Divided We Govern: Party Control, Lawmaking and Investigations, 1946-2002

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Yale University Press, 2005 - Political Science - 267 pages
2 Reviews
In this prize-winning book, a renowned political scientist debunks the commonly held myth that the American national government functions effectively only when one political party controls the presidency and Congress. For this new edition, David R. Mayhew has provided a new Preface, a new appendix, and a new concluding chapter that brings the historical narrative up to date.
“Important, accessible, and compelling, David Mayhew’s second edition of Divided We Govern takes the best book on the history of US lawmaking and—against all odds—makes it better.”—Keith Krehbiel, Stanford University
“In this welcome updating of his agenda-setting classic, David Mayhew cogently defends his original methodology and finds that divided government remains no less productive of important legislation than unified government, although it is now (thanks mainly to Clinton’s impeachment) strongly associated with prominent investigations of the executive branch. Written with Mayhew’s usual clarity and grace, this is a book to be enjoyed by beginning and veteran students of Congress alike.”—Gary Jacobson
From reviews of the first edition:
"First-rate. . . . Mayhew’s tabulations and analysis are, quite simply, unimpeachable."—Morris Fiorina, Washington Monthly
"Will stand for years as a classic."—L. Sandy Maisel, Political Science Quarterly
"Should be read by every student of American politics."—Gillian Peele, Times Higher Education Supplement

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Review: Divided We Govern: Party Control, Lawmaking, And Investigations, 1946-2002

User Review  - Elizabeth Theiss - Goodreads

Mayhew is brilliant here as he carefully tests the idea that we are unable to govern because of divided government, that is, periods during which the two major political parties in the US control ... Read full review

Review: Divided We Govern: Party Control, Lawmaking, And Investigations, 1946-2002

User Review  - Steven Peterson - Goodreads

This is the new edition of an older version that I found quite fascinating. Many contend that divided government worksa against "getting things done." We see gridlock, so the interpretation goes, and ... Read full review

Selected pages


HighPublicity Investigations
Lawmaking Selecting the Laws
Lawmaking the Analysis
Explaining the Patterns I
Explaining the Patterns II
Epilogue The Recording 19912002
Sources for Sweep Two
Sources for Sweep One 19912002
A Defense of Sweep Two

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About the author (2005)

David R. Mayhew, Sterling Professor of Political Science at Yale University, is the author of many books, including Electoral Realignments and America's Congress, available in paperback from Yale University Press.

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