[It’s been a bit since I dedicated a blog series to highlighting great new scholarly books—so this week I’m dedicating a blog series to highlighting great new scholarly books. Please add more recommendations, new, old, and anywhere in between, in comments!]
The recent clusterfuck (pardon my French, but there really is no other word that works) around the Speaker of the House is just the latest of so many reminders that our current Congress has almost entirely ceased to function as a governing body, and certainly seems unable to address in any consistent or successful way the myriad crises facing the nation and world. In such a moment, it’s even more important that we remember the historical figures who have embodied the best of that governing body and have helped achieve significant progress on such important issues. A great new biography focuses on one such figure and achievement: Will McLean Greeley’s A Connecticut Yankee Goes to Washington: Senator George P. McLean Birdman of the Senate. Senator McLean advised five presidents and played a role in countless early 20th century histories, but it was his sponsorship of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, one of America’s first and most influential conservation laws, that Greeley rightly highlights as a truly exemplary legacy. I can’t imagine a more important moment to revisit and be inspired by such legacies, nor a book that can help us do so more powerfully than Greeley’s!
Next book rec tomorrow,
PS. What do you think? Other books or publications you’d recommend?