Christopher J. Galdieri
Stranger in a Strange State
The Politics of Carpetbagging from Robert Kennedy to Scott Brown
SUNY Press 2019
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in PoliticsNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network May 31, 2019 Lilly J. Goren
Chris Galdieri has written an engaging analysis of carpetbagging in American politics. Stranger in a Strange State: The Politics of Carpetbagging from Robert Kennedy to Scott Brown (SUNY Press, 2019), and its focus on individual case studies, highlight understandings of electoral politics in the United States and how individual ambition, party strengths and weaknesses, and electoral dynamics all fit into our thinking about candidates and their campaigns. While the thrust of Stranger in a Strange State is on this topic of carpetbagging—with high profile examples like Robert Kennedy and Hillary Clinton, and somewhat less well known candidates like Alan Keyes and Bill Brock—our understanding of carpetbagging also brings forward considerations of representation, since the critique of the carpetbagger tends to be a disconnection from the citizens to be represented, especially for those running for the United States Senate. Galdieri forefronts this analysis of representation, framing the analysis of these individual cases within our thinking about how elected officials are supposed to represent their constituents. This is a fascinating book, compelling the reader to turn the page to learn more about political parties, politicians, campaigns, ambition, and how much of this might fit within our polarized political landscape.
Lilly J. Goren is professor of Political Science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She co-edited the award-winning Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012).