The Making of the New Deal Democrats: Voting Behavior and Realignment in Boston, 1920-1940
"Why is The Making of New Deal Democrats so significant? One of the major controversies in the study of American elections has to do with the nature of electoral realignments. One school argues that a realignment involves a major shift of voters from one party to another, while another school argues that the process consists largely of mobilization of previously inactive voters. The debate is crucial for understanding the nature of the New Deal realignment.
Almost all previous work on the subject has dealt with large-scale national patterns which make it difficult to pin down the precise processes by which the alignment took place. Gamm's work is most remarkable in that it is a close analysis of shifting voter alignments on the precinct and block level in the city of Boston. His extremely detailed and painstaking work of isolating homogeneous ethnic units over a twenty-year period allows one to trace the voting behavior of the particular ethnic groups that ultimately formed the core of the New Deal realignment."—Sidney Verba, Harvard University
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active electorate Al Smith American Politics Americans in Process Andersen argued Back Bay Beacon Hill Boston's Irish Bostonians Brahmins Burnham Bushee census tract century city's Critical Elections Deal coalition Deal realignment decades Democratic candidates Democratic gains Democratic party Democratic registrants Democratic support East Boston Erbring ethnic groups ethnically homogeneous Firey foreign-born Future of American homogeneous precincts Huthmacher immigrants important increased Irish Italians Jewish community Jewish Precincts Jews Ladd and Hadley large numbers lower class lower middle class lower-middle-class Lubell Massachusetts Mattapan mobilization neighborhoods North End number of registered occurred partisan party registration figures party system patterns percent period Political Behavior political participation potential electorate registered to vote registered voters Republican party Roosevelt Roxbury senator shift Smith Social Street Streetcar Suburbs Sundquist tract K-3 V. O. Key voter conversion votes cast voting precincts ward women Woods and Kennedy working-class Yankee