Grass Roots Politics: Parties, Issues, and Voters, 1854-1983

By Richard J. Jensen; Steven L. Piott et al. | Go to book overview

IV
SUGGESTED FOLLOWUP

The best way to learn about the history of grass roots politics is to read old newspapers. Most college libraries have microfilm files of the New York Times often extending back to before the Civil War. These have a printed index that simplifies searching. Local newspaper files are usually available, too -- check the public library or local historical society.

Books that try to encompass American political history concentrate on the big men and big ideas at the national level. Good collections of articles which breach this limitation are F. A. Bonadio, ed., Political Parties in American History, vol. 2, 1828-1890 ( New York, 1973); Paul L. Murphy, ed., Political Parties in American History, vol. 3, 1890-Present ( New York, 1973); and Frank Otto Gatell, et al., eds., The Growth of American Politics, 2 vol. ( New York, 1972). The best summary of recent scholarship is Paul Kleppner et al., The Evolution of American Electoral Systems ( Westport, Conn., 1981). Seymour Martin Lipset, ed., Party Coalitions in the 1980s ( San Francisco, 1981) includes both a full historical treatment and extensive analyses of recent politics. A short, very broad overview that emphasizes ethnicity is Robert Kelley, "Ideology and Political Culture from Jefferson to Nixon," American Historical Review 82 ( June, 1977), 531-82.

On nineteenth century politics, the best introduction is Morton Keller, Affairs of State: Public Life in Nineteenth Century America ( Cambridge, 1977). Ethno-religious forces and campaign techniques at the state level are emphasized in Richard Jensen, The Winning of the Midwest: Social and Political Conflict, 1888-1896 ( Chicago, 1971). Excellent detail on the big city machine appears in Zane Miller, Boss Cox's Cincinnati ( New York, 1968). Lawrence Goodwyn, "Populist Dreams and Negro Rights: East Texas as a Case Study," American Historical Review 76 ( December, 1971), pp. 1435-56, is a splendid investigation of the Populist movement at the local level.

Grass roots politics in the twentieth century can be followed at the state

-173-

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Grass Roots Politics: Parties, Issues, and Voters, 1854-1983
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations and Tables ix
  • I- The Votes, Modern and Traditional- Ethnicity, Religion, Race, and Class 3
  • II- The Political Party- From Traditional to Modern Base 29
  • III- Documents 59
  • IV- Suggested Followup 173
  • Index 177
  • About the Contributors 181
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