The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941

BOOK REVIEWS
Presidential Elections. By Cortez A. M. Ewing.
Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1940. Pp. xiii, 226. $2.00.
Professor Ewing in this volume presents an interesting study
on national election statistics for the years 1864 to 1936. Strict-
ly speaking the work is not a history of American political par-
ties for the period under consideration, but, as the author states,
"the purpose is to attempt an interpretation of the more funda-
mental development of theories which have lain behind and
beneath American politics." On the whole it appears that this
end is attained.
The author is primarily concerned with the reaction of voters
to the issues placed before them and in ascertaining in so far
as possible what makes our American democracy tick. Such
problems as sectional preferences, third parties, and the clash
of both economic and social interests are discussed, with refer-
ence to their influence upon the major parties and the voter.
The dominance of sectionalism is emphasized. The political
isolation of the solid South, the frequent apparent agreement
between the industrial East and the Middle West, the retention
of the balance of power by fifteen states of the West, and the
very near relinquishment of the principles of party loyalty in
recent years by major parties are all forcefully brought to the
attention of the reader.
During the earlier period of our history political parties dif-
fered largely over forms of government, but since the Civil War
more concern has been given to functions of government.
Throughout the period there has been a growing increase in the
amount of governmental interference, especially Federal inter-
meddling. By charts and tables Dr. Ewing shows how the voter
has accepted or has refused to approve this trend toward Federal
centralization.
The author's statistical approach is used to an advantage;
by it the reader is given a more accurate understanding of those
factors influencing the American electorate.
STUART A. MACCORKLE.
The University of Texas.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146052/. Accessed August 22, 2014.