An Atlas of the 2008 Elections

An Atlas of the 2008 Elections

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by Stanley D. Brunn
     
 

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The U.S. presidential election of 2008 was one of the most significant elections in recent American history. Bringing together leading geographers and political scientists, this unique atlas analyzes and maps the campaigns, primaries, general election, and key state referenda to provide a rich picture of this watershed event. Illustrated with more than 200

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Overview

The U.S. presidential election of 2008 was one of the most significant elections in recent American history. Bringing together leading geographers and political scientists, this unique atlas analyzes and maps the campaigns, primaries, general election, and key state referenda to provide a rich picture of this watershed event. Illustrated with more than 200 meticulously drawn full-color maps, the atlas will be an essential reference and a fascinating resource for pundits, voters, campaign staffs, and political junkies alike.

Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
This atlas presents 200-plus visually engaging and deeply analytical maps and narratives about the 2008 elections. Contents include an introduction and nine chapters with national/state maps, and essays that explore major issues or describe the maps. Chapter 2 focuses on the nomination process with maps that depict primary selection processes and voting patterns. Chapter 3 contains maps that show key features of the campaign itself, e.g., campaign stops made by McCain and Obama leading up to the election (a fascinating way to visualize candidates' frantic travel patterns). Chapter 4, the most substantive, features a large number of maps and essays about the results of the presidential election. Maps are included for other party candidates as well. Chapter 5 breaks down regional voting patterns by comparing 2004 and 2008 election results. Chapter 6 analyzes key demographic, occupational, and socioeconomic indicators, emphasizing highest- and lowest-ranking data that reflect broader social, economic, and cultural trends nationwide. Chapter 7 looks at various statewide elections for governor and for state legislatures; it assists the process of comparing and contrasting national election results with state election results. Chapter 8 shows the results of key referenda on issues such as stem cell research and same-sex marriage. Chapter 9 focuses on voting patterns for key issues in the 111th House of Representatives in 2009 and the rating of House members by special interest groups. Chapter 10 outlines ten scenarios for the 2012 elections. The quality of the contents and analysis in this affordable, well-referenced work should inspire new research. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.
Choice
This atlas presents 200-plus visually engaging and deeply analytical maps and narratives about the 2008 elections. Contents include an introduction and nine chapters with national/state maps, and essays that explore major issues or describe the maps. Chapter 2 focuses on the nomination process with maps that depict primary selection processes and voting patterns. Chapter 3 contains maps that show key features of the campaign itself, e.g., campaign stops made by McCain and Obama leading up to the election (a fascinating way to visualize candidates' frantic travel patterns). Chapter 4, the most substantive, features a large number of maps and essays about the results of the presidential election. Maps are included for other party candidates as well. Chapter 5 breaks down regional voting patterns by comparing 2004 and 2008 election results. Chapter 6 analyzes key demographic, occupational, and socioeconomic indicators, emphasizing highest- and lowest-ranking data that reflect broader social, economic, and cultural trends nationwide. Chapter 7 looks at various statewide elections for governor and for state legislatures; it assists the process of comparing and contrasting national election results with state election results. Chapter 8 shows the results of key referenda on issues such as stem cell research and same-sex marriage. Chapter 9 focuses on voting patterns for key issues in the 111th House of Representatives in 2009 and the rating of House members by special interest groups. Chapter 10 outlines ten scenarios for the 2012 elections. The quality of the contents and analysis in this affordable, well-referenced work should inspire new research. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.
Starred Review Booklist
This beautifully executed work uses maps, charts, and text to effectively analyze and communicate the interplay of political forces and geography in the 2008 elections. The atlas is divided into 10 chapters, each with maps and commentary. Chapters 2 through 6 focus on the presidential election, describing the outcomes of the primaries and caucuses that led to the nominations of Senators Obama and McCain, their election campaigns, media coverage, and endorsements. Election results are analyzed at the state and county levels, then by region, with an emphasis on swing states. Comparisons with the 2004 election are provided. Socioeconomic indicators are examined by focusing on the extremes—the 200 counties with the highest and lowest rankings on selected variables. The resulting maps and narratives effectively portray the effect of variables such as military presence, education, in- and out-migration, employment by economic sector, creative class employment, race, ethnicity, and income on the election outcome. Chapter 7 examines selected campaigns for Senate seats and governorships, while chapter 8 discusses the geography of voting on several state referenda involving controversial issues, including same-sex marriage, abortion, and physician-assisted suicide. Chapter 9 focuses on election results at the congressional-district level and analysis of several important 2009 House votes. Finally, chapter 10 offers 10 brief scenarios about the American electoral landscape. The 200-plus maps are the heart of this work, of course, and they do not disappoint, effectively using a wide range of colors, clear captions, and a variety of mapping styles. The atlas ends with a sampling of bumper stickers and commemorative stamps that evoke nostalgia just three years after the election. The index covers, and effectively differentiates, graphs, maps, tables, and text. Much more than a reference work, this atlas will engage the casual reader as well as the political junkie. Recommended for all public, academic, and middle- and high-school libraries—many libraries will want to add a copy to their circulating collections as well.
Geographical Review
A superb and richly illustrated explanation of the spatial and temporal differences in the U.S. electorate. The maps help to disentangle characteristics of the population from settlement patterns in the United States, which helps answer the perennial question of why the map of state-level election results is so red but the election is so close. It should be read by geographers, geography students, political scientists, the electorate, and the campaign staff of both major political parties.
James Allen
An outstanding set of analyses of voting in the 2008 election and related subjects. With beautiful, provocative maps and concise, readable, and historically informed interpretations by experts, this book will be the recognized authority on the subject.
Daniel M. Shea
Scholars and practitioners have long understood the interplay of political forces and geography. This dynamic was on vivid display in the 2008 presidential election, and much of it has been captured in this important new volume. Primaries and caucuses, referenda and ballot initiatives, Electoral College forces and much else, this new atlas provides those truly interested in 21st-century presidential elections a treasure trove of information. And my goodness, what maps!
The Geographical Journal

