Deliver the Vote: A History of Election Fraud, an American Political Tradition—1742–2004

Tracy Campbell, Author . Carroll & Graf $26 (452p) ISBN 978-0-7867-1591-6

Covering much the same territory as Andrew Gumbel's recent Steal This Vote, Campbell highlights the imperfect aspects of American elections, covering such known problems as the undemocratic practices of the urban political machines during their heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. But even as late as 1987, according to Barrett, the price of a vote in a Kentucky race could reach $200. He also retells the oft-forgotten story of alleged vote buying for John Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election. With the wealth of evidence that Campbell has amassed, there's little doubt that the goal of free and fair elections has not always been met in American history. Nor, as the disputed election of 2000 shows, does this problem seem to be going away. But Campbell (The Politics of Despair: Power and Resistance in the Tobacco Wars ) lumps together systemic problems, such as denying women and blacks the right to vote, with illegal transgressions, like vote buying. At the same time, he fails to acknowledge the advances made by American democracy, perhaps because this would weaken his case that the "process itself was deeply corrupted and had been so for over two hundred years." Agent, John W. Wright. (Nov. 8)

Reviewed on: 09/12/2005
Release date: 10/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 452 pages - 978-0-7867-1843-6
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