PositiveThe New Republic... very fine ... captures that hard core of pragmatism embedded in what he notes is \'the oldest mass party in the world\' ... Kazin’s exploration of this ideological tenet is rich and nuanced, but he’s too careful a historian not to cover numerous party efforts that don’t really fit the bill ... While powerfully evoking this lost organizational world, Kazin doesn’t quite do justice to the substantive coherence of nineteenth-century Democrats’ twinned commitments to white popular democracy and racial subjugation. He is, to be sure, careful to keep the party’s racism, from Jackson onward, at center stage...But he treats the racism more as a residual, contradictory shortcoming than a constitutive element of the party’s political project ... Kazin’s account of the Democrats’ post-’70s travails blends a critical tone with a reticence to make concrete claims about who was responsible or what alternative paths were plausible—a frustrating combination ... Did Jesse Jackson’s innovative, hard-edged presidential campaigns in 1984 and 1988, to which Kazin devotes some richly moving pages, offer the key to a different political world in their articulation of a new kind of multicultural economic populism? Kazin doesn’t say, just as he skirts the edge of agreement with internal Democratic critics concerning the allegedly baleful influence of \'identity politics\' without quite committing to it ... a rich but accessible book. Kazin shows great instincts throughout for discerning which specific cases to zoom in on and which historical actors to foreground, all in service of his core argument. And he ends his narrative in a tone of sober uncertainty that, at least as it concerns the party’s trajectory, nicely matches the moment.