When the Democrats retook control of the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2007 after twelve years in the wilderness, Nancy Pelosi became the first woman speaker in American history. Given current electoral trends, she will probably serve for many terms to come. In Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the New American Politics, Ron Peters, one of America's leading scholars of Congress, and Cindy Rosenthal, one of America's leading scholars on women and political leadership, provide a comprehensive account of how Pelosi became speaker and what this tells us about Congress in the twenty-first century. They consider the key issues that Pelosi's rise presents for American politics, and also on the core themes that have shaped, and continue to shape, her remarkable career. She has always had to deal with challenges that women face in the male-dominated world of American politics, particularly at its highest levels.