Cover: The Embattled Vote in America: From the Founding to the Present, from Harvard University PressCover: The Embattled Vote in America in HARDCOVER

The Embattled Vote in America

From the Founding to the Present

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Product Details


$27.95 • £22.95 • €25.00

ISBN 9780674972360

Publication Date: 09/10/2018


336 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches


Lichtman’s important book emphasizes the founders’ great blunder: They failed to enshrine a right to vote in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights… The Embattled Vote in America traces the consequences through American history… [Lichtman] uses history to contextualize the fix we’re in today… Growing outrage, he thinks, could ignite demands for change. With luck, this fine history might just help to fan the flame.—James A. Morone, The New York Times Book Review

The great value of Lichtman’s book is the way it puts today’s right-wing voter suppression efforts in their historical setting. He identifies the current push as the third crackdown on African-American voting rights in our history.—Michael Tomasky, The New York Review of Books

A noted authority on the history of American voting returns with a disturbing account of American political leaders who have, since the beginning of the republic, worked to limit the franchise. Lichtman…marches us through the dark history of voter limitation, from the Founders to now, and the images he paints are not flattering. The Constitution itself is vague about voting rights…and as Lichtman escorts us through the decades, we see an ugly pattern: people in power doing everything they can to remain so… The author examines a wide variety of discrimination: by race, gender, place of origin (immigrants, as he reminds us, have rarely been welcome here). He spends a lot of time exploring the denial and suppression of the African-American vote, and he notes how such efforts have succeeded and how they continue to dampen voter turnout… The author also explores the issue of ‘voter fraud’ that many (who wish to limit voting rights) have long raised. As Lichtman reveals, repeated studies have found virtually no evidence of it… An alarming, important, perhaps even essential book.Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Extraordinary and timely, The Embattled Vote in America reveals the politics and history of the right to vote, or, more importantly, the lack of the right to vote. Lichtman’s courtroom involvement with voting rights and the breadth and depth of his analysis underscore the significance of the vote in our democracy. A remarkable and provocative book that is essential reading for all citizens.—Orville Vernon Burton, author of The Age of Lincoln

Most compelling is the author’s extensive experience in voting rights cases over the last four decades, providing first-hand accounts of the ongoing battles to attain a voice in our democracy. His book is a call to arms and a must-read for any American interested in protecting our most fundamental right, the right to vote.—J. Gerald Hebert, Senior Director of Voting Rights and Redistricting, Campaign Legal Center