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Hijacking the Agenda: Economic Power and Political Influence, Peter K. Enns, Nathan J. Kelly, Christopher Witko and Jana Morgan

Reviewed by Michael K. Romano

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A key component of understanding the relationship between interest group politics and congressional behavior has always been determining who lawmakers intend to serve in the policymaking process. Scholars debate the two masters of constituent publics and business interests, lamenting E.E. Schattschneider's conclusion that the “heavenly chorus” heard by lawmakers often sings with a “strong upper-class accent” (The Semi-Sovereign Public [Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Thomson Learning, 1960], 35). In Hijacking the Agenda, Christopher Witko, Jana Morgan, Nathan J. Kelly, and Peter K. Enns contribute to this concerning aspect of American politics, focusing in particular on how competing “choruses” impact the issue agenda in Congress. The book—not so subtly at times—hints at a fundamental issue of the American political system and the maintenance of democracy in America: that systemic economic inequality is baked not only into the lawmaking process and the determination of congressional votes, but into the very language that we use to describe economic issues, perpetuating an advantage to the “haves” over the “have-nots.”

The logic throughout the book is sound and easy to follow, a key benefit for general readers as well as scholars interested in grasping the novelty of th

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