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From the Publisher"A ground-breaking look at how the average American thought and participated in politics in the decades around the Civil War."
— The NYMAS Review
"A rich work, well researched and thought provoking, yet surprisingly modest in bulk and heft. . . . Clear and direct in argument, Neely supports his thesis well and avoids the trap of overcomplicated prose. A great piece of scholarship, it will prove interesting for both students and scholars of American history and politics."
— Arkansas Review
"Reinvigorates the debate over the pervasiveness and character of politics. . . . An important read for political, social, and public historians alike."
— The Historian
"An admirable effort to understand what exactly politics meant to the mid-nineteenth-century American electorate. It is essential reading for those interested in nineteenth-century politics, and it is a model in its innovative reading of political material culture."
— The Pennsylvania Magazine of History & Biography
"A fresh and idiosyncratic view of political culture that can serve as a model for other investigations."
— Civil War Book Review
"[A] splendid little volume . . . unfailingly smart, imaginative, and thought provoking. . . . A joy to read. All those interested in the political culture of the Civil War Era will want this book on their shelves."
— Journal of Southern History