"BOOKS ARE WEAPONS": Books In Twentieth Century Presidential Campaigns
Priscilla Coit Murphy
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The use of books as campaign material has rarely been noted, let alone
studied, yet almost all of our twentieth century presidents
to their credit. This paper examines how books by candidates in
clusters of presidential elections were used as part of their
effort in the pre-broadcast era, the radio era, and the television
The study assesses the role of books in the candidates' communication
to the electorate, whether as direct communication of the
views or as evidence of their character. The number and kind of
is noted for each era, along with evidence of awareness of their
political function. Changes in use and style across the three periods
is discussed, and suggestions about the relationship of the books to
other media are noted. The analysis concludes with perceptions
possible trends continuing to the present time and suggestions for
"BOOKS ARE WEAPONS": Books In Twentieth Century Presidential Campaigns
Priscilla Coit Murphy
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
How books by presidential candidates were used as part of campaign
efforts in the pre-broadcast era, the radio era, and the television
An assessment of the role of books in the candidates' communication
to the electorate, whether as direct communication of the
views or as evidence of their character. The number and kind of
is noted for each era, along with evidence of awareness of their
political function. Changes in use and style, and suggestions about the
relationship of the books to the other media are noted.
"BOOKS ARE WEAPONS": BOOKS IN Twentieth-Century Presidential Campaigns
"Would that mine adversary had written a book" ~ Job 31:35
Priscilla Coit Murphy
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Paper submitted to the History Division
AEJMC National Convention
August 9-12, 1995
"BOOKS ARE WEAPONS": BOOKS IN Twentieth-Century Presidential Campaigns
In the history of presidential campaigns, candidates have used virtually
all media at their disposal to put themselves before the
public. Much has been said and written about the relationship between
the candidates and "the press" or "the media," particularly in the
of the sound bite and the photo opportunity. But what about books
a candidate? The quotation in the title of this study is from
Delano Roosevelt, one of the twentieth century's masters of
communication and author of several books, not only before his election
but during his tenure as president. Roosevelt was witnessing a
that books served a powerful communicative function for him, in
and specifically in communication with his constituency.
Many other candidates for the office apparently have held the same view,
for the record shows many books written, published, and on
discussed as part of the campaign effort. Books do not spring
immediately to mind as an essential, or even an obviously effective,
form of campaign communication, especially in the maturity of the
broadcast age. Yet as recently as 1992 with Bill Clinton's Putting
People First -- notably, the first candidate's book to make
election-month best-seller lists -- there is evidence that books have
been felt to serve the purposes of many presidential candidates, even
broadcast media have come seemingly to dominate the political
The purpose of this study is to examine that evidence for
of the role books may have been felt to play in three clusters of
campaigns. Of interest will be the kinds of purposes apparently being
served by the books, evidence of awareness of that role by
their observers, and suggestions that the advent of radio and
made a difference in quantity or quality of the books involved in
Previous Study on the Subject
To date, no studies specifically on the subject of the use of books as
campaign material appear to exist, not surprising given the
material on the social history of books in the twentieth century.
often the point is made passingly, but one or two writers have noted
explicitly that books can and do constitute campaign material.
In 1936, a reviewer at the New York Times described the traditional form
of the candidates' book:
The brave words spoken by Presidential candidates, even by those
who aspire to be candidates, have a habit of drawing together to
form a book. . . . The result is a compilation that, often with
reason, can be presented as statement of the great one's
and social philosophy. There have been many such books, and a
of them have made history.
More recently, writing for the Freedom Forum about the quality of
writing found among our presidents, John Maxwell Hamilton noted,
If anything, books have become as indispensable to presidents as
Air Force One. In the process of getting elected, they need an
autobiography or perhaps a brief book on some public policy issue
to show what decent, serious people they are. Later, they need
hefty presidential memoir to earn a little cash and at the same
time to justify their administrations.
The intent of this study is to present a limited introductory survey to
the subject, searching first for evidence of awareness that the
had a campaign-related function -- whether on the part of the authors
the readership -- and then looking at trends or changes in the
and type of books as the broadcast media evolved to become a major
of the political battle. Before examining the material, a comment
methodology is unavoidable, since the subject is quite broad given
number of aspirants to the presidency since the beginning of the
(especially when the vice presidency is often seen as a
and the number of books involved.
The primary limitation was that of time: within the twentieth century
-- the "mass media" century -- three clusters of four elections
were chosen to represent the pre-broadcast era (1900, 1904, 1908,
the radio era (1932, 1936, 1940, 1944), and the television era
1964, 1968, 1972) respectively. Within those clusters of elections,
works associated with the major candidates were considered --
certain pertinent variations as noted.
Choosing the books to be discussed involved a number of considerations.
The focus of the study was on those books published in the year of the
election itself; however, works by the candidates prior to the
were also considered as potentially part of the candidate's profile,
especially when an incumbent was running for re-election. Lists of
candidates' works were compiled first from lists of book reviews in
popular literature for the twelve years encompassed by the
clusters, augmented with lists from library catalogues and profiles
the candidates in primary and secondary literature.
The primary materials were three-fold. First were the candidates' books
themselves, less for their text than for their genre and
were book reviews that evidenced consciousness of a book's role in a
campaign. Third were what were called "campaign books" of a
party -- typically the published record or "text-book" of the
The candidates' books fell into three categories: 1. collected speeches
and addresses already delivered personally or in another
direct addresses to the readership written for the occasion, i.e., a
manifesto of observations and/or beliefs; and 3. literary efforts for
more-or-less non-political purposes, most commonly scholarly works.
Further, the books served either or both of two functions in a
as political communication directed at the readership-electorate, or
evidence of the "measure of the man," often used by others to
demonstrate the candidate's qualities.
The books chosen were all had the pertinent candidate listed as author.
However, very often the books were the result of efforts by
compilers on the candidates' behalf; frequently an introduction by
editor or another political figure was a significant part of the
importance. Moreover, suggestions that books by some authors like
Kennedy or Richard Nixon may have been ghostwritten persist in the
political folklore. For the purposes of this study, however, the
question of actual authorship was deemed irrelevant, since the books
were presented to the public at large as having been written by the
In light of these considerations about how books may have functioned,
the study will now examine the three eras for evidence of
the political purpose of the books. Moreover, patterns of constancy
change in both genre and purpose is noted. Further, to the extent
so limited a sample may provide some indication of the effect of the
advent of broadcast media on the use of books, that effect is
Following exploration of the candidates' books in the three clusters of
elections, a discussion of the findings will be offered, with
speculation about implications for further study and the future of books
in political campaigns.
The Pre-Broadcast Era
The election of 1900 pitted incumbent William McKinley against Nebraska
Democrat William Jennings Bryan. McKinley's running mate was
Theodore Roosevelt, who became president after McKinley died in
Bryan had published only a personal account of the campaign of
the campaign he apparently relied more on his ability as an orator
as a writer, for Bryan appears to have published nothing expressly
for the 1900 election. As a congressman, McKinley had published a
compilation of speeches given up to 1893 and a similar volume in
In 1900 another collection of his speeches was published, which
resembled its predecessors except insofar as the speeches were now those
of McKinley the president, making the volume in effect a state
more than political communication per se.
Between the 1900 election and that of 1904, however, McKinley's death
put one of the most prolific writers of all American presidents
White House; and the Republican party was to celebrate Roosevelt's
scholarship in balance to his image as a statesman and outdoorsman. As
Outlook magazine crowed, "Not since the Presidency of Thomas
has a man of letters been the executive head of the United States
Government. The present President is a Harvard graduate, and represents
the active rather than the contemplative side of Harvard
By the time Roosevelt took office in 1901, he had produced close to
twenty books of diverse nature, from books about the outdoor
scholarly works, including his authoritative history of the War of
and his critically acclaimed five-volume Winning of the West.
office, he had continued to write. The Republican Campaign
for the 1904 convention featured a biography of Roosevelt including a
lengthy paragraph listing his publications in detail as evidence that
"his work as a student of books, meanwhile, never dropped, even while
was most busily engaged in the affairs of current politics or in
frontier activity." Once again, his works collectively served to
demonstrate the intellectual measure of the man Roosevelt as well as his
rough-and-ready personal style.
