Citadel (U.S. Senate)

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Citadel (sub-title: The Story of the U.S. Senate) is a study of the United States Senate by the journalist William S. White. Written in 1956, the book anticipates the great changes afoot in post-war Washington.[1] John Gunther in Inside U.S.A. had put the problem of Southern intractability over civil rights reform in perspective,[2] but White was the first to make public how skilled the Southern Senators were at utilising every procedural mechanism the chamber had to offer.[3] White identified a controlling elite within this tiny and naturally inward-looking body: he called "The Club".

Those who belong to it express, consciously or consciously, the deepest instincts and prejudices of the Senate type, a man for whom the Institution is a career in itself, a life in itself and an end in itself.

As White was himself to point out in retirement, it was these Old Bull's[4] most trusted lieutenant, Lyndon Baines Johnson, who eventually neutralised their power.[5]


  1. ^ Caro, R Lyndon Johnson: Master of the Senate (2002 New York, Knopf) ISBN 0-553-71291-8
  2. ^ Gunther, J Inside USA (1947 London, Hamish Hamilton)
  3. ^ Esteemed Colleagues: Civility and Deliberation in the U.S. Senate Burdett, L (2000 Washington D.C Brookings Institution Press) ISBN 0-8157-5294-6
  4. ^ Bull elephants: the alpha-males. Most commentators identify Richard Russell as the man even they deferred to.
  5. ^ LBJ Oral History Interview 5th March 1969