Political reporter Matt Bai dissects today's Democratic Party, and urges it to move beyond the Clintonism of the '90s -- something that the current crop of presidential candidates (John Edwards excepted) doesn't seem all that inclined to do.
By Jules Witcover, Random House, 758 pages, $35.00
Grand Old Party: A History of the Republicans
By Lewis L. Gould, Random House, 588 pages, $35.00
Few institutions of any sort in American life have remained relevant for as long as the two national political parties. The Democratic Party traces its roots back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in the 1790s. The Republican Party will celebrate its 150th anniversary next year. Not many other products on the shelf in 1854, much less the 1790s, are still attracting customers today.