The Democrats: From Jefferson to Clinton

The Democrats: From Jefferson to Clinton

The Democrats: From Jefferson to Clinton

The Democrats: From Jefferson to Clinton


Interlacing humor into his ongoing narrative, Robert Allen Rutland provides in The Democrats a readable, balanced account of how the Democratic party was founded, evolved, nearly died, and came back in the twentieth century, flourishing as a political melting pot despite numerous setbacks. This updated version of Rutland's much-heralded The Democrats: From Jefferson to Carter provides new insight into the long hiatus in the Democrats' presence in the White House between Carter and Clinton. In additon to analyzing Carter's successes and failures as president, Rutland also examines the forces that went into the Democratic defeats and Republican victories in 1980, 1984, and 1988, concluding with the election of another Jeffersonian Democrat, William Jefferson Clinton. The book ends with an examination of the dramatic results of the 1994 congressional elections that began to alert President Clinton to the challenge he would face in winning reelection in 1996.


Jimmy Carter

The first edition of this book was titled The Democrats: From Jefferson to Carter. Robert A. Rutland has brought the title up to date for the new edition, and asked me to provide a foreword. As a Democratic state senator, governor, and president, I have certainly had an uncommon opportunity to find out about and to help to determine the nature of my party.

The Democratic party is the people’s party. Jefferson and I, and other Democratic presidents, have been challenged to provide a vision which can unite the people. I think that historically this has encompassed peace, hope, compassion, and human rights. Support for these principles cannot be taken for granted. As this book demonstrates, our party in earlier years had a long and difficult struggle over whether all Americans were entitled to human rights. I am proud to say that we Democrats now find our strength in our diversity.

Our party is the longest surviving political party in the world because it has continued to adapt to changing times and to reach out to include the majority of Americans. This has given us a great advantage in local and state politics, but has sometimes . . .

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