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Campaigning for President of the United States

Social Science, Philosophy and Religion Department, Central Library,
White House from South Lawn
White House from South Lawn
On Tuesday November 8th 2016, registered voters will select the next President of the United States. For the two presumptive presidential nominees, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, this will be the culmination of years of planning, campaigning and fundraising. Publicly, both candidates will spend the months until November communicating their political views to the American public and trading insults and barbs with each other. The average voter's knowledge of a presidential campaign often comes from a combination of reading articles about the candidates, listening to sound bites from speeches, or viewing internet memes of embarrassing campaign moments. Of course, each presidential campaign has its share of memorable moments behind the scenes, such as political strategizing, preparation, staying on message, and dealing with distractions and personality conflicts.
 
Books on political campaigns can be found in Central Library's Social Science, Philosophy & Religion Department. When you need to take a break from all of the political excitement this summer and are waxing nostalgic for the political campaigns of yesteryear, here is a sampling of titles in the Library's collection:
 
Attack politics: negativity in presidential campaigns since 1960 by Emmett H. Buell, Jr. and Lee Sigelman, 2004. Call number 324.73 B928 
Although it's hard to believe, presidential candidates do not respectfully debate their opponents on the major issues facing the country. Depending upon the circumstances, candidates may take a calculated risk and besmirch their opponent's record and character rather than promoting their own ideas. Authors Buell and Sigelman analyze and evaluate presidential campaigns from 1960 through 2004 for the negativity quotient reached by the candidates and their surrogate campaigners.
 
Stevens' insider account of George W. Bush's 2000 campaign versus Vice-President Al Gore. The book focuses on the obstacles that the Bush campaign faced in going up against Gore during a time of peace and prosperity, and how Karl Rove and the campaign staff mapped out a winning strategy.
 
Campaigning for president: memorabilia from the nation's finest private collection by Jordan M. Wright (2007).  Call number 324.73 W951 folio 
View examples of campaign artifacts used by political parties during past presidential campaigns, ranging from posters, buttons, dolls, umbrellas, to puppets, foam fingers, bar soap and breakfast cereal. The artifacts were used to promote a party's candidate or to mock their opponent.
 
Contains election-related articles and photographs published in the New York Times from 1900 (William McKinley) to 2000 (George W. Bush).
 
The first modern campaign: Kennedy, Nixon and the election of 1960 by Gary A. Donaldson, 2007. Call number 324.73 D676-2 
The Kennedy/Nixon debates in 1960 are famous for how television added a new dynamic to political campaigning: those who listened to the debates on the radio felt that Nixon won, while those who watched the debates on television felt that Kennedy came out on top. 
 
Discusses the election of 1912, which featured four viable candidates: incumbent William Howard Taft, former president Theodore Roosevelt running on the Progressive Party ticket, Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson, and Socialist candidate Eugene V. Debs. Gould explains the historic significance and lasting influence of this election.
 
Game change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the race of a lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, 2008. Call number 324.73 H466 
Go behind the scenes of the 2008 election. Based on interviews with over 300 people involved in the various campaigns, Game Change discusses the factors that led to the nominations of Senators Barack Obama and John McCain, and recounts their head-to-head campaign battle.
 
Hats in the ring: an illustrated history of American presidential campaigns by Evan Cornog and Richard Whelan, 2000. Call number 324.73 C819 
Learn about each election from George Washington in 1789 to Clinton vs. Dole in 1996, including the important issues and personalities of each election. Includes over 200 illustrations, political cartoons and photographs.
 
Inside the wigwam: Chicago presidential conventions 1860-1996 by R. Craig Sautter and Edward M. Burke, 1996. Call number 329 S261-1 
The Republican Party's national convention will take place in Cleveland, Ohio on July 18-21, 2016. The Democratic Party's national convention will be held in Philadelphia, PA on July 25-28, 2016. For both candidates, this will be a major milestone in their respective campaigns. Typically national conventions give each party's candidate their turn in the sun, and to introduce the vice-presidential nominee, and to tell the country why their party's platform deserves your vote. In this book, learn about the many national conventions held in Chicago over the years, and the political intrigue leading up to the balloting. In 1952, the Republicans and Democrats each held their conventions in Chicago. Learn about how it took three ballots before the Democrats selected Adlai Stevenson as their candidate. On the Republican side, the nomination battle between General Dwight Eisenhower and Senator Robert A. Taft culminated in fistfights between delegates before Eisenhower was selected as the nominee.
 
Read the text of many historic presidential campaign speeches from William Jennings Bryan to John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton. The speeches show how political candidates have used their oratory skills to inspire and influence the American people, or to explain and defend their positions and actions.
 
Making of the President 1960  Call number 324.73 W588 
Making of the President 1964  Call number 324.73 W588-1 
Making of the President 1968  Call number 324.73 W588-2 
Making of the President 1972  Call number 324.73 W588-3 
Journalist Theodore White won the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction for his account of the 1960 election won by John F. Kennedy. Based on the enormous success of this book he wrote three more volumes covering the notable events during the presidential campaigns of 1964, 1968 and 1972.
 
Reagan's revolution: the untold story of the campaign that started it all by Craig Shirley, 2005. Call number 324.73 S558 
Gives an account of Reagan's 1976 presidential campaign. Even though Reagan ultimately lost the Republican nomination to Gerald Ford, author Shirley suggests that this campaign sowed the seeds of Reagan's victory in 1980 and the rise of conservative principles during the 1980s and beyond.
 
Selecting a president by Eleanor Clift and Matthew Spieler, 2012. Call number 324.73 C639 
Start here for a concise overview of the important stages of a presidential campaign, from the first caucuses in Iowa to Election Day.
 
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