You would be surprised at the number of years it took me to see clearly what some of the problems were which had to be solved. . . . Looking back, I think it was more difficult to see what the problems were than to solve them.
-- Charles Darwin
Against Long Odds can be read at many levels. It is first of all an exciting contemporary history of some immensely interesting political races; it is drama; it is political science. The book also tells very readable stories of courage, determination, and dedication; and treachery, cynicism, corruption, and idealism. Against Long Odds succeeds on all these levels--but it particularly fascinates me as a metaphor for the deep problems within our political system and our democracy. You cannot read this book without realizing that the survival of our democracy itself is ultimately at stake.
Significantly, voter participation fell below 50 percent in 1996 for the first time since 1924. Indeed, voter turnout has decreased twentyfive percentage points since 1961, with a significant decline (except for Republicans in the South) of both Democratic and GOP partisan registrations. So many local party organizations are just a shell of their