From Publishers Weekly
If you want a straight story, says popular wisdom, the best place to get it is from the horses mouth. This hoary dictum has been heartily embraced by Pleasants (Orange Journalism: Voices from Florida Newspapers), a history professor at the University of Florida who offers a new take on the infamous presidential election of 2000. The majority of chapters consist of question-and-answer interviewsall but one conducted by the authorwith key figures in the Sunshine States election debacle. They include Supervisor of Elections Theresa "Madame Butterfly Ballot" LePore; St. Petersburg Times Tallahassee Bureau Chief Lucy Morgan; Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Tom Feeney; Florida Supreme Court Justice Major Harding; Judges Terry Lewis and Nikki Clark, who handed down critical decisions during the 36-day battle for votes; and Mac Stipanovich, a powerful Republican lobbyist and advisor to Secretary of State Katherine Harris. In addition to these Q&As, theres a concise introduction chronicling the events that ended with the federal Supreme Courts landmark decision, a helpful "cast of characters" section and a compendium of court cases and legal terms that comes in handy when navigating the judicial jungle surrounding the election. Pleasants is an able and astute interviewer, but the book contains a considerable amount of padding. Still, the volume is intriguing as a collection of primary observations, unvarnished and unfiltered by a secondary voice. Although the election results may forever remain in doubt, this is a worthwhile addition to the growing body of literature on the 2000 election.
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"Julian Pleasants has given us the definitive book on the disputed presidential election of 2000. Hanging Chads reveals how a badly flawed Florida ballot and the denial of a recount awarded the presidency to a candidate who lost by half a million votes in the popular count."--George McGovern, former U.S. Senator and 1972 Democratic Presidential Candidate
"Julian Pleasants has provided readers with a very valuable, well researched, and dispassionate story of the very controversial presidential election of 2000 in Florida. Combining an extended introduction with informative interviews with all of the key people involved in the disputed election, Pleasants allows readers to see for themselves how events transpired in 2000. His introduction alone is worth the price of this book. Anyone interested in his fascinating story of perhaps the closest election in American history must read this book."--Reubin O'D. Askew, Governor of Florida, 1971-1979