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Widely regarded as one of the most successful pieces of modern legislation, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 has transformed the nature of minority participation and representation in the United States. But with success came controversy as some scholars claim the Act has outlived its usefulness or been subverted in its aim. This volume brings together leading scholars to offer a 25 year perspective on the consequences of the landmark act.;The Fifteenth Ammendment, ratified in 1870, stated that the right of the US citizens to vote ""shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, colour, or condition of previous servitude"". The South, however, virtually ignored the constitutional right, disfranchising blacks through such tactics as violence, intimidation, literacy tests and poll taxes. The primary purpose of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was to break down these barriers to minority voting.;Beginning with chapters covering the key provisions of the Act, this volume discusses the way it has transformed American politics, compares it with post-Civil War attempts to enfranchise blacks, and examines the role of social science in voting rights litigation. It also looks at the role played by major civil rights groups in lobbying for extensions and ammendments to the Act and in insuring that its provisions would be enforced. The last section of the book presents a variety of viewpoints on the implications of the Voting Rights Act for democratic theory. These essays deal with both the possibility and the desirability of ""colour-blind"" standards, given a society with a long history of racial discrimination.