Among his other works, Roosevelt had published The Strenuous Life  in
1900. This oft-quoted collection of essays and addresses
"doctrine of the strenuous life"; and its exhortative tone was
indicative of his public style. It was reissued frequently, including
in 1904. In the context of a campaign, such a volume accomplished
as direct communication by the candidate and as evidence of the
candidate's style and character. This dual-function efficiency made
such books attractive means of presenting a candidate to the
whether or not at the direct instigation of the author-candidate
Similarly efficient in effect, Roosevelt's volume of Addresses and
Presidential Messages was produced in time for the 1904
Henry Cabot Lodge's introduction, he presented its value to the
as more than historic record: "At the present moment [these
have the peculiar and most important interest of being the
a man who has not only filled the highest place in the gift of the
American people, but who now stands before that people for their direct
approbation and for re-election to office." He went on, in
to the Campaign Text-Book, characterizing Roosevelt as a man of
as well as thought and action.
In the introduction, Lodge also bemoaned (perhaps prematurely) the
disappearance of the campaign biography because of the "habit
'writing people up' in the newspapers." He then applauded the
opportunity for Roosevelt to put himself before the people in his own
words, rather than limiting information to "all the incidents, both
and imaginary, in the career of a Presidential candidate now [in]
daily newspapers." While such direct reference to other media
rarely found in the course of this study, the suggestion that books may
afford a means of getting around the limitations of other media is
On his election in 1904, Roosevelt had promised not to seek reelection
again in 1908. The Republicans chose William Howard Taft to
William Jennings Bryan, back for a second try for the presidency in
1908. Bryan's political career was based in his legendary oratorical
talents. For the 1908 election, a collection subtitled "Extracts
the Speeches and Writings of 'A Well-Rounded Man'" was published
his authorship, though in fact the book was the editorial effort of
"compiler," Richard L. Metcalfe, who inserted adulatory notes from
authors among the excerpted addresses and writings of Bryan.
hope was that "through the perusal of this little volume, [readers]
know the 'Real Bryan' . . . even as he is known by every Nebraska
neighbor who has had the advantage of intimate acquaintance with the
man." The idea was, apparently, to bridge the gaps in the
presentation of Bryan to permit a personal interaction with those he
not spoken to in person.
However, this effort at hardcover political communication may have
backfired because of Bryan's personal style: the Republican
Text-Book vilified Bryan as possessing the worst traits of the
(dreaded) journalist, having "no power of analysis, no grasp of
fundamental principles, no capacity for serious study, no sense of
logical proportion" -- by implication also the worst traits for a
By contrast, Taft was described in an Outlook comment as having produced
a book in which he exhibited "the traits which have made Mr.
power that he is in America to-day -- [among others] . . . a judicial
spirit, willing to hear both sides of a question . . . [and] a higher
regard for substance than for form." Again, the combined purpose
presentation of the man's character and his views was served in one
book, Present Day Problems, which was yet another collection of
addresses, which the New York Times welcomed saying, "With Mr. Taft the
Republican nominee for the Presidency, it is well that the public
have a compendium of his opinions on various topics of public
Also likely current at the time of the election was Taft's Four Aspects
of Civic Duty, a collection of Yale lectures on civil
The three-way race in 1912 brought Roosevelt back as an independent,
running against incumbent Taft and Democrat Woodrow Wilson.
Roosevelt had been productive since leaving the presidency, traveling,
speaking, and churning out books on such diverse subject as ethics,
hunting and travel, as well as having three more compilations of
speeches produced with forewords by supporter Lyman Abbott. In
the election year, Realizable Ideals, a series of lectures,
and The Real Roosevelt, an edited collection of his speeches was
published listing Roosevelt as author, although not clearly at his
behest. Even though both were anthologies, the titles suggested that
the reader might find explication of the president's views in the
and some revelation of his personality (in the same vein as The Real
Bryan) in the second.
Meanwhile, a volume of Taft's Presidential Addresses and State Papers
from March 4, 1909 to March 4, 1910 had been published in
volume the New York Times concluded would leave a favorable
on its undoubtedly numerous readers, although the Times did not
whether it saw the volume as archival or pertinent to Taft's bid for
Like Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson brought with him to the candidacy
an established reputation as an author, although in Wilson's
case it was
primarily that of a scholar. Beyond his authoritative History
American People, his most relevant political works to date had
collection of lectures on U. S. congressional government in 1885
another on constitutional government published in 1908, which had
prompted a Nation reviewer of 1910 to observe that it was "a refreshing
advent of a scholar in politics who knows books but who also knows
and government." However, Wilson published nothing specifically
occasion of the 1912 election, and the Democratic Campaign Book for
1912 convention, although having many pages in praise of Wilson's
as a scholar and Princeton president, did not list any of Wilson's
By contrast, the adversarial Republican Campaign Text-Book for that year
found ample use of their own for Wilson's writings. The
attack asserted that "the real sentiments of the average men are
likely to be expressed as a result of their thoughtful study than
expressions at a moment when they are seeking popular support at the
polls" and that, therefore, a work such as Wilson's History of the
American People represents his true and considered beliefs -- many
which the Republican speaker clearly found highly objectionable.
Quoting passages from his history to deplore Wilson's political
alliances, and generally quarreling with many of Wilson's positions as
presented in that and several other of his books, the Republican
argument cited books by name and passages by page number. This case
might well be described as another (like Bryan's) in which the weapons
-- although never forged as such to begin with, since none appear to
have been written or compiled specifically with the presidential
campaign in mind -- were turned upon their creator.
Over the four first presidential elections of the century, six
candidates ran for the office in an era when campaigning meant making
speeches in person, often traveling to do so, and finding whatever
were available to get one's ideas and plans into print. Roosevelt
Wilson were both authors irrespective of their political activities,
the sum of their literary works served to illustrate their
prowess, seen at least in that era as desirable in a president.
However, as noted, by far the most frequent type of book published on
the occasion of a campaign was a compilation of speeches. The
may have been to familiarize the populace with the ideas or the man,
best of all, both.
That a book might offer advantages over reliance on newspapers for
public exposure is suggested by Lodge's comments about the
events published by newspapers, as well as by the Republican
speaker's suggestion that in books a candidate's thoughts are more
thoroughly and truly revealed. Otherwise, not much evidence was found
of express recognition that books were part of a candidate's
strategy, however the party campaign books offer some intriguing
on the point.
All four of the Republican campaign books begin with a foreword stating
explicitly: "The purpose of this book is to furnish in concise
convenient form for reference such information as is likely to be
required by speakers, writers and others participating in the
discussions of the presidential campaign. The intelligent American
voter demands facts in support of the propositions upon which his vote
is asked, and properly so." So early an identification of their
audience as, in effect, gatekeepers and/or opinion leaders is startling,
and one could wish for similarly explicit description of the target
audience for the candidates' works at the time.
The Democrats were less explicit about the purpose of their campaign
book, but on the inside cover of the 1908 book was what amounted
display ad announcing a price of twenty-five cents for the book
where to write for it, and the recommendation that "Every Democrat
Should Have It." If a book can carry the party's message to the
by extension it can carry the candidate to the people as well. If
explicit consciousness of that purpose in campaign-year publishing is
rarely evident, it may be in part because the purpose seemed obvious,
especially to a nation used to print media only.
As to the style of the works of this era, one often notes a hortatory,
frequently moralizing tone. That tone is, of course, partly
attributable to the fact that many of the works were collections of
speeches; but both speeches and works written for print tended toward
exhortation in fairly formal terms, reminiscent of religious or
moralizing tracts of the era. The following passage from Roosevelt's
Strenuous Life illustrates the rhetorical style of the day; moreover,
will provide an intriguing comparison with passages on a comparable
theme in each of the two later eras to be discussed:
I wish to preach not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine
of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor
strife; to preach that the highest form of success which comes,
to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does
shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who
of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.
The Radio Era
By the election of 1932, radio was firmly entrenched as a national
medium. The Democrats nominated Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was
use radio as no other president would, to run against Republican
incumbent Herbert Hoover. Hoover had published a philosophical tract
called American Individualism a decade earlier, focusing on the
of "individualism" as the preferred antithesis to "socialism."
Otherwise, he published no books while in office nor anything
specifically aimed at the 1932 election.
