Buy New
$119.19
Qty:1
  • List Price: $165.00
  • Save: $45.81 (28%)
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
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 this image

Spoiling for a Fight: Third-Party Politics in America Hardcover – February 8, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0415931427 ISBN-10: 0415931428 Edition: 1st

Buy New
Price: $119.19
18 New from $22.16 36 Used from $0.01 1 Collectible from $99.95
Rent from Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
$11.87
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$119.19
$22.16 $0.01

Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student



Frequently Bought Together

Spoiling for a Fight: Third-Party Politics in America + Split: Class and Cultural Divides In American Politics
Price for both: $143.32

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE
Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (February 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415931428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415931427
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6.4 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,520,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Focusing, to a large degree, on Ralph Nader's highly publicized but unsuccessful bit for the presidency, Sifry, a former editor at the Nation, charts the history and potential of third-party politics in the United States. Arguing with intelligence, a massive array of facts and a sly wit, Sifry claims that our two-party system is a "duopoly" that decisively dictates national politics through control of federal money and does not reflect the views or needs of many Americans. Casting a wide political and sociological net, he explicates the rise of "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore politics;" explains how third-party candidates can circumvent the lack of federal funding (Ross Perot and his Reform Party had other sources of funding), and a party's lack of profile (Jesse Ventura's American Reform Party relied on the former wrestler's name recognition and an appeal to a working-class constituency). Sifry also documents how alternative groups such as the Green Party or the Working Families Party can work through their constituents' differences to find common goals. In this debut book, Sifry presents a vivid tapestry of the problems faced by, as well as the enormous potential promise of, alternative political parties. Always optimistic, Sifry is never naeve (he details with precision how the Gore campaign countered Nader's popularity by addressing issues raised by the latter without ever integrating them into the Democratic platform) and presents a balanced, important and enlightened new way to think through the political process. (Feb.)Forecast: Sifry's study is a bit too dense for most general readers, who will more likely turn to Ralph Nader's own Crashing the Party (Forecasts, Dec. 17, 2001).

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

For anyone interested in learning about alternatives to the two major American parties, this book is definitely worth reading. Sifry, currently a senior analyst with Public Campaign, a nonprofit election reform group, writes with compassion, if not always balance, about the voter's need for more electoral choices. He chronicles the development of Ross Perot's Reform Party, including Jesse Ventura's successful organization in Minnesota, Ralph Nader's Green Party, and the Working Families Party in New York State. The stories are enriched with quotes and insights from candidates and key players. However, the author fails to explain the drawbacks associated with changes in electoral laws that would permit small parties to win office (i.e., a parliamentary-type system), namely, multiparty coalitional governments, more extremist candidates (some of whom would gain office, as in Switzerland, Austria, and Israel), and further fragmentation of the American electorate. Still, Sifry's work dovetails nicely with Gordon S. Black and Benjamin Black's The Politics of American Discontent (LJ 4/15/94) and is also more readable than that book. Should the reader seek a more balanced and analytical account, Steven J. Rosentone and others' Third Parties in America (Princeton Univ., 1996. 2d ed.) is a classic. Recommended for all public and academic libraries. Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, PA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
5
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 7 customer reviews
If you're a political junkie like me, it's a good read.
S. T. Sullivan
The author teaches us that Americans certainly do want more choice (as well as honesty in politics) but third parties have a way to go.
Robert David STEELE Vivas
This book contains a riveting history of the Reform Party during the period 1996-2000.
Richard L. Winger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Winger on March 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book contains a riveting history of the Reform Party during the period 1996-2000. It seems to be the only book which has this history. It tells how Ross Perot lost control of the Reform Party to Pat Buchanan.
There's plenty of other fascinating material in the book also, especially about the Green Party, and new material about how Jesse Ventura was elected Governor of Minnesota in 1998, and about how a majority of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court are hostile to new and minor political parties (this conclusion is clear from Sifry's account of the Forbes debate decision, and the Twin Cities Area decision about "fusion").
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Retired Reader on May 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent, if anecdotal, analysis of the third party political movements that have arose during the last twenty years. Sifry is perceptive and mostly objective journalist who provides an apparently accurate anatomy of the fortunes of third parties starting with Jessie Ventura's unlikely campaign for Governor. He is especially good in his dissection of the Reform Party (Ross Perot) and the Green Party (Ralph Nader) both of which gained national prominence briefly. In the end the U.S. political `establishment' consisting of mainstream media, the established parties and the special interests supporting both proved to be too formidable for these pesky outsiders.

Yet as Sifry demonstrates that is not the whole story. The third parties of Perot and to a lesser extent Nader were built on very fragile foundations. Perot in the end did much to undermine his own chances because of his desire for complete party control and paranoia over losing that control. Nader did not have the charisma to match his unflinching honesty and dedication. Both the Reform Party and the Green Party failed to develop a truly compelling national vision and a cadre of dedicated zealots to promote that vision. This made both vulnerable to the pressures of the established parties that do offer national visions, however flawed, and cadres of true believers to promote their visions.

Sifry is clearly in sympathy with the idea of a third party challenger to the entrenched interests represented by both Democrats and Republicans (which he refers to as the "Duopoly"). He attempts to point the way to actually establishing a viable third party, but this reader was left thinking that his heart was just not in it.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. Olsen on June 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is easily one of the best books on late 20th century third party politics out there. As a journalist who covers third parties this election year, I found this book to be immesely helpful in its analysis of the Reform Party effort as well as a superb account of Nader's unsuccessful 2000 run. If you are reading just one book on third party politics, this should be it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. T. Sullivan on January 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is, I am pretty sure, the only thing close to a complete history of third parties in U.S. electoral politics in the 20th century. I picked this one up because of a paper I was writing, but it was so interesting, I ended up reading the whole thing.

The Green and Reform Parties and especially Nader's 2000 run take up a lot of this book. But there is still a lot of room for other, smaller, groups. (Though you will see more left than right. The Labor Party and the Working Families Party figure relatively prominently, the Libertarian party, not so much.) There is also plenty of smart thinking on what the domination of electoral politics by two parties means for the way elections play out. If you're a political junkie like me, it's a good read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Search