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In this comprehensive introduction to political parties, two leading scholars examine how the party systems works and why it is important, giving students a richer understanding of the role of parties in the American political system. An emphasis on regional variations in parties shows students how local needs impact party structure, and a systemic comparison with foreign systems adds a broader perspective on the American party system.
Preface. About the Authors. 1. Parties in Society: A Theoretical Overview. 2. The U.S. Party System Viewed Comparatively. 3. The American Party System: Origins and Development. 4. Third Parties in American Politics. 5. The Public's Support for the Parties. 6. The National Organization of Our Parties: Revived and Relevant. 7. State and Local Party Structures: Strengthened and Still Relevant. 8. Party Activists: Working Elites with Organizational Links to the Masses. 9. Parties and Leadership Recruitment. 10. Presidential Nominations: The New Model. 11. The Campaign Process. 12. Money and Political Campaigns: The 1996 Debacle. 13. Parties and the Election Process. 14. The New Technologies: How the Parties Have Adapted. 15. Parties and Governance: Making Divided Government Work. 16. The Party System and the Race Problem. 17. Change and Adaption in the American Party System.