The Writings of Bertell Ollman
Marxist Theory   ~   Dialectics   ~   Alienation   ~   Class Consciousness
Ideology   ~   Class Struggle   ~   Communism   ~   Political Science (sic)
Socialist Pedagogy   ~   Radical Humor
Home Books Articles Interviews Letters
to the Editor
Class Struggle
Board Game

Search articles and book chapters

Latest book
Latest book -
Dance of the Dialectic: Steps in Marx's Method

Reviews of Ollman's Books

Featured article -
America Beyond Capitalism: A Socialist Stew Prepared for Liberals and Conservatives

Featured speech -
McCoy Award Acceptance Speech

Video: Marxism and Progress

Marxism (the cartoon version)

From Theory to Practice

Radical Jokes


Recommended Web Sites

NYU Course Bibliographies


ETF Site


Not To Dare
Butcher Shop




Kiki & Bubu explain the neoliberal shift in labor relations

Select Bibliography and Syllabus - HOW TO STEAL AN ELECTION < DIALECTICAL MARXISM: The Writings of Bertell Ollman


Prof. B. Ollman V53.0140



Advanced Undergraduate Seminar
V53.0140 (Section l)

Prof. Bertell Ollman, Dept. of Politics, FAS

(With the full participation of - Prof. Mark Crispin Miller, Dept. of Culture and Communications, ED)


Democracy, its theory and practice, both in the United States and around the world, may be the most important topic dealt with in our universities. For everything else in our society from the kind of justice meted out by our government to the character of our culture to everyone's quality of life - to say nothing of questions of peace and war - are very much affected by the workings of our democracy. And one feature that virtually all theories of democracy consider essential for its proper functioning are free, frequent, fair, transparent and honest elections. Yet, we also know that this is not always the case, that many countries which are widely recognized as democracies, including our own, sometimes experience what can be called "stolen elections".

This course will deal with stolen elections, with its main focus on recent elections in the United States and a secondary focus on stolen elections in other countries and periods. It is impossible to fully understand and evaluate these events, of course, without setting out the context in which they occur. We intend to introduce a good deal of this larger context in explaining what could appear, at first glance, to be a rather small and isolated political phenomenon. Thus, our approach is one that seeks to blend the social sciences (and particularly political science and political theory) with the humanities (especially history, cultural studies and journalism).

The course will be divided 50/50 into lectures and discussions. Aside from attending class and participating in the discussions, students will be expected to read at least 100 pages a week from the assigned or recommended works, most of which appear on the bibliography below. A few other writings may be added to this list later on. We also intend to invite a few outside speakers to give lectures on subjects in which they are the experts. Other course requirements: two essay exams and one moderately sized term paper based on questions raised in the course.

(each section will take up one or two classes)
  1. Theories of Democracy (with special emphasis on the role of elections)
  2. The History of Stolen Elections in America and Elsewhere
  3. Were the Last Two Presidential Elections Stolen? Why? How? And By Whom? (obviously with evidence for and against)
  4. Looking Inside Electronic Voting Machines
  5. What About the Mid-term Elections of 2006?
  6. Reaction of the Media and the Two Major Parties to the Charges of Stolen Elections
  7. Implications for American Democracy if these Charges Are True
  8. Lessons for the Nov. 2008 Presidential Election and Beyond


Andrew Keyssar, The Right to Vote: the Contested History of Democracy in America

Bob Fritakis, Steven Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman, What Happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election

Noam Chomsky, Failed States: the Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy

Steve Freeman, Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen? Exit Polls, Election Fraud and the Official Count

Mark Crispin Miller, Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election and Why They'll Steal the Next One too (Unless We Stop Them)

Mark Crispin Miller, ed. Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008



Chomsky, Noam, "The Non-Election of 2004", Z Magazine, Jan., 2005.

Chomsky, Noam, Chap. 4: "Democracy Promotion Abroad", and Chap. 6: "Democracy Promotion at Home" in Failed States:the Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy,Metropolitan Books, 2006.

Dahl, Robert, A Preface to Democratic Theory, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1963.

Green, Phillip, ed., Democracy: Key Concepts in Critical Theory, Humanities, 1995.

