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Conventional Politics

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Selecting a President
by Clift, Eleanor; Spieler, Matthew

9781250004499Eleanor Clift; Matthew SpielerSelecting a PresidentThe debut of a brand-new civics series for high school seniors and college freshmen, that clearly, concisely and cleverly explains how the United States elects its president Selecting a President explains the nuts and bolts of our presidential electoral system while drawing on rich historical anecdotes from past campaigns. Among the world's many democracies, U.S. presidential elections are unique, where presidential contenders embark on a grueling, spectacular two-year journey that begins in Iowa and New Hampshire, and ends at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Modern presidential campaigns are a marked departure from the process envisioned by America's founders. Yet while they've evolved, many of the basic structures of our original electoral system remain in place--even as presidential elections have moved into the modern era with tools like Twitter and Facebook at their disposal--they must still compete in an election governed by rules and mechanisms conceived in the late eighteenth century. In this book, Clift and Spieler demonstrate that presidential campaigns are exciting, hugely important, disillusioning at times but also inspiring. - Description from Syndetics

Netroots Rising: How Online Activists is Changing American Politics
by Feld, Lowell; Wilcox, Nate

9780313346606Lowell Feld; Nate WilcoxNetroots Rising: How a Citizen Army of Bloggers and Online Activists Is Changing American PoliticsThe 2006 elections will be remembered as the year when the center of power in American politics shifted from traditional top-down central broadcasters to new bottom-up decentralized activists in the blogosphere and netroots. The authors give firsthand accounts of the burgeoning power of the netroots to determine the outcome of political contests, most notably as when the national balance of power was tipped by Jim Webb's rag-tag army of bloggers and netroots activists. They assess the prospects for Netroots 2.0: whether the netroots hordes will crash the party or work out an uneasy cohabitation with the traditional party power elite.The 2006 elections will be remembered as the year when the center of power in American politics shifted from traditional top-down central broadcasters to new bottom-up decentralized activists in the blogosphere and netroots. The authors give firsthand accounts of the burgeoning power of the netroots to determine the outcome of political contests, most notably as when the national balance of power was tipped by Jim Webb's rag-tag army of bloggers and netroots activists who provoked and exposed the gaffe that proved fatal to George Allen's senatorial bid.Veteran online campaigners Feld and Wilcox recount and analyze many other political campaigns in which netroots activism was decisive or instructive, including: * U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's downfall. *Tim Kaine's election as Virginia govenor. *Howard Dean's and Wes Clark's presidential campaigns. *Ned Lamont's primary victory over Joe Lieberman. The authors conclude with an assessment of the prospects for Netroots 2.0: Will the netroots hordes crash the party or will they work out an uneasy cohabitation with the traditional party power elite? The foreword is written by Markos (Kos) Moulitsas Zuniga, founding editor of the world's biggest political blog, Daily Kos. - Description from Syndetics

The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns
by Issenberg, Sasha

9780307954794Sasha IssenbergThe Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning CampaignsThe book "Politico" calls ""Moneyball" for politics" shows how cutting-edge social science and analytics are reshaping the modern political campaign. Renegade thinkers are crashing the gates of a venerable American institution, shoving aside its so-called wise men and replacing them with a radical new data-driven order. We've seen it in sports, and now in "The Victory Lab," ""journalist Sasha Issenberg tells the hidden story of the analytical revolution upending the way political campaigns are run in the 21st century." The Victory Lab "follows the academics and maverick operatives rocking the war room and re-engineering a high-stakes industry previously run on little more than gut instinct and outdated assumptions. Armed with research from behavioural psychology and randomized experiments that treat voters as unwitting guinea pigs, the smartest campaigns now believe they know who you will vote for even before you do. Issenberg tracks these fascinating techniques--which include cutting edge persuasion experiments, innovative ways to mobilize voters, heavily researched electioneering methods--and shows how our most important figures, such as Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, are putting them to use with surprising skill and alacrity. Provocative, clear-eyed and energetically reported, "The Victory Lab" offers iconoclastic insights into political marketing, human decision-making, and the increasing power of analytics. - Description from Syndetics

Primary Politics
by Kamarck, Elaine Ciulla

9780815727750Elaine C. KamarckPrimary Politics: Everything You Need to Know about How America Nominates Its Presidential CandidatesThe 2016 presidential primaries are on the horizon and this new edition of Elaine Kamarck's Primary Politics will be there to help make sense of them. Updated to include the 2012 election, it will once again be the guide to understanding the modern nominating system and some of its arcana, including the "robot rule." In Primary Politics , political insider Elaine Kamarck explains how the presidential nomination process became the often baffling system we have today. Her focus is the largely untold story of how presidential candidates since the early 1970s have sought to alter the rules in their favor and how their failures and successes have led to even more change. She describes how candidates have sought to manipulate the sequencing of primaries to their advantage and how Iowa and New Hampshire came to dominate the system. She analyzes the rules that are used to translate votes into delegates, paying special attention to the Democrats' twenty-year fight over proportional representation. Drawing on meticulous research, interviews with key figures in both parties, and years of experience, this book explores one of the most important questions in American politics -- how we narrow the list of presidential candidates every four years. - Description from Syndetics

