John Aldrich and John Griffin

Why Parties Matter

Political Competition and Democracy in the American South

University of Chicago Press 2018

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network April 12, 2018 Heath Brown

John Aldrich and John Griffin are the co-authors of Why Parties Matter: Political Competition and Democracy in the American South (University of Chicago Press,...

John Aldrich and John Griffin are the co-authors of Why Parties Matter: Political Competition and Democracy in the American South (University of Chicago Press, 2018). Aldrich is the Pfizer-Pratt University Professor of Political Science at Duke University; Griffin is associate professor of political science at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Why Parties Matter argues that competition between political parties is an essential component of a democracy. Competition facilitates responsiveness to citizens and a politics better able to address citizen concerns. Aldrich and Griffin follow the history of the parties in the United States through four eras—the Democratic—Whig party era that preceded the Civil War; the post-Reconstruction period; the Jim Crow era; and the modern era. They show the emergence of competition between the parties and when it succeeded and failed.

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