Grand Old Party

Grand Old Party : Political Structure in the Gilded Age, 1880-96

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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 147.32 x 213.36 x 33.02mm | 612.35g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 0195014111
  • 9780195014112

Review Text

Addressing himself to the "crisis" in the two party system in the late nineteenth century, Professor Marcus examines the Republican party structure in the presidential election campaigns from 1880 to 1896. He shows how the GOP adapted to the shift in voting patterns, the decline in party participation, and the rise of third parties which ushered in the politics of the twentieth century, characterized by charismatic leaders and controlled by "educated, issue-oriented elites." The five case studies of the campaigns are thoroughly researched though somewhat overwhelming in the day-to-day detail. The final chapter discusses the symbolic role of presidential politics and the growth of' pluralism and "private governments." The book's major flaw is that Marcus too easily assumes the value of "resiliency" and stability over "major structural alteration" in the party system. (Kirkus Reviews)show more