A Short History of Presidential Election Crises
(And How to Prevent the Next One)
City Lights Open Media
Published by: City Lights Publishers
Imprint: City Lights Publishers
An urgent primer on what can be done to combat emerging threats to the core of U.S. Democracy—presidential elections.
In 2000, we learned that an exceptionally close presidential election can produce chaos, because we have no reliable Constitutional mechanism for resolving disputes. Joe Biden just won a presidential election that was extremely close in a number of states. Trump—and his many supporters—refuse to accept the legitimacy of those vote results, leading to an insurrection at the Capitol Building. Where do we go from here?
In A Short History, Constitutional scholar Alan Hirsch presents a concise history of presidential elections that resulted in crises and advocates clear, common-sense solutions, including abolishing the Electoral College and the creation of a permanent, non-partisan Presidential Election Review Board to prevent or remedy future crises.
“Hirsch does a very good job of offering historical context to illuminate the present—and the terrifying future. His imaginative proposals are probably too sensible to be implemented in an age of parochial partisanship.”—David Shipler, former reporter for the New York Times and Pulitzer Prize winner
“Democracy is broken, but as Alan Hirsch explains, it really doesn’t have to be. This is the real story of how our voting system became so vulnerable to attacks from within and without, told with precision, verve, and even hope. This is the way out.”—Douglas Rushkoff, author of Team Human
“This is a must-read for anyone who cares about safeguarding presidential elections―which should be everyone.”—Evan Caminker, Professor and former Dean, University of Michigan Law School
"The noted law historian, author of Impeaching the President, examines the handful of seriously problematic presidential elections in American history and what the Constitution elucidates about the process of undoing such an event—namely, nothing. . . . A highly relevant study featuring much food for thought and prospects for change."—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
" [A] seminal work of meticulous and informative scholarship that should be considered as an essential and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Contemporary Political Science collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject."—Midwest Library Review
Praise for Impeaching the President:
“Impeaching the President is lucid, balanced, and deeply informed. Anyone in search of a reasoned guide to the unreason of our current situation should read it.”—Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction
“Impeaching the President by Alan Hirsch is a masterpiece for the masses.”—Ralph Nader
“In an era when the notion of impeachment is tossed around as the ultimate political indictment, Alan Hirsch guides us with a steady hand through our own history to consider the three presidents who faced that ultimate punishment. This is a sober, precise, and carefully argued analysis that should be read by every member of Congress—and every president.”—David K. Shipler, former reporter for the New York Times and Pulitzer Prize recipient
“Alan Hirsch brings clarity, wisdom, and wit to a contentious and critical subject. Impeaching the President is must reading for all concerned citizens.”—Howard Shapiro, former FBI General Counsel
“Incredibly readable, well-researched, analytically sound and important.”—Alan B. Morrison, Associate Dean for Public Interest & Public Service at the George Washington Law School
“As the producer of 'The Forum' in San Francisco, which strives to foster civil conversation on complex issues, I couldn't have asked for a more mature, sophisticated, and fair look at impeachment, as Alan Hirsch provides in Impeaching the President: Past, Present, and Future. I can't tell you how reassuring it is to find an adult voice on this issue, calmly and clearly breaking through all of the current bombast and posturing. Everyone who is concerned about the governance of our country should read this book.”—Rebecca Nestle, Director of Cultural Programs, Grace Cathedral
“Absolutely enjoyed this one. The reader gets a hearty mix of American history, political intrigue, and constitutional law, all adhered with Hirsch's amazing writing. He captures the political chaos surrounding each prior case, yanking the reader out of our present exceptionalism to see the evolution of impeachment with the proper context and clarity. We have been here before and will likely be here again many more times, he suggests, with increased frequency. Can’t recommend it enough.”—Travis Cohen, Brookline Booksmith, MA