The Nation: Political Almanac

Never underestimate the American appetite for facts.

When it was first conceived in 1970, The Almanac of American Politics was to have been a brief statistical study of a few congressional districts where antiwar candidates stood a chance of winning. By last summer it had grown to 1,030 pages, containing statistics and informal, readable political summaries of every state and congressional district in the union that had never been available before in one package.

The Almanac's authors first met in the mid-1960s as fellow staffers on the Harvard Crimson. Michael Barone, 27, a Democrat who is now a lawyer in Detroit, has been...

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