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Databases at McGrath Library
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Historical Election Maps
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Books on Elections
Congressional Primary Elections by Congressional primaries are increasingly being blamed for polarization and gridlock in Congress. Most American states adopted congressional primaries during the first decades of the 20th century as a means of breaking the hold of political bosses on the nomination of candidates. Yet now, many contend that primaries have become a means by which the most dedicated party activists choose candidates unrepresentative of the electorate, and so general election voters are forced to choose between two ideologically extreme candidates. Consequently, there have been recent instances in both parties where nominees were chosen who were clearly not preferred by party leaders, and who arguably lost elections that their parties should have won. This book is the first to focus solely upon congressional primary elections, and to do so for a student readership. Boatright organizes his text around the contention that there are important differences between types of primaries, and these differences prevent us from making blanket statements about primary competition.He focuses on explanations of two sources of difference: differences in electoral structure and differences brought about by the presence or absence of an incumbent seeking reelection. The first three chapters introduce these differences, explore how they came to exist, and outline some of the strategic considerations for candidates, parties, interest groups, and voters in primary elections. The subsequent four chapters explore different types of primary elections, and the final chapter evaluates actual and proposed primary reforms. Congressional Primary Elections is the first book to provide a history and analysis of congressional primary elections and will serve as a crucial part of courses on political parties and campaigns and elections. The book gives students the tools for understanding arguments for and against the reform of primary elections and for understanding the differences between types of primaries.
Call Number: JK2071 .B63 2014
Publication Date: 2014-08-29
A Citizen's Guide to Presidential Nominations by Presidential nominations in the United States can sometimes seem like a media circus, over-hyped and overly speculative. Even informed citizens might be tempted to tune them out. Yet understanding the process, one distinct to American politics, is crucial for civic participation. If presidential elections are about who will lead the nation, presidential nominations are about who appears on the ballot.This concise and coherent Citizen's Guideexamines who has power in presidential nominations and how this affects who we as citizens choose to nominate, and ultimately to sit in the Oval Office. Political scientist Wayne Steger defines the nominating system as a tension between an "insider game" and an "outsider game." He explains how candidates must appeal to a broad spectrum of elected and party officials, political activists, and aligned groups in order to form a winning coalition within their party, which changes over time. Either these party insiders unify early behind a candidate, effectively deciding the nominee before anyone casts a vote, or they are divided and the nomination is determined by citizens voting in the caucuses and primaries. Steger portrays how shifts in party unity and the participation of core party constituencies affect the options presented to voters. Amidst all this, the candidate still matters. Primaries with one strong candidate look much different than those with a field of weaker ones. By clearly addressing the key issues, past and present, of presidential nominations, Steger's guide will be informative, relevant, and accessible for students and general readers alike.
Call Number: JK521 .S74 2015
Publication Date: 2015-04-20
Media, Millennials, and Politics by This book explores the relationship of the media and politics to America s largest generational group, the millennial generation. As the group has become voting eligible since the 2008 election, the traditional news media has been largely critical of youth behaviors, civic engagement, and political participation. Novak addresses how this primarily negative coverage has significantly influenced the generation s views of politics and news media, and has contributed to their adoption of digital technologies in the search of more equitable and trustworthy political information. Media, Millennials, and Politics explores how this relationship has unfolded across the 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014 American elections and provides insight into what political participation in the millennial generation may look like in the future."
Call Number: HQ799.2.P6 N69 2015
Publication Date: 2016-03-10
Guide to U. S. Elections by This two-volume set contains full information on the U.S. electoral process, in-depth analysis on specific eras and issues, and everything in between.
Call Number: REF JK1967 .C662 2005 v.1-2
Publication Date: 2005-11-17
Books on Congress
Act of Congress by A Washington Post Notable Book An eye-opening account of how Congress today really works--and how it doesn't--that follows the dramatic journey of the sweeping financial reform bill enacted in response to the Great Crash of 2008. Act of Congress focuses on two of the major players behind the legislation: colorful, wisecracking congressman Barney Frank, and careful, insightful senator Christopher Dodd, both of whom met regularly with Robert G. Kaiser during the eighteen months they worked on the bill. In this compelling narrative, staffers play a critical role, writing the legislation and often making the crucial deals. Kaiser's rare insider access enabled him to illuminate the often-hidden intricacies of legislative enterprise and shows us the workings of Congress in all of its complexity, a clearer picture than any we have had of how Congress works best--or sometimes doesn't work at all.
