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The Next Realignment: Why America's Parties are Crumbling and What Happens Next.


The Next Realignment: Why America's Parties are Crumbling and What Happens Next

Frank J. DiStefano

Prometheus Books


480 pages




DiStefano, a writer and former litigator who has been a congressional aide and worked on political campaigns, argues that political parties in the US are in the process of breaking apart and preparing for the next realignment, part of a cycle built into the political structure of the country. He explains how the US has had five different sets of political coalitions in its history and four past realignments. He discusses how its political parties deveoped, the ideas and philosophical principles underlying them, the forces tearing them apart, how realignments work, and the future of the country. He describes the history of America's past party systems, including Hamilton's Federalists and Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans, the Whigs and Jackson's Democrats, the Civil War parties of North and South, the Populist and Progressive Era parties that reformed America out of the Gilded Age, and the New Deal-era parties of today; the great debates in history in which people fought over how America should change, what it should become, and how it should address new problems and concerns; and how each realignment gets rid of an old system in a moment of crisis and forms a new party system to deal with new problems. He also explores the cracks in the current party system, its dominant ideologies, why it is collapsing, and what is likely to emerge. (Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR)

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Article Type:Book review
Date:May 1, 2019
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