American Political Parties and Elections: A Very Short Introduction

American Political Parties and Elections: A Very Short Introduction

5.0 1
by L. Sandy Maisel
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions


Few Americans and even fewer citizens of other nations understand the electoral process in the United States. Still fewer understand the role played by political parties in the electoral process or the ironies within the system. Participation in elections in the United States is much lower than in the vast majority of mature democracies. Perhaps this is because of

Overview


Few Americans and even fewer citizens of other nations understand the electoral process in the United States. Still fewer understand the role played by political parties in the electoral process or the ironies within the system. Participation in elections in the United States is much lower than in the vast majority of mature democracies. Perhaps this is because of the lack of competition in a country where only two parties have a true chance of winning, despite the fact that a large number of citizens claim allegiance to neither and think badly of both. Or perhaps it is because in the U.S. campaign contributions disproportionately favor incumbents in most legislative elections, or that largely unregulated groups such as the now notorious 527s have as much impact on the outcome of a campaign as do the parties or the candidates' campaign organizations. These factors offer a very clear picture of the problems that underlay our much trumpeted electoral system.

The second edition of this Very Short Introduction introduces the reader to these issues and more. Drawing on updated data and new examples from the 2016 presidential nominations, L. Sandy Maisel provides an insider's view of how the system actually works while shining a light on some of its flaws. He also illustrates the growing impact of campaigning through social media, the changes in campaign financing wrought by the Supreme Court recent decisions, and the Tea Party's influence on the sub-presidential nominating process. As the United States enter what is sure to be yet another highly contested election year, it is more important than ever that Americans take the time to learn the system that puts so many in power.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199719686
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
08/10/2007
Series:
Very Short Introductions
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
971 KB

Meet the Author

L. Sandy Maisel is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Government at Colby College. From 2003 to 2012, he was Director of the Goldfarb Center of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at Colby College. A former candidate for Congress, Maisel is the author or editor of 15 books on political parties and elections, including including Parties and Elections in America: The Electoral Process, Two Parties or More? and The Parties Respond: Changes in American Parties and Campaigns. He is also a frequent commentator on contemporary politics.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

American Political Parties and Elections: A Very Short Introduction 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Tunguz More than 1 year ago
Despite all the high-level media coverage that politics gets in the US, the way that American political system works is rather obscure even for someone who has been following politics for many years. There are several key aspects of this system that make it very different from other highly developed democracies around the world. The most notorious one of these aspects, the electoral system, prevents direct election of the American president, and makes only a handful of states competitive in the presidential race. Furthermore, what makes the political system particularly complicated is the fact that each one of the fifty states has its own political and electoral idiosyncrasies. This book is a very useful first step for anyone who is serious about learning more about American politics. It covers all the main features of the system, without getting bogged down in technical details. It provides a concise and accessible overview, from both historical and contemporary points of view. The inclusion of several recent political contests makes the material relevant and approachable. It is an easy and enjoyable read and will be appreciated by anyone who is interested in the subject, whether you have been following American politics for decades or are completely new to it. I highly recommend it.