Call Number: HG181 .K35 2014
Publication Date: 2014-01-28
Congress by With record low approval ratings--the lowest poll results since 1974--Congress is a failing institution in the eyes of many Americans. Is public opinion correct in judging the inefficacy of the legislative branch, or is the public mistaken in these harsh criticisms? Congress: A Performance Appraisal teaches students about this critical institution of American democracy by examining how successful the body is in carrying out its key functions, particularly representation, lawmaking, and checking the other branches of government. Rather than focusing on the institutional and procedural questions of how Congress is set up, what rules guide its actions, and how its members carry out their daily duties, Andrew J. Taylor asks: do these structures, procedures, behaviors, and outcomes serve the American people as they were meant to? Using a set of aspirations a good legislature should strive for and benchmarks to rate how close it comes to those aspirations, Taylor offers a unique approach to the discussion of Congress, its actions, and its efficacy as a legislature. Sure to prompt provocative classroom discussions, Congress is the perfect text for courses on American government and politics.
Call Number: JK1041 .T395 2013
Publication Date: 2013-03-26
The American Senate by Winner of the Society for History in the Federal Government's George Pendleton Prize for 2013 The United States Senate has fallen on hard times. Once known as the greatest deliberative body in the world, it now has a reputation as a partisan, dysfunctional chamber. What happened to the house that forged American history's great compromises? In this groundbreaking work, a distinguished journalist and an eminent historian provide an insider's history of the United States Senate. Richard A. Baker, historian emeritus of the Senate, and Neil MacNeil, former chief congressional correspondent for Time magazine, integrate nearly a century of combined experience on Capitol Hill with deep research and state-of-the-art scholarship. They explore the Senate's historical evolution with one eye on persistent structural pressures and the other on recent transformations. Here, for example, are the Senate's struggles with the presidency--from George Washington's first, disastrous visit to the chamber on August 22, 1789, through now-forgotten conflicts with Presidents Garfield and Cleveland, to current war powers disputes. The authors also explore the Senate's potent investigative power, and show how it began with an inquiry into John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. It took flight with committees on the conduct of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and World War II; and it gained a high profile with Joseph McCarthy's rampage against communism, Estes Kefauver's organized-crime hearings (the first to be broadcast), and its Watergate investigation. Within the book are surprises as well. For example, the office of majority leader first acquired real power in 1952--not with Lyndon Johnson, but with Republican Robert Taft. Johnson accelerated the trend, tampering with the sacred principle of seniority in order to control issues such as committee assignments. Rampant filibustering, the authors find, was the ironic result of the passage of 1960s civil rights legislation. No longer stigmatized as a white-supremacist tool, its use became routine, especially as the Senate became more partisan in the 1970s. Thoughtful and incisive, The American Senate: An Insider's History transforms our understanding of Congress's upper house.
Call Number: JK1161 .M316 2013
Publication Date: 2013-06-28
Legislating in the Dark by The 2009 financial stimulus bill ran to more than 1,100 pages, yet it wasn't even given to Congress in its final form until thirteen hours before debate was set to begin, and it was passed twenty-eight hours later. How are representatives expected to digest so much information in such a short time. The answer? They aren't. With Legislating in the Dark, James M. Curry reveals that the availability of information about legislation is a key tool through which Congressional leadership exercises power. Through a deft mix of legislative analysis, interviews, and participant observation, Curry shows how congresspersons--lacking the time and resources to study bills deeply themselves--are forced to rely on information and cues from their leadership. By controlling their rank-and-file's access to information, Congressional leaders are able to emphasize or bury particular items, exploiting their information advantage to push the legislative agenda in directions that they and their party prefer. Offering an unexpected new way of thinking about party power and influence, Legislating in the Dark will spark substantial debate in political science.
