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The Amazing Story Of The Men, And The Work, Of America's First Congress

Simon & Schuster

1789 was a perilous time for the newly-formed United States. The first representatives of the new Federal Congress arrived in New York City with little idea how the nation's government would actually work. There were arguments underway over numerous issues from presidential power to national finance, as well as the idea of placing the nation's capital on the Potomac River.

Author and historian Fergus Bordewich says this first Congress was the most important in America's history, with the country's fate riding on its decisions.

His new book is The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government. He joins us to talk about why this Congress was so important and the lessons today's lawmakers could learn from it.