Research Skills helps web searchers target their research to some of the most reliable information sources -- government statistics, reports and analysis. It's a great pathfinder through the thickets of federal and state government resources, written in a format that makes it an essential desk book for the serious researcher."
-- Mary Ellen Bates, Bates Information Services Inc.
"This is an excellent basic resource for anyone in need of government information. It's very well-organized, with a good Scope note that clearly lays out the book's objectives.
It includes important basics - how to think before you begin your research; how to work on unfamiliar topics; what to search and how to evaluate the results - which are not always included in books of this type. There's good advice on using advanced search options, understanding Boolean logic, and making a FOIA request, as well as a reminder that not everything is available online and print sources are still important.
The layout is clear; charts and boxes make the information easy to find and use. The sections on state and international information are brief, but contain all the essentials.
Though this book is aimed at those needing 'basic advice and techniques,' even experienced researchers can find a new resource or a bit of helpful advice.
It will prove useful for information professionals, librarians, and anyone who needs to access government information."
-- Kee Malesky, NPR Reference Library
"Ms. Garvin's Real World Research Skills is a real find. As a professional researcher and professor, I found her book to be clear, concise, and supremely easy to use. Her examples of how to use the Internet to scour for accurate information on governmental sources are true gems. This handy little book will enhance the research skills of even old pros."
-- Alphonse Vinh, Adjunct Professor, School of Library & Information Science, The Catholic University of America
"While Real World Research Skills is a treasure trove of specific repositories and sites for information, of particular interest to me are the descriptions of the thought processes needed to obtain the information necessary for a research project. Also valuable is the discussion of the mindset needed when talking to an individual source, e.g., qualifying them as being a legitimate source, and making sure the researcher has a working knowledge of the issues so the source doesn't have to give a basic education. A valuable tool for high school and college students."
-- Davis Scott, Chicago, IL
"This gem will prove its worth in gold for those researching government topics."
-- Deborah Liptak, debsinfo2go.us
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"The Congressional Operations Poster is the best description of how Congress works in a single poster. I recommend it to anyone who needs an up-to-date, concise, and thorough depiction of Congress."
-- James A. Thurber, Director, Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, American University
"The Congressional Operations Poster is the best single source I have seen for a quick, accurate, at-a-glance understanding of the federal budget and legislative processes."
-- William LaForge, Winstead Sechrest & Minick, Washington, DCback to top
"Deanna Gelak tells it all, in a comprehensive, straightforward, and easy-to-use book on the art and science of lobbying in the US Capitol. Deanna herself is one of the most highly respected lobbyists in this town: effective, ethical, and enthusiastic. This work is required for all who make their living 'petition(ing) their government for redress and grievances.' It is a clear road map to success in Washington, DC."
-- Steve Bartlett, President and CEO, The Financial Services Roundtable (former Member of Congress (R-TX 1983-1991) and Former Mayor of Dallas, TX (1991-1995))
"Lobbying and Advocacy by Deanna Gelak is a great resource for anyone who works in Washington or who wants to know how public policy advocacy really works. Deanna has seen the 'sausage being made' while both working in the Government and lobbying, and her book combines the history and the how-to's of lobbying in one place. This is required reading for students and experienced lobbyists."
-- Andy Mekelburg, Vice President, Federal Government Relations, Verizon
Lobbying and Advocacy is loaded with practical tips and resources for effective and ethical lobbying on Capitol Hill and in the executive branch. This book is useful whether you are overseeing a government relations function, launching a lobbying effort, building coalitions, or monitoring public policy. While many books discuss lobbying and advocacy, this book concisely highlights the most effective ways to do so. Lobbying and Advocacy is the ultimate lobbyist's handbook."
-- Randel K. Johnson, Vice President, US Chamber of Commerce (former Congressional committee minority counsel and former executive branch official)
"There are lots of books on lobbying, but, until now, none has provided a comprehensive treatment of what lobbyists do and how they can best do it. Deanna Gelak's Lobbying and Advocacy exhaustively covers the basics of lobbying history, legal framework, congressional processes, and ethics. But the strength of this volume is in its practical advice, checklists, and collection of best practices covering direct advocacy, media relations, grassroots organizing, and coalition building. It is a unique volume and should be on the bookshelf of both beginning lobbyists and senior government relations executives. College and law school professors also now, for the first time, have a single textbook for lobbying courses."
-- Thomas M. Susman, Director, Governmental Affairs Office, American Bar Association
"In Lobbying and Advocacy, Deanna Gelak has combined her lobbying experience and extensive research with a vision of open, ethical, and transparent advocacy. The result is a resource sure to empower both lobbyists and citizen activists. This powerful guidebook offers step-by-step instruction for influencing policy, tracking legislation, and holding representatives accountable. Lobbying and Advocacy provides both practical guidance and social and historical context, and is a unique illumination of the mechanisms of power in Washington."
-- John Wonderlich, Sunlight Foundation
"Lobbying and Advocacy by Deanna Gelak is a great primer and a thorough resource, full of good, practical advice. It should be in every association's library."
-- Paul W. Hallman, President, MultiState Associates, Inc.
"Lobbying and Advocacy by Deanna Gelak is a comprehensive resource manual on legislative issue advocacy. It is a one-stop resource for both beginners and longtime lobbyists. The coverage is thorough. For example, not only does the book debunk the myth that the term "lobbyist" was coined in the lobby of the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC, it provides examples of specific lobbying efforts and makes them into relevant teaching opportunities. The book also includes pertinent editorial cartoons, primary source data, and relevant historical quotes, hundreds of relevant sources and web addresses for lobbying research on issues, legislators, congressional rules, ethics regulations, potential lobbying vendors and lobbying reporting requirements, making this an incredible lobbying resource. From the U.S. Constitutional background of lobbying to a discussion of the current federal lobbying disclosure regulations, Gelak's book has it all. Every lobbying team will hope their legislative opponents don't have this very effective resource. If you want to gain an advantage for your lobbying team, this book is the one-stop resource necessary to win your advocacy effort."
-- Ned Monroe, Vice President of Political Affairs, National Restaurant Association
"This book is a gold mine for the new or veteran lobbyist. There is a wealth of tips and strategies on issue research, media, building coalitions and effective lobbying communications. I wish I had this book years ago when I started out as it would have saved me a lot of work and prevented many mistakes."
-- David G. Evans, State Lobbyist (NJ) and Author: Federal and State Guide to Employee Medical Leave, Benefits, and Disabilities Laws; and Drug Testing Law, Technology and Practice
"Lobbying is as American as apple pie. Benjamin Franklin lobbied in London for Pennsylvania and other colonies, and the Constitution recognizes our right 'to petition the government for a redress of grievances.' Deanna Gelak provides in Lobbying and Advocacy an invaluable guide for all citizens interested in exercising this constitutional right."
-- Michael Barone, Senior Writer, U.S. News & World Report; Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; Co-author, The Almanac of American Politics
"Lobbying and Advocacy offers an in depth look at the various influences on the government and is a valuable resource for those inside the federal government seeking to understand these influences."
-- Captain Russ Shaffer (Ret.), Former Director, Congressional Affairs, U.S. Navyback to top
"[T]his book will be of value to students and professionals of political communications and public relations. Summing up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through professional collections."
-- CHOICE (click for full review)
"Although targeted for new media relations staff or ones starting a new press office, even the most experienced public information officer can learn from this book."
-- Gene Rose, Director of Public Affairs, NCSL, in State Legislatures magazine, December 2004
"Want to become a media relations ace? Here's expert advice. The book is loaded with tips for corporate communicators as well. Impact recommends it highly."
-- Impact (Public Affairs Council), July/August 2004
"Uncertain how to interest the press in your pressing issue? Having difficulty preparing your media-unfriendly boss for a tough interview? Worried about the next communications crisis and how to handle it? Brad Fitch answers those questions and many more in this crisp, clear and completely useful book."
-- Tucker Carlson, TV analyst, author
"A seminar from TheCapitol.Net is one of the best ways to learn from the experts about how Washington really works. Now all that insight and information has been packed into this invaluable volume. I suggest you read it, and become your own expert."
