Why Parties?: A Second Look

Why Parties?: A Second Look

by John H. Aldrich
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0226012743

ISBN-13: 9780226012742

Pub. Date: 05/01/2011

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Since its first appearance fifteen years ago, Why Parties? has become essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the nature of American political parties. In the interim, the party system has undergone some radical changes. In this landmark book, now rewritten for the new millennium, John H. Aldrich goes beyond the clamor of arguments over whether

Overview

Since its first appearance fifteen years ago, Why Parties? has become essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the nature of American political parties. In the interim, the party system has undergone some radical changes. In this landmark book, now rewritten for the new millennium, John H. Aldrich goes beyond the clamor of arguments over whether American political parties are in resurgence or decline and undertakes a wholesale reexamination of the foundations of the American party system.

Surveying critical episodes in the development of American political parties—from their formation in the 1790s to the Civil War—Aldrich shows how they serve to combat three fundamental problems of democracy: how to regulate the number of people seeking public office, how to mobilize voters, and how to achieve and maintain the majorities needed to accomplish goals once in office. Aldrich brings this innovative account up to the present by looking at the profound changes in the character of political parties since World War II, especially in light of ongoing contemporary transformations, including the rise of the Republican Party in the South, and what those changes accomplish, such as the Obama Health Care plan. Finally, Why Parties? A Second Look offers a fuller consideration of party systems in general, especially the two-party system in the United States, and explains why this system is necessary for effective democracy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226012742
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
05/01/2011
Series:
Chicago Studies in American Politics Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
1,014,678
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

Part 1 Political Parties and Democracy

1 Politics and Parties in America 3

2 Why Parries Form 27

Part 2 Party Formation in America, 1790-1860

Prologue 67

3 Founding the First Parties: Institutions and Social Choice 70

4 A Jacksonian Democracy: The Mass Party and Collective Action 102

5 Whigs and Republicans: Institutions, Issue Agendas, and Ambition 130

Part 3 The New Political Party in Contemporary America

Prologue 163

6 Party Activists and Partisan Cleavages 169

7 Political Parties and Governance 202

8 The Critical Era of the 1960s 255

Part 4 Conclusions

9 Political Parties, Historical Dynamics, and Democratic Politics 295

Notes 325

References 349

Index 367

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >