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The Almanac of American Politics, 2006 Revised Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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?
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The outrageous list price for this item ($70 for 2006 and $75 for the 2008 edition) is a sad comment on the the high price of access to accountability in goverment. Read morePublished on June 8, 2007 by J. Mozdzen
This informative if biased political almanac provides a wealth of historical and demographic information about all 50 states, and every one of the 435 U.S. congressional districts. Read morePublished on April 21, 2007 by K.A.Goldberg
As one reads the various customer reviews, it becomes obvious that the commentary in this book is skewed sharply to the right. Read morePublished on May 10, 2006 by South End observer
This book is a great resource for graduate students in Political Science who major in American Politics!Published on March 13, 2006 by Gregory Rathje
I find this book as a helpful resource. It should be in every news junkies library. It becomes dog eared very quickly. I read some evaluations calling it biased. Read morePublished on March 5, 2006 by S. Douthit
Mr. Barone has burdened this wonderful resource with a partisan analysis that detracts from a work that should strive for insightful objectivity, or at least consensus centrism.Published on October 20, 2005 by Marcus Aurelius
This volume contains a wealth of information, but the bias is ruining it. I could give many examples, but one says it all. Read morePublished on September 25, 2005 by mark twain