Politics in America

Politics in America

Politics in America

Politics in America

Excerpt

The purpose of this book is simply to make the American political system intelligible. It has no thesis except that the system has its own logic, its own justification and is, in general, a success. It cannot be easily altered (despite the adoption since the end of the first World War of five constitutional amendments). This system, too, should be studied in its own terms; its successes and failures seen in their American context.

The system, too, is studied in its national or federal aspects; state and local politics are only dealt with as far as they affect national politics. Of course, a dispute in Dog- patch may affect Congress and even the presidency but I have not tried to describe the politics even of a state like New York or California. Nor have I dealt with American institutions in a rigidly systematic way. Some institutions have more than one kind of importance; I have tried to deal with each type of importance. I have tried to describe institutions and practices as soon as they appear but, in some cases, I have postponed a fuller discussion to a later section of the book, when the fuller account is made more intelligible by what has gone before.

I owe warm thanks not only to the authors who have allowed me to quote from them but to the scores, hundreds of Americans from whom I have learned so much.

D. W. Brogan

Washington's Birthday, 1954 . . .

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