Clear and alarming, Seabrook delves into a practice that's as American as apple pie: gerrymandering. From the Founding Fathers to the current congressional maps, Seabrook deftly shines a light on this egregiously undemocratic process. With the current redistricting following the 2020 census giving us maps like those of Florida and Ohio, this is a must-read for all who care about voting rights.
A redistricting crisis is now upon us. This surprising, compelling book tells the history of how we got to this moment—from the Founding Fathers to today’s high-tech manipulation of election districts—and shows us as well how to protect our most sacred, hard-fought principle of one person, one vote. Here is THE book on gerrymandering for citizens, politicians, journalists, activists, and voters.
“Seabrook’s lucid account of the origins and evolution of gerrymandering—the deliberate and partisan doctoring of district borders for electoral advantage—makes a potentially dry, wonky subject accessible and engaging for a broad audience.” —The New York Times
Nick Seabrook,an authority on constitutional and election law and an expert on gerrymandering (pronounced with a hard ‘G’!), begins before our nation’s founding, with the rigging of American elections for partisan and political gain and the election meddling of George Burrington, the colonial governor of North Carolina, in retaliation against his critics. The author writes of Patrick Henry, who used redistricting to settle an old score with political foe and fellow Founding Father James Madison (almost preventing the Bill of Rights from happening), and of Elbridge Gerry, the Massachusetts governor from whose name “gerrymander” derives.
One Person, One Vote explores the rise of the most partisan gerrymanders in American history, put in place by the Republican Party after the 2010 census. We see how the battle has shifted to the states via REDMAP—the GOP’s successful strategy to control state governments and rig the results of state legislative and congressional elections over the past decade. Seabrook makes clear that a vast new redistricting is already here, and that to safeguard our republic, action is needed before it is too late.
About the Author
NICK SEABROOK is a professor in the department of political science and public administration at the University of North Florida. The author of Drawing the Lines: Constraints on Gerrymandering in U.S. Politics, he lives in Jacksonville, Florida.
“Seabrook’s lucid account of the origins and evolution of gerrymandering—the deliberate and partisan doctoring of district borders for electoral advantage—makes a potentially dry, wonky subject accessible and engaging for a broad audience.”—The New York Times
“[An] excellent and cogent account of election boundary manipulation proves that political power knows few bounds and explains gerrymandering’s history and effects and ways to combat it . . . A timely and powerful book that should be read by everyone interested in preserving American democracy.”—Library Journal (starred)
“A sweeping study of gerrymandering, the process of manipulating the boundaries of political districts to ensure an election’s outcome … Seabrook urges readers to pressure their state legislatures to establish independent commissions and other nonpartisan redistricting procedures. Dense yet entertaining, this comprehensive survey is a worthy introduction to a high-stakes political issue.”—Publishers Weekly
“A study of the practice of shaping electoral districts … Seabrook shows how gerrymandering has been practiced by both major parties in recent years, with procedural road maps now followed by the GOP often laid out by their Democratic predecessors … [a] call to action … valuable reading for voting rights advocates.”—Kirkus