chapter  1
21 Pages

The Virtues of the Ordinary

The solid tradition of institutional analysis that stems from Wilson, Lowell, Goodnow and parts of Beard’s work in the 1900’s (and was much aided by the example of Bryce), has continued all the while and has far more to show for itself than the highly abstract theories and the mainly trivial research of the scientific school. Unencumbered by any more methodology than ‘realism’, ‘pragmatism’ and ‘commonsense’, there have been a series of special studies of particular aspects of American politics of a scholarly standard only surpassed by the very best of contemporary American historians. It would be both impudent and imprudent to essay a list, but a few obvious examples that come to mind are V. O. Key’s Politics, Parties and Pressure Groups (1942) and his monumental Southern Politics; E. P. Herring’s Group Representation Before Congress (1929); A. N.