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Author Keyssar, Alexander.

Title The right to vote : the contested history of democracy in the United States / Alexander Keyssar.

Published New York : Basic Books, 2000.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  324.620973 KEYS    AVAILABLE
Physical description 467 pages ; 25 cm
Notes Includes index.
Contents Part I Road to Partial Democracy 1 -- 1 In the Beginning 3 -- 2 Democracy Ascendant 26 -- 3 Backsliding and Sideslipping 53 -- Part II Narrowing the Portals 77 -- 4 Know-Nothings, Radicals, and Redeemers 81 -- 5 Redemption of the North 117 -- 6 Women's Suffrage 172 -- Part III Toward Universal Suffrage--and Beyond 223 -- 7 Quiet Years 225 -- 8 Breaking Barriers 256 -- Conclusion: The Project of Democracy 316 -- Appendix State Suffrage Laws 325.
Summary The Right to Vote is the first comprehensive history of suffrage in the United States to be published in more than eighty years. This path-breaking volume chronicles the surprisingly complex and slow evolution of the right to vote from the American Revolution to the present.
Alexander Keyssar's account highlights the gap between the hallowed image of the United States as the democratic nation and the reality that it took nearly two centuries for universal suffrage to be achieved. The story that he presents is one of both progress toward democratization and of fierce resistance to any expansion of the franchise. It includes lively accounts of those who "won" the right to vote, including women, African Americans, immigrants and industrial workers, while also describing recurrent -- and sometimes successful -- efforts to bar millions of individuals from the polls.
Keyssar analyzes this story in the context of broad currents in American economic, social and political history. In so doing, he explains the ways in which diverse forces -- including war, class tension, socioeconomic changes, racial and ethnic hostilities, ideological shifts and the dynamics of party competition -- shaped the expansion and contraction of voting rights over the last two hundred years. The Right to Vote is a sweeping reinterpretation of major chapters of American political history as well as a meditation on the meaning of democracy in contemporary American life.
Subject Suffrage -- United States -- History.
Voting -- United States -- History.
ISBN 046502968X (alk. paper)