Robert Mutch: Buying the Vote

[This is the latest in a series of short reflections on new books in campaign finance which I am working my way through as I write my own manuscript on the subject.]

 Robert Mutch, who wrote the leading historical work on the treatment of corporations under U.S. campaign finance law, has now written a broader history, Buying the Vote: A History of Campaign Finance Reform. I read good portions of the book in manuscript form and offered this blurb which appears on the back of the book:

The book is no doubt the leading historical account of the debate over campaign finance regulation from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century. Mutch has mined a wealth of primary sources to paint the most detailed picture possible (consistent with the paucity of the early historical record) of the financing of U.S. federal campaigns and the national debate over that financing. Mutch usefully ties current judicial debate to the earlier historical record, providing valuable context and serving as a corrective to much of what passes for historical analysis in the U.S. Supreme Court’s campaign finance opinions.

I’m happy to say that having (re)read the final product, I concur wholeheartedly with my earlier assessment!


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