The election of 1896—the subject of Paul Glad's expert study—marked the emergence of new forces and new voices in American life which were to win power and impact in the 20th century. The campaign was a conflict between two national myths: the agrarian, with its yeoman farmer hero; and the success myth, which glorified the self-made man. Neither William McKinley nor William Jennings Bryan could resist ordering the facts to fit these mythologies; there were a few realists in the campaign, but they and their followers were vigorously branded as impractical visionaries. Mr. Glad discusses in detail the candidates' personalities, the economic issues and regional forces, the rise of the Populist party, campaign strategy, and voting patterns. His book is an essential introduction to 20th-century America.
Part 1 Of Myths and Men 13 Part 2 Myths and Realities 32 Part 3 Farmers Organize 51 Part 4 The Politics of Depression 70 Part 5 McKinley and the GOP 95 Part 6 Silver and the Democrats 113 Part 7 The Disappointed 142 Part 8 On Hustings 166 Part 9 November 3, and After 189 Part 10 Bibliographical Essay 211 Part 11 Index 219