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Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the New American Politics$
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Ronald M. PETERS, Jr. and Cindy Simon Rosenthal

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195383737

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383737.001.0001

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Madam Speaker

Madam Speaker

(p.3) Chapter 1 Madam Speaker
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the New American Politics

Ronald M. Peters

Cindy Simon Rosenthal

Oxford University Press

This book seeks to understand Nancy Pelosi, not just as a Speaker of the House, or even as its first female Speaker, but also as a reflection of a new era in American politics. This chapter maps the terrain and introduces the themes that guide the narrative. Pelosi’s story opens a window on social, political, and institutional forces that have framed her career, shaped her leadership, and transformed the context within which the speakership has evolved. These trends are labeled as the “New American Politics.” Since Pelosi is the first woman to serve as Speaker, the chapter specifically explores the gender dimensions of this new incarnation of the political system. Finally, it turns to the implications of these trends for the speakership itself.

Keywords:   Nancy Pelosi, House of Representatives, Speaker of the House, women politicians, American politics, political career

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