-- Steven V. Roberts, syndicated columnist, TV and radio analyst, college professor
"Brad Fitch has performed an admirable public service by giving public relations students and professionals alike an indispensable tool. His book provides a road map on both the practicalities and principles of PR, and he shows that honest PR is not an oxymoron. Now it's up to all of us in the media and spin industries to keep our end of the bargain."
-- Ed Henry, Senior Editor of Roll Call
"This volume is an invaluable road map to the mean streets of a city where information is power and power is everything. Brad Fitch has written a rich 'how-to' lesson for pros and for novices who must negotiate the competitive landscape of America's new media."
-- Ann Compton, White House Correspondent, ABC News
"Media Relations Handbook is to political campaigns what The Art of War is to military campaigns: an essential strategic reference that winners should never be without."
-- James Carville, TV analyst, author
"Great advice for beginners and experienced media hands. If you are a media relations professional--either beginner or seasoned veteran--this is the book for you. Brad Fitch, who spent many years fielding reporters' tough questions on Capitol Hill, has written a timely, practical guide to handling media relations that is filled with solid professional advice. What goes into a press release? How do you develop a strategic message? You've got a digital camera and a fax machine, but what else does your office need to effectively handle the media? Before you start talking to a reporter, do you know the difference between 'on the record,' 'off the record,' and 'background'? When there's an immediate crisis in your organization, what are the eight mistakes that you absolutely must avoid? How do you handle your paranoid boss when he or she has to confront the press? You'll find the answers to these and many other everyday problems in this book. Fitch also gives valuable advice on how to set up an effective website and how to use e-mail for optimum communications. Excellent book for professionals who work in federal or state agencies, trade associations, non-profits, state legislatures or Congress. It's the only handbook you'll ever need."
-- Dennis W. Johnson, college professor and former Capitol Hill senior staffer
"Provides valuable advice for those who flack for a living."
-- Roll Call, April 21, 2004, page 3 and page 22 (pdf)
"A superb blend of theory and practice, written by someone who uses words like Gallup uses polls."
-- Steve O'Keefe, author "Complete Guide to Internet Publicity" and Adjunct Faculty, Tulane University College
"Offers a wealth of practical advice on public relations that will be of benefit to governmental and non-governmental organizations alike."
-- Municipal World
"The 'bible' of media relations and a must for anyone charged with the responsibility of successfully dealing with (and utilizing) the media for their agency, group, or cause."
-- Midwest Book Review
"In the Media Relations Handbook, author Brad Fitch effectively presents practical ideas and tips on how to properly conduct media relations. ... The book is a comprehensive and recommended read for anyone interested in learning more about public relations and how people and organizations should conduct their relationships with the media."
-- James J. Casey, Jr., Wisconsin Lawyer, April 2006
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"Gibson, a former congressional committee counsel, uses fictional characters to build an accurate and compelling account of many of the problems facing Congress. The thought-provoking changes and solutions he suggests deserve debate, if not implementation."
-- Charles W. Johnson, Former Parliamentarian, United States House of Representatives
"Joseph Gibson has produced a book that offers real insight into the pressures and problems that underpin modern congressional processes and has offered a series of innovative ideas to deal with those pressures and problems. One need not agree with all of his proposed solutions to get real value from Gibson's book because what he has produced is a template for thinking about new ways to address the dysfunction that pervades Capitol Hill."
-- Robert Walker, Executive Chairman, Wexler & Walker, Washington, DC (U.S. Representative, PA-16, 1977-1997)
"In A Better Congress, Joseph Gibson has produced a telling critique of Congress and its inability to perform the job required of it by the Constitution and its constituents. He offers a series of bold proposals to change the way Congress does its work - certain to kick off a complicated, contentious and difficult argument in Washington. Whether you agree or disagree with his solutions, get involved in this vital discussion!"
-- Chuck Cushman, Acting Executive Director, Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM), The George Washington University
"In A Better Congress Gibson gives us an insider's view of why Congress does not work. Then he shows how changing congressional rules can change congressional results. In 2010, Americans voted for better results. This book shows how we can get them."
-- Robert Kasten, President, Kasten & Co. (U.S. Senator, WI, 1981-1993)back to top
TheCapitol.Net is a non-partisan firm, and the opinions of its faculty, authors, clients and the owners and operators of its vendors are their own and do not represent those of TheCapitol.Net.
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