Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Party of the People: A History of the Democrats” as Want to Read:
Party of the People: A History of the Democrats
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Party of the People: A History of the Democrats

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  79 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
A veteran political chronicler traces the evolution of the Democratic Party--the oldest political party in the world--from its roots in the agrarian, individualistic concepts of Thomas Jefferson to its emergence as today's progressive party of social change and economic justice.
Hardcover, 848 pages
Published November 4th 2003 by Random House
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
After reading "Grand Old Party" by Lewis Gould, I was really looking forward to this book. It was published by Random House around the same time. Instead of finding a flowing narrative and a balanced approach like I found in Gould's work, I found Witcover's style to be plodding. Witcover also incessantly justified the party's position, offering no balance like Gould did in his work. There is minimal discussion on the issue of slavery, which was at the forefront of the party's political positions ...more
Aug 04, 2011 Craig rated it really liked it
A good, thorough history of the Democratic party from the start thru 2000. Alot of detail not only about those who became president, but those that didn't. Shows how the party overcame the racist wing from the south to become a champion of the working class.
Jul 12, 2008 Valarie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone dying to tap their inner history nerd
It starts slow--really slow--but it gets more readable starting in the Jacksonian era. The more the Democrats are imperiled, the more interesting it gets.

What I learned from this book is that Democrats were accused from their anti-Federalist prototype of being treasonous--either they were too Francophilic in the post-colonial era, too comfortable with Southern rebels during the Civil War and Reconstruction, too comfortable with communism--you'd think their opponents would come up with something
Leif Erik
Dec 06, 2007 Leif Erik rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people looking to feed their inner political nerd.
Shelves: americanhistory
This one is a borderline two star. The writing does not flow, there is a disconcerning number of errors and typos, and even at 720 pages the events are covered rather briefly. I would have thought the effect of the Civil War on the Democratic party would merit more than 5 pages. The title is also misleading. It's really a history of Democratic presidental campaigns and administrations. On the plus side, it is jammed packed with the kind of political trivia and gossip that makes history worth rea ...more
Feb 20, 2014 Timothy rated it really liked it
clearly written, well organized and full of insights not only on the presidents but also party platforms, critical elections, and key leaders. Witcover was a journalist who penned several good election biographies which gave him extensive background from which to write the book.
Jul 05, 2014 Shawn rated it really liked it
A good book that gives a solid overview of the history of the Democratic party. There is a good reason why the party has survived for 200+ years. For anyone interested in learning the history of the Democratic party, I highly recommend this book.
Jerome rated it liked it
Apr 21, 2012
Terry rated it liked it
Feb 19, 2011
Pamela rated it really liked it
Nov 19, 2012
Matt Gray
Matt Gray rated it liked it
Jan 19, 2013
Kavon W. Nikrad
Kavon W. Nikrad rated it liked it
Sep 24, 2013
Terri rated it liked it
Mar 08, 2010
Gustaf rated it it was amazing
Nov 20, 2012
Jim rated it really liked it
Jan 06, 2015
Dan Szweda
Dan Szweda rated it really liked it
Mar 02, 2017
Michael rated it really liked it
Feb 10, 2010
Tom Dougherty
Tom Dougherty rated it really liked it
May 24, 2013
Kenneth rated it it was amazing
Dec 06, 2008
Jenn rated it really liked it
Nov 05, 2008
Burnsie63 rated it liked it
Jan 11, 2015
David rated it liked it
Apr 03, 2014
Chadley rated it liked it
Jan 17, 2013
John rated it liked it
Jan 12, 2014
Michael rated it it was amazing
Feb 15, 2014
Amy rated it liked it
Sep 10, 2012
Pastor Matt
Pastor Matt rated it liked it
Dec 20, 2014
Randall rated it liked it
Aug 05, 2011
Ian Lawrence
Ian Lawrence rated it liked it
Jul 05, 2015
Mike rated it liked it
Jun 27, 2014
H2 rated it liked it
Dec 13, 2010
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Grand Old Party: A History of the Republicans
  • Politics: Observations and Arguments, 1966-2004
  • Understanding The Political World: A Comparative Introduction To Political Science
  • Internal Combustion: How Corporations and Governments Addicted the World to Oil and Derailed the Alternatives
  • China Hands: Nine Decades of Adventure, Espionage, and Diplomacy in Asia
  • The Haldeman Diaries
  • The Good Fight: Declare Your Independence and Close the Democracy Gap
  • A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign
  • The Economics of Public Issues (HarperCollins Series in Economics)
  • For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War
  • The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House
  • Secret Agents: The Menace of Emerging Infections
  • Fraud of the Century: Rutherford B. Hayes, Samuel Tilden, and the Stolen Election of 1876
  • Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation
  • The Clinton Wars
  • Standing Firm: A Vice-Presidential Memoir
  • The Making of the President 1972
  • 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft and Debs -- The Election that Changed the Country

Share This Book