Will race or politics matter more?
Book explores the nature of independent voters as historic election nears
Sep 26, 2008
By Jeff Kallet
Outlook features a monthly column showcasing recent titles published by Ohio University Press. The largest university press in Ohio, the press publishes 50 books annually on a variety of topics. These books carry the Ohio University name into the world, receiving national and international attention from leading scholarly journals, prominent review media and prestigious award competitions.
As the country considers electing its first African-American president, many pundits are wondering how race will factor into the November election. Some media stories focusing on the black community have revealed a sense of pride and excitement about Sen. Barack Obama's candidacy, while others have stressed that black voters are not a monolithic bloc.
In the midst of this historic campaign, Ohio University Press recently published "In the Balance of Power: Independent Black Politics and Third-Party Movements," by Omar Ali. A professor of African American and diaspora studies at Vanderbilt University, Ali examines the dynamic nature of black political agency over the past century. Special consideration is given to vital nonpartisan efforts committed to significant social change, such as the abolition of slavery and the foundations of the civil rights era.
This provocative study brings its research to the present day, when 30 percent of African-Americans self-identify as independents and 40 percent of Americans in general are not aligned with either major party, Ali notes. In tracing this long history of independent politics, Ali reveals, among other things, that Obama is the beneficiary of decades of activism among black and white independents. Ali recently has appeared on several radio programs as an expert on independent voting trends.
Other Recent Ohio University Press titles:
Other Ohio University Press notes:
- In recent weeks, Ohio University Press titles have been reviewed in the following places: Western Historical Quarterly, Pacific Affairs: An International Review of Asia and the Pacific, the Mansfield News Journal, American Periodicals, Journal of Archival Organization, South Central Review, CHOICE and BellaOnline.
- "Searching for Fannie Quigley: A Wilderness Life in the Shadow of Mount McKinley," a biography by Alaska historian Jane Haigh, is a finalist for a Women Writing the West Literary Award. Winners will be announced in late October.
Updated Sept. 26, 2008, to reflect the outlets that have reviewed Ohio University Press titles.
Ohio University Press: http://www.ohioswallow.com/
"In the Balance of Power": http://www.ohioswallow.com/book/In+the+Balance+of+Power
Published: Sep 26, 2008 12:24 PM