This comparative history looks at politics in the nations collectively known as the Group of Seven - the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Japan and Italy - from the end of World War II to the end of the Cold War. Emphasizing political eras and political orders, the editor and contributing authors use an identical framework for each nation as they consider its political evolution and the structures that shaped it. Its comparative reach and common framework should make the book useful for students and for sophisticated observers of international politics. The book provides a condensed introduction to the politics of each of the seven nations, focusing on the main political events of the last 50 years and the factors that shaped the ways each country handled those events. By presenting these accounts in a precisely parallel fashion, this volume highlights similarities and differences among the nations. Concluding chapters reassemble these comparisons for all seven of the nations together. Among the most interesting findnigs are the rise of an activist politics, the continuing influential role of electroal systems, and the presence of divided governance nearly everywhere. Such a carefully constructure interpretation of postwar politics highlighyts potentially critical elements, and provides comparative insights that are essential for understanding the Group of Seven nations. The contributors to the book are: Andrew Adonis, Stephen J. Anderson, Miriam Feldblum, J. Jens Hesse, Richad C.G. Johnston, Carol A. Mershon and Byron E. Shafer. Byron E. Shafer is the editor of ""The End of Realignment?: Interpreting American Electoral Eras"" and of ""Is America Different?: A New Look at American Exceptionalism"", and the author of ""Quiet Revolution: The Struggle for the Democratic Party and the Shaping of Post-Reform Politics"", ""Bifurcated Politics: Evolution and Reform in the National Party Convention"" and (with William Clagett) ""The Two Majorities: The Issue Context of Modern American Politics"".
Byron E. Shafer is Glenn B. and Cleone Orr Hawkins Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin. His many books include Contesting Democracy: Substance and Structure in American Political History, 1775-2000 (see page 34).