In 1959, political scientist David Truman described the complexity of congressional leadership: "Everyone knows something of leaders and leadership of various sorts, but no one knows very much. Leadership, especially in the political realm, unavoidably or by design often is suffused .by an atmosphere of the mystic and the magical, and these have been little penetrated by systematic observation" (Truman, 1959, p. 94). House leadership remains a complex concept, but it has been defined more clearly and more systematically in the years· since Truman's observation.

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