This essay asks why Alice's Adventures in Wonderland would feature something as practically political as a caucus. After nearly drowning in Alice's tears, the Dodo suggests to her and other animals “that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race.” In order to figure out what a “caucus-race” is doing in Wonderland, this essay looks at the history of the caucus, recent political theories of democracy, Lewis Carroll's mathematical work on the theory and practice of elections, and, finally, his literary thinking about what it might really mean to live democratically.

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