Call Number: JK1319 .C89 2015
Publication Date: 2015-09-14
More Opinion & Partisan Books
Why States Matter by When it comes to voting, taxes, environmental regulations, social services, education, criminal justice, political parties, property rights, gun control, marriage and a whole host of other modern American issues, the state in which a citizen resides makes a difference. The idea that states matter is the fundamental concept explored in this book - by accomplished scholars and authors Gary Moncrief and Peverill Squire - and has been an essential truth embedded within America's governing philosophy since the Colonial Era. Considerably less attention is paid to the gritty but essential political battles fought at the level of America s states than to the endless and infamous turmoil inside the beltway, but the political decisions made by those in state-level offices are of tremendous importance to the lives of people whose states they govern. This book introduces students to the very tangible and constantly evolving implications, limitations, and foundations of America s state political institutions, and accessibly explains the ways that the political powers of the states manifest themselves in the cultures, economies, and lives of everyday Americans, and always will."
Call Number: JK2408 .M64 2013
Publication Date: 2013-09-05
To Make Men Free by When Abraham Lincoln helped create the Republican Party on the eve of the Civil War, his goal was to promote economic opportunity for all Americans, not just the slaveholding Southern planters who steered national politics. Yet, despite the egalitarian dream at the heart of its founding, the Republican Party quickly became mired in a fundamental identity crisis. Would it be the party of democratic ideals? Or would it be the party of moneyed interests? In the century and a half since, Republicans have vacillated between these two poles, with dire economic, political, and moral repercussions for the entire nation. In To Make Men Free, celebrated historian Heather Cox Richardson traces the shifting ideology of the Grand Old Party from the antebellum era to the Great Recession, revealing the insidious cycle of boom and bust that has characterized the Party since its inception. While in office, progressive Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower revived Lincoln’s vision of economic freedom and expanded the government, attacking the concentration of wealth and nurturing upward mobility. But they and others like them have been continually thwarted by powerful business interests in the Party. Their opponents appealed to Americans’ latent racism and xenophobia to regain political power, linking taxation and regulation to redistribution and socialism. The results of the Party’s wholesale embrace of big business are all too familiar: financial collapses like the Panic of 1893, the Great Depression in 1929, and the Great Recession in 2008. With each passing decade, with each missed opportunity and political misstep, the schism within the Republican Party has grown wider, pulling the GOP ever further from its founding principles. Expansive and authoritative, To Make Men Free is a sweeping history of the Party that was once America’s greatest political hope--and, time and time again, has proved its greatest disappointment.
Call Number: JK2356 .R44 2014
Publication Date: 2014-09-23
Republicans and Race by Skeptics might rationalize that Mitt Romney received a scant 6 percent of the black vote in 2012 only because African Americans would naturally favor one of their own. But since 1964, no Republican presidential candidate has attracted more than 15 percent of the black electorate, and few GOP candidates for other offices have fared much better. No segment of the American electorate is more reliably Democratic than African Americans. The GOP, meanwhile, remains nearly an all-white party. In this path-breaking book, historian Timothy Thurber illuminates the deep roots of this gulf by exploring the contentious, and sometimes surprising, relationship between African Americans and the Republican Party from the end of World War II through Richard Nixon's presidency. The GOP, he shows, shaped the modern civil rights movement, but the struggle for racial equality also transformed the GOP. Thurber challenges conventional wisdom that the "party of Lincoln" disappeared in the mid-1960s. Prior to 1964, the GOP was indifferent or hostile to many of the demands from civil rights activists. During the height of the civil rights revolution, Republicans were essential to enacting federal policies that made American society more egalitarian. The GOP helped defend, and sometimes expanded, those reforms in the early 1970s. Conservatives were not as dominant after 1964 as scholars and pundits often portray. Yet throughout these three decades the rift between African Americans and the GOP remained substantial. They disagreed, often sharply, over the role of the federal government, particularly regarding economic matters and the integration of schools and neighborhoods. They had different views about race and American society. They also clashed in the political arena, where Republicans wrote off the black vote as unwinnable, irrelevant, or counterproductive to their drive to supplant the Democrats as the nation's majority party. The GOP preferred to court whites nationwide, sometimes by appealing to their racial animosities. That strategy often yielded electoral success, but the legacy of the past looms large in the early twenty-first century. With its depth of research and insight, Republicans and Race will stand as a definitive study as the GOP ponders the composition of its base in future elections.
