The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 2012 - Political Science - 208 pages
2 Reviews

America's political system is dysfunctional. While this is a widely held view, it is a problem that—so far—has proved intractable. After every election, voters discover yet again that political "leaders" are simply quarreling in a never-ending battle between the two warring tribes, the Republicans and Democrats. In this critically important book, a distinguished statesman and thinker identifies exactly how our political and governing systems reward intransigence, discourage compromise, and undermine our democracy. He then describes exactly what must be done to banish the negative effects of partisan warfare from our political system.

As a former congressman, Mickey Edwards witnessed firsthand how important legislative battles can devolve into struggles not over principle but over party advantage. He offers graphic examples of how this problem has intensified and reveals how political battles have become nothing more than conflicts between party machines. Edwards's solutions—specific, practical, fair, and original—show the way to break the stranglehold of the political party system. The Parties Versus the People offers hope for a fundamental renewal of American democracy.


What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JBD1 - LibraryThing

An eminently sensible book, filled with numerous and sundry excellent policy suggestions that would measurably improve the functioning of the American republic. Edwards' prescriptions for what ails ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jaygheiser - LibraryThing

This is the best explanation I've found for the sorry and contentious state of the American political system. This is a balanced and non-partisan explanation as to how the system has become one that ... Read full review


Reforming the Election System
Reforming the Governing System
A New Politics
Citizen Initiative Information by State
Suggested Reading

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Mickey Edwards, a congressman for sixteen years and a faculty member at Harvard and Princeton for the subsequent sixteen years, is a vice president of the Aspen Institute.

Bibliographic information