Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Four Hats in the Ring: The 1912 Election and the Birth of Modern American Politics (American Presidential Elections)” as Want to Read:
Four Hats in the Ring: The 1912 Election and the Birth of Modern American Politics (American Presidential Elections)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Four Hats in the Ring: The 1912 Election and the Birth of Modern American Politics

(American Presidential Elections)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Imagine a presidential election with four well-qualified and distinguished candidates and a serious debate over the future of the nation! Sound impossible in this era of attack ads and strident partisanship? It happened nearly a century ago in 1912, when incumbent Republican William Howard Taft, former president Theodore Roosevelt running as the Progressive Party candidate ...more
Paperback, 254 pages
Published April 9th 2008 by University Press of Kansas
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Four Hats in the Ring, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Four Hats in the Ring

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  51 ratings  ·  12 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Bear Kosik
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting coverage of an important election. The rabid partisanship among supporters that underscored the distracted indifference of so many voters sounds quite familiar. The divisions within the GOP are even more fascinating in the context of the GOP primaries since 1964 and the recent split between libertarian Republicans and traditional conservatives in the party. TR and Debs would be supporting Senator Bernie Sanders most likely. The downfall of this book is that it points to how the ...more
Mike Stone,
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All in all, if you want a good but short account of the 1912 election, this book is for you.

Gould makes a few odd remarks. He twice states that Taft''s absence from the California ballot ensured that TR would carry the state even without Hiram Johnson as his running mate, though his plurality of only 174 (out of some 600,000 votes cast) makes it clear enough that his win there was far from assured. But that's a nitpick. The book contains much interesting and useful information, notably the resul
Keith Stacy
Personally, I thought Lewis Gould did a very poor job of presenting his points and writing his book. Even though his thesis is not completely lost, he seemed to be utterly disorganized in his presentation and in desperate need of further revisions and editing.
To begin, Gould largely neglects to lay out vital information before explaining the details associated with such information. For example, he wrote an in-depth narrative of the Democratic primaries and subsequent convention without presenti
Liam Coussens
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative but by no means authoritative text on the 1912 election. Gould goes into a lot of detail about the backgrounds and processes of each of the four candidate's campaigns, but there is a lack of solid editing and a coherent narrative (reads like a dissertation that's been rearranged into book form). I think it works best as a way of introducing what happened in 1912 to someone already interested in the topic and planning to do more research later on.
Nov 12, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: polisci, us-history
This was a slow read for me. Gould manages in the title to excite and entice the reader; the title hints at the drama and controversy around the election of 1912, but the text of the book falls flat. There are flashes of interesting events, some good quotes that lend some insight into each of the four candidates, but Gould takes all the excitement and drama out of the contest. True, the election itself was a foregone conclusion for some, but the election itself changed how campaigns were organiz ...more
Bob Costello
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this book on a very important time in American history. The first two "progressives" in the American political scene front and center in this election: T.R. and Wilson. Both evil in my mind since they wanted to move away from limited government to a central and powerful political state. As true with most periods of history there were no pure true heroes, but Taft comes across as the lessor of evils. The 1912 election was probably the last election where the tariff was an important issue.
A concise, enjoyable breakdown of the 1912 presidential elections where the U.S. really reaches a sort of fracture point between the traditional constitutional order and its various critics. Sometimes it seems to go out of its way to avoid fully relating certain unsavory facts re: the candidates, but overall a strong effort.
Doug Hauser
Nov 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, history, owned-books
Gave it four stars because I like any book that tells the story of presidential elections. Thought it was a little dry at times and maybe gave too much voice to the Socialists. It also gave me more insight into the real Teddy who everybody loves but don't really know him.
Stephen Jones
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

One of the University of Kansas series on pivotal presidential election campaigns, one of that university press's area of specialization.

Fairly solid academic overview of the 1912 presidential campaign. Covers the insurgent candidacies of Teddy Roosevelt and Eugene Debs well.
Rick McNeely
Fairly conventional telling of a unique moment in American politics. Worth reading if this type of political history interests you.
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read it for a university class - readable and comprehensive.
Gordon Rekcikssa
rated it really liked it
Aug 11, 2013
rated it really liked it
May 19, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Jun 23, 2014
rated it really liked it
Jun 05, 2008
Amanda  Gaulin
rated it it was ok
Feb 22, 2012
Nick Petrone
rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2013
rated it really liked it
Dec 18, 2008
Jonathan Menon
rated it it was amazing
Jan 16, 2013
rated it really liked it
Sep 09, 2012
Josh Meredith
rated it liked it
Aug 25, 2015
rated it it was ok
Nov 28, 2018
Eric Anderson, Jr
rated it did not like it
Sep 23, 2014
Jeff Jackson
rated it liked it
Apr 13, 2012
Ameer Patel
rated it really liked it
Dec 17, 2012
Dave Kestner
rated it really liked it
Jul 07, 2018
Cori Storts
rated it did not like it
Apr 29, 2013
Daniel Haus
rated it really liked it
Feb 24, 2019
Chris Fobare
rated it really liked it
May 28, 2017
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Lewis L. Gould is Eugene C. Barker Professor Emeritus in American History at the University of Texas.

Other books in the series

American Presidential Elections (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Reagan's Victory: The Presidential Election of 1980 and the Rise of the Right
  • Electing FDR: The New Deal Campaign of 1932 (American Presidential Elections)
  • By One Vote: The Disputed Presidential Election of 1876 (American Presidential Elections)
  • Minority Victory: Gilded Age Politics and the Front Porch Campaign of 1888
  • The Real Making of the President: Kennedy, Nixon, and the 1960 Election (American Presidential Elections)
  • Party Over Section: The Rough and Ready Presidential Campaign of 1848 (American Presidential Elections)
  • Vindicating Andrew Jackson: The 1828 Election and the Rise of the Two-Party System (American Presidential Elections)
  • Realigning America: McKinley, Bryan, and the Remarkable Election of 1896
  • The Deadlocked Election of 1800: Jefferson, Burr, and the Union in the Balance (American Presidential Elections)
  • Truman's Triumphs: The 1948 Election and the Making of Postwar America