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The Age of Acrimony: How Americans Fought to Fix Their Democracy, 1865-1915

The Age of Acrimony: How Americans Fought to Fix Their Democracy, 1865-1915

Grinspan, Jon

Hardcover

19th Century United States History20th Century United States HistoryGeneral Political Science

Publisher Price: $30.00

ISBN10: 1635574625
ISBN13: 9781635574623
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Published: Apr 27 2021
Pages: 384
Weight: 1.55
Height: 1.60 Width: 6.40 Depth: 9.40
Language: English

A penetrating, character-filled history in the manner of David McCullough (WSJ), revealing the deep roots of our tormented present-day politics.

Democracy was broken. Or that was what many Americans believed in the decades after the Civil War. Shaken by economic and technological disruption, they sought safety in aggressive, tribal partisanship. The results were the loudest, closest, most violent elections in U.S. history, driven by vibrant campaigns that drew our highest-ever voter turnouts. At the century's end, reformers finally restrained this wild system, trading away participation for civility in the process. They built a calmer, cleaner democracy, but also a more distant one. Americans' voting rates crashed and never fully recovered.

This is the origin story of the normal politics of the 20th century. Only by exploring where that civility and restraint came from can we understand what is happening to our democracy today.

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19th Century United States History