Listen free for 30 days

Let the People Pick the President

The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College
Narrated by: Jesse Wegman
Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

"People have been arguing against the Electoral College from the beginning. But no one, at least in recent years, has laid out the case as comprehensively and as readably as Jesse Wegman does in 'Let the People Pick the President.'" (The New York Times Book Review)

This program is read by the author

The framers of the Constitution battled over it. Lawmakers have tried to amend or abolish it more than 700 times. To this day, millions of voters, and even members of Congress, misunderstand how it works. It deepens our national divide and distorts the core democratic principles of political equality and majority rule. How can we tolerate the Electoral College when every vote does not count the same, and the candidate who gets the most votes can lose?

Twice in the last five elections, the Electoral College has overridden the popular vote, calling the integrity of the entire system into question - and creating a false picture of a country divided into bright red and blue blocks when in fact we are purple from coast to coast. Even when the popular-vote winner becomes president, tens of millions of Americans - Republicans and Democrats alike - find that their votes didn't matter. And, with statewide winner-take-all rules, only a handful of battleground states ultimately decide who will become president.

Now, as political passions reach a boiling point at the dawn of the 2020 race, the message from the American people is clear: The way we vote for the only official whose job it is to represent all Americans is neither fair nor just. Major reform is needed - now. Isn't it time to let the people pick the president?

In this thoroughly researched and engaging call to arms, Supreme Court journalist and New York Times editorial board member Jesse Wegman draws upon the history of the founding era, as well as information gleaned from campaign managers, field directors, and other officials from 21st-century Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns, to make a powerful case for abolishing the antiquated and antidemocratic Electoral College. In Let the People Pick the President, he shows how we can at long last make every vote in the United States count - and restore belief in our democratic system. 

A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press

"Wegman combines in-depth historical analysis and insight into contemporary politics to present a cogent argument that the Electoral College violates America's 'core democratic principles' and should be done away with...." (Publishers Weekly)

©2020 Jesse Wegman (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Let the People Pick the President

Average customer ratings

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-03-20

Outstanding Summary of the National Popular Vote

Excellent book about making our politics work better. National popular vote and rank voting is the answer.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for I know where you live
  • I know where you live
  • 06-08-20

Well Done 👏 ✔

I highly recommend this to anyone that is registered to vote in America or wants to learn more about a controversial topic that has played a direct role in how the US has taken shape since James Wilson and James Madison both helped forge the governing document that laid the foundation for how we pick our president.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for JonMontgo
  • JonMontgo
  • 05-08-20

An essential read

An absolute must read for anyone interested in electoral politics in th US. Well researched and argued, making it a great resource.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Joe Ganem III
  • Joe Ganem III
  • 03-08-20

Required reading in schools and universities for anyone wanting to preserve US democracy

We are almost 250 years beyond the founding of this great country and are still clinging to a vestige of compromise aimed at preserving racism and slavery in the south to get their approval of that document. We are long overdue to eliminate the electoral college impact on electing the presidency. Jesse Wegman does an outstanding job of charting the historical course that got us to where we are today and makes a compelling case for changing to a popular vote elected president. He carefully navigates us through a series of well worn myths and gives us the facts necessary to make the case. We should all push our politicians to vote in favor of the state cmpact binding all electoral votes to the popular vote winner and therefore bypass the pain of changing the constitution and removing the electoral college. We can do this before the 2024 election. The past four years of a non-popularly elected presidency, in of itself, should be enough motivation for us to fix an intolerable system the overrides the importance of one person one vote.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for J
  • J
  • 06-07-20

Historical, accessible, fair and persuasive

I understand this issue much better thanks to this book. Author recorded audio books provide the best interpretation of the material and greatly improve the listener's ability to appreciate nonfiction work. By interweaving historical information from the Founders and using each instance where the flaws in the electoral college system surfaced, Wegman explains a dry topic through a storyteller's craft. So much of our Constitution is inadequately understood by Americans that this book should be required in high school curricula.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for CJFLA
  • CJFLA
  • 25-06-20

Simple logic

An excellent explanation of the electoral college and why it should not exist. The fact that less than one million people in certain key precincts will determine who wins the 2020 presidential election is mind boggling. Every vote needs to count. Period.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sagid Manriquez
  • Sagid Manriquez
  • 18-06-20

Amazing book!

Well-researched and non-biased book. Congrats to Jesse Wegman for writing such an interesting, factual, and intellectually stimulating book!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Billy
  • Billy
  • 09-06-20

Definitely Worth a Listen, but be critical

On the whole, I think this book is worth listening to and discussing. I entered the book expecting the same general arguments. While those are present, the author does go into a bit more history and a few deeper arguments than other texts. (However, as the author notes, it is not an all-encompassing list.)

Two things I would submit to while you listen. (1) Chapter 7 deals with an inter-state compact. It's certainly an interesting proposition, but the Supreme Court has heard a set of cases that might turn that chapter on its head. The decisions are not yet available so I cannot say the author is incorrect, but the Chapter assumes presidential electors are free agents. That may not be accurate depending on the outcome of Baca. (2) The author's operating concept a republic is incorrect. He frames it as a representative democracy (akin to Athens) when it is really quite different. One hallmark of a republic is layers between the leader and the governed. That said, this definitional change does not substantively alter the arguments of the book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Taylor
  • Taylor
  • 21-04-20

eye opening

Cool perspective on the electoral college and the history that surrounds it. The narrator is great as well

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for gary a doss
  • gary a doss
  • 23-03-20

safety or device

When a safety feature becomes a device Very Good arguments for & ag-
ainst the Electoral College vs Popular Vote.