Anything for a Vote
By Joseph Cummins
(Quirk Books, Paperback, 9781594741562, 304pp.)
Publication Date: August 1, 2007
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A History of Mud-Slinging, Character Assassination, And Other Election Strategies
Today’s political pundits express shock and disappointment when candidates resort to negative campaigning. But history reveals that smear campaigns are as American as apple pie. Anything for a Vote is an illustrated look at 200-plus years of dirty tricks and bad behavior in presidential elections, from George Washington to Barack Obama and John McCain. Let the name-calling begin!
• 1836: Congressman Davy Crockett accuses candidate Martin Van Buren of secretly wearing women’s clothing: “He is laced up in corsets!”
• 1864: Presidential candidate George McClellan describes his opponent, Abraham Lincoln, as “nothing more than a well-meaning baboon!”
• 1960: Former president Harry Truman advises voters that “if you vote for Richard Nixon, you ought to go to hell!”
Full of sleazy anecdotes from every presidential election in United States history, Anything for a Vote is a valuable reminder that history does repeat itself, that lessons can be learned from the past (though they usually aren’t), and that our most famous presidents are not above reproach when it comes to the dirtiest game of all—political campaigning.
Joseph Cummins is the author of several nonfiction books and one novel. He lives in New Jersey.
“Dirty tricks of the covert and the sleazy.”—New York Times Magazine
“a compendium of ‘dirty tricks, cheap shots and October surprises.’”—Playboy
“Anything For a Vote will strike a chord.”—McClatchy-Tribune News Service
“hoot to read.”—The Oregonian