Although Roosevelt was well-educated and a writer, the 1932 Democratic
campaign-book biography of Roosevelt downplayed his
pursuits, emphasizing heavily his physical health, strength, and energy,
undoubtedly to allay concerns about his residual paralysis from
Moreover, no books were listed to his credit until the year of the
election, when he published Government Not Politics, a
articles, some of which had been published in magazines. A New York
Times reviewer predicted that "the householder, the farmer, the
the artisan, the business man who is not in the
class, women, social workers and tariff reformers" would enjoy "these
maxims on public affairs from the pen of a candidate for the
Presidency," which could "be taken as the program of Governor
Roosevelt."  Though probably not disagreeing with this identification
of the non-opinion-leader audience, a Boston reviewer found the book
"disappointing as a revelation of his stand on the leading questions
the day and quite toothless and harmless as a campaign
In spring of 1933, newly inaugurated President Roosevelt conducted his
first radio broadcast in the series of "Fireside Chats." The
he published Looking Forward, a compilation of earlier writings
speeches edited by Roosevelt himself and operating as a sort of
hard-cover national pep talk. His writing style, more intimate -- using
pronouns of "you" and "I" -- than that in his first book, was the
personalized style used in his radio addresses, which Walter
characterized as "very unliterary," labeling it "public talk."
Roosevelt introduced his own book in the following terms: "In this
comment I outline my basic conception [of the new terms of the old
social contract], with the confidence that you will follow the action of
your new national administration, understanding that its aim and
are yours and that our responsibility is mutual." The following
wrote and edited a similar, follow-up book, On Our Way, tracking
progress and philosophy of the New Deal. Thereafter, only collections
of Roosevelt's addresses -- which included the "Fireside Chats" --
appeared, albeit in three different and quite extensive collections.
The 1936 election brought Republican Alf Landon into the race. The
lengthy subtitle of this small and quite portable tome called
the Crossroads, reads: "Alfred M. Landon's Program for American
Government. His Interpretation of the Political, Economic and Social
Principles of the Republican Party." His New York Times
Francis Brown (quoted above, p. 2) placed the work in the tradition of
compilations of the words of presidential candidates and provided
sense of the timing and intent of the book: "Since the Governor is
still somewhat of an unknown quantity, it may be that his advisers
though it best to rush this expression of his political thought to the
country before election day. Ordinarily fuller exposition of the
candidate's philosophy would be expected in the closing weeks of the
campaign, but possibly all has been said that is to be said, except on
specific issues." And he quibbled with Sen. Capper's prediction
"history will judge these utterances as one of the most important
documents of the times." Brown's description of this book places it
more in the category of manifesto than revelatory of Landon's
although Capper's introduction was undoubtedly intended to present
Landon's words and the man himself.
The campaign of 1940 appears to have involved no publications from
Roosevelt, other than Random House's continuing multivolume
collection of his writings and speeches (noted above). Meanwhile the
radio addresses, included in the collections, continued. No books
found listing his challenger, Wendell Wilkie, as author.
In 1944 a collection of Roosevelt's speeches and writings was edited by
labor figure J. B. S. Hardman, with its title drawn from one of
famous of Roosevelt's addresses, Rendezvous with Destiny. In his
introduction to this "single handy volume," Hardman expressed "the
thought and the hope of the editor, that the selections may prove to be
of assistance to the citizen who realizes his vital concern with
national policy but lacks two essential conditions of basic study: much
leisure time and a rich library at hand." Thus, again in
form" for the voters, this book, too, straddled the line between
archival tome and manifesto.
Roosevelt's 1944 opponent Thomas E. Dewey published nothing for the
year's election, but a collection of Dewey's speeches arguing with
Roosevelt regime in the 1940 election, The Case Against the New
fell well over the line into the realm of tract. Although it is
possible his 1940 work was still in print and circulation, apparently
Dewey declined to make his case again in a new work for the 1944
Over the four elections in question here, four candidates ran
unsuccessfully against a powerful communicator. Compared to the
pre-broadcast era, books appeared to play a somewhat lesser role in the
radio era. The books that did appear were, once again, most often
collections of speeches and addresses.
Many explanations for what seems to be a somewhat reduced reliance on
books suggest themselves, only one of which would be that radio
now have become more significant in candidates' efforts to reach the
electorate. Other considerations would certainly include the
and the war, affecting the availability of materials and money for
books, not to mention the focus of the working nation. Yet book
publishing in general did not suffer during these years, even if the
content of what was published may have changed. Roosevelt's "Books
Weapons" slogan was in fact part of a campaign supporting the role
education and libraries in the war effort. 
The dominance of Roosevelt, both as incumbent and as charismatic
personality in difficult times, may also have something to do with
lack of books from his challengers, whose books -- when they
were more political arguments than self-presentations. Roosevelt
himself had begun in his first term with efforts to reach his nation
directly through fairly personal books, even if they were
of his program; but he did not do so again. Certainly he was busy,
books take time that an incumbent may not have or may not feel he
to take in a campaign for reelection. But the "bully pulpit" was
critical to Roosevelt's presidency, and radio reemerges as significantly
his choice of medium, even if he felt the need to archive his
words in the multivolume written collections. Would the advent of
television, an even more powerful medium, mean the complete elimination
of books from the campaign front?
And what of the style of these books? One detects subtle change, as
seen in the less formal approach now referring to "you" and "us,"
attested to by the change in titles. From the "Speeches and
format there was a shift toward the more personal and perhaps even
casual, "Looking Forward," "On Our Way," and so on. The inclusive tone
in an excerpt from On Our Way can be compared with Teddy Roosevelt's
words on the "Strenuous Life," quoted above:
Faith in America, faith in our tradition of personal
responsibility, faith in our institutions, faith in ourselves,
demands that we recognize the new terms of the old social
In this comment I outline my basic conception of these terms, with
the confidence that you will follow the action of your new
administration, understanding that its aims and objects are
and that our responsibility is mutual.
The Television Age
In 1960, incumbent Dwight Eisenhower's vice president, Richard Nixon,
met Democratic newcomer Senator John Kennedy. Before 1960
two books to his credit, Why England Slept -- an adaptation of his
senior thesis at Harvard on pre-war England -- and the
Pulitzer-prize-winning Profiles in Courage, a collection of
people whose valor and will Kennedy admired. The books were
the campaign documentary on Kennedy shown at the convention. Why
England Slept was intended to demonstrate foreign policy expertise
comparable to Nixon's on-the-job training as vice president; and the
suggestion that Kennedy himself might be a "profile in courage"
accounts of his Navy career and his battles with a back injury.
Kennedy was presented to the voters as a man of scholarly
Wilson had been. Furthermore, his subject matter was turned not
reflect positively on the man's character but to augment his
credentials as presented to the electorate.
For the 1960 campaign, both Kennedy and Nixon produced books of their
collected speeches. Kennedy's The Strategy of Peace
appeared before the
convention. It was edited and introduced by historian Allan Nevins
comprised several of the senator's speeches on foreign policy. One
reviewer saw the objective of the book as being "to arouse Americans to
'a more strenuous and idealistic policy'" but identified it as "a
campaign piece [whose] historical significance will be tied to the
author's future political fortunes." But CBS News correspondent
Clark felt there was good reason to be interested in the book:
is even some urgency about it, for this is the man who, it can be
may well be on the Democrats' half of the national ballot in
Intriguingly, Clark was explicitly looking at the book's author from
point of view of "live" (or television) delivery, making the point
as polished as these speeches may have been in print, Kennedy's
delivery style was such that one would expect an engaged live
as well: "whether in the Senate . . . or at a banquet, these
have class and style." Clark concludes, "This collection suggests by
responsible tone that the Senate of the United States is a good
ground for the highest office."
Richard Nixon's The Challenges We Face appeared in early summer of 1960
and included material (edited by two McGraw-Hill editors) from
speeches and papers as vice president, including an account of his
"kitchen debate" with Krushchev. "Of interest to pro, con, and
undecided voters," was the dry opinion of one reviewer. But supporter
Victor Lasky's review characterized the book as an answer to
that Nixon was a fence-straddler who need to tell the people where
Assuming he is not caught flagrante delicto between now and [the
Republican convention], Richard M. Nixon appears destined to be
Grand Old Party's nominee for President this year. . . . He has
produced a sharp, timely, and substantial reply [to the
accusations]. . . . His book does present clearly and in depth the
views of a Presidential aspirant who, in a remarkable political
rise, has yet to lose an election.
