Anything for a Vote
About the Book
The complete history of mudslinging, character assassination, and other election strategies
You might think today’s politicians play rough—but history reveals that dirty tricks are as American as apple pie. This revised and updated edition of Anything for a Vote covers 225-plus years of smear campaigns and bad behavior in U.S. presidential elections, from George Washington to Barack Obama. 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: 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 and shameless anecdotes from every presidential election in United States history, Anything for a Vote is a valuable reminder that history does repeat itself, lessons can be learned from the past (but usually aren’t), and 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.
About the Author
JOSEPH CUMMINS has written several books of history, including Anything for a Vote (which “wonderfully chronicles the campaign smears . . . that have typified U.S. elections,” New York Times/Freakonomics blog) and History’s Great Untold Stories (“gripping stories and lively writing,” Library Journal). He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey.