418 Pages 55 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    418 Pages 55 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Considered the "gold standard" of political parties texts, this new, eighteenth edition of Party Politics in America moves its comprehensive and authoritative coverage into the age of deepened partisan conflict, expanded presidential power, and global health threats. Marjorie Randon Hershey builds on the book’s three-pronged coverage of party organization, party in the electorate, and party in government and integrates important developments in racial politics, social media use, and battles over access to the vote. The book uses contemporary examples to bring to life the fascinating story of how parties shape our political system.

    New to the eighteenth edition:

    • Fully updated through the 2020 election, including changes in virtually all of the boxed materials, the chapters, and the data presented.

    • Examines the impact of the Trump presidency on the Republican Party’s supporting coalition and issue positions, changes in party and ideological polarization, and the return to the world of campaign finance of "interested money" from big (and often anonymous) donors.

    • Explores political attitudes and voter turnout among college-age and other young voters in light of dramatic changes in American politics and the economy.

    • Expanded online Instructor’s Resources, including author-written test banks, essay questions, relevant websites with correlated sample assignments, the book’s appendix, and links to a collection of course syllabi.

    List of Figures 

     List of Tables 

    List of Boxes 

    Foreword by John H. Aldrich 



    Part I Parties and Party Systems

    1 What Are Political Parties?

    2 The American Two-Party System

    Part II The Political Party as an Organization

    3 The State and Local Party Organizations

    4 The Parties’ National Organizations

    5 Party Activists

    Part III The Political Party in the Electorate

    6 Party Identification

    7 Party Coalitions and Party Change

    8 Parties and Voter Turnout

    Part IV Parties, Nominations, and Elections

    9 How Parties Choose Candidates

    10 Choosing the Presidential Nominees

    11 The General Election

    12 Financing the Campaigns

    Part V The Party in Government

    13 Parties in Congress and State Legislatures

    14 The Party in the Executive and the Courts

    15 The Semi-Responsible Parties

    16 The Place of Parties in American Politics


    Marjorie Randon Hershey is Professor of Political Science Emerita at Indiana University, USA

    Praise for the 18th  Edition

    "Hershey gives a remarkable update to her classic book on political parties. The new additions are timely and represent the current trends in this evolving field. This book continues to be the standard for teaching about American political parties."

    ---Beth Ginsberg, University of Connecticut—Stamford

    "A political parties textbook needs to cover a tremendous amount of ground—from party organizations to nomination contests to partisan attitudes in the electorate and beyond. Marjorie Randon Hershey’s Party Politics in America does it all superbly.  Combing fresh insights, the latest scholarship, and current politics in a highly engaging text, this new edition is indispensable for classes."

    --Bruce Larson, Gettysburg College

    Praise for the 17th Edition

    "Why should you use this book to guide you in the search for understanding democratic politics in America? The short answer is that this book is the best guide you can have."

    John H. Aldrich, Duke University, from the Foreword

    "This new edition of Party Politics in America continues its tradition of combining the most comprehensive coverage of scholarly research with an up-to-date treatment of the rapidly-changing party and electoral landscape. The 2016 election cycle has produced more drama and change for American parties than any in decades, and Marjorie Randon Hershey chronicles it especially well. Between its readability and stellar integration of scholarship and current politics, this book will appeal to students and instructors alike. I look forward to using it in my course, and to learning from it in my own research."

    Paul A. Beck, The Ohio State University

    "In the midst of unprecedented events and personalities in American politics, one thing remains unchanged: Party Politics in America is an unparalleled resource for understanding the central role of political parties in American democracy. With clear, accessible language and organization, Marjorie Randon Hershey covers every aspect of American party politics in a way that enables readers to make sense of and identify patterns in what appears to be a messy, even irrational, system."

    Christina Wolbrecht, University of Notre Dame

    "This text continues to be the gold standard for courses on American political parties. In clearly written and engaging prose, these chapters reflect enduring wisdom alongside newly developed analytical insights from the best scholars. Marjorie Randon Hershey also does a wonderful job of contextualizing parties in the American political climate, documenting the challenges they face, and pointing out the myriad ways parties structure and influence behavior and policy."

    Kyle Saunders, Colorado State University