The American Senate


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The American Senate: An Insider’s History by Neil MacNeil and Richard A. Baker is a book that gives the readers an inside view about the history of the United States Senate. The information included in the book is supported by deep research combined with the author’s personal experience. In the book, the historical development of the Senate is discussed, including the struggles that and hardships that have accompanied such evolution. Some important but more like forgotten events like Washington’s first visit to the Chamber, the conflicts involving President Garfield and Cleveland, and other issues that concerned wars and power disputes are also dissected. The readers will learn of the Senate’s origins starting from John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1859. Other anecdotes that the readers will never have imagined are also discussed in the book like the truth about how the office of majority first acquired real power in 1952.


The book is very readable for a wide range of readers. The lively and compulsive manner with which it is written keeps the readers interested in delving deeper into the history of the senate. With the kind of information presented in the book, the readers learn what has really transpired within the confines of the U.S. Senate and how it worked during all these years. In addition, the book divided into sections which separately focuses on the different facets of the Senate history. Furthermore, people who have played important roles in the development or mishaps of the Senate are also included as well as its relationship with presidents and the House of Representatives. By the end of the book, the readers will have profound knowledge not only on how the Senate came to be but also an understanding that not even such kind of political institution can be free of flaws and making mistakes.


Some readers think that the book is quite organized and a bit incomprehensible in providing a clear picture of the Senate’s evolution. Other people surmise that the discussion is superficial and does not delve deeper into issues that need more explanation. On the other hand, the book may seem too detailed for some.


The American Senate is a comprehensive study of the historical progress of the Senate over the years. It can be very engaging in addition to being very informative. The readers also get a piece of what the authors think with the perspectives that they included in the book. It is a book that can be very read by almost anyone as long as they possess the interest to engage in learning about the history of the United States Senate.

The book does not only covers topics that govern politics, it also looks at other facets of society like traditions and culture. Furthermore, it discusses the origins of the Senate as an investigatory power and how it gained popularity as being the filibuster.


Neil MacNeil was one of the founders of the Washington Week and had also worked for Time magazine as chief congressional correspondent. He also managed to write other books before he died.

Richard A. Baker was Senate’s first official historian. He also wrote a number of historical narratives over the years.

The American Senate