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Freedom Is Not Enough: Black Voters, Black Candidates, and American Presidential Politics (American Political Challenges)

ISBN-13: 978-0742548060
ISBN-10: 0742548066
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Assessing black political power from the start of the civil rights era to the aftermath of the 2004 election, Walters (Black Presidential Politics in America) shows how the ongoing struggle for black voting power involves not just heroic individuals, but black-led committees and networks, some famous, some little known. Compared to the early 1960s, there are many more African-Americans in local office and in Congress, but black influence on presidential politics, Walters argues, comes only through "leverage"—when black primary candidates get enough power to bargain with the Democratic party and its nominee. The "new, bold and exciting" Jackson campaigns of 1984 (on which Walters worked) and 1988 did just that, in part because black churches supported them, in part because they felt like grassroots movements. Walters also illuminates recent electoral failures: in 2004, "difficulties Blacks experienced in attempting to vote were caused not by the mechanical aspects of voting but by human interference." Walters's prose can sound inflated or vague (he wants to "determine the impact of macro-system issues"), but his combination of statistics, theory, history and analysis puts a lot of crucial information in one place. (July)
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

Even as the nation prepares to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Walters maintains that many compelling issues regarding representation of minorities remain unanswered. The full potential of minority voting power remains unrealized as new impediments are put in place to undercut black voting power, creating the need to devise new strategies to maximize minority influence on elections. Walters, a professor of government and politics, explores the leverage value of Jesse Jackson's presidential campaigns, the realignment of southern politics, the apparent dilution of black voting power in the 1990s and in the 2000 presidential election, and the need for election reform to overcome existing barriers. Walters also examines shifting alliances between black voters and the Democratic and Republican Parties, and suggests strategies for enhancing the power of minority voters through multicultural alliances. A must-read for those interested in black voting power. Vernon Ford
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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