He concluded saying, "this book is an indication of the high-level
approach that Mr. Nixon intends to take during the campaign. If
Democratic opponent . . . follows suit, then the American people will
long last be able to decide on issues, not personalities." 
have overplayed the book's significance, of course, and indeed it
little more than a heavily edited collection of speech excerpts,
reorganized thematically by the editor, rather in the old style of the
Following Kennedy's assassination, Lyndon Johnson became president in
late 1963, just a year before the next election. Shortly
office, Johnson authorized publication of a collection of his
and writings since becoming Senate Democratic leader in 1953,
to introduce himself and his views to the bereft nation. In the
introduction to A Time for Action, Adlai Stevenson quoted "our new
President" in several passages from the subsequent text to augment them
with elaborating insights: "While these speeches reveal something of
views on the great public issues of recent times, they necessarily
disclose little of his extraordinary managerial skill and political
pragmatism." Stevenson evidently found the book, which appeared in
mid-1964, wanting in its presentation of Johnson, limited to the single
function of presentation of views; and he sought to present
Later in 1964, however, Johnson published another book, this time much
more personal in style. My Hope for America seems quite
likely to have
been culled from utterances elsewhere, but it was presented as a
thematic arrangement of short philosophical and ideologic observations.
Here, the traditional combined function of candidate-and-views was
better served. Further, its timing and explicit purpose as a campaign
document were made obvious by reviewer Henry Brandon, who said,
"Although the president was well behind Senator Goldwater in putting his
philosophy between book covers, a paste-and-scissor job has now been
shed into print."
Senator Barry Goldwater, Johnson's Republican opponent in 1964, had
reached the best-seller lists in 1960 with his book, The
Conscience of a
Conservative, which he had followed up with Why Not Victory? A Fresh
Look at American Foreign Policy -- both books firmly in the
political manifesto but exceptionally personal in style. The book
Goldwater produced for the 1964 election was Where I Stand, another
paperback collection of speeches. Roscoe Drummond listed four good
reasons for reading it:
If you have already decided to vote for him, his latest book will
undoubtedly fortify your convictions. If you have already
to vote against him, his book will undoubtedly give you
reasons. If you have not made up your mind, Where I Stand will
help you do so. If Mr. Goldwater is to be the next President of
the United States, we all should have as clear an idea as
as to where he is headed.
Although succinctly stating the voters' stake in having manifesto-style
books as part of the campaign effort, Drummond felt Goldwater's
fell short: "The Republican nominee's book raises as many questions as
it answers. . . .What we really need is another book by Mr.
not just Where I Stand, but What I Would Do and How I Would Do
The extraordinary election year of 1968 brought another refusal of the
incumbent to run again and the political resurrection of
Johnson's decision left the Democrats in something of a free-for-all
that saw tragedy with Robert Kennedy's assassination and a
party in the tortured nomination of Johnson's vice president, Hubert
In 1964, Humphrey had written two books that might have been part of the
campaign, The Cause is Mankind and War on Poverty, but
presented them more as his own personal statement of the liberal
tradition begun under Kennedy and continued with Johnson -- perhaps
appropriately for a vice presidential candidate. The book Beyond Civil
Rights: A New Day of Equality, published in 1968, purportedly
was of the
same genre -- a rather personal manifesto. But a reviewer
the disingenuousness: "Mr. Humphrey denies that this is a campaign
insists that it has been in the works since 1965. Be that as it
the contents and the timing of this slim volume make it a
political document, and it is likely to endure precisely as long as
author survives politically."
Richard Nixon, following his defeat in the presidential election of 1960
and the California gubernatorial election of 1962, had written
autobiographical Six Crises. The book was reissued in October of
with a new introduction citing the failures and problems of the
Johnson-Humphrey administration and sporting a formal reproduction of
Nixon's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention two
months earlier. In that form, the book represents a hybrid of type and
purpose. Originally the book had not been written as either
tract or presentation of the self but rather as an historical
In its reissued form, it combined polemic, self-revelation, and
unprecedented self-adulation in the inclusion of the acceptance
-- implying phoenix-like survival of the "six crises" of Nixon's
Moreover, the speed with which that book appeared marked a new era of
rapid publication. Even faster was Nixon's publication of two
books," two paperback collections of addresses and comment,
privately by the Nixon-Agnew Campaign Committee within six days of
accepting the nomination. In the front matter to the second book,
committee said: "Together, these two volumes represent a publishing
event unique in political history -- a fuller compilation of a
candidate's current views than ever before presented to the public
during a campaign" -- something of an overstatement in light of what
already been seen in this study.
When incumbent Nixon ran again in 1972, he apparently chose other means
of promoting his candidacy than publishing books. No industry
can be found of more "instant books" like the two for the 1968
Only another collection of his addresses, New Road for America,
appeared as a semi-archival volume of his presidential "major policy
statements" through the auspices of the Reader's Digest.
Before 1972 George McGovern, Nixon's Democratic opponent, had published
three books, dealing respectively with the Food for Peace
agricultural policy, and war and foreign policy. Typically they
an amalgam of McGovern's thoughts with excerpts from speeches while
holding political office. The sole publication appearing in the 1972
campaign year was a most unlikely offering from a candidate. The
Coalfield War was a collaborative adaptation of McGovern's 1963
dissertation on the bloody 1914 Colorado battles over union
and it provided insight into McGovern's political orientation as
his scholarly ability. One reviewer took the customary tack that a
by a candidate should be read to give the voter insight into the
"One of the authors may someday be President of the United States,
the book reveals, to some considerable degree, the careful, orderly,
incisive, and sympathetic way in which he thinks and so the kind of
President he might be." Another referred to it as "the rarest sort
campaign document" in being the product of "the only Ph.D. in the
Senate, not to mention the Presidential race." Placing it in the
established tradition, he call it "as valuable and revealing a book as
Presidential candidates have offered us recently -- more scholarly
more original that Kennedy's 'Profiles in Courage' and less
than Nixon's 'Six Crises,' even if it is less readable than either
those others."  Neither reviewer speculated about the audience
book, however, which was probably much narrower than that for the
with which it was compared.
In this era, we have looked at the election-year publications of six
candidates and found them, again, serving both to communicate
and to illustrate character, at the same time wherever possible. The
scholarly nature of Theodore Roosevelt's and Wilson's works is echoed
Kennedy's and McGovern's works, but with less significance placed on
intrinsic value of the scholarship and what it says about the
candidate's character, and more on its interaction with the man's
political outlook. Goldwater's works are classic examples of the direct
political manifesto, but again, they are more personal in tone than
their pre-broadcast era forebears. Similarly, the collected speeches
Johnson and Nixon follow in the path of Franklin Roosevelt, in being
unted as direct appeals for political -- and social -- mobilization
behind their respective programs, as well as in being personal in tone.
The trend is clearly toward the casual and personal, even more so than
in the radio era -- from first-person titles like My Hope for
or Where I Stand, to the direct address of Humphrey's liberal
to the intimate self-portrait of Nixon's Six Crises. By way of
comparison with the excerpts from Teddy Roosevelt on the "Strenuous
Life" and from his cousin in On Our Way, a passage from Six Crises
suggests how much change in style has occurred, even taking into
consideration differences in personality among the three presidents:
What I have tried to do is describe my personal reactions to each
[crisis] and then to distill out of my experience a few general
principles on the "crisis syndrome." . . .We tend to think of
men as "born leaders." But I have found that leaders are
all the human frailties. They lose their tempers, become
depressed, experience the other symptoms of stress. Sometimes even
strong men will cry. 
