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American Political Parties and Elections: A Very Short Introduction

Second Edition

L. Sandy Maisel

23 June 2016

ISBN: 9780190458164

208 pages

In Stock

Very Short Introductions

Price: £8.99



Few Americans and even fewer citizens of other nations understand the electoral process in the United States. The second edition of this Very Short Introduction offers an up-to-date overview of American political parties and elections, providing an insider's view of how the system actually works while shining a light on some of its flaws.

  • A former candidate for Congress and a Democratic Party activist, L. Sandy Maisel is one of the best known and prolific scholars in the field of American political parties.
  • Provides an insider view of the paradoxical aspects of the American electoral system, demonstrating how these flaws lead to an ineffective and undemocratic democratic system.
  • As another election year approaches, this updated edition allows a better understaning of American electoral system.

About the Author(s)

L. Sandy Maisel, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Government, Colby College

L. Sandy Maisel is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Government at Colby College. From 2003 to 2012, he was Director of the Goldfarb Center of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at Colby College. A former candidate for Congress, Maisel is the author or editor of 15 books on political parties and elections, including including Parties and Elections in America: The Electoral Process, Two Parties or More? and The Parties Respond: Changes in American Parties and Campaigns. He is also a frequent commentator on contemporary politics.

Table of Contents

    1 The context of American elections and political parties
    2 A brief history of American political parties
    3 Party organizations: What do they look like? What do they do?
    4 Who are Republicans? Who are Democrats? Who are the "others"?
    5 Presidential elections: Nominating campaigns and general elections
    6 Subnational nominations and elections
    7 Far from the perfect democracy
    Further reading