Call Number: JK2356 .T48 2013
Publication Date: 2013-09-17
Grand Old Party by From Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War through the disputed election of George W. Bush and beyond, the Republican Party has been at the dramatic center of American politics for 150 years. In this exciting new book, the Þrst comprehensive history of the Republicans in 40 years, Lewis L. Gould traces the evolution of the Grand Old Party from its emergence as an antislavery coalition in the 1850s to its current role as the champion of political and social conservatism. Gould brings to life the major Þgures of Republican history--Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Rea-gan, and George W. Bush--and uncovers a wealth of fascinating anecdotes about Republicans, from “the Plumed Knight,” James G. Blaine, in the 1880s, to Barry Goldwater in the 1960s, to Newt Gingrich in the 1990s. Gould also uncovers the historical forces and issues that have made the Republicans what they are: the crusade against slavery, the rise of big business, the Cold War, and opposition to the power of the federal government. Written with balance and keen insight,Grand Old Partyis required reading for anyone interested in American politics. Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike will Þnd their understanding of national politics deepened and enriched. Based on Gould’s research in the papers of leading Republi-cans and his wide reading in the party’s history, Grand Old Party is a book that will outlast the noisy tumult of today’s partisan debates and endure as a deÞnitive treatment of how the Republicans have shaped the way Americans live together in a democracy. For the next presidential election and for other electoral contests to come, this book (a perfect companion toParty of the Peopleby Jules Witcover, a history of the Democratic Party published simultaneously by Random House) will be an invaluable guide to the unfolding saga of American politics.
Call Number: JK2356 .G68 2003
Publication Date: 2003-11-04
Partisan & Opinion Books at McGrath
The Wrongs of the Right by In The Wrongs of the Right, Matthew W. Hughey and Gregory S. Parks set postracial claims into relief against a background of pre- and post-election racial animus directed at President Obama, his administration, and African Americans. They show how the political Right deploys racial fears, coded language and implicit bias to express and build opposition to the Obama administration. Racial meanings are reservoirs rich in political currency, and the race card remains a potent resource for othering the first black president in a context rife with Nativism, xenophobia, white racial fatigue, and serious racial inequality.
Call Number: JK2356 .H84 2014
Publication Date: 2014-05-30
Liberal Fascism by “Fascists,” “Brownshirts,” “jackbooted stormtroopers”—such are the insults typically hurled at conservatives by their liberal opponents. Calling someone a fascist is the fastest way to shut them up, defining their views as beyond the political pale. But who are the real fascists in our midst? Liberal Fascism offers a startling new perspective on the theories and practices that define fascist politics. Replacing conveniently manufactured myths with surprising and enlightening research, Jonah Goldberg reminds us that the original fascists were really on the left, and that liberals from Woodrow Wilson to FDR to Hillary Clinton have advocated policies and principles remarkably similar to those of Hitler's National Socialism and Mussolini's Fascism. Contrary to what most people think, the Nazis were ardent socialists (hence the term “National socialism”). They believed in free health care and guaranteed jobs. They confiscated inherited wealth and spent vast sums on public education. They purged the church from public policy, promoted a new form of pagan spirituality, and inserted the authority of the state into every nook and cranny of daily life. The Nazis declared war on smoking, supported abortion, euthanasia, and gun control. They loathed the free market, provided generous pensions for the elderly, and maintained a strict racial quota system in their universities—where campus speech codes were all the rage. The Nazis led the world in organic farming and alternative medicine. Hitler was a strict vegetarian, and Himmler was an animal rights activist. Do these striking parallels mean that today’s liberals are genocidal maniacs, intent on conquering the world and imposing a new racial order? Not at all. Yet it is hard to deny that modern progressivism and classical fascism shared the same intellectual roots. We often forget, for example, that Mussolini and Hitler had many admirers in the United States. W.E.B. Du Bois was inspired by Hitler's Germany, and Irving Berlin praised Mussolini in song. Many fascist tenets were espoused by American progressives like John Dewey and Woodrow Wilson, and FDR incorporated fascist policies in the New Deal. Fascism was an international movement that appeared in different forms in different countries, depending on the vagaries of national culture and temperament. In Germany, fascism appeared as genocidal racist nationalism. In America, it took a “friendlier,” more liberal form. The modern heirs of this “friendly fascist” tradition include the New York Times, the Democratic Party, the Ivy League professoriate, and the liberals of Hollywood. The quintessential Liberal Fascist isn't an SS storm trooper; it is a female grade school teacher with an education degree from Brown or Swarthmore. These assertions may sound strange to modern ears, but that is because we have forgotten what fascism is. In this angry, funny, smart, contentious book, Jonah Goldberg turns our preconceptions inside out and shows us the true meaning of Liberal Fascism.
