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How the President Is Elected (LIBRARY EDITION)

How the President Is Elected (LIBRARY EDITION)

by Heather Lehr Wagner

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Debbie Levy
Middle- and high-school readers may not have a clear memory of the event with which Wagner introduces this excellent guide to presidential elections—the 2000 face-off between George W. Bush and Al Gore—but after reading this book, they should have a clear understanding of the complexities of the system by which Americans choose their president. Setting the stage with the historic 2000 election, which involved recounts, judicial review, and victory by the candidate who lost the popular vote, Wagner proceeds to tackle the panoply of presidential electoral issues. The book covers the history of the constitutional framework for presidential elections, the operation of the Electoral College, the role of political parties, conventions, primaries, the changing landscape of campaign tactics, and more. A clear writing style and use of interesting examples from elections past should draw in readers who might otherwise feel put off by the web of rules and procedures covered. The chapter on the Electoral College alone is enough to make this volume a valuable resource; Wagner explains its historical roots, its evolution, and its current operation in a manner that is most edifying. The glossary is too brief and selective to be useful, but a bibliography and a "further reading" section point readers to additional sources. Part of the "The U.S. Government: How It Works" series. Reviewer: Debbie Levy
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8
Although books on the Constitution abound, there are some distinguishing features that make this one a worthy addition. The text is easy to read, with interesting sidebars about concurrent historical events or people, such as the American Enlightenment and the construction of Washington, DC. It also contains material about those who were at the time disenfranchised, namely women and enslaved people. The final chapter discusses different aspects of the Constitution with an eye toward explaining how it has remained in place for over 200 years. No punches are pulled when it comes to describing how a law may die in committee, and pocket vetoes are examined. Topics such as line-item vetoes and congressional recommendations are highlighted. Wagner opens with the controversial election of 2000 between George W. Bush and Al Gore, and uses it as a springboard to discuss how the Electoral College works. Subsequent chapters discuss the two-party system, presidential campaigns, and what types of qualifications presidential candidates need. Like the previous book, the writing is clear and concise, facts are easy to find, and the prose is fluid. In both titles, the main drawback is the mediocre illustrations. They tend to be small and not particularly colorful or integral to the text. However, these sources provide solid background for curious students and report writers.
—Robin HenryCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Facts on File, Incorporated
Publication date:
U. S. Government Series: How It Works
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

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