Congress at the Grassroots: Representational Change in the South, 1970-1998 / Edition 1

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However much politicians are demeaned and denounced in modern American society, our democracy could not work without them. For this reason, says Richard Fenno, their activities warrant our attention. In his pioneering book, Home Style, Fenno demonstrated that a close look at politicians at work in their districts can tell us a great deal about the process of representation. Here, Fenno employs a similarly revealing grassroots approach to explore how patterns of representation have changed in recent decades.

Fenno focuses on two members of the U.S. House of Representatives who represented the same west-central Georgia district at different times: Jack Flynt, who served from the 1950s to the 1970s, and Mac Collins, who has held the seat in the 1990s. His on-the-scene observation of their differing representational styles—Flynt focuses on people, Collins on policy—reveals the ways in which social and demographic changes inspire shifts in representational strategies.

More than a study of representational change in one district, Congress at the Grassroots also helps illuminate the larger subject of political change in the South and in the nation as a whole.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Fenno's book is an enjoyable read for more than its intellectual contributions to the study of representation.

Journal of Politics

A fascinating and insightful case study of the change in the nature of representation in a transformed South.


In revisiting legislators' home styles, Fenno has prepared another masterpiece.

Charles S. Bullock III, University of Georgia

This beautifully written book is indispensable for students of Congress and the South.

Merle Black, coauthor of Politics and Society in the South and The Vital South

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807848555
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 4/12/2000
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 845,947
  • Product dimensions: 5.71 (w) x 9.17 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard F. Fenno Jr. is Distinguished University Professor and William R. Kenan Professor of Political Science at the University of Rochester.

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Table of Contents


1. Political Representation
2. Jack Flynt, 1970-1972: A Person-Intensive Strategy
3. Jack Flynt, 1972-1976: Change and Challenge
4. Mac Collins, 1996-1998: A Policy-Intensive Strategy
5. Mac Collins and Connections: Policy, Personal, Party


1. Flynt's Original District, 1954-1964 (Georgia's Fourth Congressional District)
2. Flynt's Transitional District, 1966-1970 (Georgia's Sixth Congressional District)
3. Flynt's New District, 1972-1976 (Georgia's Sixth Congressional District)
4. Collins's Original District, 1992-1994 (Georgia's Third Congressional District)
5. Collins's New District, 1996-present (Georgia's Third Congressional District)


1. Flynt District Engagements, January 1973-May 1974
2. Georgia Sixth District Vote, 1974, by County
3. Flynt Rankings of Campaign Activities, 1976
4. Flynt County Strengths, 1976
5. Flynt Predictions and Election Results, 1976

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