HOME PLACE by William S. White


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Subtitled ""The Story of the U.S. House of Representatives,"" this companion volume to Mr. White's Citadel: The Story of the U.S. Senate is every bit as readable and informative. Mr. White, a New York Times correspondent and columnist for Harper's, has had an unsurpassed opportunity over the past three decades to study his present subject, and his book is rich in anecdote. Purporting to be a dispassionate examination, Home Place is instead an eloquent justification of that institution which more than any other we know deserves to be cited as proof of this author's dictum that ""free government is essentially illogical."" This is not to say that the book ignores the many generally admitted shortcomings of the House; on the contrary, it is more than once defined by such unflattering phrases as ""motley collection."" Yet Mr. White cannot conceal his admiration for the representative Representatives who insure its continued--after a fashion--functioning, and whom he defines according to type with a great, if consistently compassionate, accuracy. Many readers will probably be unable to go so far as to accept as conclusive the apologias for the Rules Committee and even the seniority system contained here, but certainly they could not be more persuasively put. For another, more astringent view, see Richard Bolling's House Out of Order (p. 1191)

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin