- Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more.
From the start, Witcover draws from "the two disciplines of contemplative history and contemporary or instant' history" to varying degrees of success. Party of the People is best when "instant" history holds sway, most notably in discussions of the Clinton and Gore presidential runs, where Witcover includes snippets of controversial speeches and press conferences. Earlier chapters, however, neglect primary source material under the pressure to summarize. Witcover's coverage of Andrew Jackson, for example, lacks direct citations that would bolster "Old Hickory's" reputation as a charismatic figure. While comprehensive at the federal executive level, the book is uneven in its treatment of the other levels and branches of government. Also, Witcover tends to underplay the role of slavery in the early history of the Democrats, especially in his explanations of Jefferson's "agrarian" virtue.
The book ends just as President George W. Bush has launched the war in Iraq and the Democratic candidates are lining up for the 2004 election. Looking ahead, Witcover sees the Democratic Party in a period of "identity crisis and dilemma." But, despite the contentious atmosphere between the liberal Campaign for America's Future and the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, he finds a common thread that connects modern Democrats to their founder, Thomas Jefferson: the "commitment to social and economic justice." While not perfect, Party of the People's treatment of the Democratic Party's quest for justice offers a valuable reference for students and educators. --Patrick O'Kelley
A very polished and informed history of the Democratic Party' sorely needed. While not trained as a historian, Wiitcover's book stands well in comparison with academic authors. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Richard P. Deranian
The Democrats used to be the party of the people until they became the party of the sick, depraved, illiterate, and dependent.Published 12 months ago by J. Droney
To begin with, Witcover is not a professional historian, but rather a veteran journalist who has covered Democratic politics for many decades. Read morePublished on December 24, 2004 by David Montgomery
I have not read this book, so please don't base your purchase on my review of this book. My comments are merely about the cover of this book and what that may say about the content... Read morePublished on May 13, 2004 by Alexander V Marriott
The problems with this book are threefold:
1. As has been pointed out by other reviewers, the author focusses almost all his attention on Democratic presidents and Democrats... Read more
I liked the book, but I found it very curious that Random House had to let a partisan liberal Democrat write the book on the Democrats, while allowing another partisan liberal... Read morePublished on February 15, 2004 by drohan00