The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln
Underlying much of the tension was slavery. In the South, we saw the development of competing visions of democracy, with slaveholder aristocracy at one end of the spectrum. The Democratic Party found it hard to hold its already unruly coalition together after the Jacksonian ascendancy (northern Democrats were in conflict wit one another, with ...more
Wilentz scrupulously teases out very different notions of what "democracy" meant across an evolving and expanding landscape, from inner-city wards of Philadelphia to the farms of New England and the charred remains of Bloody Kansas. This is ...more
Going against prevailing historical fashion, Sean Wilentz delivers a long, exhaustive survey of political machinations, both grand and minute. Though he forays into social and cultural history, the bulk of The Rise of American Democracy is a blow-by-blow account of what happened in the corridors of young America with a "house divided." Wilentz, author of Chants Democratic (1984) and professor of history and director of the American studies program at Princeton University, tells this compelling s...more
I want to give this 3.5. But alas....
I would recommend this book to someone who is really fascinated by all of our political parties from Jefferson's time to Lincoln's. There's a lot of detail, and it is interesting.
if you're really into a kind of breathless, light recap of american electoral history and need like 1200 pages of that, go nuts on this.