America was founded out of rebellion against nobility and inherited status, and yet dynastic families have been conspicuous in national politics from the start, according to a new book that names the top 10 political dynasties in the United States.
The book, "
America's Political Dynasties
" (Brookings, 2015), contains both famous and not so well known families because the mathematical formula used to determine the dynasties, called "
The Greatness Game
," focused more on depth and breadth within American political families, and not necessarily their importance.
Author Stephen Hess, a senior fellow emeritus in governance studies at The Brookings Institution, served on White House staff during the Eisenhower and Nixon presidencies. He was also an advisor to presidents Ford and Carter.
"The Greatness Game measures the importance of the families, not the importance of the individuals, essentially how many generations from a family have been elected to high office, and how many members of a family have been elected, adding my scale for each office," Hess told Discovery News.
According to the scale: *A president or chief justice is awarded 10 points. *A vice president, Supreme Court justice or speaker of the House gets 4 points. *A senator or governor gets 3 points.
*A representative gets 2 points.
*A cabinet member gets 1 point.
Hess says an additional point is given for each dynasty member who serves in one of these jobs. A point is also given for each generation represented.
Number 10 on the list is the Livingston family. Over five generations, six members held high positions in American government.
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