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“Important and engaging” —The Washington Post
From the president of NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice and the author of The Second Amendment, the history of the long struggle to win voting rights for all citizens.
In The Second Amendment, Michael Waldman traced the ongoing argument on gun rights from the Bill of Rights to the current day. Now in The Fight to Vote, Michael Waldman takes a succinct and comprehensive look at a crucial American struggle: the drive to define and defend government based on “the consent of the governed.” From the beginning, and at every step along the way, as Americans sought to right to vote, others have fought to stop them. This is the first book to trace the full story from the founders’ debates to today’s challenges: a wave of restrictive voting laws, partisan gerrymanders, the flood of campaign money unleashed by Citizens United. Americans are proud of our democracy. But today that system seems to be under siege, and the right to vote has become the fight to vote.
In fact, that fight has always been at the heart of our national story, and raucous debates over how to expand democracy have always been at the center of American politics. At first only a few property owners could vote. Over two centuries, working class white men, former slaves, women, and finally all Americans won the right to vote. The story goes well beyond voting rules to issues of class, race, political parties, and campaign corruption. It's been raw, rowdy, a fierce, and often rollicking struggle for power. Waldman’s The Fight to Vote is a compelling story of our struggle to uphold our most fundamental democratic ideals.