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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

History You Never Knew: The Proud Tower

The proud tower;: A portrait of the world before the war, 1890-1914 may be one of the most haunting books I've read in a long time. Margaret Tuchman presents the world before WW1 as those who lived it must have seen it. They had no idea of the cataclysm yet to come, yet that cataclysm hovers over each page of this remarkable work.  I was hooked from the forward on, but most especially her portrait of Thomas B. Reed,  Speaker of the House during much of that time. His stand against the "silent filibuster" changed the House forever, and continues today in what is known as Reed's Rules. These rules still govern debate in the House, and the debate he began will be familiar to all of us who have followed the debate over the Constitutional Option currently being played out in the Senate.

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