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Nicole Mellow

The State of Disunion

“This important book spans American history, economics, and culture to explain why the nation splits into blue versus red states” (James A. Morone, Brown University).
Why are some eras of American politics characterized by broad, bipartisan harmony and others by rancorous partisanship? In The State of Disunion, Nicole Mellow argues that these oscillations are a product of how politicians respond to the demands of regional constituents. According to Mellow, regions remain a vital consideration in electoral battles because they fuse material and ideological expectations of voters.
This wide-ranging analysis of congressional battles over trade, welfare, and abortion since the 1960s demonstrates how regional economic, racial, and cultural divisions have configured national party building and today’s legislative conflicts and how these divisions will continue to shape American politics for years to come.
The State of Disunion broadens our understanding of American politics by displaying the conceptual insights of political geography combined with the rich tapestry of political history. Mellow offers a new way to comprehend the meaning and significance of American partisanship in our time.
401 printed pages
Original publication
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