At least as significant as the change in style -- which reflects
cultural change as much as change in political strategy -- is the
that books have scarcely disappeared in the television era. It may
significant that Nixon -- a man not thought of as a great scholar
whom television never seemed kind -- went on to author a continuing
supply of books of views and analyses. In addition, Nixon's,
Goldwater's, McGovern's and to a lesser extent, Humphrey's books also
might have been seen as offering an outlet for their views where
national coverage was felt to be abbreviated, otherwise inaccessible, or
No one approached the post-convention campaign
trail without at least one book in print, even though the book might
always have appeared at the behest of the candidate himself. At the
very least, television appears not to have dimmed interest in using
books for campaign communication, though one might question whether two
different audiences -- book-readers and television-watchers -- might
involved. But this era is the first in which some of the books
had been best-sellers, albeit not in the immediately pre-election
period. And increasingly the books were appearing in paperback form,
notably Goldwater's and Nixon's -- particularly Nixon's "instant
These points argue for an expectation of a larger audience than merely
Conclusion and Looking to the Future
Thus, what has happened to the use of books in presidential elections
since the pre-broadcast era? Books as a campaign phenomenon
disappear, although they seemed to wane a bit in the early broadcast
(undoubtedly for a number of reasons). Rather, they seemed to gain
significance in the television era. Throughout the periods covered,
however, they served remarkably consistent purposes, in rather similar
forms, even as the context in which they appeared and their style
changed. Indeed, the keys to an explanation may lie in the concurrent
changes in technology and style.
With the advent of the paperback, the technology of book publishing
enabled quicker access in an even more "portable and convenient
(to recall the wording of the campaign books), at more affordable
prices, than ever before. The development of "instant books" offered
even greater possibilities for reaching a national audience in less
than some magazine articles may take. Some of their advantage over
newspapers -- affording an alternative to journalistic inaccuracies --
was noted by one pre-broadcast era reviewer, although acknowledgment
the fact that they can and do provide national "reach" could not be
found in the literature. Their relationship to radio is suggested by
the choice to reproduce not only the text but the style in
ollections, and their relationship to television may also have
to do both with style and the possibility of offering an augmenting,
not alternative, medium through which to present the candidate to
people. For both Kennedy and Nixon, their books seem designed to
present traits inadequately illuminated by the mercurial light of
As noted, the style of these books became more informal and personal,
even as they performed similar, and similarly combined,
the three periods studied -- as indeed our society became more
and personal in style. Something about the potential intimacy of a
book, its direct contact with an (ostensibly) undistracted reader,
combined with the extended space available to develop concepts,
impressions, or even self-revelations, may lend itself to a particular
kind of political communication. The direct contact, moreover,
the campaigner to circumvent controls and limitations in the print,
later the broadcast, press.
Further study of the relationship between books and other media in
political communication is suggested, particularly in the tradition
the journalistic book. A consideration of the intended as well as
actual audiences for these campaign-related books would add
to this admittedly limited study. Above all, continuation of the
into the most recent era would be intriguing, especially as instant
publishing has become widely possible and the number of television
channels and formats has multiplied. Over the course of his several
campaigns, Ronald Reagan was the listed author of over twenty
compilations of quotations, some of which were reported to have
with lightning speed.
And what of the future -- what will happen as the electorate becomes
less literary in how it receives information, particularly as
media promise to change our information systems forever? The
has been to discount books in the era of the photo-op and the sound
bite. As Hamilton observed, "Nowadays, writing is the least effective
tool of campaigning or governing. A book takes a long time to write
is read by relatively few people; a 10-second television sound bite
be arranged in an afternoon and is seen by millions." Thus,
conclude that the "lesson for a presidential contender is to forget
about producing even a mediocre ghosted campaign volume."
But Esther B. Fein of the New York Times recently reported a surge of
voter interest in books: "Behold the pre-election book buyers
Americans who are watching Presidential and Vice Presidential debates
and registering to vote in record numbers are also buying masses of
books about the programs of Presidential candidates, about the deficit
and environmental problems, and about the way Government doesn't
work." As she wrote, books by Bill Clinton and Ross Perot
paperback book lists, and Al Gore's book on the environment held a
position on the trade hardback list.
However, she wrote, "not everyone agrees that this is a healthy trend.
'The good news is that people are buying political books,' said
Rosenthal, executive editor of the Random House adult trade division.
'The bad news is that these are the printed equivalent of sound
The information is written, packaged and printed in a way that is
disturbingly similar to TV.'"  Though debatable in both
similar comment might have been made about publication of
"Fireside Chats." But the point is worth making that there appears
be a felt use -- and an audience -- for these books, whatever their
format. It remains to be seen whether they will continue to have a
place in future presidential campaign arsenals.
 Franklin Delano Roosevelt, "'Books Are Weapons', Says Presiden
t Roosevelt," Poster:
Three messages from President Roosevelt about boo
ks, printed for distribution by the
Library Binding In
 William Clinton, Putting People First (NY: Times Boo
 Francis Brown, "Mr. Landon States His Principles," review
of Alfred M. Landon,
America at the Crossroads, New Y
ork Times (27 Sept. 1936), Book Review section, 5.
 John Maxwell Hami
lton, "Why Can't Mr. President Write?" Media Studies Journal 6,
no. 2 (summer 1992), 140. His comments were the stimulus for t
 "Major" is defined as those commanding more than 20 perce
nt of the final vote, in
almost all cases being the tw
o candidates of the major parties.
 The simple issue of publication
date is not, first of all, simple, since copyright
es, publication, and release dates are not always the same. Books in exi
before the election year may or may not still h
ave been in print during the election
year; prior to a
tax decision in the early 1970s ("Thor Power Tool"), books could be
kept in print and republished on a continuous on-demand ba
sis almost indefinitely.
Unless a publisher specifie
d the publication of a new edition, determining whether a
book published earlier might have seen a spurt in sales during an ele
ction year would
depend -- short of its appearance on
a best-seller list -- on serendipitous mention in
e publications. In general, however, the year of copyright and/or the ye
which a review appears were taken as the year a
book appeared in the mass market.
 See the "Selected Bibliography of
Candidates' Books" following the text; books
between two elections are included in the list for the later election.
8] Use of book review lists had the methodological advantage of locating
"seriously" enough to be reviewed by at le
ast three reviewers. However, the implicit
bias of th
ese sources is that they may concentrate on materials of interest to the
educated segments of the population, thus introducing an element o
f redundancy --
i.e., writing for those who already ar
e book-readers. Moreover, books are usually
only in the year they are published, even if they became of more popular
interest later on. Finally, not all books written are
reviewed. Thus it was advisable
to supplement the book review lists t
o reach the final selection with additional
e.g. books mentioned in reviews of other books, books listed as being by
same author of a book, etc.
 These books should not be confuse
d with "campaign biographies," written by boosters
or critics of a give
n candidate explicitly as puffery, or debunking, for the purposes
of the campaign. William Miles compiled a bibliography of th
is genre (The Image
Makers: A Bibliography of America
n Presidential Campaign Biographies [Metuchen, N.J.:
carecrow, 1979]), which cites a useful, though odd and occasionally spott
Books like Theodore White's series on the "Making of the
President" or McGinniss's
Selling of the President 19
68 (NY: Trident, 1969) are strange bedfellows of the other
sort of "campaign books" and, as noted in the literature review, mak
e scarce reference
to candidates' books in campaigns.
 Republican National Committee, Republican Campaign Text-Books 1900
(Phila.: Dunlap, 1900 - 1912), available on
microfiche from the National
Micropublishing Corp.; De
mocratic National Committee, Campaign Books of the Democratic
Party Candidates and Issues 1896-1936, (NY: Democratic National C
ommittee, 1896 --
1936), available on microfiche from
the National Micropublishing Corp. (Later
s out of party conventions took the form of publication of the platform
agreed upon early in the convention, rather than a reco
rd of the event itself.)
 Unfortunately, there are no women represen
ted in this group, hence the word "man"
can be used in
this study to refer to the persona of a candidate.
 Works by vice p
residential candidates are included in this study when they became
president following the death of a president and went on to
run for reelection in a
subsequent, included election:
i.e., Theodore Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.
 William J. Bryan, Th
e First Battle (Chicago: Conkey, 1896).
