Is American politics "ideological," or relatively consensual? Do the American parties differ from one another and, if so, how? Party Ideologies in America, 1828-1996 is a synthetic history and analysis of the ideologies of the major American parties from the early nineteenth century to the present. It is the only book currently in print that attempts such a broad treatment of the subject and that is empirically grounded.
Part I. Introduction: 1. Argument; 2. Rethinking the ideology debate; Part II. The Whig-Republican Party: 3. The national epoch (1828–1924); 4. The neoliberal epoch (1928–92); Part III. The Democratic Party: 5. The Jeffersonian epoch (1828–92); 6. The populist epoch (1896–1948); 7. The universalist epoch (1952–92); Part IV. Conclusion: 8. What drives ideology change?; 9. Does ideology matter?; Epilogue.
"Party Ideologies in America is a pathbreaking effort at synthesizing dominant ideological themes in the history of the Whig/Republican and Democratic parties from the beginning of a true party system more than 170 years ago to the present time." Journal of American History
"...a thoughtful, provocative, and generally persuasive historical analysis of national party ideologies from the formative period of lastingly competitive two-party politics into the present epoch." Samuel T. McSeveney
"The central thesis of Gerring's engaging book is that American political parties have, and historically have had, consistent ideological differences of no lesser average magnitude that those in putatively more ideological European settings." Bert A. Rockman, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"The quantitative data derived from content analysis of party platforms and speeches by presidential counterweigh the accumulated judgements of generations of scholars, but Gerring's work deserves serious reflection by all students of US political parties." Choice