The New York Times: Campaigns

The New York Times: Campaigns

by Alan Brinkley, Ted Widmer
An unprecedented look back at a century of presidential races from the photo archives of The New York Times. Over the course of the century The New York Times has reported American presidential campaigns and how they have evolved-from William McKinley's historic "front porch" campaign to the media and money-powered campaigns of today. Here, The Times has delved into


An unprecedented look back at a century of presidential races from the photo archives of The New York Times. Over the course of the century The New York Times has reported American presidential campaigns and how they have evolved-from William McKinley's historic "front porch" campaign to the media and money-powered campaigns of today. Here, The Times has delved into its impressive archives to shape a unique picture of the race for the White House from 1900 to the historic election of 2000. Over 350 incredible election photographs drawn largely from The Times highlight campaign trail "whistletops," behind-the-scenes meetings, rallies and conventions, victory celebrations and concessions. Campaigns also includes 75 photographs of campaign memorabilia--some quite rare--from private and university collections. Reproductions of the actual New York Times front pages that covered each victory are followed by transcriptions of the lead stories, providing a fascinating glimpse into the political and social fabric of the time. Featuring an in-depth introduction and discussion of the 1992 to 2000 campaigns by author and historian Alan Brinkley, and insightful commentary on each race from 1900 to 1988 by Ted Widmer, Campaigns enriches our understanding of the personalities, strategies, and policies of the men who sought to lead our nation. The book covers the Bush/Gore election in full with 32 pages of pictures and text, including an extended analysis by Professor Brinkley and 25 New York Times front pages from election day to decision day. As a new president starts his first term in office at the dawn of a new millennium--following the longest, and perhaps most controversial election in America's history--this visually stunning and historic book will remain a valuable resource and collector's item for years to come.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
...recommended for most public libraries. (Library Journal)
Library Journal
These two fine photographic collections feature different aspects of the quadrennial race for the presidency and the victors of each election. Campaigns includes more than 350 mostly black-and-white photos from the archives of the New York Times, beginning with William McKinley's 1900 victory. Distinguished historian Brinkley (American History: A Survey) offers an excellent introduction on the evolution of modern campaigning, while Widmer (director, C.V. Starr Ctr. for the Study of the American Experience) provides an overview of the elections themselves. The photographs are accompanied by a front-page facsimile of the issue of the Times announcing the winner, which is fully transcribed. Notable articles include Arthur Krock's coverage of Franklin Roosevelt's 1932 triumph, James Reston's review of Kennedy's razor-thin win in 1960, and Tom Wicker's portrayal of Lyndon Johnson's decisive if short-lived mandate. Until Krock, election coverage consisted mostly of unsigned articles providing little more than tedious vote counts. Krock set the standard for future Times reporters covering the presidential beat by providing voting analysis and insights into the candidates' personalities. Consequently, the articles dating from the FDR elections through the contentious 2000 contest are fascinating. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

DK Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 11.18(h) x 1.45(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The American Century began with a referendum on America's rapidly changing relationship to the rest of the world. Flush with prosperity and recent victory in the Spanish-American War, the Republicans renominated President William McKinley. The Democrats renominated William Jennings Bryan, still remarkably young at 40.

    Although the candidates were the same as in 1896, the nation had come far in four years. What Secretary of State John Hay called a "splendid little war" had a huge effect on American foreign policy, bringing the United States forcefully into the world arena.

    The chief drama of the conventions was the selection of the vice presidents. In Kansas City, the Democrats chose Adlai Stevenson (the grandfather of Adlai Stevenson II, Governor of Illinois and Democratic candidate for president in 1952 and 1956), Grover Cleveland's second VP. The Republicans deflected Bryan's youth and energy by picking New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt, whose courageous (and artfully publicized) charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba had brought his name before millions of newspaper readers. Yet Roosevelt's nomination was no foregone conclusion. He was proposed by Thomas Platt, New York's boss of bosses, who was tired of dealing with an obstreperous governor back home. Mark Hanna, the party kingmaker, loathed the idea, and used all his clout to thwart Roosevelt at the convention, but to no avail. Amidst the tumult, he warned, "Don't any of you realize that there's only one life between that madman and the presidency?" Ominously, he instructed President McKinley, "Your dutyto the country is to live for four years."

    To Hanna's surprise, Roosevelt proved himself a brilliant campaigner. McKinley was expected to stay presidential by staying put, but Roosevelt was out on the hustings every day (he logged 673 speeches). "Teddy" intuitively grasped the power of personality to shape publicity, and the papers were flooded with colorful stories about the Rough Riders and other legends that nourished the cult of TR. He was especially popular in the West, "where they regard me as a fellow barbarian, and like me much."

    Bryan was no wallflower, either. The Great Commoner matched Roosevelt's energy and then some. He often gave a dozen speeches a day, hammering away at the superiority of "republic" to "empire," and of democracy to plutocracy. Americans hungered for glory, and new territory fed that hunger. An improving economy dulled the luster of Bryan's earlier crusade against the gold standard. The Democrats were also vulnerable to charges of ignoring lynchings in the South while defending human rights in the Philippines.

