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Deliver the Vote: A History of Election Fraud, an American Political Tradition-1742-2004 Paperback – August 10, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Covering much the same territory as Andrew Gumbel's recent Steal This Vote, Campbell highlights the imperfect aspects of American elections, covering such known problems as the undemocratic practices of the urban political machines during their heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. But even as late as 1987, according to Barrett, the price of a vote in a Kentucky race could reach $200. He also retells the oft-forgotten story of alleged vote buying for John Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election. With the wealth of evidence that Campbell has amassed, there's little doubt that the goal of free and fair elections has not always been met in American history. Nor, as the disputed election of 2000 shows, does this problem seem to be going away. But Campbell (The Politics of Despair: Power and Resistance in the Tobacco Wars) lumps together systemic problems, such as denying women and blacks the right to vote, with illegal transgressions, like vote buying. At the same time, he fails to acknowledge the advances made by American democracy, perhaps because this would weaken his case that the "process itself was deeply corrupted and had been so for over two hundred years."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* According to Campbell, buying votes, stuffing or destroying ballots, moving polling locations, transposing results, importing illegal voters from other towns or states, and suppressing, disenfranchising, and sometimes killing voters comprises a long, sordid tradition in American political culture. Despite all the changes in the mechanics of voting and the apparent safeguards, how has fraud--flagrant and subtle--persisted, Campbell asks. The answer, so Campbell argues, is a deeply embedded culture within American politics that considers cheating fully justifiable. The author indicates that those contributing to this "culture of corruption" have not been limited to cigar-chomping party bosses. Precinct captains, poll officials, and police officers were involved, as well as teachers, lawyers, and clergy. Campbell insists that his aim is to use selected examples from various eras and locales to describe how this culture has developed and survived over the years, believing that the solution is to be aware that there is a problem and to confront the truth that election fraud has been a common component in our nation's electoral history. The book's conclusions lead to the realization that election fraud is a crime that usually pays, which will come as no surprise to most readers; but the author's meticulously researched book stands without rivals as the most balanced and comprehensive on the subject. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; First Trade Paper Edition edition (August 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786718439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786718436
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #941,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have given this book five stars because, quite simply, it has changed the way I view American democracy. It is not news that election fraud has occurred in a number of local and national elections, but what is extremely enlightening is to learn that there has existed and still exists in this country a surprisingly large subculture that has engaged in election fraud on a regular basis and that has successfully thwarted the will of the people at numerous times and numerous locations for over two hundred years. Mr. Campbell produces a very large volume of documented cases of massive vote fraud, spanning Florida to California and Washington to Bush, which has the cumulative effect of changing one's perspective on the way elections have been conducted in this country. It is an illness that has been largely ignored, yet is so pervasive as to threaten the very foundation of our democracy. Mr. Campbell has brought this to light very effectively, with solid and extensive research; and he has delivered the information in a highly engaging way, incorporating a wry sense of humor. Perhaps the most interesting effect of reading this book, in the end, is the realization that its very existence is armor against the tyranny which could come from a system that gets too far out of hand.
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Format: Hardcover
Most honest people tend to believe that good laws ensure good government. This is not true. Good laws are worth nothing more than the paper they are printed on if not adequately defended by good people who believe in them. As an outside example, Lincoln violated our Constitution in the short term in order to preserve it in the long term. Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney declared a major Lincoln act illegal, and Lincoln ignored him, and so did everybody else who mattered, and then Taney did not matter.

Our voting rights are precious. They are based on the history of nearly a thousand years. But rights are hard to gain and easy to lose. From long before the beginning of our current government system slick crooks have done their best to abuse, for their own advantage, the voting rights of honest citizens.

"Deliver the vote" tells much of that story. It is especially important in view of recent voting controversies. It is important to the survival of our system that everybody understand that there have always been plenty of people willing to do almost anything to "Deliver the vote." And it is important that all understand that this is still the case.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not what I would call a fun read and the flow of the book from beginning to end is a little disjointed. That being, said a lot of great history is being presented. Read this book and you will know that elections in America have been rigged from the start.
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