"By midnight, when they finally got into bed it was clear that Tilden had won the popular vote by a considerable margin. As the Herald trumpeted the next morning, Samuel Tilden was now president.
However, the Times said the election was too close to call. Henry and Elizabeth talked more during the next weeks than they had in a decade. The election was being stolen, through the three Southern states still under Reconstruction regimes. Boards were set up in Louisiana, South Carolina and Florida that disqualified thousands of ballots for Tilden and certified ballots for Hayes even when the number of ballots exceeded the number of voters in a district. Weeks turned into months and still the election was in doubt. The election finally came down to Florida and the disputed votes there. The states had no president. The democrats were protesting fraud. Finally the election was thrown into the Supreme Court, where Republicans outnumbered Democrats. The crooked election was certified along strictly partisan lines. Rutherford Hayes became the next president while Tilden retired from public life."
Sound slightly familiar?
At least there was no mention of hanging chads.
All in all, this is not Piercy's Best work (Gone to Soldiers is heart wrenching & beautiful, Braided Lives one of my favorites, and He, She and It is great science fiction) but it is still very much worth reading. There are only a few historical novels i take much interest in (or maybe more than a few, now that i think about it~but there are many that i take no interest in) this is one that i enjoyed reading. And, as i said, this oh-so-very-knowledgeable librarian learned a great deal from it, so how can you beat that?