    The result was a foregone conclusion. It was 1896 all over again, only more so. Bryan won the solid South and much of the West. Everything rise went to McKinley, creating an impressive mandate for a strong President and a nation yearning to be taken seriously on the world stage.

    A few bit players worked the sidelines. The Socialists nominated Eugene V. Debs for the first of five times and included the radical pledge of female suffrage on their platform. The United Christian Party acknowledged Christ as the sovereign ruler of all nations. If that claim hearkened back to America's evangelical past, then the sense that other countries mattered foreshadowed the busy century to come. Despite warnings from naysayers like Mark Twain and Andrew Carnegie, the voters were enthusiastic for an expansive America.

M'Kinley Re-Elected

McKinley 284
Bryan 155

Republicans Carry
New York, Indiana, West Virginia,
Delaware, Maryland, Kansas, North Dakota,
South Dakotaa, California, Wyoming

Democrats Carry
Nevada, Kentucky


Total Electoral Vote 447
Necessary to a choose 224
William McKinley 284
William J. Bryan 155
McKinley over Bryan 121

    The expected has happened. The Republican Presidential ticket has swept the country.

    William McKinley of Ohio, the Republican candidate for President of the United States, has been re-elected to that office, and Theodore Roosevelt of New York has been chosen Vice President.

    The Republicans carried twenty-seven States and the Democrats eighteen.

    In 1896 the Republicans carried twenty-three States, including California and Kentucky, in each of which the Democrats secured one Electoral vote. The Democrats carried twenty-two States.

    The Republicans have regained the States of Kansas, South Dakota, Washington, Utah, and Wyoming.

    The Democrats have recovered the State of Kentucky.

    Kentucky has given her entire Electoral vote to Bryan.

    While victorious in Kentucky in securing the Electors for Bryan, the Democrats have suffered a great defeat in the election of John W. Yerkes, Republican, as Governor, over Beckham, the successor to Gov. Goebel.

    Colorado's Electoral vote will be cast for Bryan.

    A fusion Legislature has been elected in Colorado. It will elect an opposition Senator to succeed Edward O. Wolcott, Republican, whose term will expire March 3, 1901.

    Delaware has chosen Electors favorable to McKinley and Roosevelt.

    The election in Delaware of a Democratic Legislature assures the election of two Democratic Senators, one to fill a vacancy and another to succeed Senator Richard R. Kenney, Democrat, whose term will expire March 3, 1901.

    Idaho's Electoral vote will go to Bryan and Stevenson.

    The victory in Idaho for the fusion legislative ticket assures the election of an opposition Senator to succeed George L. Shoup, Republican, whose term will expire next March.

    Kansas has decided to cast her Electoral vote for McKinley.

    The election in Kansas of a Republican Legislature will give to that State a Republican Senator to succeed Lucien Baker, Republican, whose term will expire March 3, 1901.

    Montana persists in its allegiance to free silver and to Bryan and will give him its Electoral vote.

    Although Montana has chosen a Democratic Legislature, it is not yet certain that the partisans of William A. Clark can command votes enough to elect him. The Daly Democrats and Republicans may combine to choose Senator Thomas H. Carter, Republican, to succeed himself, and a Democrat of the Daly faction for the short term.

    South Dakota has returned to the Republican column and will cast her Electoral vote for McKinley and Roosevelt.

    Senator Richard F. Pettigrew, who calls himself a silver man, the most active and bitter opponent of the Administration in the United States Senate, will be succeeded by a Republican, South Dakota having chosen a Republican Legislature.

    Utah has reversed the position occupied by that State four years ago, and will give its three Electoral votes to McKinley.

    Having elected a Republican Legislature, Utah will choose a Republican Senator to fill the vacancy created in that State by failure to elect.

    West Virginia adheres to the Republican Party, and will give its Electoral vote to McKinley.

    The election in West Virginia of a Republican Legislature will be followed by the return to the United States Senate of Stephen B. Elkins, whose term will expire March 3, 1901.

    McKinley's plurality of the popular vote is about 550,000.

     This is smaller than his plurality of 603,514 in 1896, which was exceeded only by Grant's plurality over Greeley, in 1872, of 762,991.

Meet the Author

Alan Brinkley received a Ph.D. from Harvard and is currently the Allan Nevins Professor of History at Columbia University and serves as chairman of the Twentieth Century Fund and the New York Council for the Humanities. He has written many books, including Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin and the Great Depression (Knopf, 1982) which won the 1983 National Book Award. His writing credits also include articles in the New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, the New Republic, and the London Review of Books. Ted Widmer is currently the Director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. From 1997 to 2000 he served as President Clinton's speechwriter. He received a Ph.D. in American History from Harvard University and has taught at both Harvard and Rhode Island School of Design.

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