Held, David, Models of Democracy, Univ. of Calif. Press, 1987.

Herman, Edward and Frank Brodhead, Democratic Elections: U.S. Staged Elections in the Dominican Republic, Vietnam and El Salvador, South End Press, 1984.

Nimtz, August, Chap. 1: "Democracy in America: Two Perspectives - Marx and Toqueville" in Marx and Engels: Their Contribution to the Democratic Breakthrough.

Ollman, Bertell, The U.S. Constitution: 200 Years of Anti-Federalist, Abolitionist, Feminist, Muckraking, Progressive and especially Socialist Criticisms, NYU Press, 1990.

Ollman, Bertell, "What Constitutes a Stolen Election? Toward a Politics of Deligitimation", Socialism and Democracy, Winter, 2005.

Parenti, Michael, Democracy for a Few, St. Martins' Press, 2005.


Conyers, John, et al., What Went Wrong in Ohio: The Conyers Report on the 2004 Presidential Election, Chicago : Academy Chicago Publishers, 2005.

DeLozier, Abbe Waldman and Vickie Karp, eds., HACKED! High Tech Election Theft in America--11 Experts Expose the Truth, Truth Enterprises Publishing, 2006.

DeHaven-Smith, Lance, The Battle for Florida: An Annotated Compendium of Materials from the 2000 Presidential Election, Gainesville : University Press of Florida , 2005.

DeHaven-Smith, Lance, letter on the issue of election fraud, News from Underground, markcrispinmiller.blogspot.com

Fitrakis, Bob and Harvey Wasserman, How the GOP Stole America's 2004 Election & Is Rigging 2008, www.harveywasserman.com, 2005.

Fitrakis, Bob, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman, What Happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election, NY: New Press, 2006.

Freeman, Steve and Joel Bleifuss, Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen?: Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count, NY: Seven Stories Press, 2006.

Gumbel, Andrew, Steal This Vote: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America, NY: Nation Books, 2005

Kennedy, Robert F., Jr., "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?" Rolling Stone, 6/15/06 , www.rollingstone.com

Kennedy, Robert F., Jr., "Will the Next Election Be Hacked?" Rolling Stone, 9/22/06 , www.rollingstone.com

Loo, Dennis, "No Paper Trail Left Behind: The Theft of the 2004 Presidential Election," Project Censored, www.projectcensored.org

Loo, Dennis, "Never Elected, Not Once: The Immaculate Deception and the Road Ahead," in Dennis Loo and Peter Phillips, eds., Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney, NY: Seven Stories Press, 2006.

Miller, Mark Crispin, Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election and Why They'll Steal the Next One Too (Unless We Stop Them), NY: Basic Books, 2005.

Miller, Mark Crispin, "Some Might Call It Treason: An Open Letter to Salon," www.huffingtonpost.com

Moore, David W., How To Steal an Election: The Inisde Story of How George Bush's Brother and Fox Network Miscalled the 2000 Election and Changed the Course of History, NY: Nation Books, 2006.

Palast, Greg, Armed Madhouse: China Floats, Bush Sinks, The Scheme to Steal '08, No Child's Behind Left, and Other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War, NY: Penguin Books, 2006.

Baker, Russ, "Election 2004: Stolen Or Lost," tompaine.com, 1/7/05, www.russbaker.com

Baker, Russ, "What Didn't Happen in Ohio ," tompaine.com, 5/5/05, www.russbaker.com

Gumbel, Andrew, Steal This Vote: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America, NY: Nation Books, 2005.

Hertsgaard, Mark, "Recounting Ohio ," Mother Jones, Nov.-Dec., 2005, www.motherjones.com

Manjoo, Fahrad, "Don't Get Fooled Again," Salon, 11/14/05, dir.salon.com

Manjoo, Fahrad, "Was the 2004 Election Stolen? No," Salon, 3/6/06 , www.salon.com


www.iefd.org (for the International Endowment for Democracy: see Critical Democracy Library and esp. Section on "Stolen Elections")

www.dialecticalmarxism.com (for the work of Bertell Ollman; see esp. writings on the state, democracy, legitimacy, ideology and elections)