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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2009
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
on November 26, 2010
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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on January 2, 2002
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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on January 30, 2001
This was an excellent book. The authors took an extensive look at the shift in the approach to politics today and examined how the shift stems out of history; including references to political parties and the media. The book explains, in an insightful way, how the current focus on prosecution of political figures has contributed to electoral decay. This book includes fascinating insight into the current political situation and how we have arrived at this point. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in why our politics seems to have decayed to the negative state it is at now.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2007
This book is a good explanation of political battle without the electorate being involved. It reveals some of the more tragic but interesting and lesser known political methods in use today. It is informative but not uplifting.
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on February 6, 2015
NEEDED IT FAST FOR SCHOOL CAME PRETTY QUICK
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