The rich history of Kansas politics continues to generate an abundant literature. The state’s beginning as “Bleeding Kansas” followed by Prohibition, populism, the Progressive Era, and the Dust Bowl, through to the present day, have given local and national writers and scholars an intriguing topic for exploration. While historians and biographers shed light on pieces of this history, journalists focus on current political affairs in the state. Rarely, however, are past and present connected to fully illuminate an understanding of Kansas politics and government.
This volume uses the prism of political cultures to interpret Kansas politics and disclose the intimate connections between the state’s past and its current politics. The framework of political cultures evolves from underlying political preferences for liberty, order, and equality, and these preferences form the basis for the active political cultures of individualism, hierarchy, and egalitarianism. This comprehensive examination of Kansas political institutions argues that Kansas politics, historically and presently, may best be understood as a clash of political cultures.