The Right to Vote

The Contested History of Democracy in the United States

Recommended by Susan Ware, and 1 others. See all reviews

Ranked #94 in Democracy

Originally published in 2000, The Right to Vote was widely hailed as a magisterial account of the evolution of suffrage from the American Revolution to the end of the twentieth century. In this revised and updated edition, Keyssar carries the story forward, from the disputed presidential contest of 2000 through the 2008 campaign and the election of Barack Obama. The Right to Vote is a sweeping reinterpretation of American political history as well as a meditation on the meaning of democracy in contemporary American life.

Reviews and Recommendations

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Susan Ware This is about the only comprehensive history of the right to vote. He looks at the racial dynamics of voting after the Civil War and the demand for restricting immigrants’ access to the ballot box through literacy tests. This book is a critical read because it reminds us that voting rights are always contested. It puts the suffrage story, the story of women organizing to get the vote, into the larger history of voting. (Source)

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