 Speeches and Addresses of
William McKinley (Appleton, 1893), noted in review,
tion 58 (8 Feb. 1894), 104. The reviewer wrote, "we may not unjustly reg
compilation as in its principal intent a Pres
idential candidate's propitiation of his
 "McKinley's Masterpieces," listed without bibliographic infor
mation in a 1896
Nation review, which described an unn
amed book as "a little volume of 'McKinley's
ces'" in which McKinley's oratorical talents shone. Nation 62 (18 June 1
 William McKinley, Speeches and Addresses of William Mc
Kinley from March 1, 1887 to
May 30, 1900 (NY: Doubleday & McClure, 190
 "The New President as a Literary Man," Outlook 69 (21 Sept. 190
1), 165. It is to
be remembered that Outlook's board
included many members of the Republican
eventually including Roosevelt himself.
 Outlook listed nineteen (O
utlook 69 [21 Sept. 1901] 165), while Bookman listed
wenty titles as of 1901 (Bookman 2 [Dec. 1904], 292). There are differen
these lists, accountable in part to differ
ences as to which pamphlets and monographs
 Theodore Roosevelt, The Naval War of 1812 (NY: Putnam'
s, 1882), which saw several
Roosevelt, Winning of the West (Putnam's, 1889)
 According to Bookma
n's list, he wrote on Oliver Cromwell and The Philippines, as
well as miscellaneous collections of observations and maxims (Boo
 Republican Campaign Text-Book 1904, 250.
Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life (NY: Century, 1900).
 Ibid., 1.
Theodore Roosevelt, Addresses and Presidential Messages of Theodore Roos
 Roosevelt's Democratic opponent in 19
04 was Alton B. Parker. Parker was a judge
to Wall Street but no discernible record as a writer. Profiles of Parker
the time list no books attributed to him, nor are
any reviews of books by him found.
 Roosevelt, Addresses and Preside
ntial Messages (1904), vi.
 See note 9 above, regarding campaign bio
 "Despite, therefore, the great extension of the interview
and of the habit of
'writing people up' in the newspa
pers, . . . the formal political or campaign biography
. . . has of lat
e largely disappeared. . . . It used to be the inevitable as well as
the conventional practice to write and publish the lives o
f Presidential candidates in
more or less serious and
elaborate books when the time for their election approached."
bot Lodge, introduction to Roosevelt, Addresses and Messages, v.
illiam Jennings Bryan, The Real Bryan, comp. Richard A. Metcalfe (Des Moi
Personal Help, 1908), 7.
 "[Bryan] has the mental alertne
ss of the Western journalist, eager to exploit each
new idea, without s
topping to go to the bottom of it, and as ready to drop it and turn
something else. He has shown no power of analysis, no grasp of fundament
les, no capacity for serious study, no sense
of logical proportion. In all his
treatment of large
public questions he is superficial, rhetorical, uncertain and
untrustworthy." Republican Campaign Text-Book 1908, 270.
"Comment on Current Books," review of Taft, Present Day Problems, Outlook
Aug. 1908), 766.
 William Howard Taft, Pre
sent Day Problems (NY: Dodd, Mead, 1908).
 "Mr. Taft as His Own Inte
rpreter," review of Taft, Present Day Problems, New York
Times 12 (15
August 1908), 448.
 William Howard Taft, Four Aspects of Civic Duty
(NY: Scribner's, 1907).
 Theodore Roosevelt, Applied Ethics (Cambrid
ge, MA: Harvard Univ., 1911) AND
e Roosevelt, The Real Roosevelt (NY: Putnam's, 1910); African and Europea
Addresses (NY: Putnam's, 1910); New Nationalism (NY:
 William Howard Taft, Presidential Addresses and St
ate Papers from March 4, 1909 to
March 4, 1910 (NY: Doubleday, 1910).
 "Mr. Taft's Speeches," review of Taft, Presidential Addresses, New Y
ork Times 15
(15 Nov. 1910), 620.
 E.g., The Stat
e (Boston: D. C. Heath, 1889); Mere Literature (Boston: Houghton
Mifflin, 1896 and reissued in 1913); George Washington (NY: Ha
rper & Bros., 1896).
 Woodrow Wilson, A History of the American Peop
le (NY: Harper & Bros., 1902).
 Woodrow Wilson, Congressional Gover
nment in the United States (Boston: Houghton
 Woodrow Wilson, Constitutional Government in the United Stat
es (NY: Columbia
 Review of Wilson
, Congressional Government, Nation 91 (22 Sept. 1910), 256.
tic Campaign Book 1912, 49-62.
 Republican Campaign Text-Book 1912,
 The campaign book asserts it to be true of the history, even
if written ten years
earlier, before "the shadow of th
e White House had not fallen athwart his peaceful
. The presidential bee had not yet begun to buzz." Conceding Wilson a br
reputation as author, the speaker said: "He ha
s been a most prolific writer, exploring
and nook of the field of history, sociology and political economy. In hi
voluminous writings and public addresses every subject in which the A
have ever shown the slightest interest,
with the possible exception of the question of
uicide, has been treated by him in a manner which reflects great credit o
intellectual courage and independence, if not up
on his political foresight and acumen."
 Republican Campaign
Text-Books 1900-1912. Further, the purpose is explicitly to
present the material "in concise and portable form . . . for read
y reference in the
field, on the stump, upon the train
, or wherever they may be desired."
 Democratic Campaign Book 1908,
 T. Roosevelt, Strenuous Life, 1.
 Democratic Cam
paign Book 1932, 5-12.
 Franklin D. Roosevelt, Government Not Politi
cs (NY: Covici, 1932).
 "Franklin D. Roosevelt Speaks," review of Ro
osevelt, Government Not Politics, New
York Times (7 Au
g. 1932), Book Review section, 1.
 Review of Roosevelt, Government N
ot Politics, Boston Transcript (3 Aug, 1932), 3.
 Franklin D. Roosev
elt, Looking Forward (NY: John Day, 1933).
 Walter Lippmann, "'On Ou
r Way'--A Book Review," review of Roosevelt, On Our Way,
New York Herald Tribune (20 Apr. 1934), 21.
 Ibid., 14.
nklin D. Roosevelt, On Our Way (NY: John Day, 1934).
 Public Papers
and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt is a multivolume work
featuring a special introduction and explanatory note by Roosevelt
and was first
published by Random House (NY) in 1940.
Later other collections were produced by
 Alfred M. Landon, America at the Crossroads (NY: Dodge, 19
36), with intro. by
Senator Arthur Capper.
, review of Landon, Crossroads, 1936, 5.
 Arthur Capper, in introd
uction to Landon, American at the Crossroads, vii.
 Intriguingly, El
eanor Roosevelt had begun to produce her own publications of
personal experiences, impressions, and even collections of photogr
aphs; and her name
now appeared more frequently on boo
k review lists than did her husband's.
 Franklin D. Roosevelt, ed. J
. B. S. Hardman, Rendezvous with Destiny (NY: Dryden,
 J.B.S. Hardman, in introduction to Roosevelt, Rendezvous, vi
 Thomas E. Dewey, The Case Against the New Deal (NY: Harper
& Bros., 1940). "In
the national election of 1940 the
American people will be called upon to make the most
critical decision they have faced in eighty years," vii.
 "People di
e, but books never die . . . No man and no force can take from the
world the books that embody man's eternal fight against tyra
nny of every kind. In this
war, we know, books are weapons. And it is
a part of your dedication always to make
for man's freedom. . . . In your charge is the living record of all that
man has accomplished in the long labor of liberty, al
l he aspires to make of it in the
future we of the Uni
ted Nations fight to secure. By keeping that record always before
the eyes of the American people you give them renewed streng
th in their struggle
against the dark backwash of tyra
nny, renewed faith in their unconquerable
n to take their full part in establishing on this earth a new free age of
man." Roosevelt, "Books Are Weapons."
 F. Roose
velt, On Our Way, 14.
 John F. Kennedy, Why England Slept (NY: Funk,
1940), a revised version of his
senior thesis at Harv
ard, on best-seller lists briefly in 1940; Profiles in Courage
(NY: Harper & Bros., 1956), also reached best-seller lists.
] Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Packaging the Presidency: A History and Critici
Presidential Campaign Advertising (New York: Oxf
ord, 1992), 162. She suggested why the
books were included in the film
: "While Nixon could and did recite the number of
tries he had visited, the number of leaders he had met, the number of con
he had attended, none of these statistics dem
onstrated that he had learned history's
Kennedy's books provided was the evidence that he had." Ibid.
n F. Kennedy, The Strategy of Peace (NY: Harper & Bros., 1960).
iew of Kennedy, Strategy, Library Journal 85 (15 Mar. 1960), 1129.
