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Backbencher, A Legislative Memoir, 2nd Edition by George F. Montgomery

Backbencher, A Legislative Memoir, 2nd Edition

by George F. Montgomery

318 pages
Humorous but frank exposition of exigencies of the legislative process.

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Category: Autobiography
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About the Book

The 73rd Michigan Legislature was one of the first modern legislatures in the nation. It began with a massive turnover in membership caused by the unique confluence of three historic events -- adoption of a new state constitution, a landmark United States Supreme Court decision, and a landslide election.

The 73rd Legislature was not only Michigan's first full-time and first "one-man, one-vote" legislature, but also the first Democratic-controlled legislature in three decades.

Half of the members in both houses were freshmen. The Class of 1965 hit Lansing like a tsunami! They were younger, better educated and more energetic than their predecessors were. Under the leadership of Speaker Joseph J. Kowalski, they strived to make a difference for the citizens, taxpayers, consumers, and especially for the school children of the State of Michigan.

Backbencher recounts the conflict created when some senior members tried to stifle the creativity and limit the effectiveness of new members. The author's refusal to submit to such hazing made him an atypical backbencher -- and a leader of the forbidden Freshman Caucus.

The author captures the ambiance of the Michigan Capitol during "the-Kowalski-years" in the mid-1960s. His narrative is laced with humor, sometimes directed at himself. Backbencher is a frank, no-holds-barred exposition of the strategies, tactics, and exigencies of the legislative process. This memoir will both inform and amuse those interested in this intriguing field of human endeavor.


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About the Author
George F. Montgomery George F. Montgomery had been a student, soldier, and teacher before he lived his dream by serving with his father in the legislature. Since returning to teaching, he used his legislative experiences to help college students learn about government and politics. In Backbencher, he shares those experiences with a wider audience.



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