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Campaign Talk:
Why Elections Are Good for Us
Roderick P. Hart

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"[Hart] treats presidential campaigns as a conversation among the people, the press, and the nation's leaders, and finds they serve the nation well. Such optimistic conclusions seem to run against the conventional wisdom and numerous recent more rigorous analyses, yet it would be difficult to find in Hart's persuasive and enthusiastic analysis flaws serious enough to undermine his conclusions. The success of his volume lies precisely in the mix of "hard" and "soft" methodology. American democracy seen through the prism of work usage looks impressively stable and efficient. . . . No matter how skeptical and cautious readers may be, they must admit that Hart develops his argument in a captivatingly persuasive fashion."--Bohdan Szlarski, The Review of Politics


"Roderick Hart may be the forerunner of a new trend that appraises American political processes and democracy more favorably than the literature of the past twenty years. Full of insight and revelations, this book is a fascinating combination of hard data and a sublime writing voice. It is a pleasure to read."--David L. Paletz, Duke University

"The claim that campaigns have changed very little--or if they have changed, the change lies not in the politicians or the press but in the people--tells us a lot about American politics. The claim that the computer program DICTION can predict winners is a very significant alternative to the general belief that economic ups and downs are the best predictor of who wins presidential elections. Citizens thinking about their vote will find this book entertaining and thoughtful."--Richard Anderson, University of California, Los Angeles

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File created: 4/21/2017

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