Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Qty:1
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Politics in the Trenches:... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Very heavy cover wear. A bit of highlighting/notes. Pages have no tears. Some pages have a crease mark. USED book stickers. Binding is nice and tight.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Politics in the Trenches: Citizens, Politicians, and the Fate of Democracy Paperback – January 1, 2001

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$22.95
$19.61 $0.01

Conservative Election Politics
Going Red: The Two Million Voters Who Will Elect the Next President--and How Conservatives Can Win Them
Going Red: The Two Million Voters Who Will Elect the Next President--and How Conservatives Can Win Them
Going Red: The Two Million Voters Who Will Elect the Next President--and How Conservatives Can Win Them
$22.95 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Politics in the Trenches: Citizens, Politicians, and the Fate of Democracy
  • +
  • By the People: Debating American Government
Total price: $91.08
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Writing from the perspective of a political practitioner, Volgy presents a narrative aimed at correcting the negative stereotype of politicians as corrupt, inept, self-serving, and lazy. Concentrating mostly on the work of local elected officials, Volgy provides a summary and analysis of different types of local political systems, the salaries and duties of local officials, and a sketch of the complex schedule facing leaders on a typical day. . . . This brief book is well-written, and Volgy's personal story as a first-generation immigrant who escaped Hungary with his parents is compelling. . . . Recommended for general readers." —Choice

From the Inside Flap

Ask most Americans what they think of politics and you'll likely get an earful. With suspicion and distrust of public servants running high, many citizens seem dispirited by the very process that has made the United States a showcase for democracy. Now ask Tom Volgy. This former mayor of a major western city, who is also a political scientist, contends that most elected officials are the very opposite of what the public thinks: honest, hardworking people whose real work goes unnoticed by most of their constituents and the media. Volgy has interviewed more than 300 elected officials--mayors, city council members, legislators--from all over the United States to offer a decidedly contrarian view of politics. He explores the lives and working conditions of elected officials at the local level-- the area of democracy closest to the public-- to show that officeholders are for the most part average citizens, not the slick lawyers or political pros we usually imagine them to be. Most are motivated by a sense of civic duty, and they often work for token salaries, yet once elected they give up their personal lives and fall prey to every conceivable brickbat of public and media outrage. In "Politics in the Trenches," Volgy shows what really happens behind the scenes of government. He contrasts perception with reality regarding the rewards and perks of office. He examines the process of experimentation in the political laboratory and shows how the news media distort it. He provides a case study of homelessness to illustrate the system's constraints and limitations. And he offers a chapter on a typical week in office that will be an eye-opener for most readers. Although admittedly there are manyflaws in the democratic political process, observes Volgy, all are correctable as long as citizens believe in the essential worth of the system itself. His book offers a fresh perspective on democratic governance and tackles tough issues such as campaign finance reform, urging citizens to understand the process before they condemn its players out of hand. More than that, this is a call to action, warning us that we could lose true democracy if we don't get involved.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Paperback: 199 pages
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816520860
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816520862
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,022,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
67%
4 star
33%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

By Jason W. Marchmon on August 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
"I lived in this community for twenty years, and everyone I came into contact with trusted and liked me. As soon as I got on the city council, it meant an instant loss of credibility. All of a sudden, anyone who didn't like what I was doing would immediately challenge my integrity and motives."

The above quote, unfortunately, appears to reflect the feelings of a majority of both the constituents and elected officials in the United States. In an effort to enlighten and elevate the average American citizen above the level of an armchair analyst, Thomas J. Volgy, after fourteen years in public office and a thirty year career as a political scientist, wrote Politics in the Trenches: Citizens, Politicians, and the Fate of Democracy.

"Politics is a constant process of conflict over values and policy positions". Everyone who's taken a government or civics class, has voted, or knows anyone in politics should know this. In Trenches, Volgy feels it's necessary that all citizens know and remember this point to continue the American democratic experiment. Without our social capital, our democracy "will wither and die." How true...

Volgy's most important ideas presented in Politics in the Trenches are (in no specific order): the Founding Fathers were pragmatists, rather than ideologues; local governance and involvement in the local laboratory is key to the connection between citizens and national ideologies, including direct democracy and representation; negative portrayals and simplification of complex issues in "time bites" by the American media create an artificial closeness; whether the news is actually useful; campaign finance is strongly needed to level the playing field and allow for a modest turnover so more people can be a part of the experiment.
Read more ›
1 Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I had to read this book for an Intro to Political Science course, and even though PolySci isn't my favorite subject, I really enjoyed this book. Volgy brings us in the daily life of a local politician, and we can witness first hand how they work a lot behind the scenes to make a better life within their communties. A lot of people (like me) are "free-riders" who don't really know a lot of how things in our communties happen. He also brings in how the media only covers interesting stuff, and doesn't give him enough time to really say what is going on. He has a 30 second window, to try to talk of what he is doing. Great book! I could not put it down...
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I must say I was nervous to have to read this book for my introduction to political science class. My first thought was, this is just going to be a typical political book attacking the other political party. Was I wrong or what? Politics in the Trenches talks about the positive things that political figures do behind the scenes. We are in a world where media has taken over many subjects. In this easy to read memoir, Thomas Volgy talks about his experience in office and it is a must read. Easy and great read that is full of knowledge and passion. I recommend this book for anyone who is not absorbed in the media and have an open mind.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Politics in the Trenches: Citizens, Politicians, and the Fate of Democracy
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
This item: Politics in the Trenches: Citizens, Politicians, and the Fate of Democracy