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Politics by Other Means: Politicians, Prosecutors, and the Press from Watergate to Whitewater (Third Edition) Paperback – September 3, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0393977639 ISBN-10: 0393977633 Edition: Third Edition
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Editorial Reviews

Review

As fresh at the day's headlines....[an] important and sharply written book. -- E. J. Dionne

About the Author

Benjamin Ginsberg is the David Bernstein Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies at the Johns Hopkins University. He is the author or coauthor of 25 books, including Presidential Power: Unchecked and Unbalanced; Downsizing Democracy: How America Sidelined Its Citizens and Privatized Its Public; Politics by Other Means; The Consequences of Consent; The Worth of War; and The Captive Public. Ginsberg received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1973. Before joining the Hopkins faculty in 1992, Ginsberg was Professor of Government at Cornell. His most recent books are The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters; What the Government Thinks of the People; and Analytics, Policy and Governance.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Third Edition edition (September 3, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393977633
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393977639
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #599,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By briany on December 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is very provocative, insightful, and even rather disheartening. It does a great job breaking down the ways that political parties and the branches of the American government function and interact. The authors make a very bold claim that America has descended into a state of "pseudo-" or "semi-democracy," and they substantiate this claim with very pertinent and convincing evidence. Much of the political literature I've experience has been bogged down with political biases of the respective authors; but this book fortunately supersedes political ideology and simply tells it like it is. In my opinion, this should be read by every American.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Farrell on November 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very helpful in filling in the cracks, I grew up during this time period but was too young to understand why everything seemed so significant thet my father insisted on watching the evening news each night. Great book for anyone interested in why the 70's was so significant in politics
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Format: Paperback
Benjamin Ginsberg and Martin Shefter have written a thorough recounting of the last thirty years in American political life. The authors' views are interesting as well as provocative. Most notably, their thesis that the United States has entered a postelectoral era where the importance of elections is eclipsed by instruments of political combat. And the practitioners of this combat while perfecting these weapons have failed to mobilize voters, which has had a deleterious effect on party organizations, and has lead to deadlock in government.
There are points that the authors could pursue that would strengthen this work. It would be worthwhile to note that low voter turnout, particularly in the case of primary elections, works to create nominees of the more extreme wings of the parties. If more voters than just the party faithful were to show up perhaps deadlock and institutional combat would be precluded. But the authors seem to blame the failure of voter mobilization on the leaders rather than on the disinterested electorate.
Another notion that could be suggested is that the United States has entered another "Gilded Age" where there are no over-arching issues around which consensus can be reached. Isn't it possible that this combat may be a result of the end of the Cold War? Didn't a new power structure need to be created in that vacuum?
Additionally, the authors write of the media and its rise to power but fail to fully explore the increased capacity, or presence, of the current wall-to-wall coverage.
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