• 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.

Robert LaFollette's “Peril in the Machine” Speech* (1897)
Robert LaFollette's “peril in the machine” speech (1897)
  • In what ways did LaFollette expect primary elections to weaken political parties?
  • How have primary elections changed the strategies of candidates seeking a presidential nomination?

From the 1830s until the end of the nineteenth century, national nominating conventions served as the method ...

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