Biographer James Grant Discusses His Portrait of Thomas B. Reed

For Immediate Release:
September 14, 2011
Contact: Steven Woolfolk
Biographer James Grant Discusses His Portrait of Thomas B. Reed

p>Biographer James Grant discusses his new portrait of Thomas B. Reed, one of the most powerful Speakers of the U.S. House of Representatives in congressional history, on Wednesday, September 28, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

In his new book - Mr. Speaker! The Life and Times of Thomas B. Reed, the Man Who Broke the Filibuster - Grant explains why Reed s credited with expanding the influence of the Speaker's office. Among his most substantial accomplishments was breaking a then-common filibuster technique.

Until 1890, members of the House would often filibuster by refusing to answer roll call - even if they were present - depriving the chamber of a quorum. During one such filibuster, Reed directed the clerk to count anyone in attendance as present.

Congressional democrats objected; and one complaint prompted Reed to reply: "The Chair is making a statement of fact that the gentleman from Kentucky is present. Does he deny it?"

Grant is editor of Grant's Interest Rate Observer, an independent journal that identifies financial investment opportunities in a range of markets.

Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP online or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available at the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.

Major funding for programs at the Kansas City Public Library is provided by a generous grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

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