Down for the Count: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America

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New Press, The, Apr 7, 2015 - Political Science - 256 pages
The updated edition of Steal This Vote—a rollicking history of US voter suppression and fraud from Jacksonian democracy to Citizens United and beyond.
In Down for the Count, award-winning journalist Andrew Gumbel explores the tawdry history of elections in the United States. From Jim Crow to Tammany Hall to the Bush v. Gore Florida recount, it is a chronicle of votes bought, stolen, suppressed, lost, miscounted, thrown into rivers, and litigated up to the Supreme Court. Gumbel then uses this history to explain why America is now experiencing the biggest backslide in voting rights in more than a century.
First published in 2005 as Steal This Vote, this thoroughly revised and updated edition reveals why America faces so much trouble running clean, transparent elections. And it demonstrates how the partisan battles now raging over voter IDs, campaign spending, and minority voting rights fit into a long, largely unspoken tradition of hostility to the very notion of representative democracy.
Interviewing Democrats, Republicans, and a range of voting rights activists, Gumbel offers an engaging and accessible analysis of how our democratic integrity is so often corrupted by racism, money, and power. In an age of high-stakes electoral combat, billionaire-backed candidacies, and bottom-of-the-barrel campaigning, this book is more important than ever.
“In a riveting and frightening account, Gumbel . . . traces election fraud in America from the 18th century to the present . . . [the issues he] so winningly addresses are crucial to the future of democracy.” —Publishers Weekly, on Steal This Vote


Authors Note
Everything Is a Violation
The Antidemocratic Tradition and the New Right
Slavery and the System
The Ascent of Machine Politics
The Theft of the Century
The 1896 Watershed and the Paradox of Reform
The Long Agony of the Disenfranchised South
Florida 2000
Miracle Cure
The Shape of Things to Come
The 3 Percent Solution
The New Religion of Buying and Suppressing Votes
The SuperRich and the Democratic Future

The Other Kind of Mob Rule
The Fallacy of the Technological

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About the author (2015)

Andrew Gumbel is an award-winning British-born reporter for the Guardian and other publications, and the author of several books, including Oklahoma City, about the 1995 bombing. He lives in Los Angeles.Chris MacDonnell is an Earphones Award-winning narrator and a classically trained actor and voice artist whose theater credits include London's West End and the Royal National Theatre, British TV shows, BBC Radio drama, commercials, and films. He is also a published poet and has written comedy and drama for television shows.

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