The IPR Book Review

I have recently started reading Darcy Richardson’s four-volume history of third-party and independent political candidates and movements throughout U.S. history, and I strongly recommend it for anyone with a deep interest in the subject (that is, probably anyone who is reading this right now). There are links to the Amazon pages for the books on the IPR home page, and the books can also be purchased directly through Richardson’s publisher, iUniverse.

I was particularly struck by the turmoil inside the anti-slavery Liberty Party in 1844, which seems to mirror the debate inside a similarly named party today. After a poor showing in 1840, party insiders began to seek an outside candidate with a bigger name who would run on a more moderate, less ideological platform. Unlike today’s similarly named party, the Liberty Party ultimately nominated the 1840 candidate, James Birney, who did considerably better in vote totals his second time around.

I was also amused by the short-lived “North American Hotel Party”, which was named after the place where it was founded. Following this precedent, “LP” could have meant “Living Room Party”.

9 thoughts on “The IPR Book Review

  1. Trent Hill

    Darcy Richardson is, without a doubt, our nation’s foremost authority on the history of third-parties, rivaled only by Richard Winger.

  2. Jared

    I’ve thought about at least buying the first book for a while now, but I am too cheap to do it.

    A couple questions on the books:

    Do these books have complete election results for the covered years?

    Do they have photographs of conventions, candidates, and political advertisements?


  3. Trent Hill


    The books are like $17 dude. Skip a few fast-food meals and find out for yourself.

  4. Jared

    Sorry for wanting to know what I’m getting before I buy. I hope you don’t review books on Amazon.

  5. G.E.

    Actually, the first book is more like $25.

    You can go to and buy the eBook for $6. But it’s pretty rough to read a long book like that on your computer. I bought the eBook for $6 and found it to be worth the $25 for the real thing.

  6. Ross Levin

    That probably wouldn’t be as high in quality, just because they’re modern history, and any opinions that Richardson had on them, or prevailing opinions about the candidates, might skew her work.

  7. Zeleni

    I checked this out from a local library. Card carrying library lovers might want see if a local library carries it. If not, ask them to.

    How do the Libertarians here feel about libraries? Do you use them? Our local Libertarians meet in one, which perplexes me a bit.

    Anyway, the book’s been sitting on my table waiting to be opened. Looking forward to it.

  8. G.E.

    Zeleni – I’m against public libraries and I’m against public streets. I use both, and don’t feel bad about it since my tax dollars pay for both.

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