Call Number: JC481 .G55 2007
Publication Date: 2008-01-08
Divided by The issue of inequality has irrefutably returned to the fore, riding on the anger against Wall Street following the 2008 financial crisis and the concentration of economic and political power in the hands of the super-rich. The Occupy movement made the plight of the 99 percent an indelible part of the public consciousness, and concerns about inequality were a decisive factor in the 2012 presidential elections. How bad is it? According to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, most Americans, in inflation-adjusted terms, are now back to the average income of 1966. Shockingly, from 2009 to 2011, the top 1 percent got 121 percent of the income gains while the bottom 99 percent saw their income fall. Yet in this most unequal of developed nations, every aspect of inequality remains hotly contested and poorly understood. Divided collects the writings of leading scholars, activists, and journalists to provide an illuminating, multifaceted look at inequality in America, exploring its devastating implications in areas as diverse as education, justice, health care, social mobility, and political representation. Provocative and eminently readable, here is an essential resource for anyone who cares about the future of America--and compelling evidence that inequality can be ignored only at the nation’s peril.
Call Number: HM821 .D585 2014
Publication Date: 2014-04-01
Buying the Vote by Are corporations citizens? Is political inequality a necessary aspect of a democracy or something that must be stamped out? These are the questions that have been at the heart of the debate surrounding campaign finance reform for nearly half a century. But as Robert E. Mutch demonstrates inthis fascinating book, these were not always controversial matters. The tenets that corporations do not count as citizens, and that self-government functions best by reducing political inequality, were commonly heldup until the early years of the twentieth century, when Congress recognized the strength of these principles by prohibiting corporations from makingcampaign contributions, passing a disclosure law, and setting limits on campaign expenditures. But conservative opposition began to appear in the 1970s. Well represented on the Supreme Court, opponents of campaign finance reform won decisions granting First Amendment rights to corporations, anddeclaring the goal of reducing political inequality to be unconstitutional.Buying the Vote analyzes the rise and decline of campaign finance reform by tracking the evolution of both the ways in which presidential campaigns have been funded since the late nineteenth century. Through close examinations of major Supreme Court decisions, Mutch shows how the Court has fashioneda new and profoundly inegalitarian definition of American democracy. Drawing on rarely studied archival materials on presidential campaign finance funds, Buying the Vote is an illuminating look at politics, money, and power in America.
