Cover image for
Campaigning for president in America, 1788-2016 / Scott John Hammond, Robert North Roberts, and Valerie A. Sulfaro.
Hammond, Scott J., author.
Santa Barbara, California : Greenwood, an imprint of ABC-CLIO, LLC, [2016]
xxxv, 954 pages ; 26 cm
"In an attempt to understand this more thoroughly, this work discusses an aspect of politics--presidential politics--that can at times still exhibit the unpredictable vigor characteristic of the new. It is directed at an audience of readers who approach new fields of the intellect with the openness and enthusiasm of the young everywhere. Perhaps more importantly, this volume aims at drawing the attention of students to the deep connections between our current political culture and the political history that has shaped it"--
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Other Authors:
Roberts, Robert North, author.

Sulfaro, Valerie A., author.
9781440848902 (hardcover)

1440848904 (hardcover)

9781440848889 (paperback)

1440848882 (paperback)


Material Type
Call Number
Book JK524.H227

On Order



What does it take to get elected president of the United States--"leader of the free world"? This book gives readers insight into the major issues and events surrounding American presidential elections across more than two centuries, from the earliest years of the Republic through the campaigns of the 21st century.

* Introduces readers to the how and why of every American presidential election in history through plain-English analyses written by national scholars of American politics

* Presents a chronological account of presidential campaigns that showcases the key personalities, issues, and campaign themes as they emerged in American political history

* Examines recent presidential elections of the 21st century in detail

* Decodes confusing campaign jargon and political insider terminology, especially for the ever-changing campaigns of the 21st century

Author Notes

Scott John Hammond is professor of political science at James Madison University.

Robert North Roberts , PhD, is professor of political science at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Valerie A. Sulfaro is professor of political science at James Madison University.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Precedent for the name-calling of the 2016 presidential campaigns lies in 1800 the first election without George Washington when Thomas Jefferson's opponents accused him of being cowardly, mean, the son of a half-breed, a phony Southern rube who fed on coarse cornmeal and fricasseed bullfrog, a robber of widows, and more. Insults make headlines that camouflage serious campaign issues, such as nativism, immigration, civil rights, economic inequality, education reform, race relations, energy policy, health care, trade, gun control, character issues, and American exceptionalism. These, plus fairly recent topics (e.g., Internet campaigning, birther, early voting, LGBTQ issues), populate a selective A-Z of expository articles often cited in the latter half of the book, consisting of quadrennial analyses of every election since 1788. Each election's report explains the issues that set the stage for the campaign, how it relates to the previous four years, the maneuvering for nomination, the contending parties' positions, and the factors that contributed to the nominees' success. Analysis of the nominees' campaigns explains their strategies, their ups and downs, the societal memes they attempted to exploit, and how and why the winner achieved victory. Reports of popular and electoral votes compare the tallies to pertinent earlier elections and note regional shifts and trends. Both the topical and historical sections of this consistently objective and analytical encyclopedia-cum-history will reward readers who want to understand recurring and one-off phenomena in electoral history. The concluding chapter's dispassionate look at the early part of the 2016 race contrasts nicely with the predictably biased coverage of some cable TV networks.--Rettig, James Copyright 2016 Booklist