Votes of Confidence : A Young Person's Guide to American Elections
Every four years, coverage of the presidential election turns more into a horse-race story about who's leading the polls and who said what when. Younger readers, who might be old enough to remember only one or two other elections, aren't provided with much information about how the election process actually works, why it matters, or how they can become involved. With civics education becoming less common in schools, it's important for teens to know what's going on. Using a fun, casual voice and interesting sidebars and anecdotes that tell stories rather than just list facts, this book will provide teachers with a supplemental resource and readers with an engaging way to better understand their government.
- Paperback | 224 pages
- 140 x 191 x 20.32mm | 272.16g
- 05 May 2016
- Zest Books (Tm)
- Minneapolis, United States
- 25 b-w photos
"Neither the American electoral nor political process is simple. And if you think so, you've likely got it wrong. Fortunately, self-described political nerd Fleischer is here to clarify things. In a particularly winning voice, abetted by numerous intriguing anecdotes and trivia, Fleischer commences at the beginning, with an origin story (Revolution, Articles of Confederation, Constitution, Bill of Rights), before moving on to mechanics. He issues an implicit challenge with his introduction--'If there's one thing we know for sure about American government, it's that a lot of Americans don't know much about it'--and then goes on to make sure readers buck that trend. His discussion of the electoral college is a fine example of his compressive clarity: the college is a compromise measure to rein in populous states while avoiding the pitfalls of giving too much power to Congress and state legislatures. It has its drawbacks, but it is not as egregious as push polling ('one of the sleaziest of political dirty tricks') or hindering voter registration. Fleischer works plenty of civics and history into this study of the revelatory power of politics--'Strom Thurmond and George Wallace demonstrated that racists were a large voting bloc'--so his closing suggestions on how readers can get involved and be heard are perfectly placed. Fleischer's primer tenders a wealth of insight in a generous and welcoming manner."--starred, Kirkus Reviews
About Jeff Fleischer
Jeff Fleischer is a Chicago-based author, journalist and editor. He is the author of the non-fiction books Rockin' the Boat: 50 Iconic Revolutionaries from Joan of Arc to Malcolm X (2015), and The Latest Revolutionaries from Joan of Arc to Malcolm X (2015), and The Latest Craze: A Brief History of Mass Hysterias (2011). His work has appeared in dozens of publications including Mother Jones, The Sydney Morning Herald, Chicago Magazine, The New Republic, Mental_Floss, National Geographic Traveler, and the Chicago Tribune.