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Jack Weinstein

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Announcing an exciting new FREE book for you to download, including an essay by PQED author/ Why? Radio host Jack Russell Weinstein. Click on the link below to get your copy!

Picking the President: Understanding the Electoral College

Download the book here (pdf)

The 2016 presidential election has sparked an unprecedented interest in the Electoral College. To expand the conversation, Picking the President: Understanding the Electoral College offers brief essays that examine the Electoral College from different disciplinary perspectives, including philosophy, mathematics, political science, history, and pedagogy. Along the way, the essays address a variety of questions about the Electoral College: Why was it created? How has it changed over time? Who benefits from it? Is it just? How will future demographic patterns affect it? Should we alter or abolish the Electoral College, and if so, what should replace it? In exploring these matters, Picking the President enhances our understanding of one of America’s most high-profile, momentous issues.

This book is suitable for a general audience, regardless of academic experience or knowledge about the Electoral College. It is completely free and you don’t even have to sign up for anything. More information can be found here via the University of North Dakota Digital Press:

Download the book here (pdf)

Table of Contents 

Introduction: A Brief History of the Electoral College
Eric Burin


Section One: The Electoral College in Comparative Perspective

Ancient States and Representative Government: 
Greek and Roman Models for the Electoral College 
William Caraher

The Electoral College as American Aristocracy 
Donald F. Johnson

America’s Rotten Electoral College System 
Manisha Sinha

The South (or the North, or the West…) Will Rise Again, and Again, and Again: 
Viewing the Electoral College from the Perspective of Chinese History 
Andrew Meyer


Section Two: The Electoral College in Historical Perspective

What the Founders Were Thinking: Why We have the Electoral College
Andrew Shankman

Did Disenfranchisement Give the South an Electoral Advantage?

Patrick Rael

Citizenship, Civil Rights, and Electoral Politics
Cynthia Culver Prescott

Quantifying a Candidate’s Advantage in the Electoral College
Timothy Prescott


Section Three: The Future of the Electoral College

If the Electoral College Can Contradict the Popular Vote Sometimes, Why Would It Be Wrong for Them To Do It Every Single Time?
Jack Russell Weinstein

Electoral College is Fixable; Senate is Not.
Mark Trahant

Long Habits and Legitimacy 
Mark Stephen Jendrysik

In Defense of the Electoral College
Allen Guelzo and James H. Hulme.

Electoral College Alternatives: Tradeoffs
Benjamin J. Kassow


Section Four: Teaching the Electoral College

“Empathy for the Unicorn”:
Teaching About the Electoral College
Brad Austin



The Constitutional Convention

U.S. Constitution: Article II
Federalist Paper No. 68
Anti-Federalist Paper No. 68
Anti-Federalist Paper No. 72
Amendment 12
Timothy Pickering, Speech in Favor of the Twelfth Amendment
James Madison to George Hay
James Madison to John Hillhouse

Download the book here (pdf)

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