New updated edition of BALLOT BATTLES now available

Oxford University Press has published a revised and expanded edition of Ballot Battles: The History of Disputed Elections in the United States. It’s also available in a Kindle version for those, like me, who prefer to read (and highlight) electronic copies.

The first edition of Ballot Battles was released in December of 2015, before Trump emerged as the transformative force in American politics that he has since become. (Although my son told me in the summer of 2015 that Trump would win the 2016 election, I did not believe him. When Trump said that John McCain was “not a war hero” and that he only “like[d] people who were not captured,” as he did in July of 2015, I assumed he had no chance of winning the presidency and could be crossed off the long list of Republican contenders at the time. How wrong was I, as were many others!) I’ve been extremely gratified by the first edition’s reception, including the honor of being a finalist for the Langum Prize for books in American legal history.

This second edition of Ballot Battles brings the nation’s experience with disputed elections up to date, with a new chapter focusing on Trump’s refusal to accept his defeat in 2020. In addition, the book’s Introduction and Conclusion have been thoroughly revised in light of the significance that Trump’s evidence-free denial of Biden’s victory has in relation to all previous disputes over the outcome of elections in the nation’s history. Likewise, other chapters have been revised insofar as discussion and analysis of them benefit from comparisons to Trump’s behavior in 2020.

Although I certainly hope that the results of this year’s elections are undisputed in any significant way, to the extent that any of them are–especially the presidential election–or to the extent that anyone wishes to prepare for that possibility in advance, I hope that the availability of this new edition now provides a useful service.

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