Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

On The Reading List

By Matthew Yglesias on September 21, 2006 at 3:43 pm

"On The Reading List"

Share:

google plus icon

I’ve always been puzzled by the realignment theory of American elections. I never really studied US history or US politics at the college level, so I’ve never been in a position to claim to be able to assess the arguments offered pro and con for this account of things. It’s clear that American political journalists act as if the political science underlying realignment theory is strong and sound. I’ve also always felt, based on my philosophical background, that the theory looked like a slightly absurd superstition. But who was really to say? Then I saw that one of Steve Teles’ recommended books for aspiring journalists is David Mayhew’s Electoral Realignments: A Critique of an American Genre of which Teles remarks:

American political journalists continue to talk as if “realignment” was still a meaningful phenomenon. Mayhew shows in this cool and clinical book that it’s not, and what is more, probably never was. He also makes some very suggestive comments on what might substitute for realignment as a large-scale explanation for political change.

Sounds like a book I should read. Since it would be a prejudice-confirming book at this point, though, I suppose I should also ask the collective wisdom of the internet to recommend a book making the case for “realignment” as a phenomenon with meaningful explanatory power.

‹ PREVIOUS
Idle Threats

NEXT ›
Compromise: Torture Now Legal

By clicking and submitting a comment I acknowledge the ThinkProgress Privacy Policy and agree to the ThinkProgress Terms of Use. I understand that my comments are also being governed by Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policies as applicable, which can be found here.