The Department of Government
The Department of Government

Campaign Talk Named Best Book of the Decade

Tue, September 8, 2009

Roderick Hart’s book, Campaign Talk: Why Elections are Good for Us, has been named winner by The Political Communication Division of the American Political Science Association of the Doris Graber Book Award honoring the best book in Political Communication published in the last 10 years. Hart is dean of the College of Communication and director of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation. You can read the announcement from the College of Communication here.

The award was presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. G.R. Boynton chaired the award committee, and issued the following statement:

“1948 through 1996 was an important era in our politics. Rod took the task of tracing our self understandings as candidates presented them to us while seeking our votes. How has our public discussion changed from Harry Truman to Bill Clinton? How has the voice of citizens changed as we moved through this era in which we as a nation were finding a new place for ourselves in the world?

“What Rod did was present us with a clear picture and understanding of the changes we lived for half a century.

“What makes that particularly important, and makes it richly deserving this award, is that we are entering a new era of politics and communication. No longer would you look for the citizen voice in letters mediated by newspapers. For good or ill the voices of citizens and candidates are not mediated by the media as they were in the half century covered. And we also enter a new era in carving out a new place in the world.

“It is important because it gives us a remarkably clear vision of what was. That is equally important for our understanding of how our future is different from the past. We have a clear marker of what was as we move to new.

“It is remarkably well written. It is a joy to read.”

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