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Presidential Campaigns

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  200 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Campaigning for the presidency demands strength and courage. Teddy Roosevelt was once shot in the chest just before a campaign speech--but he insisted on delivering his hour-and-a-half oration anyway. Presidential nominees have to know how to play the game, moreover, whether they care for it or not. When Andrew Jackson was visiting one town, according to a campaign tale, a ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published April 25th 1996 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published April 26th 1984)
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Anders Hanson
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If, like me, you have an interest in politics and history, yet at the same time have an embarrassingly poor understanding of American political history, then this is the perfect primer.

Presidential Campaigns by Paul F Boller manages to summarise every presidential campaign (up to George W Bush's first victory) in just a few pages. It gives you the essential historical background to the campaign, and excels in explaining how the particular candidates who fought it out came to be selected, and the
Just finished Presidential Campaigns: From George Washington to George W Bush by Paul Boller; a very timely read since the elections are tomorrow. This was a very interesting book that provides informative and concise summaries of all the elections through George W Bush beating Gore. Having more information about the presidencies would have been nice but then the book would have been ridiculously long. As it was, I felt I learned quite a bit and am eager to read more about the various presidents ...more
John O'Brien
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice light read about every presidential election since George Washington. Obviously it doesn't go into great depth but the book is engaging and creates future topics of exploration readers.
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read, extremely informative and interesting. Boller did a great job of giving a concise history of each political election from 1790 to 2000, spanning George Washington to George W. Bush's first election. It was very interesting to see the evolution of our political election system, as well as the evolution of the party system and the change in platforms over the years.

Each chapter began with a small summary over the key issue for that election year, then went into which key candidate
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paul Boller's Presidential Campaigns: From George Washington to George W. Bush provides an interesting overview and works well as an entry point to the history of American presidential elections. Each chapter is dedicated to an election and in examining each election Boller looks at the candidates, the issues, and then provides the outcome of the election in terms of electoral count and popular vote. At the end of the chapter there are a number of interesting anecdotes about the elections.

The p
Paul Boller, Jr. loves the intense rivalries that evolve during campaigns, giving special attention to cut throat criticisms and extreme groups and side stories, the contemporaries of which are issues like the Acorn scandal which history will fairly forget. He is mostly accurate, but cuts little slack for founding fathers in early campaigns, decribing the establishment of the electoral college as their lack of faith in the populous, which is totally errant historically. This being my only real c ...more
Sep 12, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Crosseyed & Painless.
Shelves: humor, reference
Boller's "Presidential Campaigns" only covers campaigns up through the 1984 re-election of Ronald Reagan, but it's worth reading - for fans of American politics - for its anecdotes covering every campaign up through Reagan's last. At times funny, at other times somewhat depressing, it's a good history-in-a-bottle, not of America or her history, but strictly of her political campaigns. A very interesting read, especially as we gear up for another round of what Jon Stewart calls "The Clusterf*ck t ...more
Shawn Thrasher
Presidential Campaigns proved that our modern presidential campaigns have nothing on the campaigns of yore. Each successive presidential campaign becomes more stage managed, more scripted, and consequently more boring. They used to really duke it out. When Theodore Roosevelt said his hat was the ring, he knew that campaigns could be as bloody and brutal as a boxing match. Campaigns today are grueling - especially compared to those earliest campaigns a few years after the revolution. Back then, t ...more
Jerry Landry
Boller’s Presidential Campaigns was a good synopsis of the presidential campaigns up to 1980 and had some fun tidbits and interesting quotes. My main complaint, though, is that I often found inaccurate dates in the work. Typically, each chapter had at least one date wrong, some by a good many days. For me, it takes away from a work when I can’t intrinsically trust that the information being presented is accurate. Still, I did enjoy the experience of examining the elections that led up to the pre ...more
Ben Goodhue
Oct 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A historical review of every presidential election including the first election of George Washington. It displayed the changes in strategies and showed the overall evolution of elections. Boller explains the background of each candidate and has changed my opinion of many of the people that became president who I previously did not know the history of before.
Sep 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
was worried that it would be too text bookish as it is long and with very small print but a very interesting look into the Presidential Campaigns from the beginnging to 2000. Loved the small blurbs at the end of each chapter about events that happened....kind of like bloopers. Oddly, things have not changed much as far as campaigning goes.
Jul 22, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Punctures a fair number of myths, including the notion that presidential politics have gotten nastier over the years -- Washington was probably the only candidate who wasn't accused of being something worse than a child molester. But by focusing only on campaign cycles, this book misses some of the intervening history that helps put each presidential election in context.
Dec 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned more about American history and the evolution of our democracy than I really expected to. I'll never look at a presidential contest the same again. I highly recommend this book to all political junkies.
A nice overview of over two centuries of campaigns. The latter campaigns are somewhat tarred by partisanship on the part of the author (partisanship I agree with, but it still wish it was sightly more even handed), but it barely diminishes a good book.
Oct 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: presidents
Enjoy presidential trivia.
John Valesano
Brief synopses of the U.S. presidential elections and related trivia from Washington through George W. Bush's controversial hanging chad first term election against Al Gore.
Bernard Devine
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reread. Good summary of all presidential campaigns through Reagan.
Sep 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who give a bit of interest to politics and the joke they are
Recommended to Sara by: my research paper!
The funny things you might never have known.
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