Invites You to Participate in a Biographical Survey:

"The Voting Life" Copyright 2001 All rights reserved
by Jane Wardlow Prettyman, Editor,

Formerly at (the old) Esquire Magazine


How we came to be voters:
From our earliest memories to the present,
how did we form our political views?



This project is derived from biographical questions. The concept and questions listed in this message are Copyright 2001 all rights reserved by Jane Prettyman, Editor,

THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ask for your written response in a few words, a few lines or a few brief paragraphs. Some questions may overlap. Read them over, give them some thought. Take a few days. We have a soft deadline of March 15, 2001 for you to be included in the first wave to appear in a special edition of American Review. Pass the URL to friends (not this message, since Q's may change): We look forward to what you have to say.

Copy and paste this whole page of questions into an e-mail message, write your responses in the blanks and in between the questions. Return to before March 15. And don't forget to sign the Release at the end. Thanks, and enjoy. JWP

* My name is _______________ (pseudonym OK)

* I was born in (year) __________ and grew up in (town/state) ____________________

* I now live in (town/state) __________________.

* I am married/single/divorced with __________ children, ages __________

* My education level is _________________ Major: _____________

* My profession is/was ____________ Now retired? ________

* I am registered in the __________ party.


Q & A:

If the answer is "yes" to any of these questions, please enumerate, discuss, describe.

1. A) As you were growing up, what was your first awareness of politics?

B) What key events in your personal and family life affected your outlook on politics?

2. Did you ever experience unfairness, injustices or cruelty to your family, friends, or to yourself?

3. Were there special causes and issues you felt inclined to fight for or against?

4. Who were your touchstones and inspirations for leadership? (in addition to leaders, they could be artists, musicians like Bob Dylan, or political figures, writers, or anyone).

5. What were the political affiliations of your close relatives as you were growing up?

6. What were the main social and political issues and tensions that framed politics through your adolescence and young adulthood?

7. Do you have a "philosophy of life" you can describe in a few words?

8. Did you ever get involved in school or community politics, or in protests. Did you attend city council or school board meetings? Did you ever run for office or work on a campaign?

9. Has history influenced how you look at politics?

10. Have music, musicians and/or lyrics had any impact on your political views?

* Movies, plays?

* Television shows?

* Newsmedia?

11. A) If you have investments, savings or care about Social Security, do you make political choices geared to how your choices could affect your investments, savings or Social Security?

B) Which political party do you believe is the best overall for the nation/globe, and why do you think so?

12. Where do you get your information to form your political opinions and choices?

* MAINSTREAM NEWS: Please name the major media outlets you rely on
(newspapers, magazines, TV, radio):

* ALTERNATIVE NEWS: Please list any "alternative" news sources you follow.

13. How has the Internet enhanced or diminished your political knowledge?

14. Have you been involved in civic associations or activities? Please describe.

15. Have you ever changed your mind about a political issue or candidate, or changed political parties?

16. Both SELF-INTEREST and PUBLIC INTEREST are always present in our voting lives. They are balanced constantly yet not always evenly. Can you discuss how you view these two directions and how they inter-relate?

17. Which are the 3 most important moral values to you?

18. Which are the 3 most important political issues to you?

19. What would make you feel better prepared to participate in the electoral process?

20. Who did you vote for in the 2000 Presidential election and why?

21. Did the 2000 election, including the voting problems in Florida and the Supreme Court decision, affect the way you look at our democracy?

Please add any other brief comments you might have.


RELEASE: I (name) ________________ give permission for my submission to the "Voting Life" project dated __________ to be used without remuneration or any payment of money or other favors. I grant that Jane Prettyman, Editor of American Review, will have the right to select, edit and use portions of my submission should the submission be posted on American Review or in published articles or books in the future. This release will be considered "signed" when my name and the date are given herein and this release is returned by e-mail to AR with my responses to the questions. Submission cannot be accepted unless this release is attached to it.

Cut and paste this whole page into an e-mail message, with your responses in between the Q's, and send to

Thanks for participating in this special project.

Copyright 2001 by Jane Wardlow Prettyman. All rights reserved.



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