Since its first appearance in 2008, this book has changed the landscape of Virgilian studies. Analysing closely the logic and the literary genres of Virgil's three poems, it politely confronts the modern orthodoxy that Virgil signalled distaste for the methods of his ruler, Octavian-Augustus. It refreshes the study of Virgil's poetry by comparing it with the detail (normally neglected by scholars) of Rome's civil wars after Julius Caesar's death, when Octavian's survival looked highly unlikely. And it argues that Virgil wrote as a passionate - and brave - partisan of Octavian, who - like a good lawyer - confronted his patron's undeniable failings in order to defend.
This book is the first to place the contemporary debate over media bias in historical context, illustrating how partisan bias in the American media has built political parties, set the stage for several wars, and even contributed to the rise and fall of U.S. presidents. The author discusses the rise of the unprecedented post-World War II model of objective journalism and explains why this model is breaking down under the challenge of a new generation of technology-driven partisan media alternatives.
In the forest near Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania, a boy and his dog heroically save the life of an anti-Communist fighter Thirteen year-old Bobby spends his summer vacation with his grandparents in a small Carpathian Mountain village. One day, while he is in the forest looking for plants for a herbarium, he comes upon a wounded partisan, a freedom fighter hiding from Communist troops who are searching for him. Soldiers have taken over the village and some are living in Bobby’s grandparents’ house. The punishment for protecting a partisan is severe, but this partisan reminds Bobby of his father, who died in the war fighting the Soviet invaders of Romania. With the help of his dog Volf and his horse Albu, Bobby has repeated narrow escapes as he outwits the government soldiers and saves the life of the partisan. Along the way he learns history that is not taught in the Communist-run schools—including that Prince Vlad Dracula was not a vampire, but a Romanian hero who, like the partisans, wanted to punish and expel invaders from the land. This story is based on the real-life adventures of the author and other boys in 1952 who wanted to help freedom fighters and who dreamed of being heroes.
As Washington elites drifted toward ideological poles over the past few decades, did ordinary Americans follow their lead? In The Partisan Sort, Matthew Levendusky reveals that we have responded to this trend—but not, for the most part, by becoming more extreme ourselves. While polarization has filtered down to a small minority of voters, it also has had the more significant effect of reconfiguring the way we sort ourselves into political parties. In a marked realignment since the 1970s—when partisan affiliation did not depend on ideology and both major parties had strong liberal and conservative factions—liberals today overwhelmingly identify with Democrats, as conservatives do with Republicans. This “sorting,” Levendusky contends, results directly from the increasingly polarized terms in which political leaders define their parties. Exploring its far-reaching implications for the American political landscape, he demonstrates that sorting makes voters more loyally partisan, allowing campaigns to focus more attention on mobilizing committed supporters. Ultimately, Levendusky concludes, this new link between party and ideology represents a sea change in American politics.
Party identification may be the single most powerful predictor of voting behavior, yet scholars continue to disagree whether this is good or bad for democracy. Some argue that party identification functions as a highly efficient information shortcut, guiding voters to candidates that represent their interests. Others argue that party identification biases voters' perceptions, thereby undermining accountability. Competing Motives in the Partisan Mind provides a framework for understanding the conditions under which each of the characterizations is most apt. The answer hinges on whether a person has sufficient motivation and ability to defend her party identity or whether norms of good citizenship motivate her to adjust her party identity to reflect her disagreements. A series of surveys and experiments provide a window into the partisan mind during times of conflict between party identity and political attitudes. These studies show that individuals devote cognitive resources to defending their party identities against dissonant thoughts, often resorting to elaborate justifications. However, when cognitive resources are insufficient, these defenses break down and partisans are forced to adjust their identities to reflect disagreements. In addition, thoughts of civic duty can stimulate responsiveness motivation to the point that it overwhelms partisan motivation, leading individuals to adjust their identities to reflect their disagreements. In demonstrating the influence of competing motives, this book reconciles the two dominant theories of party identification. Rather than characterizing party identification as either a highly stable affective attachment or a running tally of political evaluations, it suggests that the nature of party identification hinges on the interplay between the motivations that underlie it. Perhaps even more importantly, this book shifts the discussion away from partisan change versus stability to the normative implications of party identification. While the polarization of American politics may be exacerbating partisan biases, there is plenty of reason for hope. By simply making citizens' widespread feelings of civic duty salient to them, these biases may be overcome.