Building a Business of Politics: The Rise of Political Consulting and the Transformation of American Democracy - Studies in Postwar American Political Development (Hardback)Adam Sheingate (author)
Hardback 296 Pages / Published: 28/01/2016
- We can order this
Since the early twentieth century, political races in the United States have relied on highly paid political consultants to carefully curate the perceived personalities of hopeful politicians, to advise candidates using polling and analytics, and to affect voters' perceptions with marketing and advertising techniques. Much of the $1.3 billion spent in the 2012 presidential election went to these consultants who control virtually every aspect of the campaigns from polling, fundraising, and media to more novel techniques of social media and micro-targeting. These consultants play a larger role in our political races than ever before-determining not only how the public sees politicians, but also how politicians see the public. In Building a Business of Politics author Adam Sheingate traces the history of political consultants back to the Progressive Era at the turn of the twentieth century, when reformers viewed increased publicity as a positive way to further open politics up to public scrutiny. Through the following century, the addition of publicity to politics transformed political races into a very profitable business. Consultants command a hefty fee from politicians and in turn leverage the perceived message of the politician into increased special interest group campaign donations. In fact, critics often blame these consultants for the state of politics today. The implications of this system on the state of American democracy are significant: the rise of the permanent campaign brings with it the rise of a permanent campaign industry, thus affecting the priorities of politicians. A professional political class stands between the voters and those who claim to represent them, influencing messages on both sides. This book shows how the character of our politics depends on who controls these vital aspects of democratic practice, and what this means for the future of our political system.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 296
Weight: 562 g
Dimensions: 242 x 167 x 25 mm
"This riveting book tracks a key development--changes to the world of political consulting--that has reshaped political life in the United States. Written with historical depth, analytical acuity, empirical richness, and normative sensibility, its compelling appraisal about the conduct of competitive politics, past and present, could not be more timely."
--Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University and author of lFear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time
"Employing a political scientist's rigor and an historian's sensibility and research, Building a Business of Politics adroitly captures the evolution of political consulting from its origins at the start of the twentieth century to the digital world it operates in today."
--Brian Balogh, Professor of History, University of Virginia
"Much of what drives the 2016 campaign each day can be seen in the election of 1916. In this revealing history, Adam Sheingate looks behind the candidates to the class of political professionals who have shaped our elections and government over the century since."
--Sasha Issenberg, author of lThe Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns
You may also be interested in...
Please sign in to write a review
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
When will my order be ready to collect?
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at