Call Number: JK1991 .M88 2014
Publication Date: 2014-08-01
Double Down by Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times: "Those hungry for political news will read Double Down for the scooplets and insidery glimpses it serves up about the two campaigns, and the clues it offers about the positioning already going on among Republicans and Democrats for 2016 ... The book testifies to its authors’ energetic legwork and insider access... creating a novelistic narrative that provides a you-are-there immediacy... They succeed in taking readers interested in the backstabbing and backstage maneuvering of the 2012 campaign behind the curtains, providing a tactile... sense of what it looked like from the inside." In their runaway bestseller Game Change, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann captured the full drama of Barack Obama’s improbable, dazzling victory over the Clintons, John McCain, and Sarah Palin. With the same masterly reporting, unparalleled access, and narrative skill, Double Down picks up the story in the Oval Office, where the president is beset by crises both inherited and unforeseen—facing defiance from his political foes, disenchantment from the voters, disdain from the nation’s powerful money machers, and dysfunction within the West Wing. As 2012 looms, leaders of the Republican Party, salivating over Obama’s political fragility, see a chance to wrest back control of the White House—and the country. So how did the Republicans screw it up? How did Obama survive the onslaught of super PACs and defy the predictions of a one-term presidency? Double Down follows the gaudy carnival of GOP contenders—ambitious and flawed, famous and infamous, charismatic and cartoonish—as Mitt Romney, the straitlaced, can-do, gaffe-prone multimillionaire from Massachusetts, scraped and scratched his way to the nomination. Double Down exposes blunders, scuffles, and machinations far beyond the klieg lights of the campaign trail: Obama storming out of a White House meeting with his high command after accusing them of betrayal. Romney’s mind-set as he made his controversial “47 percent” comments. The real reasons New Jersey governor Chris Christie was never going to be Mitt’s running mate. The intervention held by the president’s staff to rescue their boss from political self-destruction. The way the tense détente between Obama and Bill Clinton morphed into political gold. And the answer to one of the campaign’s great mysteries—how did Clint Eastwood end up performing Dada dinner theater at the Republican convention? In Double Down, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann take the reader into back rooms and closed-door meetings, laying bare the secret history of the 2012 campaign for a panoramic account of an election that was as hard fought as it was lastingly consequential.
Call Number: E910 .H35 2014
Publication Date: 2014-10-28
Democracy and Political Ignorance by One of the biggest problems with modern democracy is that most of the public is usually ignorant of politics and government. Often, many people understand that their votes are unlikely to change the outcome of an election and don't see the point in learning much about politics. This may be rational, but it creates a nation of people with little political knowledge and little ability to objectively evaluate what they do know.In Democracy and Political Ignorance, Ilya Somin mines the depths of ignorance in America and reveals the extent to which it is a major problem for democracy. Somin weighs various options for solving this problem, arguing that political ignorance is best mitigated and its effects lessened by decentralizing and limiting government. Somin provocatively argues that people make better decisions when they choose what to purchase in the market or which state or local government to live under, than when they vote at the ballot box, because they have stronger incentives to acquire relevant information and to use it wisely.
Call Number: JK1726 .S67 2013
Publication Date: 2013-10-02
On the People's Terms by According to republican theory, we are free persons to the extent that we are protected and secured in the same fundamental choices, on the same public basis, as one another. But there is no public protection or security without a coercive state. Does this mean that any freedom we enjoy is a superficial good that presupposes a deeper, political form of subjection? Philip Pettit addresses this crucial question in On the People's Terms. He argues that state coercion will not involve individual subjection or domination insofar as we enjoy an equally shared form of control over those in power. This claim may seem utopian but it is supported by a realistic model of the institutions that might establish such democratic control. Beginning with a fresh articulation of republican ideas, Pettit develops a highly original account of the rationale of democracy, breathing new life into democratic theory.
Call Number: JC423 .P432 2012
Publication Date: 2012-12-06
The Age of Acquiescence by A groundbreaking investigation of how and why, from the 18th century to the present day, American resistance to our ruling elites has vanished. From the American Revolution through the Civil Rights movement, Americans have long mobilized against political, social, and economic privilege. Hierarchies based on inheritance, wealth, and political preferment were treated as obnoxious and a threat to democracy. Mass movements envisioned a new world supplanting dog-eat-dog capitalism. But over the last half-century that political will and cultural imagination have vanished. Why? THE AGE OF ACQUIESCENCE seeks to solve that mystery. Steve Fraser's account of national transformation brilliantly examines the rise of American capitalism, the visionary attempts to protect the democratic commonwealth, and the great surrender to today's delusional fables of freedom and the politics of fear. Effervescent and razorsharp, THE AGE OF ACQUIESCENCE will be one of the most provocative and talked-about books of the year.
Call Number: E169.Z8 F73 2015
Publication Date: 2015-02-17
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