State of Change: Colorado Politics in the Twenty-first Century | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/state-change-colorado-politics-twenty-first-century[12/8/2015 9:42:01 AM] Home State of Change: Colorado Politics in the Twenty-first CenturyState of Change: Colorado Politics in the Twenty-first CenturySubmitted by nwharton on 8-19-2012 11:26 AMAuthor: Edited by Courtenay W. Daum, Robert J. Duffy, and John A. Straayer Publishing: Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2011. viii + 259 pp. Charts, maps, notes, references, index. $26.95 paper Reviewer: Derek R. Everett Reviewer Affiliation: Metropolitan State University of Denver and Colorado State University Katherine Lee Bates was a visionary, or perhaps even a nascent pundit, when she described the purple mountain majesties from atop Pikes Peak in 1893. In the early twenty-first century, Colorado has become a purple place indeed. By blending the red of Republicans, the blue of Democrats, and a healthy dose of hueless independents, the Centennial State represents one of the most contentious political battlegrounds in the country. Exploring how this situation came to be, editors Courtenay W. Daum, Robert J. Duffy, and John A. Straayer compiled and in some cases authored a dozen tracts outlining the present condition of politics in Colorado. Throughout, the contributors illustrate Colorados recent status as a state of change. The title hearkens to the transformative events of recent decades that shifted the state from one of general Republican dominance to a relatively even (if bitterly fought) balance, as well as Colorados role in nominating and electing Barack Obama as president in 2008 under the ungrammatical campaign slogan Change We Can Believe In. Through ten chapters, an introduction, and a conclusion, the editors take readers on a thorough tour of the states modern political landscape, its origins, and consequences. As befits a book edited by three political scientists at Colorado State University, State of Change approaches its subject through the lens of that discipline, and was produced with that audience in mind. Yet historians will also find much to value in its pages. Some of the chapters offer context for major controversies and ways to understand the modern power structure of Colorado, while others focus on contemporary events. The latter segments will provide rich fodder for future historians, especially when combined with other recent works on similar subjects, most notably Adam Schragers and Rob Witwers The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care) published by Fulcrum in 2010. A historically minded audience will find particularly compelling several chapters that investigate decadeslong trends. Daniel A. Smith, for example, offers a fascinating glimpse into the adoption and use of a Progressive-era pillar of direct democracy, the initiative process. Smith demonstrates how the addition of the initiative to the state constitution in 1910 opened the door for greater political participation by the masses, although only a third of the proposed initiatives in Colorado history have been approved by voters. This chapter points inexorably toward the 1990s flourishing of initiative, most notably through term limits EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanKatherine Lee Bates wrote the lyrics of America the Beautiful after an awe-inspiring trip to the top of Pikes Peak in 1893.
State of Change: Colorado Politics in the Twenty-first Century | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/state-change-colorado-politics-twenty-first-century[12/8/2015 9:42:01 AM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us and the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR), both adopted in 1992. In addition, chapters by Straayer, Mike Binder, Vladimir Kogan, and Thad Kousser illustrate changes in the General Assembly, including voterapproved term limits and other measures that altered the power structure and removed familiar faces from both the House of Representatives and the Senate. A section authored by Daum sheds light on the impact of these changes on women members in particular, an important issue for the first state to elect female legislators and one proud of its comparatively high numbers of women in state offices. Reviewer Info: Derek R. Everett earned his doctorate at the University of Arkansas and teaches in the history departments of Metropolitan State University of Denver and Colorado State University. His research interests include Colorado and the American West, political and geographical history, and public architecture. The University Press of Colorado published Everetts first book, The Colorado State Capitol in 2005.