Primary source materials are a great way for students to experience firsthand a historic event, to more fully understand a pivotal actor or figure, or to explore legislation or a judicial decision. Students leave these readings better prepared to grapple with secondary sources. In fact, they can often support a different interpretation or more critically engage with analysis. This new volume—with 50 documents that include speeches, court cases, letters, diary entries, excerpts from autobiographies, treaties, legislation, regulations and reports, documentary photographs, ad stills, public opinion polls, transcripts, and press releases—is a great starting point for any parties and elections course. Careful editing, pithy headnotes, and discussion questions all enhance this useful reader.

Alexis de Tocqueville's “Parties in the United States”* (1835)

Alexis de Tocqueville's “parties in the United States” (1835)
  • How did de Tocqueville portray the roles of majority and minority political parties in the United States? Was his depiction accurate for the time?
  • How do the political parties de Tocqueville observed ...
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