The growth of American political parties is outlined in terms of the issues in history that influenced leaders and populace to affiliate with a particular group. Running parallel to a description of Federalists and Anti-Federalists, the Whigs and Democrats, the Republicans and Democrats are those events and personalities that wielded major changes. The basic differences between Hamilton and Jefferson, the rise of government by the people in the Jacksonism era, the divergent ideals and interests that led to Civil War, the growth of Tammany Hail, the New Deal, , and the new Frontier reveal the rugged course of American democracy. How third parties fared, and their influence on the major ones is also mentioned. This a broad study in which the reader is often sidetracked on to any one aspect. Mr. Neal has written a historically informative if not fully delineated study of political parties.