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The Democratic Experiment:
New Directions in American Political History
Edited by Meg Jacobs, William J. Novak, & Julian E. Zelizer

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"On rare occasions, an anthology comes along that reshapes scholarship in an entire field. The Democratic Experiment shows how to join culture and class, elections and the growth of the state, taxes and political theory into a fresh, unromantic understanding of power in the public sphere. With this splendid volume, a new political history has finally come of age."--Michael Kazin, author of The Populist Persuasion: An American History

"Political history is back. In a whirlwind of pent-up energy, this volume announces that questions about governmental capacity, suffrage and citizenship, sedition, constitutional amendment, court reform, inflation and consumerism, interest group electioneering, local government experimentation, antitax and antibussing revolts, the role of liberalism, and the partisan politics of family values are (and must be) on the agenda of historians. Its long-awaited return from the desert finds it better and stronger, more nuanced and inclusive, than before its exile. Readers will rejoice."--Elizabeth Sanders, author of Roots of Reform: Farmers, Workers, and the American State 1887-1917

"Those who have wondered what the future holds for American political history need wonder no more. In form and exposition, in theory and practice, The Democratic Experiment gives all the notice one could want of the exciting new directions that the genre is taking, and introduces the scholars who are leading its renewal."--Christopher Tomlins, American Bar Foundation, Chicago

"This superb collection of essays bring a welcome sophistication to the historical study of American politics--its culture and institutions."--Joyce Appleby, author of Inheriting the Revolution: The First Generation of Americans

"This is a terrific book--ambitious, iconoclastic, elegant, persuasive, exciting. The authors aim to reorient historians, rope in political scientists, and--at their most ambitious--reread America. They succeed on nearly every dimension. Each chapter raises issues that both historians and political scientists will be keen to engage. The collection adds up to a sustained, coherent whole, argued in many different keys and pitches. Very nice work indeed."--James A. Morone, Brown University, author of Hellfire Nation

"This book represents a job extremely well done. It offers a richer historical account of democratic conflicts than have most historically savvy political scientists. I particularly appreciate the attention to the nineteenth century, which is rarely explored in such depth among scholars of political history. Moreover, I do not think there is another volume that engages democratic conflict as comprehensively as does this one. The Democratic Experiment will enrich our understanding of liberal and democratic aspirations in America."--Sidney M. Milkis, University of Virginia, author of Political Parties and Constitutional Government

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File created: 4/17/2014

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