Outlandish districts created for electoral gain are a major distorting force in the contemporary U.S., but they belong to a long tradition.
In the October issue of The Atlantic, Robert Draper offers an in-depth analysis of current instances of gerrymandering in U.S. politics. The practice of manipulating the boundaries of electoral districts for party or class gain is as old as the United States -- though the term is not. But Draper argues that the U.S. is the only democracy in the world where politicians have an active role in creating voting districts, and says it plays a large role in the divisive nature of our politics. Here is a brief history of the practice.