Cover: The Responsible Electorate: Rationality in Presidential Voting, 1936–1960, from Harvard University PressCover: The Responsible Electorate in E-DITION

The Responsible Electorate

Rationality in Presidential Voting, 1936–1960

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Product Details


$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674497764

Publication Date: 01/01/1966

158 pages

57 tables

Belknap Press


Related Subjects

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It is an absorbing study. I have no doubt at all that it will prove to be a highly significant contribution, worthy of comparison with his other major writings. Key’s analysis of the mass of evidence he assembled helps, I think, to restore our confidence in the validity of democratic elections. Because the publication of Key’s book will throw down a powerful challenge to recent orthodoxies, it will, I am quite certain, compel a fresh and comprehensive reexamination of the whole question of the rationality of the voter.—Robert A. Dahl

The message Key transmits is an important one, especially in a day when too many observers are over-ready to discount the good sense of the mass of voters and, by inference, the system based in part upon them. Though Key was no populist and was not disposed to view the system as a huge town meeting, he was also, and with good reason, unwilling to treat the electoral function as mere window dressing and the voters as helpless pawns. These pages are full of his wit, his prudence, his craftsmanship, and his faith. All those who care about the subject will welcome this book; the many who loved V. O. Key will also treasure it.—David B. Truman

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