Down for the Count: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America

New Pr. Apr. 2016. 304p. notes. index. ISBN 9781620971680. pap. $18.95; ebk. ISBN 9781620971697. POL SCI
Journalist Gumbel (coauthor, Oklahoma City) looks at the shady past of the American political system to try to explain why the present structure seems to be so badly broken. There are chapters on historical and current voter disenfranchisement efforts and the promises and very real threats of technology ruling the voting process. The usual suspects are blamed here: conservatives, elites, and the incumbents who do not want to upset their favorable status quo. The insidious influence of lobbyists and big money is always at the forefront, and the recent election problems have led to further partisan division rather than a coming together to fix things. Gumbel is hopeful that the electorate will become so disgusted that it will demand changes, and he offers suggestions for improvements to policies and procedures.
VERDICT This revised edition of 2005's Steal This Vote contains numerous reference source notes. The easy-to-read narrative may make your blood boil, but it shows that U.S. citizens' bitter anger with their government has a long and shameful history and is certainly justified. Suitable for all libraries at this contentious time.
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