In a clear account of American presidential politics, with an emphasis on historical development, Sullivan represents the system, warts and all, as the best in the world. Beginning with the widespread complaints that arose about the conduct of the 1988 presidential elections, Sullivan blames the influence of television for the extremely negative tone that created the ""no-issue"" campaign and led to the low voter-turnout. He quickly describes the winner-take-all electoral system, supporting it as less risky than any proposed alternatives. After a historical summary of the development of campaigns, he demonstrates the current crucial importance of mass communications and fund-raising. An especially incisive chapter describes the effect of ""exit polling"" on voters who haven't yet gotten to the polls. Coverage is well balanced and fair to all parties, with quotations clearly attributed. In a related title in the new ""Ballots and Bandwagons"" series, Choosing the Candidates, the same author uses examples from presidential campaigns to illustrate the history and internal workings of the major political parties; minor parties are also mentioned. Again, Sullivan presents the problems but supports the present system as known and flexible. Both these useful titles include well-chosen b&w photos and other illustrative materials, all appropriately captioned, plus a glossary, bibliography, and index.