The Imperfect Primary
by Norrander, Barbara

9781138786387Barbara NorranderThe Imperfect Primary: Oddities, Biases, and Strengths of U. S. Presidential Nomination PoliticsThe complex and ever-changing rules governing American presidential nomination contests are continuously up for criticism, but there is little to no consensus on exactly what the problems are, or on how to fix them. The evolving system is hardly rational because it was never carefully planned. So how are we to make sense of the myriad complexities in the primary process, how it affects the general election, and calls for change? In this thoroughly updated second edition of The Imperfect Primary , political scientist Barbara Norrander explores how presidential candidates are nominated, how that process bridges to the general election campaign, discusses past and current proposals for reform, and examines the possibility for more practical, incremental changes to the electoral rules. Norrander reminds us to be careful what we wish for¿reforming the presidential nomination process is as complex as the current system. Through the modelling of empirical research to demonstrate how questions of biases can be systematically addressed, students can better see the advantages, disadvantages, and potential for unintended consequences in a whole host of reform proposals. The second edition includes an entirely new chapter on the connections between the primary and general election phases of presidential selection. The entire book has been revised to reflect the 2012 presidential primaries and election. - Description from Syndetics

To Make Men free: A History of the Republican Party
by Richardson, Heather Cox

9780465024315Heather Cox RichardsonTo Make Men Free: A History of the Republican PartyWhen Abraham Lincoln helped create the Republican Party on the eve of the Civil War, his goal was to promote economic opportunity for all Americans, not just the slaveholding Southern planters who steered national politics. Yet, despite the egalitarian dream at the heart of its founding, the Republican Party quickly became mired in a fundamental identity crisis. Would it be the party of democratic ideals? Or would it be the party of moneyed interests? In the century and a half since, Republicans have vacillated between these two poles, with dire economic, political, and moral repercussions for the entire nation. In To Make Men Free , celebrated historian Heather Cox Richardson traces the shifting ideology of the Grand Old Party from the antebellum era to the Great Recession, revealing the insidious cycle of boom and bust that has characterized the Party since its inception. While in office, progressive Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower revived Lincoln's vision of economic freedom and expanded the government, attacking the concentration of wealth and nurturing upward mobility. But they and others like them have been continually thwarted by powerful business interests in the Party. Their opponents appealed to Americans' latent racism and xenophobia to regain political power, linking taxation and regulation to redistribution and socialism. The results of the Party's wholesale embrace of big business are all too familiar: financial collapses like the Panic of 1893, the Great Depression in 1929, and the Great Recession in 2008. With each passing decade, with each missed opportunity and political misstep, the schism within the Republican Party has grown wider, pulling the GOP ever further from its founding principles. Expansive and authoritative, To Make Men Free is a sweeping history of the Party that was once America's greatest political hope--and, time and time again, has proved its greatest disappointment. - Description from Syndetics

Woman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political Culture
by Sheeler, Kristina Horn; Anderson, Karrin Vasby

9781623490102Kristina Horn Sheeler; Karrin Vasby AndersonWoman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political CultureWhat elements of American political and rhetorical culture block the imaginingOCoand thus, the electingOCoof a woman as president? Examining both major-party and third-party campaigns by women, including the 2008 campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, the authors of "Woman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political Culture" identify the factors that limit electoral possibilities for women. Pundits have been predicting womenOCOs political ascendency for years. And yet, although the 2008 presidential campaign featured Hillary Clinton as an early frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination and Sarah Palin as the first female Republican vice-presidential nominee, no woman has yet held either of the top two offices. The reasons for this are complex and varied, but the authors assert that the question certainly encompasses more than the shortcomings of women candidates or the demands of the particular political moment. Instead, the authors identify a pernicious backlash against women presidential candidatesOCoone that is expressed in both political and popular culture. In "Woman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political Culture," Kristina Horn Sheeler and Karrin Vasby Anderson provide a discussion of US presidentiality as a unique rhetorical role. Within that framework, they review womenOCOs historical and contemporary presidential bids, placing special emphasis on the 2008 campaign. They also consider how presidentiality is framed in candidate oratory, campaign journalism, film and television, digital media, and political parody." - Description from Syndetics

Party of the People: A History of the Democrats
by Witcover, Jules

9780375507427Jules WitcoverParty of the People: A History of the DemocratsAfter more than two centuries of sometimes stormy, always intriguing history, the Democratic Party of the United States survives as the oldest political organization in the world. InParty of the People, veteran political chronicler Jules Witcover traces the Democratic Party's evolution, from its roots in the agrarian, individualistic concepts of Thomas Jefferson to its emergence as today's progressive party of social change and economic justice. Witcover describes the Democrats' dramatic struggle to deÞne themselves and shares with us half a century of personal observation of the party through its most turbulent times. First called, oddly enough, the Republican Party but later known as the Democratic-Republican Party and eventually the Democratic Party, this creature of Jefferson and James Madison evolved from an early ideological and personal struggle with the commerce-minded Alexander Hamilton. Seasoned by the populism of Andrew Jackson, the party was nearly undone by the "peculiar institution" of slavery in the South, which led to the birth of the rival Republican Party and to the Civil War. Half a century later, America emerged from World War I under Democrat Woodrow Wilson as a reluctant international player, and from World War II under Franklin Roosevelt as a liberal bastion and global superpower. In the civil rights revolution, the party shed much of its racist past, but subsequent white middle-class resentments and the divisive Vietnam War opened the door to a rival conservatism that effectively demon-ized Democratic liberalism. Defensively, the party under Bill Clinton sought safer centrist ground and seemed on the brink of establishing a "third way," until the disastrous 2000 electoral college defeat of Al Gore left the Democrats shaken and splintered. As the new century emerges, they are debating whether to return to their liberal roots, setting themselves clearly apart from the Republicans, or press on with the centrist pursuit of a broader, less liberal constituency. InParty of the People(a perfect companion toGrand Old Partyby Lewis L. Gould, a history of the Republicans published simultaneously by Random House), Jules Witcover offers a rich and comprehensive popular history of the ideas, struggles, and key Þgures that have deÞned the Democratic Party over the past two hundred years and are now - Description from Syndetics

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