Bush v. Gore
Exposing the Hidden Crisis in American Democracy, Abridged and Updated
Abridged and Updated
Charles L. Zelden
Who could forget the Supreme Court's controversial 5-4 decision in Bush v. Gore or the 2000 presidential campaign and election that preceded it? Hanging chads, butterfly ballots, endless recounts, raucous allegations, and a constitutional crisis were all roiled into a confusing and potentially dangerous mix-until the Supreme Court decision allowed George W. Bush to become the 43rd President of the United States, despite losing the popular vote to Al Gore.
Praised by scholars and political pundits alike, the original edition of Charles Zelden's book set a new standard for our understanding of that monumental decision. A probing chronicle and critique of the vexing and acrimonious affair, it offered the most accurate and up-to-date analysis of a remarkable episode in American politics. Highly readable, its comprehensive coverage, depth of documentation and detail, and analytic insights remain unrivaled on the subject.
“A comprehensive, provocative, and timely study of the high- stakes legal drama of the 2000 presidential election.”
“Clear, balanced, and quite engaging. . . . [written] in a way that is comprehensible even to non-legal readers. An impressive feat.”
—Law and History ReviewSee all reviews...
“A must-read for anyone who cares about the future of American democracy.”
—Dallas Morning News
“Zelden’s book reads as a journalistic account, with the drama of a novel, but with circumstances that are stranger than fiction. . . . Invaluable to scholars, students, and anyone interested in understanding the confusion and the litigation that surrounded the 2000 presidential election in Florida.”
—Law and Politics Book Review
“A masterful synthesis that promises to be a classic work, Zelden’s book recaptures the suspense, confusion, and frustration of the 2000 presidential election, and infuses it with renewed relevance.”
“A superior achievement. Zelden writes clearly and precisely, laying the issues out patiently and thereby presenting a convincing account of such matters as overvotes and undervotes and dimpled and hanging chads. I also admire his nonpartisan restraint. While it’s clear that he finds aspects of the Court’s decision disappointing or unconvincing, he doesnt have a large axe to grind, which is what makes his critique so persuasive.”
—James T. Patterson, Bancroft Prize winner and author of Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush v. GoreSee fewer reviews...
In this first paperback edition, Zelden has abridged and simplified the original to focus on the core story and its essential details, greatly increasing its appeal for a wider and more diverse readership, including students and general readers. He has also added a postscript that deals with developments of the past decade relating to the case.
Like the original edition, this volume distills the events, issues, and voluminous commentary relating to Bush v. Gore into a sharply insightful and nonpartisan account of a remarkable election, the crisis it produced, and the litigation that followed. Ultimately, it shows that both the election controversy of 2000 and Bush v. Gore signaled major flaws in our electoral system that remain with us today.