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The Almanac of American Politics, 2006 Paperback – June 1, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0892341122 ISBN-10: 0892341122 Edition: Revised

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Product Details

  • Series: Almanac of American Politics
  • Paperback: 1800 pages
  • Publisher: National Journal Group; Revised edition (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892341122
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892341122
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 2.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Bible of American politics" - George Will "Indispensable. This compendium of statistics and information has gone as far as humanly possible." - Washington Post "The ultimate guide for political junkies like you and me." - Tim Russert, Meet the Press; "Michael Barone is to politics what statistician-writer Bill James is to baseball, a mix of historian, social observer, and numbers cruncher who illuminates his subject with perspective and a touch of irreverence." - Chicago Tribune; "The single best reference there is for Congress and Washington specifically and the country generally." - Jim Lehrer, The NewsHour; "It's simply the oxygen of the political world. We have the most dog-eared copy in town." - Judy Woodruff, CNN"

About the Author

Michael Barone is senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Fox News Channel contributor.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 50 people found the following review helpful By PoliReviewer on August 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is the one-stop, must-read reference material for anyone with an interest in American politics. The book's narratives of the states, members of Congress are first-rate and can't be found anywhere else.
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37 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A. Lee on August 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
Mr. Barone is not your typical political reporter, he is America's best political analyst. Like an accountant, Mr. Barone can point out specifically which voting precinct in which state impacted elections. While others gab, Mr. Barone pulls out stats to back up his presentations.

Additionally, Mr. Barone has been doing this type of work publically, since 1980. His Almanac of American Politics is not a one-off political hack-job. His work contains the stats we depend upon, and his credibility is unimpeachable.

Those who should not read his work are those who are not happy with the direction the American electorate has been moving during the past 25 years. Whether it has been liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, doesn't matter to Mr. Barone, as he has reported all elections matter-of-factly, not with a spin. As socialism and liberal extremism dies out with the fading of the Baby Boomer generation, Mr. Barone merely reports it's decline. Some oldies won't like that.

I have been watching and reading this man's work for over 25 years, and he is without doubt the most unimpartial political reporter, and the most knowledgeable. This Almanac is like a textbook, it is worth every dime you spend on it.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey A. Sherman on October 5, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great resource. I particularly like the demographic data. I am merely a political junky and like to flip through for interesting nuggets. I imagine it can be put to more use for campaign consultants and other political professionals.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Charles F. Burke on September 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
I share the reservations of others here who remember the oldest

version of Almanac, written with Grant Ujifusa. The Almanac was fun, then: witty, balanced, wry, sharp. It spoke often to

the real worth--or lack of it--of the Congress members and Governors reported on. It dared to note who was a pompous charlatan and who was an unappreciated workhorse. Its criticism and encomiums seemed to me to be balanced. Now, unhappily, the reporting is bland, and radicalism of any kind is

decried--particularly on the left. Probably it sells more copies now--I know that it's much more expensive. It's worth it for the assemblage of data in a single place, but reads rather like the average telephone directory. Surely the dullards of today in Congress deserve to be as bitingly outed as the old Almanac began?
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andy on September 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Michael Barone has edited this screed for over 25 years now. I first started reading this book in the early 90s as a political and geography junkie. A look at the cover one would expect it to be a straightforward encyclopedic reference guide to congressional districts and biographies of our elected representatives. Alas, while reading subsequent editions (especially after the '94 election!) I kept thinking "Is it me or is this guy biased?". Well, it wasn't me. Barone is not the most fringy or even inflammatory of right-wing pundits. However, I still think he is one of the worst and most sinister righties out there. There is something about his champion-of-the-overdog and free-market-absolutist mentality that is just disgusting to me. He cloaks it in a veneer of supposed fact-spouting. The reality, however, is Barone is obsessed with a certain vision of America: A vision that glorifies money-making and free-market absolutism above ALL ELSE, one that scorns environmental stewardship as the mamby-pamby invention of supposedly out-of-touch eastern "elitists", one that thinks government itself is almost the source of all evil and dysfunction, and that the military and war-mongering jingoism and ultra-hawk cowboy diplomacy are just misunderstood virtues distorted by the SCLM ("so called liberal media") and those damn European countries are on the road to ruin and that we should try so hard to avoid becoming like them. I live in Massachusetts and my state naturally is a favorite target of Barone's. He writes in a smug, condescending tone in edition after edition about how Massachusetts (read: Massachusetts LIBERALS) is tired, irrelevant, a thing of the past, "discredited", "out of touch with the rest of the country"(TM), etc. etc. (his Mass.Read more ›
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By John H. on February 7, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a political science professor and I own every edition of AAP going back to 1976. It's a great resource on Congress, national politics, current issues and descriptions of states and Congressional districts. You could read this book as a travelogue and learn something interesting about every Congressional district in America. Unlike CQ's "Politics in America," which is also great, AAP includes governors and state issues along with Congress and national issues. Michael Barone's increasing editorial drift to the right in his other work over the years has in no way affected the quality or the content of the Almanac of American Politics.
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25 of 39 people found the following review helpful By W. F. Gray on January 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
I became a fan of this series back in the 1970's, beginning with its first edition. At that time, it had 3 authors, and the net effect of their input was very balanced, extremely interesting commentary.

As time passed, I stopped buying the book, but when I became a librarian I recommended that my library purchase it every two years. Now I am the one who makes the purchasing decisions, and after buying, or recommending the purchase of, every edition since 1994, I have regretfully decided not to buy this one.

What remains good about this series is the facts, the statistics, the ratings of members of Congress--anything that does not involve real judgment. But those are available elsewhere.

It was only with the 2004 edition that I really noticed how much this series has changed. The narratives, which constitute the bulk of the book and used to be the highlight of it, are now completely dominated by Michael Barone's conservative point of view. There is no leavening process left here. A co-author is listed, but it must be someone who agrees with Mr. Barone down the line.

And that is a pity, because this was a really fine series for many years, as much for the narrative as anything. I am going to be looking for another source for the facts and figures in the future, because this is now, as someone wrote below, the Red State Almanac. I suppose someone else might come up with a Blue State Almanac. But that is not what we need--more polarization, more one-sidedness disguised as balance. We need for Michael Barone to find someone who will counterbalance his point of view with a different one and then sit down and iron out a narrative that combines them. It was done in the 70's, and it can be done now.

Were I to continue to buy this book, I would have to buy another one to balance it out. What a pity to see this decline in such interesting political times.
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