The team of six editors and forty-five contributors, consisting mostly of academic geographers, have put together a superb and richly illustrated explanation of the spatial and temporal differences in the U.S. electorate

It should be read by geographers, geography students, political scientists, the electorate, and the campaign staff of both major political parties

It is written in very accessible language and consists of a number of short entries that explain the underlying geographical patterns of one or a series of maps or charts

The atlas contains many maps and charts that offer unique insights into the political geography of the country

AAG Review of Books
Much effort and care has been put into determining what should be mapped, and how, and providing a substantial textual commentary involving fifty-one different authors. The result is a handsome product.
Library Journal
Brunn (Cities of the World) and coeditors Gerald R. Webster, Richard L. Morrill, Fred M. Shelley, Stephen J. Lavin, and J. Clark Archer—all professors of geography at institutions across the United States—here present ten chapters of geographical and political perspectives on the 2008 U.S. presidential election, with nods to views from other disciplines such as history, economics, and sociology. Also examined from those standpoints are six other races, including important senatorial and gubernatorial quests; eight statewide referenda; four votes of the 111th U.S. House of Representatives; and topics such as primaries, campaigns, general elections, and regional patterns. Each chapter's accessible narrative is accompanied by several well-rendered maps (for a total of more than 200)—the combination serves to clarify issues of interest in the 2008 election in a way that is unmatched by other works. The editors close with ten scenarios that could positively influence national elections, e.g., public financing of presidential elections and abolishing the electoral college. BOTTOM LINE This title succeeds at making political geography accessible and demonstrates the power of the discipline in relation to questions of social science. It is an excellent addition to most higher education and large public library collections because of its clear, attractive visual style and easily understood information.—Samantha Schmehl Hines, Univ. of Montana Lib., Missoula, MT

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780742567955
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
07/15/2011
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
1,362,798
Product dimensions:
12.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

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