4th Edition

The Congressional Experience An Institution Transformed

By David E Price Copyright 2021
    352 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    352 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Congressman David Price is uniquely qualified to guide readers through the labyrinth of rules, roles, and representatives that is Congress. As a trained political scientist, he connects the practical politics on the Hill with the theories of the discipline. He is equally focused on the ethics of public service at a time when politics seem to have reached a new low. Through it all, he conveys a clear sense of the challenges, disappointments, elations, and deep concerns implicit in serving as a member of Congress--especially at a time of national and international fragility.

    New to the 4th Edition

    • Covers elections and presidencies since the third edition including serving with Obama and Trump.

     • Details the Trump impeachment process and the subsequent pandemic bringing change to Congressional floor voting processes, putting current crises in context with prior occasions during the Clinton and George W. Bush presidencies.

    • Looks at the reform agenda and the prospects for national political renewal.

    List of Figures and Tables  Preface to the Fourth Edition   1. Introduction  2. Campaigning for Congress   3. Our Broken Electoral System  4. At Home in the House  5. Policy Entrepreneurship  6. The Party Connection  7. Polarization and Performance  8. Venturing Abroad  9. Serving the District  10. Religion and Politics  11. Public Service in Moral Perspective  12. Concluding Reflections  Index


    David E. Price is US Representative (D-NC) for North Carolina's Fourth District. He received his undergraduate degree at UNC-Chapel Hill and went on to Yale University to earn a Bachelor of Divinity as well as a Ph.D. in Political Science. Before he began serving in Congress in 1987, Price was a professor of political science and public policy at Duke University. He is the author of four books on Congress and the American political system. Price is North Carolina’s only member of the House Appropriations Committee and serves as the Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee. He is a recognized leader on foreign policy, serving as Chairman of the House Democracy Partnership and an outspoken advocate for Middle East peace. He received the Hubert H. Humphrey Award from the American Political Science Association and the William Sloane Coffin Award for Peace and Justice from Yale Divinity School

    Praise for The Congressional Experience, Fourth Edition

    "There is no one who combines the practical and scholarly understanding of Congress as well as David Price.   At a time when too many Americans have all but given up on the first branch of government as a source of fixes for the nation’s biggest problems, the 16-term North Carolina lawmaker and political science professor reminds us why it still matters. He conveys the reality of the legislative experience, explains what it can do when at its best, and suggests remedies that ultimately point to us, America’s citizens."

    --Judy Woodruff, Anchor and Managing Editor, The PBS NewsHour

    "David Price was one of the foremost scholars of Congress before he became a member of the House. The Congressional Experience was a goldmine for students of Congress when it first came out, combining in a unique way the best of political science with the invaluable insights of an ultimate insider. Every edition since has been more enriching. This fourth edition, filled with insights of how our politics more broadly, and those of Congress itself, have changed over the past sixteen years, and notably since Donald Trump became president, is the best yet, an extraordinary treat for anyone interested in how Congress works, what motivates its members, and how it can be better."

    --Norman Ornstein, resident scholar, The American Enterprise Institute.

    "Three cheers for this new edition of The Congressional Experience!  With deftness and thoughtfulness, David Price carries the story through the ups and downs, budgetary traumas, nasty polarization and the rest up through Obama and Trump, not to mention Covid-19.  The book is illuminating on congressional structure and what to do about its difficulties.  I haven't seen a better discussion of how to be a responsible legislator." 

    --David R. Mayhew, Sterling Professor of Political Science Emeritus, Yale University

    "Congressman David Price has written a compelling and intellectually stimulating book on Congress from the perspective of one of its members.  But Congressman Price is also Dr. Price, a political scientist, and the book is not simply a narrative of his experiences, but a scholarly contribution to our understanding of the nuances, changes, and inner-workings of the institution. In these polarized times, this book provides a window into the effects of that polarization on the workings of one of our most important government institutions."

    --Paula D. McClain, James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Duke University

    "To invoke an overused word, David Price really is unique. No one else bring his breadth of experience and learning to the study of the Constitution's first branch of government. He is, at once, a distinguished political scientist, a former state party chair, and a House member who has won election after election. He not only understands politics from the inside out but also brings to it the instructive distance of an intellectual who sees things whole. It's a great blessing that he has given us a new edition of The Congressional Experience." 

    --E.J. Dionne, Jr., Author, Code Red and Our Divided Political Heart