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August 2004
336 pages  

6 1/8 x 9 1/4
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Enduring Controversies in Presidential Nominating Politics
Buell, Emmett Jr., Mayer, William
Retraces the more than 200-year history of presidential elections in the US—a spectacle that never fails to engage, excite, and enrage millions of Americans—showing the evolution from the days of the founders to today.

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Emmett H. Buell Jr., professor of political science and director of the Richard G. Lugar Program in Politics and Public Service at Denison University, has published extensively on the presidential nominating process, and is coeditor of Nominating the President.
William G. Mayer, associate professor of political science at Northeastern University, is author or editor of numerous books and articles, including, most recently, The Front-Loading Problem in Presidential Nominations.
"Want to know how we got into this mess? Read this book. Want to know how we can get out of this mess? Read this book. It’s full of colorful reminiscences, shrewd insights, and boisterous disagreements. The whole political mess."—Bill Schneider, senior political analyst, CNN

"An entertaining and informative framework for the discussion of methods for nominating presidents from the beginning of the republic onward."—Nelson W. Polsby, University of California, Berkeley

"In or out of the academic world, Emmett Buell and William Mayer are two of the best people writing today about the presidential nominating process. Their latest collaboration is a unique collection of commentary and writings on its evolution."—Rhodes Cook, author of Race for the Presidency

“Buell and Mayer’s book certainly is a timely one. . . . A useful text for both senior undergraduate and graduate students. . . . Buell and Mayer provide readers with sensible remedies for dealing with the ‘enduring controversies in presidential nomination politics.’ Enduring Controversies is an important book and is indeed worthy of academic (and public) debate and discussion.”—Perspectives on Political Science, Winter 2005

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The process of nominating and electing a president is a spectacle that never fails to engage and excite millions of Americans—and rarely fails to enrage us, as well. Enduring Controversies in Presidential Nominating Politics retraces the more than two hundred-year history of presidential elections in the United States to provide a primer on how the process has evolved from the days of the founders, through the heyday of nominating conventions, to today’s overwhelming interest in early primaries. Original essays by the editors introduce, critique, and occasionally even refute a wide variety of historical readings including Alexander Hamilton’s defense of election procedures, excerpts of individual states’ nominations of candidates in 1824, an overview of the impact television has had on nominating conventions, and calls for a national rotating primary scheme in 2004. As a whole, the collection reveals the common threads that run through the history of the nominating process, and points out that today’s litany of complaints is not at all new.


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