Tucked between the larger commonwealths of Pennsylvania and Virginia and overshadowed by the political maneuverings of its neighbor, Washington, D.C., Maryland has often been overlooked and neglected in studies of state governmental systems. With the publication of Maryland Politics and Government, the challenging demographic diversity, geographic variety, and dynamic Democratic pragmatism of Maryland finally get their due.
Two longtime political analysts, Herbert C. Smith and John T. Willis, conduct a sustained inquiry into topics including the Maryland identity, political history, and interest groups; the three branches of state government; and policy areas such as taxation, spending, transportation, and the environment. Smith and Willis also establish a “Two Marylands” model that explains the dominance of the Maryland Democratic Party, established in the post–Civil War era, that persists to this day even in a time of political polarization. Unique in its scope, detail, and coverage, Maryland Politics and Government sets the standard for understanding the politics of the Free State (or, alternately, the Old Line State) for years to come.