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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Knew History Could Be So Much Fun
I loved this book. While you could read it in snippets - search out on one or two elections that were high on the sleaze-o-meter (the author gives nearly every election a rating for its dirty tricks quotient) I found it both enlighting and enjoyable to read it all the way through. Cummins has a clever, relaxed style and a real eye for quirky details. He also has no...
Published on October 23, 2007 by J. Wine

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but....
The book is entertaining and has a lot of great facts, but it misses the mark on a few too many simple facts. For example, it says that Calvin Coolidge became the President by winning the 1924 election; ignoring that he became President when Harding died. It also identifies Robert Kennedy as a Senator from Massachusetts, when in reality he represented New York.
Published on March 7, 2008 by I. Dempsey


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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Knew History Could Be So Much Fun, October 23, 2007
By 
J. Wine (New York, N.Y.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anything for a Vote (Paperback)
I loved this book. While you could read it in snippets - search out on one or two elections that were high on the sleaze-o-meter (the author gives nearly every election a rating for its dirty tricks quotient) I found it both enlighting and enjoyable to read it all the way through. Cummins has a clever, relaxed style and a real eye for quirky details. He also has no political agenda which means every party has to face up to their dirty past -Democrats, Republicans, and Democratic Republicans. After delving into several decades worth of elections I began to feel a bit better about our era, if only because dirty tricks and cheating seems to go in cycles. The public can be snowed for awhile but they always come to their senses, and there's something reassuring about learning that. And while 2000 was awful, between the hanging chads and the Supremes deciding the election, at least not too many dead people voted, as in previous elections, and we no longer have drunks being paid in whisky to vote a few dozen times.
Every page has another colorful tidbit. For example, my old TV hero Davy Crocket was actually a Whig attack dog, accusing Martin Van Buren of dressing in corsetts. And I loved finding out about the men who ran for President and lost, and what happened to them afterwards (poor Horace Greeley died within months of losing.)
Also, there were some colorful Vice Presidential candidates over the years. And I had my eyes opened about several of our chief executives. Talk about anything for a vote...Finally there were many relevant comparisons you could make to the present election season. For example, Taft made no apologies for his religion. "If the American public is so narrow as not to elect a Unitarian, well and good, I can stand it." I wish Mitt Romney were so direct. Al Smith's struggles also offer a perspective on this topic.
This book was a delight - my wife thought so as well, and I've just handed it off to my 16 year old who I'm sure is going to love it as well. Be sure to check out Andrew Jackson, Rutherford Hayes, and Herbert Hoover and LBJ. Unbelievable!!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but...., March 7, 2008
This review is from: Anything for a Vote (Paperback)
The book is entertaining and has a lot of great facts, but it misses the mark on a few too many simple facts. For example, it says that Calvin Coolidge became the President by winning the 1924 election; ignoring that he became President when Harding died. It also identifies Robert Kennedy as a Senator from Massachusetts, when in reality he represented New York.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining pop history, January 15, 2008
By 
J. Scott (Philadelphia, PA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anything for a Vote (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book mostly because it offers some interesting perspective on the 2008 primaries. Turns out all of the most common attacks ("You're too old to be pres!" "You're not Christian enough to be pres" etc) have been used again and again over the past 200 years. As the author says, these kinds of attacks are as American as apple pie, and this book shows which candidates have used them. The illustrations help to liven up what could potentially be a dull subject. If you're a cable news junkie, you'll like this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but a little to light at times, March 24, 2012
This review is from: Anything for a Vote (Paperback)
Why I read It
It was referenced in an article I read.

The Good
A fun little book covering all the US Presidential campaigns. Chocked full of fun facts and trivia presented in a light style.

The Bad
A little too light at times. He dismisses everything as silliness that opposing parties said about each other in order to get elected. I wonder how much was true and how much was just politics as usual.

The Ugly (my opinion)
Anyone interested in political elections should read this fun book. It also puts to rest the false claim that we used to be more civil in the past. George Bush versus John Kerry doesn't even come close to as bad as it gets. And it is true, history does repeat itself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, fast-paced read, June 2, 2008
This review is from: Anything for a Vote (Paperback)
This was an excellent read of a book. Not only was it very interesting to read about our nation's history and all its dirty deeds, but it was very eye opening to see that we are still the same dirty politicians that we were back in the 1800's. It was a very quick read, with pictures of that certain election and a "sleaze-o-meter" that told you how bad that election was. It also gave an interesting quote at the beginning so you could get a feel for how that election went.I would recommend this book, especially for high schoolers, because it will easily grasp their attention and some of the pictures might be of interest to them. Cummins adds wit and humor to his novel, which you sometimes don't expect in a history or nonfiction book. It is a great way for students to learn about their history and while for some of the more "mature" readers it will be a little obvious, for the majority it should prove a worthwhile book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible History Light, December 25, 2013
By 
Richard A. Mitchell "Rick Mitchell" (candia, new hampshire United States) - See all my reviews
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It may be possible to ignore the bias - not a single Republican won an election after Lincoln without cheating - but the bad historical "analysis" makes this book even worse. We get such pearls as this: America was so very very tired of do-nothing Eisenhower and his cabinet of millionaires that it elected that log cabin boy JFK and his cabinet of public school middle classers. But it is the bad history that makes this a must skip. Let's even drop the obvious, like FDR solved the Depression in his first term. This is the first book I have ever read that analyzed Lincoln's election by saying he beat Steven Douglas. There were FOUR candidates in that election! Of those four, Douglas came in a distant last! The author probably thinks the Lincoln-Douglas debates had something to do with that election which he is why he analyzed this as a two man race.

There is very little meat here, few historical facts or even instances of cheating to get votes. So much good stuff was ignored. This would be fertile ground for a real history book, but ANYTHING FOR A VOTE is poor bathroom reading - short chapters of a few pages for each election. This is plainly a book to be skipped.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely, November 13, 2007
This review is from: Anything for a Vote (Paperback)
Joe Cummins has hit on an incredibly timely subject. He covers it in an animated and insightful way. This is a must read and a perfect holiday gift. I am giving it to my father for sure.
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3.0 out of 5 stars if you like history..., June 18, 2014
Nice readable book. Interesting facts, some known some unknown. Recommended for a nice rainy afternoon. Would read this book again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What you didn't know!, October 11, 2013
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Very insightful and interesting book. Well worth the read even if you aren't a political scholar. If you vote you should read this book before the next election
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3.0 out of 5 stars a quick read, June 23, 2013
A good quick read about every presidential election up through 2008. Don't expect a lot of details as this book contains a short chapter about each election.
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Anything for a Vote
Anything for a Vote by Joseph Cummins (Paperback - August 1, 2007)
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