The Electoral College: A Biography of America’s Peculiar Creation Through the Eyes of the People Who Shaped It


A timely look at how the Electoral College has changed U.S. history and why it endures—told through the lenses of specific people who both influenced the process and were impacted by the results.

“Over the years, no feature of the Constitution has attracted more criticism than that strange creature called the Electoral College. Thomas E. Weaver has made that history into a story with an intriguing cast of characters, some familiar, several new to me. If you want to know why it is so hard to do away with this long-standing anachronism, Weaver’s story will help you understand.” —Joseph J. Ellis, Professor Emeritus of History, Mount Holyoke College, author of Pulitzer Prize winning Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

“Weaver makes excellent use of well-chosen, vivid anecdotes and a clear, lively writing style in order to offer an engaging and insightful analysis of a topic that in less skilled hands could easily be offputtingly dry or arcane. Two other compelling aspects of the manuscript are that the subject matter is of obvious urgent contemporary concern, and that the author has ferreted out underappreciated narratives of women and minorities that are nevertheless central to understanding the historical development of the Electoral College system.” —Gregory S. Aldrete, Professor Emeritus of History and Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, author of Daily Life in the Roman City: Rome, Pompeii, and Ostia

“Weaver’s history of the origins of the Electoral College and the reasons put forth both for its abolition and its preservation is tremendously engaging. In lively and accessible prose, Weaver makes the history of the founding of the EC come alive, and he makes the issues surrounding it, pro and con, clear, understandable, and interesting.” —Booklist