The Underdog in American Politics: The Democratic Party and Liberal Values

Hardcover | May 15, 2010

byKarl G. Trautman

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The Underdog in American Politics is an original analysis of how the underdog concept applies to the Democratic Party and American politics and culture. In particular, it analyzes how the power of the underdog has shaped, and reflected, the politics of Democrats running for president. From Thomas Jefferson to Barack Obama, the author uses biography, ideology, campaign strategy and public policies to depict the many different points of contact between Democrats and underdogs. The core values of equality, fairness and non-discrimination are analyzed. The role of sympathy and empathy towards underdogs is also examined. 

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The Underdog in American Politics is an original analysis of how the underdog concept applies to the Democratic Party and American politics and culture. In particular, it analyzes how the power of the underdog has shaped, and reflected, the politics of Democrats running for president. From Thomas Jefferson to Barack Obama, the author u...

Karl G. Trautman is Chairperson of the Social Science Department at Central Maine Community College. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Hawaii and is the editor of The New Populist Reader. He has taught political science for various colleges and universities, been a newspaper columnist, policy analyst in the Michigan state sen...

other books by Karl G. Trautman

The New Populist Reader
The New Populist Reader

Hardcover|Nov 1 1997

$169.53 online$187.95list price(save 9%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:276 pages, 8.38 × 5.75 × 0.81 inPublished:May 15, 2010Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230102743

ISBN - 13:9780230102743

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Table of Contents

Culture and Underdogs: The Endearing Appeal * The Political Culture and Core Ideals of Democrats * The Founders and the Great Commoner: Jefferson, Jackson and Bryan * The Glory Days: FDR to Humphrey * The 1970s and 1980s: McGovern, Carter, Hart and Jackson * The 1990s to 2004: Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Howard Dean * Barack Obama and the Future of the Democratic Party

Editorial Reviews

“A must-read for Democrats who can’t explain why they are Democrats and Republicans who can’t explain why their BIG DOG tactics often lose to UNDERDOGS. This remarkably researched book is essential for educators of today and their students who are the future of America’s political system.”--Phil Jones, Retired CBS News Correspondent, and Contributing Correspondent, PBS Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly“Trautman’s work is a careful analysis of the often-contentious embrace of the underdog by the Democratic Party. Casting itself in this role has resulted historically in opening the party to a wide-variety of differing interests, personalities, and styles. The self-identification of such groups as ‘underdogs’ places the party under various obligations to ‘contest others’ in re-establishing a desired condition of relative equality within which the presumed underdog can prosper and imparting a unique character to American liberalism. Throughout, Trautman displays a fine sense for the nuances with which American liberalism is continuously constructed and reconstructed, and illustrates with apt and plentiful examples the complex pathways the American underdog travels in the endless search for achievement and fulfillment.”--Deane Neubauer, Emeritus Professor of Political Science, University of Hawaii, Manoa“Karl G. Trautman’s The Underdog in American Politics is a thorough and sweeping portrayal of one of the animating values of American culture and its symbiotic evolution with the Democratic Party over two centuries. The book illustrates a crucial fulcrum of political conflict, one that is claimed by progressives and Tea Party advocates alike. Ranging from Jacksonian politics to the age of Obama, Trautman presents a well crafted narrative of the underdog’s place in the American political story. This will serve as a very useful text for college classes on political parties and American ideology.”-- Paul Petterson, Chair, Department of Political Science, Central Connecticut State University