My book Ground Wars: Personalized Communication in Political Campaigns is now officially out. At the most basic level, the book is about the role of people in political communication in the early 21st century.
It has sort of leaked on to Amazon and other sites over the last few weeks, but yesterday was the official publication date and hard copies should now be available.
The book provides a close ethnographic account of how American campaigns have responded to a shifting media environment, the rise of new digital and networked technologies, and a changed political scene by re-inventing what I call “personalized political communication”—the use of people as media—and are again deploying large teams of staffers, volunteers, and paid part-timers to work the phones and canvass block by block, house by house, voter by voter. You can read the first chapter here. The book is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk (and I’m sure every decent rail road station kiosk and airport bookstore will have the paperback edition prominently displayed next to James Patterson’s latest…).
I’ll be writing occassionally about the 2012 U.S. elections on this site and on on Politics in Spires on the basis of the issues I analyze in the book, such as personalized contacts, volunteer mobilization, and the targeting of voters.