Blair Clark, "The Strategy of Peace," review of Kennedy, Strategy, Saturd
43 (28 May 1960), 19.
 Richard Nixon, The Challenges We
Face (NY: McGraw-Hill, 1960).
 Review of Nixon, Challenges, in Bookl
ist 56 (15 July 1960), 679.
 Victor Lasky, in review of Nixon, Chall
enges, Saturday Review 43 (2 July 1960),
id. Lasky also said: "These, therefore, are the views of the man to whom
American people may well entrust the leadership of
the free world for years to come.
They should be of
particular interest to American liberals, many of whom--for reasons
this reviewer finds difficult to comprehend--view with drea
d the possibility of Mr.
Nixon's occupying the White H
 In 1962 Kennedy had published a selection of his public stat
ements in his first
year as president, including an el
oquent introduction in the FDR tradition: "We have
gun. Neither wind nor tide is always with us. Our course on a dark and
cannot always be clear. But we have set s
ail--and the horizon, however cloudy, is also
full of hope." To Turn th
e Tide (Harper & Bros., 1962), vii..
 Lyndon B. Johnson, A Time for
Action (NY: Atheneum, 1964).
 Lyndon B. Johnson, My Hope for Americ
a (NY: Random House, 1964).
 Henry Brandon, "Candidate's Dilemma," r
eview of Johnson, My Hope, Saturday Review
47 (17 Octo
ber 1964), 16.
 Barry Goldwater, The Conscience of a Conservative (N
Y: Hillman, 1960); Why Not
Victory? A Fresh Look at Am
erican Foreign Policy (NY: McGraw-Hill, 1962).
 Barry Goldwater, Whe
re I Stand (NY: McGraw-Hill, 1964).
 Roscoe Drummond, "GOP Candidate
's Position Papers," review of Goldwater,
in Saturday Review 47 (19 Sept. 1964), 41.
 Ibid., 42.
 By the
methodological guidelines established for this study, books by Robert
Kennedy fall outside its scope. However, at the time of
his assassination, he was
arguably the front-runner; a
nd he had published several books in the Kennedy tradition
but with his own, populist orientation, including Just Friends and B
rave Enemies (NY:
Popular Library, 1962); Pursuit of J
ustice (NY: Harper & Bros., 1964); and To Seek a
World (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1967), an obviously election-oriented
statement of his beliefs, hopes, and plans.
ert H. Humphrey, The Cause is Mankind (NY: Praeger, 1964); War on Poverty
 "[This book] is not me
ant to be a statement of warlike defiance or a call to arms.
It does n
ot call for the conquest of one group or one world by another. Instead,
focuses on the struggle President Kennedy talked ab
out and President Johnson continues.
. . . I believe that with an infor
med, common-sense, and compassionate approach -- the
if you will -- the American future will be wonderful to behold."
Humphrey, Cause, vii.
 Hubert H. Humphrey, Beyond Civil
Rights: A New Day of Equality (NY: Random House,
 Albert Vorspan, "New Frontiers or Dark Old Days?" in review of
Rights, Saturday Review 51 (9 Nov. 196
 Richard M. Nixon, Six Crises (NY: Doubleday, 1962); reissue
d in 1968 by Pyramid
 Richard Nixon, Nixon
on the Issues (NY: Nixon-Agnew Campaign Committee, 1968) and
Nixon Speaks Out: Major Speeches and Statements by Richard Nixon (
Campaign Committee, 1969). The six-da
y production of the books is reported in Theodore
White's The Making of
the President--1968 (NY: Atheneum, 1969), 370.
 Nixon Speaks Out, f
 However, except for Theodore White's reference to t
hem no industry notice had
been taken of the 1968 book
s, either; thus, it would not be surprising to find more
such books had been published in 1972. See note 92 above.
rd M. Nixon, New Road for America (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1972).
6] George S. McGovern, War Against Want (NY: Walker, 1964), Agricultura
l Thought in
the Twentieth Century (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1967);
and A Time of War, a Time
of Peace (NY:Vintage, 1968)
 George S. McGovern, The Great Coalfield War (Boston: Houghton Mif
 Harry M. Caudill, "A Maddening Story," review of McGov
ern, Coalfield War, New York
Review of Books 19 (21 Sept. 1972), 38.
99] Christopher Lydon, "The Great Coalfield War," review of McGovern, Coa
New York Times (9 July 1972), Book Review,
 Nixon, Six Crises, xxiv, xxvii.
 Examples of Reagan's bo
oks are The Official Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Book (St.
Louis Park, MN: Chain-Pinkham, 1980); Ronald Reagan: In God I Trust (
Tyndale House, 1983); Abortion and the Co
nscience of the Nation (Nashville, TN: T.
); Along Wit's Trail: The Humor and Wisdom of Ronald Reagan (NY: Holt,
Rinehart & Winston, 1984).
 Hamilton, "Why Can't
Mr. President Write?" 146.
 Ibid., 147.
 Esther B. Fein, "Th
e Voters Choose to Read, and Political Books Flourish," New
York Times, 26 Oct., 1992, Financial section, 8.
 New York T
imes, 25 October 1992, Book Review section, 4.
 Fein, "The Voters C
Books in Campaigns -
BOOKS ARE WEAPONS
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF CANDIDATES' BOOKS
Note: Books issued during the election year are listed immediately after the
candidate's name. Those published prior to that year and, in the
those running more than once,since the previous election year
are listed below
the indicator line.
William McKinley (R - Incumbent)
Speeches and Addresses of William McKinley from March 1, 1887 to May
1900. New York: Doubleday & McClure, 1900.
"McKinley's Masterpieces." [listed in 1896 Nation review] 1896.
Speeches and Addresses of William McKinley. New York: Appleton, 1893.
Theodore Roosevelt (R - Vice President, became president in 1901)
The Strenuous Life. New York: Century, 1900.
The Naval War of 1812. New York: Putnam's, 1882.
The Life of Thomas Hart Benton. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1886.The
Life of Gouverneur Morris. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 188.The Winning
the West. New York: Putnam's, 1889.
American Ideals, and Other Essays, Social and Political. [NY]:
The Rough Riders. New York: Scribner's, 1899.
William J. Bryan (D) ---
The First Battle. Chicago: Conkey, 1896.
Theodore Roosevelt (R)Addresses and Presidential Messages of Theodore
Roosevelt. New York: Putnam's, 1904.
Oliver Cromwell. New York: Scribner's, 1901.The Deer Family. New
York, Macmillan, 1902.
Alton B. Parker (D) ---
William H. Taft (R) Present Day Problems: A Collection of Addresses
Delivered on Various Occasions. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1908.
Four Aspects of Civic Duty. New York: Scribners, 1907.
William J. Bryan (D) The Real Bryan: Being Extracts from the Speeches
and Writings of "A Well-Rounded Man" Des Moines, IA: Personal Help
Prebroadcast era, continued
Woodrow Wilson (D)
Congressional Government in the United States. Boston: Houghton Mifflin
George Washington. New York: Harper & Bros., 1886.
Mere Literature. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1886.
The State. Boston: D. C. Heath, 1889.
A History of the American People. New York: Harper & Bros., 1902.
Constitutional Government in the United States. New York: Columbia
Theodore Roosevelt (I)Realizable Ideals. [New York]: Whitaker, 1912.
The Real Roosevelt. New York: Putnam's, 1912.
Presidential Addresses and State Papers. New York: Review of Reviews,
Applied Ethics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ., 1911.
New Nationalism. New York: Outlook, 1911. 1
William H. Taft (R) ---
Presidential Addresses and State Papers from March 4, 1909 to March 4,
1910. New York: Doubleday, 1910.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)Government Not Politics. New York: Covici,
Herbert C. Hoover (R - Incumbant.) --- American Individualism.
Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Page & Comapny, 1922]
Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) ---
Looking Forward. New York: John Day, 1933.On Our Way. New York: John
Alfred M. Landon (R)America at the Crossroads. New York: Dodge
Radio Era, continued
Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) The Public Papers and Addresses of
Franklin D. Roosevelt. New York: Random House, 1938.
