"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"
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