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Political Mischief Smear, Sabotage, and Reform in U.S. Elections by Bruce L. Felknor

Political Mischief Smear, Sabotage, and Reform in U.S. Elections


Political Mischief Smear, Sabotage, and Reform in U.S. Elections by Bruce L. Felknor

An old pro on political mischief in the United States gives us an overview of U.S. campaign tactics and ethics from eighteenth-century pamphleteers to campaign consultants and media wizards in the 1990s. Bruce Felknor analyzes negative campaigning today within the context of the evolution of our electoral system. He offers a candid report on the media's influence on politics and shows how political reforms from the Progressive Era to Watergate have often misfired. Students of government and communications, political consultants and professional politicians, and all readers who want to vote more intelligently will find this analysis incisive and the long-forgotten, little-known, and never-told chapters of political lore written in an engaging fashion. This in-depth history of political mischief in American elections is told in three ways. First it examines the surrounding context of the electoral system and the shifting role of political parties as campaign consultants and media experts emerged. Next it examines and analyzes the basic elements of campaign defamation and deception and the problems of espionage and sabotage. Finally it considers political reform and concludes with reflections on the prospects of future reforms.

About the Author

BRUCE L. FELKNOR is a well-known expert on election practices, the author of Dirty Politics, co-author of Political Dynamiting, and editor of The U.S. Government: How and Why It Works. He is the author of several other books and many articles on unfair electioneering. Felknor served as Executive Director of the Fair Campaign Practices Committee, Inc., from the mid-1950s to the 1960s and was Executive Editor for years of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

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Book Info

Publication date

16th April 1992


Bruce L. Felknor

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Praeger Publishers Inc an imprint of ABC-CLIO


312 pages


Elections & referenda



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