Wendell L. Wilkie (R) ---
Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)Rendezvous with Destiny. New York: Dryden,
The Battle of 1776. New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1941.
Thomas E. Dewey (R) The Case Against the New Deal. New York:
Harper & Bros., 1940.
John F. Kennedy (D)The Strategy of Peace. New York: Harper & Bros.,
1960. Why England Slept. New York: Funk, 1940.[To Turn the Tide.
York: Harper & Bros., 1962]
Profiles in Courage. New York: Harper & Bros., 1956.
Lyndon B. Johnson (D - Vice President, became president in1963) ---
Richard M. Nixon (R)The Challenges We Face. New York: McGraw-Hill,
Lyndon B. Johnson (D)A Time for Action. New York: Atheneum, 1964.My
Hope for America. New York: Random House, 1964.
Barry M. Goldwater (R)Where I Stand. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964.
The Conscience of a Conservative. New York: Hillman, 1960.Why Not
Victory? A Fresh Look at American Foreign Policy. New York:
Television Era, continued
Richard M. Nixon (R)Six Crises. New York: Pyramid, 1968. (Reissue of
1962 Doubleday edition.)
Nixon on the Issues. New York: Nixon-Agnew Campaign Committe, 1968
Nixon Speaks Out. New York: Nixon-Agnew Campaign Committe, 1968
Hubert H. Humphrey (D)
Beyond Civil Rights: A New Day of Equality. New York: Random House,
The Cause is Mankind. New York: Praeger, 1964War on Poverty. New York:
McGraw Hill, 1964
Richard M. Nixon (R.)
A New Road for America. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1972.
George S. McGovern (D)The Great Coalfield War. With Leonard Guttridge.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1972.
War against Want: America's Food for Peace Program. New York: Walker,
1964.Agricultural Thought in the Twentieth Century. (Ed.)
Indianapolis, IA: Bobbs-Merrill, 1967A Time of War, A Time of Peace.
New York: Vintage, 1968
Books in Campaigns -
Barber, James David. "Characters in the Campaign: The Literary
Problem." In Race for the Presidency: The Media and the Nominating
Process. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1978.
Brandon, Henry. "Candidate's Dilemma." Review of My Hope for America by
Lyndon B. Johnson. Saturday Review 47 (17 Oct. 1964): 16.
Brown, Francis. "Mr. Landon States His Principles." Review of America
at the Crossroads by Alfred M. Landon. New York Times (27 Sept.
Book Review section, 5.
Burns, James MacGregor. John Kennedy: A Political Profile. New York:
Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1960.
Caudill, Harry M. "A Maddening Story." Review of The Great Coalfield
War by George S. McGovern. New York Review of Books 19 (21 Sept.
Clark, Blair. "The Strategy of Peace." Review of Strategy of Peace by
John F. Kennedy. Saturday Review 43 (28 May 1960): 19.
Clinton, William. Putting People First New York: Times Books, 1992.
"Comment on Current Books." Review of Present Day Problems by William
Howard Taft. Outlook 89 (1 Aug. 1908): 766
Democratic National Committee. Campaign Books of the Democratic Party
Candidates and Issues 1896-1936. New York: Democratic National
Committee, 1896-1936 (available on microfiche from the National
Drummond, Roscoe. "GOP Candidate's Position Papers." Review of
Conscience of a Conservative by Barry M. Goldwater. Saturday Review 47
(19 Sept. 1964): 41
Euchner, Charles C. and John Anthony Maltese. Selecting the President:
From Washington to Bush. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly,
Fein, Esther B. "The Voters Choose to Read, and Political Books
Flourish," New York Times, 26 Oct.1992, Financial section, 8.
"Franklin D. Roosevelt Speaks." Review of Government Not Politics by
Franklin D. Roosevelt. New York Times (7 Aug. 1932): Book Review
Hamilton, John Maxwell. "Why Can't Mr. President Write?" Media Studies
Journal 6, no. 2 (summer 1992): 139-51.
Hamilton, John Maxwell. "Why Can't Mr. President Write?" In Media
Studies Journal 6, no. 2 (Summer 1992): 139-51.
Hess, Stephen. The Presidential Campaign. Washington, D.C.: Brookings,
Hynes, Terry. "Media Manipulation and Political Campaigns: Bruce Barton
and the Presidential Elections of the Jazz Age." Journalism History
no. 3 (1977): 93-98.
Jamieson, Kathleen Hall. Packaging the Presidency: A History and
Criticism of Presidential Campaign Advertising. New York: Oxford
Kaid, Lynda Lee and Anne Johnston Wadsworth. Political Campaign
Communication: A Bibliography and Guide to the Literature 1973-1982.
Metuchen, N.J., Scarecrow, 1985.
Lasky, Victor. Review of The Challenges We Face by Richard M. Nixon.
Saturday Review 43 (2 July 1960): 15.
Lasky, Victor. John F. Kennedy: What's Behind The Image? Washington,
D.C.: Free World Press, 1960.
League of Women Voters Education Fund. Choosing the President.
Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1980
Lippman,Walter. "'On Our Way'--A Book Review." Review of On Our Way by
Franklin D. Roosevelt. New York Herald Tribune (20 Apr. 1934): 21
Lydon, Christopher. "The Great Coalfield War." Review of The Great
Coalfield War by George S. McGovern. New York Times (9 July 1972):
Review section, 4
Martin, Ralph G. and Ed Plaut. Front Runner, Dark Horse. Garden City,
N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, 1960.
McCarthy, Joe. The Remarkable Kennedys. New York: Dial, 1960.
McGinniss, Joe. The Selling of the President 1968. New York: Trident,
"McKinley's Masterpieces" Nation 62 (18 June 1896): 466.
Miles,William. The Image Makers: A Bibliography of American
Presidential Campaign Biographies. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow, 1979.
Miles, William. The Image Makers: A Bibliography of American
Presidential Campaign Biographies. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow, 1979.
"Mr. Taft as His Own Interpreter." Review of Present Day Problems, by
William Howard Taft. New York Times 12 (15 August 1908): 448.
Nadel, Laurie. The Great Stream of History: A Biography of Richard M.
Nixon. New York: Atheneum, 1991.
"The New President as a Literary Man," Outlook 69 (21 Sept. 1901): 165.
Newman, Bruce I. The Marketing of the President: Political Marketing as
Campaign Strategy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1994.
Reinsch, J. Leonard. Getting Elected: From Radio and Roosevelt to
Television and Reagan. New York: Hippocrene Books, 1988
Republican National Committee. Republican Campaign Text-Books 1900-1912.
Philadelphia: Dunlap, 1900-1912 (available on microfiche from the
National Micropublishing Corp.).
Review of Congressional Government by Woodrow Wilson. Nation 91 (22
Sept. 1910), 256.
Review of Government Not Politics by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Boston
Transcript (3 Aug, 1932): 3.
Review of Speeches and Addresses of William McKinley by William
McKinley. Nation 58 (8 Feb. 1894): 104.
Review of The Challenges We Face by Richard M. Nixon. Booklist 56 (15
July 1960): 679.
Roosevelt, Elliott R. and James Brough. A Rendezvous with Destiny. New
York: Putnams, 1975.
Roosevelt, Franklin Delano. "'Books Are Weapons', Says President
Roosevelt." Poster: Three messages from President Roosevelt about
books, printed for distribution by the Library Binding Institute,
Schlesinger, Arthur, Jr. Kennedy or Nixon: Does It Make Any Difference?
New York: Macmillan, 1960.
Sevareid, Eric. Candidates 1960: Behind the Headlines in the
Presidential Race. New York: Basic Books, 1959.
Spragens, William C. Popular Images of American Presidents. New York:
Streitmatter, Rodger. "Theodore Roosevelt: Public Relations Pioneer."
American Journalism 7 (Spring 1990): 96-113.
Vorspan, Albert. "New Frontiers or Dark Old Days?" Review of Beyond
Civil Rights by Hubert H. Humphrey. Saturday Review 51 (9 Nov. 1968):
White, Theodore H. The Making of the President 1964. New York: Signet,
White, Theodore H. The Making of the President 1968. New York:
White, Theodore H. The Making of the President 1972. New York:
Witcover, J. Marathon: The Pursuit of the Presidency, 1972-1976. New
York: Viking, 1977.