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Where Did the Party Go?: William Jennings Bryan, Hubert Humphrey, and the Jeffersonian Legacy Hardcover – June 19, 2006
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“Powerful and engaging. . . . A valuable contribution to our greater understanding of the meaning of the Jeffersonian tradition in American political life.”—John Rensenbrink, Professor Emeritus of Government, Bowdoin College
About the Author
Jeff Taylor teaches political science at the community college in Rochester, Minnesota.
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Top customer reviews
Each chapter goes indepth of different aspects of the idologies of Bryan and Humphrey. In the final chapter Taylor compares the Democratic Party's present stance and future. He states that the Democratic party, even though it started out with a Jeffersonian approach, has now turned into a Hamiltonian party. I disagree with the exception of FDR.
This is a very good book. It gives you the tools to use your brain and come up with your own conclusions. Great read for students and political scientists.
Taylor argues that Democratic leaders of today are "Hamiltonians", believers in the concept of a strong central government. Democrats of today would argue that they might be Hamiltonians, but for Jeffersonian ends, i.e. they are for a big federal government but because of the good it will do for the common man. Taylor addresses the validity of this issue somewhat, though I'd like to see more disscussion of just who benefits from big government. I love his analysis of why Democrats have lost their way in terms of their hiding behind the activist Warren courts of the 50's and 60's to get their legislative dirty work accomplished. Taylor points out that it represents a dangerous approach, something that Bryan, with his support of direct democracy (i.e. initiative and referendum) and his opposition to what was at the time considered a conservative, anti-labour judiciary, would have shied away from.
I also enjoyed his discussion about the WW2 era, where liberals such as Sen. Wheeler of Montana, or Lafollette of Wisconsin, became "conservatives" just because they were opposed to our intervention.
Taylor argues that conservative populists such as Buchanan and liberal populists such as Jerry Brown and Ralph Nader actually have a lot in common, far more in common with each other than Buchanan would have with, say, Arlen Specter, or Dennis Hastert, or Nader would have in common with a typical DLC Democrat like Clinton. In France this has been the case in the opposition to France's deepening involvement with the European Union. There, rightist groupings such as the National Front and leftist movements from the Communist Party to other leftist splinter groups have successfully mobilized a majority to vote against the most recent European Union constitution.
I urge anyone who wonders why just because someone is pro-life that means they must be pro-Iraq war, or just because someone is pro-2nd Amendment that means they must be for tax cuts for the rich, or why someone who supports immigration reduction should be anti-union, to read this book. Taylor gives a great overview of a compelling, pro-middle America, pro-common people, pro-conservative values, pro direct democracy heritage in the Democratic party, a Jeffersonian heritage best represented in the 20th Century by William Jennings Bryan.
Amazon readers, I have always told you the truth and never lied to you, except for entertainment purposes and always with full disclosure. In the interest of which, please be advised that I am not the same Jeff Taylor who wrote this excellent book. I wrote two others instead; it's a common name. So far, I've tallied seven Jeff Taylors working in the fields of writing and journalism. Perhaps someday we'll gather and pool notes. In the meantime, I'd recommend this book if it were written by Joe Smith.
If you have reached a point of fatalism where your angst about politics has reached a fricking nadir or zenith, I humbly direct you to this book, written by Jeff Taylor, of whom (I hereby swear) I know not one iota of biographical data. We have never communicated in any way. Just happen to have the same name, and be authors of books.
If you want to find out how things went so far sideways and downhill after Carter and Clinton, if you'd like to connect some interesting dots,find your way out of the maze of what-happened, read this book. Buy it for those pathetic, lovable idealists who have let the Kerry/Edwards decal moulder on the back bumper of their Volvo Subaru Outwagon, and who probably feel like closet Republicans and who automatically pull green on the voting slots, out of guilt. (But they haven't read John Edwards' book, Home. Too busy working and worrying about personal death. They haven't read this book, either.)
Give it to them. Buy this book, wrap it for the holidays, and put it in the hands of your intelligent friends. Perhaps you can remake the world politically within your lifetime, by learning a little more about party history and party politics. For the first time in years, I'm registering to vote in the next election, after opting to abstain for the last few charades. Reading this book made me more optimistic; things have been terrible, even worse than now, for the Democrats before. If enough of us, whatever our names, exercise our rights to elect representatives with a life-friendly viewpoint, we just might fix the Titanic and save Troy, disarm the bomb at 11:11, and maybe build a world similar to the promised land of which Martin Luther King showed us a pure glimpse. No, you're right, it's impossible... so just read this book for pleasure and escape.