Skip to the Reading List
You’ve probably noticed that our Election 101 site includes many excerpts from The Concise Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History, edited by Michael Kazin. It’s a great book to have on your shelf for any number of reasons. If you’re shaky on the details of the Electoral College or the cabinet, it will put you on firmer ground. If you like our “Election 101” reading lists, you’ll find contributions from many of those authors in the encyclopedia: James Kloppenberg on liberalism, Julian Zelizer on the House of Representatives, Donald Critchlow on conservatism, Gil Troy on campaigning, Meg Jacobs on consumers and politics, Matthew Lassiter on suburbs and politics, and Lisa McGirr on the conservative interregnum of 1920-1932.
But for dedicated followers of American politics, the fun of this encyclopedia is its invitation to browse. You can immerse yourself in economic issues through the articles on the economy, business, banking policy, regulation, and taxation. For context on the primaries, you can read about the political history of each region of the United States. You can brief yourself on perennial election-year issues with articles on education, health care, immigration, religion, and foreign policy. Or compare and contrast the history of the Republican party with small-r republicanism. Or consider, in the article on political culture, the different visions of what it means to be an American.
The historians, social scientists, and journalists who contributed to this encyclopedia take an expansive view of politics, offer thought-provoking interpretations of their topics, and refer you to some of the most important books on each topic. We hope they add a welcome dimension to your election-year reading.
–Anne Savarese, Executive Editor, Reference