Political Groups, Parties, and Organizations That Shaped America: An Encyclopedia and Document Collection

ABC-CLIO. 3 vols. Jul. 2019. 1,077p. ed. by ed. by Scott H. Ainsworth & Brian M. Harward. ISBN 9781440851964. $325; ebk. ISBN 9781440851971. REF
Ainsworth (political science, Univ. of Georgia) and Harward (political science, Allegheny Coll., PA) highlight the origins, development, and interests of groups, parties, and organizations that have shaped and been shaped by American political history, from the nation’s founding to the present. The editors focus more on systems and behaviors than on events and individuals, with the bulk of the text comprised of 250 alphabetically arranged, signed topical entries with “see also” references and further readings resources. The essays take on everything from important founding groups and parties to contemporary political action committees and policy advocacy groups. Fifty primary source documents, including letters, manifestos, platforms, and court decisions are expertly interwoven with the articles. Features include a guide to related topics, a chronology from 1765 to 2018, and chronological list of entries divided into three periods: the Colonial Era to the Civil War, the Civil War to World War II, and World War II to today. Though the approach is broad, the set’s craftsmanship, organization, and scholarly content leave little doubt about the impact these groups continue to have on the U.S. political process.
VERDICT General readers, high school students, and undergraduates will find this outstanding resource well illustrates the divergent genesis and nature of our political culture and landscape.
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