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Breaking the Political Glass Ceiling: Women and Congressional Elections (Women in American Politics) 2nd Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415964739
ISBN-10: 0415964733
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Editorial Reviews

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"This engaging and accessible book provides a comprehensive account of the paths women have taken to Congress. Palmer and Simon’s finding that women are much more likely to win in certain types of districts than others demonstrates that opportunities are not yet equal for women congressional candidates. The expanded, second edition of Breaking the Political Glass Ceiling is a must read for scholars and practitioners interested in congressional elections. Its timely analysis reveals the role of ambition, incumbency, and party in shaping women’s representation." -  Kira Sanbonmatsu, Senior Scholar, Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Associate Professor, Political Science, Rutgers University

"Barbara Palmer and Dennis Simon’s Breaking the Political Glass Ceiling provides a most extensive historical description of women and ambition in American politics and analysis of the contemporary experiences of women in the U.S. House and Senate and their quests for those positions. The methodological development of "women friendly" districts to explain the limits on the expansion of women’s numerical representation in our national legislature is an exceptionally fine conceptual and empirical advancement. They teach us much about the gains women have made as elected officials and the limitations on their achieving equality in political leadership positions." -  Barbara Burrell, Professor, Political Science, Northern Illinois University

"It's about time. Palmer and Simon masterfully scour modern history for the smoking gun behind why women continue to be hindered in their quest for integration into Congress." -  Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)

"You can't break through the glass ceiling unless you know where it is. Palmer and Simon have given women important research in an easily read and understood form that will help them locate the best places to break through. Knowing this past is essential to shaping our future...a future with more elected women." - Ann E. W. Stone, Republican activist and one of the founders of the National Women's History Museum

About the Author

Barbara Palmer is Assistant Professor of Government and Affiliated Faculty in the Women and Politics Institute at American University.

Dennis Simon is Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Political Science Department at Southern Methodist University.

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Product Details

  • Series: Women in American Politics
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (January 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415964733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415964739
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,535,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Julie Dolan on July 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
This extraordinary book is the most important book on women and congressional elections ever published. No other scholars have taken such a detailed and longitudinal look at women's fortunes running for the U.S. Congress and have posed so many essential, timely and important questions all in one place. This book is extremely well written and will be of interest to practitioners and academics alike.

The book is remarkable in a number of ways. First, Palmer and Simon's emphasis on the different campaign experiences of Democratic and Republican women running for Congress is long overdue and much needed. Second, their investigation of primary elections is key. By looking at women's experiences in both the primary and general elections, Palmer and Simon fill an important gap and are sure to spawn a great deal of additional research. Finally, their analysis of woman-against-woman races and their conclusion that female incumbents tend to stimulate female competition is quite astute. They quite convincingly demonstrate that female incumbents are perceived as being weaker than they really are, both by the opposing party and by potential challengers within their own party. This finding is important because it underscores just how uneven the playing field is for female politicians.

Palmer and Simon have set a new standard for scholarship on women running for Congress with this book. A must read!
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Format: Paperback
This book presents the most comprehensive data to date about women running for political office in the United States. This is a must-read not only for political science types, but also for the average person interested in women and politics. Palmer and Simon did a great job combining statistics and analysis with personal anecdotes that make the material personal and meaningful. Hopefully, women reading this book will find motivation to take steps to run for office themselves and help this country achieve electoral equality. 51% of the population, 14% of the representation is not enough.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Palmer was a professor of mine at American University and her book captivated my attention and opened my eyes to the many hurdles women in politics face. The many stories that her and Simon captured ever since women had been running for office were hilarious, heart-breaking, and inspiring. Their presentation of the data on advantages incumbents have demystifies why only 16% of the seats in the US House as well as the US Senate are held by women.

This book should be read by everyone, but especially by those who wish to see a more equal representation in Washington!
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