The Democratic Party Heads North, 1877-1962 (Hardback)
  • The Democratic Party Heads North, 1877-1962 (Hardback)
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The Democratic Party Heads North, 1877-1962 (Hardback)

(author)
£54.00
Hardback 300 Pages / Published: 13/02/2006
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This book examines the dynamics of the American party system and explores how contemporary American politics was formed. Specifically, it asks how the Democrats could become sufficiently competitive in the American North as to be able to construct a national political majority. It rejects the conventional account, based on 'realignment theory', that between the end of Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Revolution, the base level of support for the Democratic party varied greatly from one era to another. Instead, by distinguishing between the 'building blocks' available to the Democrats in coalition formation and the aggregation of those 'blocks' into an actual coalition, the author shows that there was much less variation over time in the available 'blocks' than is usually argued. Neither the economic depression of 1893 nor the New Deal had the impact on the party system that most political scientists claim.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521858274
Number of pages: 300
Weight: 610 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Alan Ware's grasp of American politics and political history is outstanding. This book tells the complicated story of what was happening to the Democratic party during the long Republican-dominated era that stretched from Reconstruction to the New Deal. The result is original political science at its best." Nelson W. Polsby, University of California, Berkeley
"Alan Ware is in the process of making a major contribution to the understanding of American politics, with his recent book on The American Direct Primary and now with the strikingly different The Democratic Party Heads North. Where so much historical scholarship on the years before the New Deal focuses on the South, Alan does indeed 'head north'. Where so much of the analytic scholarship on party politics emphasizes the power of social forces, Alan makes his main actors slaves to the existing political landscape if but only if they fail to help transform it. The story of their successes and failures provides one of those rare books with genuine sweep and real political phenomena at its core." Bryon Shafer, University of Wisconsin, Madison
"Ware provides an absorbing analysis of the Democratic Party's gradual evolution from a southern-based party into one that could compete effectively with the Republicans in northern elections. This insightful book highlights the interplay of opportunity and political entrepreneurship. It proves that leaders could weave diverse local concerns into a winning political coalition and, more important, retain power once won. Ware challenges the conventional wisdom that political parties are hostage to infrequent political earthquakes to realign the electoral landscape. This important study provides rich insights into the way long-term politics really works. It will inform our understanding of America's political parties and their leaders for many years to come." David Brian Robertson, University of Missouri - St. Louis
"'I belong to no organized political party,' Will Rogers is supposed to have said. 'I am a Democrat.' In this work of impressive historical sweep and penetrating analytical clarity, Alan Ware reveals the fundamental truth behind Rogers's famous quip. He chronicles the Democratic Party's remarkable and immensely consequential transformation from a party of the South to a party of the North. This development, he shows, owed less to the shifting allegiances of voters than to choices made by party leaders attempting to construct and maintain national majorities out of inherently unstable and fractious ingredients. In doing so, Ware offers a fresh perspective not only on theories of political change but also on the historical roots of our own contentious era." Robert C. Lieberman, Columbia University

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