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The Almanac of American Politics, 2004 Paperback – September 1, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0892341061 ISBN-10: 0892341068 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"September 11 changed everything." How often have we heard or thought that since that awful morning? Yet for 14 months, September 11 seemed to have changed very little in American politics; the nation's electorate still seemed split evenly between the parties, divided along cultural lines. But as the results of the 2002 elections came in, it became clear that something had indeed changed, as Republicans made down-the-line gains from the statehouses to Capitol Hill.

The Republican romp is only one of the topics treated in the 2004 edition of "the bible of American politics." In his introduction to this new edition, Michael Barone describes how and why the nation came to elect Republican majorities in both the House of Representatives and Senate in 2002--and what it will mean for politics and governance. Barone's introduction leads off the completely redesigned Almanac of American Politics 2004, which contains all the information journalists, politicians, academics, and citizens have come to expect from the nation's leading political reference work. With insightful and colorful profiles of every governor and every member of Congress as well as updated narrative profiles filled with economic, social, historical and political background information about all 50 states and 435 House districts, The Almanac of American Politics remains the indispensable guide to the American political scene. The 2004 edition also includes a look at how redistricting will alter American politics over the course of the next decade; photographs of all 535 members of Congress and the 50 governors; and voting records on important legislation, including congressional vote ratings by National Journal and a dozen influential interest groups.

More Feature of the 2004 Almanac

* Updated Census data and richly detailed congressional district maps

* 2002 election results for each member of Congress

* 2004 election analysis

* Presidential results by state and by congressional district

About the Author

Michael Barone, senior writer at U.S. News & World Report, is a regular panelist on The McLaughlin Group and is a Fox News Channel contributor.
Richard E. Cohen has 26 years of experience covering Captiol Hill as National Journal's congressional correspondent. He is the 1990 winner of the prestigious Everett McKinely Dirksen Award for distringuished reporting on Congress and the author of several books about Congress, including a 1999 biography of former Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski.

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Product Details

  • Series: Almanac of American Politics
  • Paperback: 1800 pages
  • Publisher: National Journal Group; 1 edition (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892341068
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892341061
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 2.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,015,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. Sullivan on August 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is the first time that I've purchased this series of almanacs by Michael Barone. After surveying the book for awhile (obviously it'd be impractical to just sit down and read it through), the information you get isn't really "exclusive" or "hard to find." This almanac isn't for someone looking for that sort of information - everything in this book can be easily accessed through various websites.
So what earns this book a 5/5? Well, it puts all sorts of information in one place. Racial demographics of congressional districts, bios of legislators, and financial information are all available in this book, and easily found since Barone organizes all information by state. An index is provided if you're unsure of what CD a particular Congressman might be in.
Purchasing this book also gives you access to the Almanac's website, which gives you electronic versions of the last few editions of the almanac as well as the current one. What would be nice is if National Journal offered this online access at a lower price in lieu of purchasing the book... but overall, it's a must have for anyone that follows politics.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mark B. Cohen on January 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Before The Almanac of American Politics came along in the late 1960's, Congress was widely seen as either an impenetrable series of arcane rules, procedures, rituals, and conflicts which only experts could understand in detail--the prevailing view of political scientists--or a bunch of oddball characters who occasionally hindered or unjustly attracted attention from the great men serving as President--the prevailing view of journalists.

The Alamanac of American Politics created a new and more accurate paradigm. The workings of Congress, it said, were comprehensible to informed and intelligent people. The personalities of Members of Congress, while occasionally idiosyncratic, were generally integrated with the purposeful actions members of Congress were taking on behalf of their geographical constituencies, their supporters, and their visions of local and national interests.

In short, Members of Congress were rational actors acting within both a geographic and national context. Tip O'Neill's famous saying--"All politics are local"--was only partly true. All politics was also national. Citizens with national goals only had to find citizens with local sensitivites who shared their national goals to oppose incumbent Members of Congress.

Congress is a far more competitive and short-tenured organization than it was before this series was written.

Without The Almanac of American Politics, there would have been far fewer anti-war and pro-enviroment challenges in the early 1970's. The Democratic gains of 1974 and 1976 would have been far less sweeping. So would the Republican gains of 1980, 1994, and 2002. Had this series never been written, you never would have heard of Newt Gingrich.
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14 of 26 people found the following review helpful By M. Potter on October 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
As he's done for the past 30 years, Mr Barone & company give us a decent snapshot of each district, member of Congress and Governor. His conservative bias shines through, but he still does a fairly good job. Congressional Quarterly's equivalent does a better job of describing each district and seems unbiased, yet the Almanacs of American Politics are a bit less dry.
It's a good reference point for C-SPAN junkies or anyone else interested in the workings of our government.
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20 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Jim on June 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book would deserve a higher rating except for the fact that what makes it most appealing - the in-depth essays about states and districts and their elected officials - is shot through with the bias of Mr. Barone.

The book is rife with loaded phrases and backhanded compliments about Democrats and any person on the left. "Pro-choice" gets called a "brilliant euphemism", but there's no similar samrt-alecky comments about "pro-life" (even though the question of "life" is what the debate is all about). Every Democrat's base is - guess who? - the teachers unions and the trial lawyers. This is like saying George Bush does everything because Karl Rove told him to. The book has loads of this sort of conservative claptrap and bias. Republicans get full treatments of their earnest struggle to do right in an imperfect world; Democrats get brushed off by noting how they politicized some issue.

Until the editors get a fair writer, or Cohen starts speaking up more, this book will remain a shadow of what it could be.
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