Readers for Change: Historical Elections

Readers for Change: Historical Elections

Below is a suggested book list for the April meeting discussing historical elections.  Every reader chooses their own book to read and share. Readers are not limited to this list and may choose their own book that accords with the topic.


Compiled by:
Elizabeth G.
1920: The Year of the Six Presidents

David Pietrusza
324.973 Pie

This is a chronicle and fascinating episode of American history is set during the time of Prohibition, women’s suffrage, civil rights, the League of Nations and post-World War I.   Including a cast of characters that includes Eugene Debs, Hiram Johnson, Alfred E. Smith, and William Jennings Bryan, Pietrusza’s book spans the administrations of Teddy Roosevelt through Woodrow Wilson. 


1960 : LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon: the Epic Campaign that Forged Three Presidencies

David Pietrusza
324.973 Pie

Three Presidents, three giants--one election. A thousand secrets. Round One of 1960's electrifying presidential contest pits charismatic upstart John Kennedy's blend of Harvard eloquence, social register style, and dashing vigor against molasses-drawl Senate power broker Lyndon's Johnson mercurial mix of overbearing Texas bluster and maddening indecision. Kennedy versus Johnson--the cool patrician versus the manic cowboy. Round Two pits JFK--dashing yet flawed in ways kept carefully hidden for an adoring public--head-to-head, down-to-the wire, against lone-wolf Richard Nixon's brooding, ultimately-damned, quest for political power and personal validation.

 


Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win

Luke Harding
324.973 Har

The Guardian foreign correspondent, Luke Harding has logged considerable time in Russia as a foreign reporter.  In this fast-paced narrative, Harding takes the reader through the efforts of Donald Trump and his campaign circle to gain influence and the election.


Fraud of the Century: Rutherford B. Hayes, Samuel Tilden, and the Stolen Election of 1876

Roy Morris
324.973 Mor

Morris recreates in detail the presidential election that perverted the rule of law and almost rekindled the Civil War.  The election pitted Hayes, an affable born politician and bona fide war hear against Tilden, a bookish lifelong bachelor barrister who once dropped out of Yale because he didn’t like the food. 


Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime

John Heilemann
LP 973.932 Hei

From Amazon reviews: In Game Change, John Heilemann and Mark Halperin pull back the curtain on the Obama, Clinton, McCain, and Palin campaigns. Based on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Game Change is a reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel.


Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics

Lawrence O'Donnell
324.973 Odo

Kirkus Reviews calls this book, “an excellent account of the 1968 presidential election, a political season of spoilers, outsiders, and broken machines eerily like our own time and compares favorably to Theodore H. White’s president’s series.


Realigning America : McKinley, Bryan, and the Remarkable Election of 1896

R. Hal Williams
973.88 Wil

The presidential election of 1896 is widely acknowledged as one of only a few that brought about fundamental realignments in American politics. New voting patterns replaced old, a new majority party came to power, and national policies shifted to reflect new realities. R. Hal Williams now presents the first study of that campaign in nearly fifty years, offering fresh interpretations on the victory of Republican William McKinley over Democrat William Jennings Bryan.


Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump.

Michael Isikoff
973.932 Isi

An earlier account of Russia’s influence in the campaign of Donald Trump and their hacking of the 2016 election. As Kirkus Reviews quotes the authors, “’Never bore had a president’s election been so closely linked to the intervention of a foreign power.’”


Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign

Jonathan Allen
324.973 All

An in-depth dissection of Hillary Clinton’s second campaign for the president, Kirkus Reviews says that this book is a “top-notch campaign examination” and that it will leave you wondering what on the earth happened in November 2016. 


What it Takes: the Way to the White House

Richard Ben Cramer
324.973 Cra

What It Takes penetrates the mystery at the heart of all presidential campaigns: How do presumably ordinary people acquire that mixture of ambition, stamina, and pure shamelessness that makes a true candidate? As he recounts the frenzied course of the 1988 presidential race -- and scours the psyches of contenders from George Bush and Robert Dole to Michael Dukakis and Gary Hart -- Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Richard Ben Cramer comes up with the answers, in a book that is vast, exhaustively researched, exhilarating, and sometimes appalling in its revelations.w machine"--was king.