United States - Ambition

United States - Ambition

by Alan Ehrenhalt

The acclaimed and provocative book that explains why America's politicians are continually disappointing. See more details below


The acclaimed and provocative book that explains why America's politicians are continually disappointing.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ehrenhalt asks why we elect and re-elect people who fall pitifully short of our ideals of statesmanship. His unsatisfactory answer: we don't. Those with the right kind of ambition and the ability to ``manipulate the instruments of the system'' (particularly in fund-raising and campaigning) simply nominate themselves and often succeed in garnering the needed votes. While the crucial task of self-nominees is to manufacture issues and constituencies, according to Ehrenhalt, what matters most is how they look and sound rather than what they say. Reaching across the spectrum of American politics from county courthouse to city hall, from state legislature to presidential primary, Ehrenhalt shows how various candidates and incumbents turn themselves into marketable political commodities. Nothing much new here. Ehrenhalt is executive editor of Governing magazine. (May)
Library Journal
In this stimulating examination of American politics, Ehrenhalt, executive editor of Governing magazine, argues that candidates for public office are increasingly self-nominated, full-time professional politicians. They are people who have the ambition, time, skills, and other resources to win and retain elective office. But they frequently lack other qualities that are needed in our legislative and executive institutions in order for them to function effectively as formulators of coherent public policies. Ehrenhalt presents his case by examining recent developments in selected communities and states, as well as in national politics. His work is grounded in modern political science research, but his clearly written, jargon-free analysis is accessible to general readers and scholars. This is a book that deserves to be widely read. Highly recommended for university and public libraries.-- Thomas H. Ferrell, Univ. of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette

Product Details

Crown Publishing Group
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5.57(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.91(d)

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