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Advance Praise for Grand IllusionRalph and Theresa

"Theresa Amato takes the biggest swing—not a jab, but a roundhouse punch—at America’s corrupt electoral system.”
—PHIL DONAHUE

“Theresa Amato has written the best book about ballot access ever… This book is of the most supreme importance.”
—RICHARD WINGER,
PUBLISHER OF BALLOT ACCESS NEWS

“Until you have run, as I did, outside the two major parties, it is impossible to imagine the injustices of the two-party-tilted electoral process. Theresa Amato masterfully exposes the horrors faced by third-party and Independent candidates seeking the chance to compete and provide political choices for the American voter.”
—JOHN ANDERSON, FORMER INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATEAND CHAIR OF THE CENTER FOR VOTING AND DEMOCRACY

“Combines in-depth legal and historical research with an on-the-ground telling of what really happens when third parties and independent candidates have the temerity to challenge the two-party system.  In doing so, it raises the most basic questions about the meaning of democracy in our elections.”
—ALAN B. MORRISON,
WASHINGTON COLLEGE OF LAW, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY

“A must-read for those interested in getting beyond the status quo in America.  Talking about chance is easy; Amato offers ways to make it happen.”
—MARK R. BROWN,
NEWTON D. BAKER / BAKER AND HOSTETLER PROFESSOR OF LAW, CAPITAL UNIVERSITY

Steve Conn“Why can't anti-war political independents or minor parties with targeted issues like universal health care get ballot access in America as they could in eras past?  Theresa Amato found out when she ran Ralph Nader 's Presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004.  She now exposes the spider webs of obstructive rules meant to deny ballot access for candidates and issues left out by Major Parties, state rules intended to force American voters away from their real concerns and deny them a freedom of political choice. Electoral democracy remains a grand illusion without a grassroots attack on the bipartisan strangleholds on state electoral processes. Amato tells us what she learned when she took on corporate-dominated Big Party Politics on behalf of Ralph Nader and his platform of excluded, but popular, reforms. Must reading for every citizen activist.”
—STEPHEN CONN, RETIRED PROFESSOR OF JUSTICE, UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA, AND FORMER DIRECTOR, ALASKA PUBLIC INTEREST RESEARCH GROUP. NATIONAL CAMPAIGN STAFFER AND STATE VOLUNTEER, NADER FOR PRESIDENT, 2000, 2004.

Reviews of the Book

Theresa Amato’s Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny (New Press) may not be the final word on what’s wrong with American electoral politics. But it comes as close as anything written in recent years. What makes this brilliantly researched and even more brilliantly argued reform manifesto so powerful is the back story of Amato’s own struggles with the most corrupt aspects of the political process. As the campaign manager for Ralph Nader’s 2000 and 2004 presidential bids, Amato had to fight for ballot access, a place in the debates, minimal media coverage, and a fair count of the votes....[more]

--JOHN NICHOLS, FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2009. PROGRESSIVE.ORG

Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in A Two-Party Tyranny by Theresa Amato (New Press, 2009.) My former campaign manager weighs in with an indictment of the two-party barriers to a competitive electoral system, candidate ballot access and voter choice. Partly personal memoir of her battles in 2000 and 2004, part history about the decades long ago when third parties could get on the ballot easier and make a difference and part a series of reforms that only an outraged public can make happen.
--RALPH NADER, RALPH NADER: READ, THEN ACT. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YOUR HOLIDAY AND LATER READING.