• Summary
  • Contents

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.

William Jennings Bryan's “Cross of Gold” Speech* (1896)
William Jennings Bryan's “cross of gold” speech (1896)
  • What was Bryan's strategy for winning the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 1896? How was his strategy appropriate for winning the nomination at the convention?
  • If Bryan was one of the most dynamic and energetic campaigners in ...
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