When Movements Anchor Parties, by Daniel Schlozman

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A bold new interpretation of American electoral history by n+1 contributor Daniel Schlozman.

Taking readers from the Civil War to today, Daniel Schlozman shows how two powerful alliances—those of organized labor and Democrats in the New Deal, and the Christian Right and Republicans since the 1970s—have defined the basic priorities of parties and shaped the available alternatives in national politics. He traces how they diverged sharply from three other major social movements that failed to establish a place inside political parties—the abolitionists following the Civil War, the Populists in the 1890s, and the antiwar movement in the 1960s and 1970s. Moving beyond a view of political parties simply as collections of groups vying for preeminence, Schlozman explores how would-be influencers gain influence—or do not. He reveals how movements join with parties only when the alliance is beneficial to parties, and how alliance exacts a high price from movements. Their sweeping visions give way to compromise and partial victories. Yet as Schlozman demonstrates, it is well worth paying the price as movements reorient parties' priorities. Timely and compelling, When Movements Anchor Parties demonstrates how alliances have transformed American political parties.

Praise for When Movements Anchor Parties

Many groups make up party coalitions, but few have the influence and endurance to anchor parties. This exceptionally well-written book explains the complex political networking and alliance building activities that can help movements secure permanence within political parties.”

A brilliant and beautifully crafted scholarly study destined to join the pantheon of classics in American political development. Schlozman theorizes and analyzes how some social movements form durable alliances with parties—labor and the Democrats, conservative evangelicals and the Republicans—and why others fail. When Movements Anchor Parties enriches contemporary debates about polarization, party networks, ideology, and coalition building.”
—Thomas E. Mann

288 pages

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