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From the Publisher
"You wouldn't think there would be positive news in a book about negative campaigning. But Kerwin Swint has found some. Ranking the most vicious American election contests in their proper order, he found that only one race in the top 10 -- Bush vs. Dukakis, in 1988--is less than 20 years old. In short: Things are bad now but not nearly as bad as they used to be…. Negative campaigns are not especially pretty, and they are not always edifying, but we should be glad when they are all we have to worry about. Many democracies around the world would take a little of our vitriol for an end to the thievery and bribery that ruin their elections."
Wall Street Journal
"During the course of some of the most venomous campaigns - the kind that dredge up everything from salacious trysts with questionable women to shady deals with sleazy men - it becomes clear that politics can be a dirty, disgusting profession. This is precisely why we love it….[e]ven after the readers thinks they can be shocked no more a candidate utters something or creates a rumor that sets them back for a minute. This book is also unique in the fact that it appears as if Swint had a good time writing it - inserting a snarky comment here and there - and to think how many campaigns he probably had to wade through to get the top 25, the man must have a heckuva sense of humor."
"Don't base your vote on just one issue, especially one that hurts people or one that fails to address the state's real needs. Don't believe everything you hear. And look for positive reasons to vote for a candidate, not trumped-up reasons to vote against him."
The Decatur Daily
"Texas politics is right up there with the best of them when it comes to mudslinging."
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"Don't let them fool you--people love negative campaigns. Campaign consultant Swint rates political campaigns over the course of US history. He supports his rankings, in reverse order, from the 2004 presidential election to the dirtiest one thus far: the overtly racist 1970 Alabama Democratic primary between George Wallace and Albert Brewer. Lest one think that this is a modern phenomenon, the 1828 presidential campaign rates a close second. The book include images of candidates and related propaganda."
Reference & Research Book News
"The political historian who is intrigued by the downright nasty will be interested in Mudslingers. In the book Swint chronicles what he deems the 25 nastiest, dirtiest campaigns of all time. He includes examples from modern day and historical examples, illustrating the point that politics has always been dirty, it's in the nature of the game. The entries about each race are very complete, giving readers a full picture of the campaign, the attacks and the candidates. And each chapter is cleverly named based on facts about each race and allows readers to imagine the worst of politics. . . . Swint's book is an interesting look at campaigns through time and at what makes a campaign so negative."
Campaigns & Elections