To help kick off the election season, we’re moving our Book Fact Fridays to Election Tuesday facts. Be sure to check in every Tuesday for a new tidbit from our great selection of politically-minded books.

FACT: “In 1907, Congress passed legislation that prohibited corporations and national banks from contributing to candidates in federal elections. This prohibition grew out of the belief that large contributions inherently corrupted politics…”

Governing America: The Revival of Political History
by Julian E. Zelizer

In recent years, the study of American political history has experienced a remarkable renaissance. After decades during which the subject fell out of fashion and disappeared from public view, it has returned to prominence as the study of American history has shifted its focus back to politics broadly defined. In this book, one of the leaders of the resurgence in American political history, Julian Zelizer, assesses its revival and demonstrates how this work not only illuminates the past but also helps us better understand American politics today.

Governing America addresses issues of wide interest, including the rise of the welfare state, the development of modern conservatism, the history of Congress, the struggle over campaign finance, changing views about presidential power, and national security. Throughout, it addresses four big questions: How have interpretations of American political history changed over time? How have taxes and budgets constrained policymakers? How have changes in the political process defined historical eras? And how have policy and politics interacted on decisions like going to war?

Zelizer’s answers to these questions are fresh and often surprising, providing compelling new perspectives on modern American politics.

Governing America offers us an opportunity to observe one of the country’s best political historians working at the top of his game. Zelizer’s range is extraordinary, and he brings a penetrating intelligence to every topic he touches. No scholar working today has a better grasp of how the key institutions of American democracy, notably the Congress and the Presidency, have evolved over time, and how they have translated political demands emanating from society into state policy. A tour de force.”—Gary Gerstle, Vanderbilt Universit

We invite you to read the Introduction here: http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i9683.pdf


  1. This book should be interesing first of all from the point of politica history. Where can I get this book?

  2. Resourceful….i love this