Challengers to Duopoly by
Publication Date: 2012-05-30
Building on the foundational importance of its predecessor (Politics at the Periphery, 1993), Challengers to Duopoly offers an up-to-date overview of the important history of America's third parties and the challenge they represent to the hegemony of the major parties. J. David Gillespie introduces readers to minor partisan actors of three types: short-lived national parties, continuing doctrinal and issue parties, and the state and local significant others. Woven into these accounts are profiles of some of the individuals who have taken the initiative to found and lead these parties. Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, Jesse Ventura, and other recent and contemporary electoral insurgents are featured. Gillespie maintains that despite the infirmities they often bear, third parties do matter, and they have mattered throughout American public life. Many of our nation's most important policies and institutional innovations including abolition, women's suffrage, government transparency, child labor laws, and national healthcare were third-party ideas before either major party embraced them.