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Epic Journey: The 2008 Elections and American Politics Paperback – August 11, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0742561366 ISBN-10: 0742561364 Edition: 1 edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; 1 edition edition (August 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742561364
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742561366
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,373,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Here's a useful book, by three academics, for all readers wishing to further understand the 2008 presidential campaign—and for those who think they already understand it! Although a Democrat was expected to win the presidency, the journey to that outcome was full of surprises; back stories, circumstances, strategies, and results are all described and objectively analyzed here. There is also a chapter on the congressional and state elections, and a conclusion—about the future. All readers will come away feeling as clearheaded as these writers, a tribute to their work.—Margaret Heilbrun (MH), Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

From beginning to end, twists, detours, and surprises are the story of the 2008 election as it is retold and analyzed in this work. Hats off to Ceaser, Busch, and Pitney for a lively and excellent account! (David R. Mayhew, Sterling Professor of political science, Yale University)

Here's a useful book, by three academics, for all readers wishing to further understand the 2008 presidential campaign—and for those who think they already understand it! ...All readers will come away feeling as clearheaded as these writers, a tribute to their work. (Library Journal, Starred Review, April 2009)

Praise for James W. Ceaser and Andrew E. Busch's previous election studies: Ceaser and Busch do an excellent job of placing the 2000 election into a broader context of elections and politics in the United States over time..... (Library Journal)

The authors offer a thorough academic and political analysis of both the Democratic and Republican primaries, as well as the significance of 2008's state and congressional contests. The authors also offer a careful analysis of the institutional issues that surfaced after last year's campaign. (Campaigns & Elections)

Once again the authors have produced a clear, comprehensive, and accurate account of the recent election. It is well grounded in the literature but unburdened by jargon. Epic Journey is a first rate book for students of politics and the general public. (Mel Kulbicki, York College of Pennsylvania)

Praise for James W. Ceaser and Andrew E. Busch's previous election studies:Red Over Blue is a fair, accurate, and insightful account of the 2004 election and a worthy successor to the authors' previous books on 1996 and 2000. Ceaser and Busch are fast becoming the 'scholars of record' of presidential campaigns. (John C. Green, University of Akron)

Praise for James W. Ceaser and Andrew E. Busch's previous election studies:Ceaser and Busch do an excellent job of placing the 2000 election into a broader context of elections and politics in the United States over time. (Library Journal)

Discussing the effects of George W. Bush's term, Epic Journey is a fine historical read that will give readers a more complete and comprehensive understanding of the recent past. Epic Journey is a fine addition to any political collection. (Midwest Book Review, August 2009)

Readers of all political persuasions will appreciate this book for its detailed look at an incredible election year. (Magill Book Reviews)

Three political scientists trace Barack Obama's amazing journey from obscure Illinois legislator to leader of the free world in a measured, insightful account….Readers of all political persuasions will appreciate this book for its detailed look at an incredible election year. Three political scientists trace Barack Obama's amazing journey from obscure Illinois legislator to leader of the free world in a measured, insightful account….Readers of all political persuasions will appreciate this book for its detailed look at an incredible election year. (Salem Press)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jerome F. Climer on April 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
After a yearlong bombardment of spin and simplistic explanations of what was happening in the 2008 campaigns, serious readers needed objectivity and scholarly review of those elections and that is what they get in Epic Journey. While the author's attention to the presidential campaign is both natural and justified, the analysis of congressional and state elections found in Chapter Six is most useful and well presented. The final chapter, Seven, addressing potential campaign and electoral ramifications of this past campaign on future campaigns, is most thought provoking. From insightful observations about the future of the Electoral College debate, to recognition that the 2008 campaign probably changed the campaign-finance system permanently, to issues like early voting and registration fraud, the authors make the book more than just a review of the long campaign of 2008. The entire read is comfortable and escapes most of the academic-sounding jargon. The authors do a nice job of refuting a number of relevant misconceptions about political history and some common wisdom repeated throughout the campaign. If there is a weakness, it may be in the insufficient attention they gave to the economic downturn that was revealing itself in the late summer and early fall of 2008.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
No one would have guessed a black man could take the White House two years ago. "Epic Journey: The 2008 Elections and American Politic" tells the story of the 2008 presidential election and how it's a historical snapshot of American politics. Discussing the effects of George W. Bush's term, "Epic Journey" is a fine historical read that will give readers a more complete and comprehensive understanding of the recent past. "Epic Journey" is a fine addition to any political collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fred Friedman on June 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed reading Epic Journey. It was an easy read that examines the political history leading up to the 2008 Democratic windfall. The authors do a great job presenting the facts and forces that had given the Republicans their moral majority following Reagan and how they lost it. It was as entertaining as it was full of facts and concise political analysis.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Kunka on July 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ceasar presents a solid and readable enough presentation of the facts that I really can't quarrel with (Most of it I remember on my own). Perhaps that's why I really couldn't get that into this as a self-proclaimed "analysis" of the 2008 election from a historical perspective. Ceasar does do a great job putting the election poll numbers, demographics, finances, and electoral college functioning in historical context. In my opinion, the last chapter of the book should have been left out.

It's only 2010, and the repercussions of the election are pretty much all hypothetical to this point. Ceasar diverges on some interesting thought experiments about what the future might hold, but to be honest his assumptions are just that, not analysis, at least not until the mid-terms coming up in November.

Moreover, it's in the final chapter when Ceasar is musing that he sort of tips his hand as he gets carried away with how the Republicans may reclaim power by playing it careful and allowing the Democrats to self-destruct (a point that arguably had some prescience as of this writing in August).

The bottom-line is that this book is solid for its data, but the analysis of the failures of the various candidates, where not obvious, where certainly only a matter of perspective rather than absolute truth. There exist any number of explanations for why other candidates did not succeed, none of which are mentioned as competing theories. As such, the analysis feels more like a bathroom than a picture window into what went on culturally and socially in the 2008 election. For example, the author all but dismisses race as a factor in the election, which, following the news as I did for the entire 2007-2008 primary and general election season, I find incredibly hard to believe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By aimee0605 on June 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good read and it is written well. Pretty easy to understand and doesn't get boring too often. I enjoyed it (:
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