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Preview — The Right To Vote The Contested History Of Democracy In The United States by Alexander Keyssar
The Right To Vote The Contested History Of Democracy In The United States
Most Americans take for granted their right to vote, whether they choose to exercise it or not. But the history of suffrage in the U.S. is, in fact,the story of a struggle to achieve this right by our society's marginalized groups. In The Right to Vote, Duke historian Alexander Keyssar explores the evolution of suffrage over the course of the nation's history. Examining th ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published August 15th 2001 by Basic Books
(first published 2000)
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Americans who never take the time to learn about the history of suffrage grow up assuming the vote was expanded systematically, steadily, and with near universal support. We assume the opponents to universal suffrage were Archie Bunker types, recalcitrant members of an insecure old guard. We do not immediately picture mainstream, legitimate political parties and their supporters as tangible enemies of democracy. The real narrative of the history of American liberty takes a surprising form, with ...more
This must be the definitive history of voting in America. I hold back from giving it five stars because it was a little more than what I was looking for, but this is as thorough as I have ever come across. Also, I love charts and graphs, and he has a great array of tables at the end. Interesting tidbit was the role war played throughout American history in expanding the right to vote. Also, though we all know how the right to vote gradually expanded, but what many of us didn't realize was how th ...more
In 2012 the right to vote is being contested again. Republican state legislatures have passed laws requiring prospective voters have IDs. The aim is to prevent voter fraud, a crime even some Republicans acknowledge rarely happens. A look at the history of voting in the U.S. reveals that this is nothing new. In a comprehensive yet highly readable study, Keyssar lays out U.S. voting and the close relationship between those who get to vote and social class. A fascinating read.
It was a pendulum of suffrage expansion and contraction. Got kind of droll after 200 pages. The man knows his stuff but really, how long can you keep reading up on the same thing over and over again. The only surprise in the book is that people actually want the vote, after all that i would have just quit and moved up to Canada.
Alexander Keyssar is an American historian, and the Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy at Harvard University.More about Alexander Keyssar...