Lobbying in America
A Reference Handbook
by Ronald J. Hrebenar and Bryson B. Morgan
March 2009, 289pp, 6x9
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-59884-112-1
$64, £48, 54€, A92
eBook Available: 978-1-59884-113-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

“Follow the money.” That line from the film “All the President’s Men” refers to a trail of illegal campaign contributions but it could easily apply to the legal practice of lobbying. In the United States each year, interest groups spend billions of dollars to influence the electoral, legislative, and policymaking process, sometimes for positive change, sometimes to protect narrow interests.

A comprehensive presentation of the way lobbying and interest-based political activism works in the United States.

Lobbying in America: A Reference Handbook offers readers an insightful survey of interest group politics in the United States—the strategies, techniques, and impact both positive and negative. Written by one of the nation’s premier scholars on the subject, it reveals the inner workings of the lobbying process like no other volume before it.

Lobbying in America traces the growth of interest groups from the nation’s infancy to the present. The book examines a range of related issues and controversies, including infamous scandals, attempts to regulate lobbying, and the overriding constitutional question of whether limiting money in politics is an infringement of free speech. Comparisons to lobbying systems in other countries as well as listings of key organizations and an extensive bibliography round out a volume that could not be more timely.


  • Biographical sketches of key figures in American lobbying past and present
  • A chronology of the major events related to lobbying in American politics, ranging from colonial times to the 21st century
Ronald J. Hrebenar is professor of political science, former chair of the department, and former director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT. He is the author and editor of 15 books and over 50 academic articles and book chapters, including Interest Group Politics in America and Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Political Campaigns.

Bryson B. Morgan is a law student at Harvard University, Harry S. Truman Scholar, and former staff member of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT. He is the coauthor of several articles on the development of interest group politics in Lithuania.


"Lobbying in America joins others in the 'Contemporary World Issues' series and offers an authoritative guide to the entire political lobbying process in this country, from reviews of the ideas and approaches to chronologies of events, directories of agencies and lobbying groups, biographies of lobbyists, and more. The entire history of the growth of interest groups receives in-depth attention in this excellent, key survey recommended for high school and college-level holdings strong in American politics."—Midwest Book Review - California Bookwatch, June 24, 2009

"Hrebenar (political science, University of Utah) and a law student describes the nature of interest groups and lobbying in the United States, analyze current debates about the impact of lobbying on election campaigns and public policy development, and compare American interest group patterns to those of other nations. The reference handbook then chronicles the history of interest groups in America, provides 44 brief biological sketches, reprints essays and legislation, and lists organizations, associations, books, journals, films, and internet sites for finding more information."—Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 2009

"This very informative reference handbook covers the background and history of lobbying and interest groups, the problems and controversies they face, and possible solutions. Hrebenar (Univ. of Utah) and Morgan (law student, Harvard) also present a worldwide perspective on lobbying. They offer a well-written chronology that covers interest group politics and lobbying from 1763 to the present, and biographical sketches featuring major scholars, commentators, interest group founders and leaders, and lobbyists . . . The book includes a section of classical writings that give a good historical perspective. It also addresses attempts made by Congress to regulate lobbying activities through hearings, legislation, and other official means. A directory of organizations, associations, and agencies is featured, along with a selective bibliography of print and electronic resources related to interest groups, campaign finance, and lobbying. Laid out in a simple, clean manner with concise entries, this work nicely summarizes lobbying and interest group politics in a single, readable volume. Glossary included. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers; general readers."—Choice, October 1, 2009

"Lobbying in America, a new addition to the Contemporary World Issues series by ABC-CLIO, provides a great introduction to the topic. . . . this is a hot topic and the book is sure to be used. Suitable for high school students through undergraduates, this is a welcome source for media centers as well as public and academic libraries."—ARBA, October 1, 2009

Contemporary World Issues

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

24-hour cable news. Millions of internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about.


Subject coverage spans six main categories:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Environment
  • Gender and Ethnicity
  • Politics, Law, and Government
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Society
Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that support statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
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