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on December 31, 2012
An excellent detailing of the story of the election, particularly the background and baggage that both men brought to the campaign. As you read this you'll see that what we're dealing with now in terms of the mud slinging and party lines isn't anything new, it's just on a larger scale. There's a quote from John Adams in the beginning pages that is pretty much prophesying the problems that the two party system causes. The author does an excellent job of painting clear portraits of Jackson and Adams, as well as bringing the story to life. A must read if you enjoy presidential bios or politics!
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on February 18, 2015
The title of this book implies that it explains the birth of modern politics, as in the birth of political parties. But what this book covers is not that, but rather a bio of Jackson and Adams and the 1824 campaign. It says very little about Martin Van Buren and what he did to create the Democratic party. I found the book too verbose with lots of details about things I didn't care about.
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on November 22, 2016
Short, intesting, and entertaining read. Good popular history on the Jackson Adams election which highlights the parallels with our current political climate
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on April 15, 2009
"Coordinated media, fund-raising, organized rallies, opinion polling, campaign paraphernalia, ethnic voting blocs, image making, even opposition research, smear tactics, and dirty tricks". Is this a description of a presidential campaign in the television age? No, it the description by Lynn Hudson Parsons of the practices (some in embryonic form) employed by those who campaigned for Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams in the presidential election of 1828, one of the most fascinating and most important elections in our nation's history.

In this volume, Parsons reviews some of the events in the decade leading up to 1828, such as the Panic of 1819 and the establishment of the Monroe Doctrine, and relates how Jackson and Adams each arrived at their historic clash. The book shows that, then as now, candidates made plans to run for president years in advance, and the public speculated about the outcome of elections years in advance. Another parallel between the 1820s and subsequent generations is that Americans have always wondered if the up-and-coming generation of political leadership will be equal to the challenges that it will face.

One can scarcely talk about the election of 1828 without first analyzing the election of 1824, and Parsons does this masterfully. Parsons thoroughly covers Adams's term in office, leading to the big Jackson-Adams showdown in the 1828 election. He vividly recounts the aforementioned campaign tactics, central issues, and aspects such as race and religion that shaped the 1828 campaign. Included is a state-by-state breakdown of how Jackson won his historic victory, and there is a table containing the final popular vote and electoral vote.

The book asserts that the two-party system established in that era has ever since been the arena in which arguments about the size and role of government have been conducted. Parsons ends with a short discussion of the Jackson presidency and how it changed the presidency and American politics.

I looked forward to this book's release for weeks. It turned out to be a thorough, enjoyable, well-written look at the election of 1828--most readers of American political history will likely find, as I did, that the book is all they thought and hoped that it would be.
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on August 22, 2009
The book makes a convincing argument that the election of 1828 is the first to resemble our current process. However aspects of modern politics occurred at different times. The beginning of true partisan electioneering definitely started in the 1800 contest between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. The book does acknowledge this and goes further to point out the changing electorate and the process for selecting electors. This would not be the final revision of these concepts. It's hard to draw a link to modern politics when election results were still factored by the three-fifths compromise. Two states also determined there electors in the state legislatures with no link to the popular vote.

The consensus among historians has been that the Jacksonian age was a revolutionary period in government, commerce, industry and of course politics. One problem I find with anointing this as the birth, is that both parties were not playing the same game using the same rules. Modern politics is a coordinated frenzy of press releases, rallies, debates, town halls and endorsements. The Jackson camp was really the only one using these tactics to their fullest advantage. It would still be years before these practices became the normal operation of political campaigns and evolve into their present state. A huge portion of modern politics is also fundraising and the Jackson's and Adam's did this but were not regulated in the way modern politicians are and since disclosure was not mandatory we can only estimate the influence and where the funds came from in 1828.

It's worth reading if you are not familiar with the period or looking for place to start.
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on June 23, 2014
terrific understanding of period and people. Great insight on Adams and. Jackson. I really appreciated his insight on the development of. political parties at this time in american. history . loved his coverage of the 1828 presidential election. very readable
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on May 3, 2017
Interesting and well-written.
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on September 24, 2012
This is a great book about the formation of modern political parties that have dominated the election cycle henceforward. The contrast of the two men and their contest for the presidency makes for a stimulating read for anyone who is interested in political/biographical history. Definitely worth your time!
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on June 25, 2012
Modern Politics is well researched and written. I am interested in American history from this period, and Jackson as the preimenient figjre of the period usually makes for a good read. The author draws interesting parallels to the current political situation in this country. A good read,
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on March 2, 2016
Well-written, engaging, and revealing.
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