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Primary Politics: How Presidential Candidates Have Shaped the Modern Nominating System
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Primary Politics: How Presidential Candidates Have Shaped the Modern Nominating System

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  46 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
The 2008 presidential primaries produced more drama than many general election campaigns. John McCain overcame the near-implosion of his campaign to capture the Republican nomination by March, despite a strong challenge from quotable pastor-turned-governor Mike Huckabee. Hillary Clinton entered the Democratic race as the heavy favorite, only to fall to a first-term senator ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published July 15th 2009 by Brookings Institution Press (first published May 10th 2009)
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Randal White
Great For Political Junkies! An in-depth view into our nation's crazy primary political process. There is an abundance of information in this volume. It is obvious that the author "knows her stuff". Unfortunately, it was too much information and minutiae for me to follow along well and digest. If you are really, really into the political process, I believe this would be a great book for you. For me, a interested layman into politics, it was a bit too much.
Pat
Feb 19, 2017 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though there was some repetitiveness, Kamarck made a difficult topic understandable and interesting.
C.H. Cobb
Jan 03, 2015 C.H. Cobb rated it really liked it
The full title is Primary Politics: How Presidential Candidates Have Shaped the Modern Nominating System, and the book fully delivers what the title promises. Elaine C. Kamarck has served both the DNC and the Clinton White House, as well as the Gore Campaign. She brings an insider’s view to the table.

Kamarck begins by recounting how—and why—the national political party machinery sought to retain control over the presidential nomination process. A populist reform movement began to grow in the lat
...more
Troy
May 04, 2016 Troy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elaine did an episode of Fresh Air with Terry Gross on this book, and it was enthralling. I couldn't wait to pick up her book, and was fairly let down. And yet it is definitely a good resource for anyone looking to understand the modern nominating process; how and where it evolved from. She spends 200 pages going into far too much detail recounting rule changes and explaining the obvious (guess what, the sequence of state primaries and caucuses dictates campaign strategy!) - told as the true sup ...more
Amber
Nov 16, 2015 Amber rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The historical facts within this book are meticulously researched and well put together. Where this book didn't work for me was in getting the basics down and presenting them in an easy to follow manner. This is a somewhat complicated system we are talking about, so for example, it would have been helpful to discuss each of the concepts briefly at the beginning so I could understand what they are - instead of reading about super delegates for 200 pages before we finally got to what they are.
Celynda
Sep 19, 2016 Celynda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was very detailed and answered the questions I had, but it was too drawn out for my liking. The author divided this book into categories which left the author repeating much of the same information for each topic. I think this book would have been better for me had it been organized in a chronological manner.

Much of the details were a bit dry and it took me a long time to get through this book.
Genie
Well written book on the American nomination process- delegates, primaries, caucuses, super-delegates, etc. Author is unique in having been involved in politics around primaries (both working for candidates and for political commissions working on selection issues) and in now being an academic- so readers get the best of both worlds.
John
Oct 01, 2011 John rated it liked it
For hardcore political junkies primarily - I got a bit lost in the historical details myself at times! Kamarck does succeed in addressing the central issue of how the system has become so front-loaded, as it appears it will be next year as well.
Keith
Mar 15, 2016 Keith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent study on primary politics

I really enjoyed this book, and I learned a lot about a topic I thought I already knew a lot about. Great review of the literature and of the political process, too!
Robert Cohen
May 18, 2014 Robert Cohen rated it really liked it
Generally well written, which is important considering the subject matter is not exactly thrilling. That being said, it provides a very clear picture of how the current nominating system has grown out of the complex interactions between presidents/presidential campaigns and the party apparatus.
Kathleen
Mar 27, 2016 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Not elegantly written, but still extremely interesting and eye-opening.
Valentina Kalk
May 16, 2016 Valentina Kalk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally I've learnt how primaries work!
Hamza Attar
It's good but could be better if the information inside were enhanced and if it had more historical comparisons.
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Shainna
Very informative but very dry and somewhat tedious.
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