Professor co-authors book on Maryland’s distinctive brand of politics

September 27, 2011

Political Science professor and prominent political analyst Herb Smith is only half joking when he says his new book on Maryland government makes a perfect holiday gift.

In “Maryland Politics and Government: Democratic Dominance,” Smith and his co-author political analyst John Willis take a look at the demographic diversity, geographic variety and dynamic Democratic pragmatism of Maryland, the state between the much larger commonwealths of Virginia and Pennsylvania that is often overshadowed by the political maneuverings in Washington, D.C., according to publisher University of Nebraska Press.

“It’s truly a labor of love,” Smith says, explaining that he and Willis have gone through a number of updates trying to capture a political system that is essentially a moving target.

Smith’s co-author Willis is an executive in residence and director of the government and public policy program at the University of Baltimore and the author of “Presidential Elections in Maryland.”

The authors establish a “Two Marylands” model to explain the dominance of the Maryland Democratic party, which began just after the Civil War and continues 150 years later in the 21st century. The book, according to its publisher, sets the standard for understanding the politics of what has been known as the Free or Old Line state.

“The story of Maryland government, its policies and its people is certainly deserving of long due national recognition,” says Smith, whose political expertise makes him a frequent commentator on television and in the press. “It’s a perfect holiday gift.”

The holiday, however, would have to be Valentine’s Day since “Maryland Politics and Government,” part of the Politics and Governments of the American States Series, is set to be released in January 2012. The 432-page paperback – also available in e-book format – is available for pre-order for $35 through University of Nebraska Press at 800-848-6224.