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The Contenders in Book Form,
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This review is from: Almost President: The Men Who Lost the Race but Changed the Nation (Hardcover)Almost President comes on the heals of The Contenders, a C-SPAN series that spent 90 to 120 minutes examining presidential nominees with a major impact on history. Scott Farris' book picks many of the same major nominees, though a few less and with the addition of Stephen Douglas. Farris also provides a closing chapter with the three most recent major party losers and an appendix with brief sections on all of the others that did not get major treatment in the book. Some of these presidential losers are widely acknowledged to be major historical figures such as Henry Clay and William Jennings Bryan. Others impact are less well known, for example Tom Dewey whose influence in the Republican Party contributed to the presidencies of both Eisenhower and Nixon. I highly recommend the book to any reader of presidential history. One of the other reviews has a comment on James Birney, a Liberty Party candidate who arguably helped put Polk in the White House by drawing votes from Whig Henry Clay in New York in 1844. Farris does discuss this episode, though as with most portions of the book not with extensive detail. This is more of a survey and individual biographies of all the losing nominees, with the exception of 1904's Alton Parker, are available.
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Initial post: Mar 21, 2013 11:38:43 PM PDT
Edward W. Trieste says:
Birney did indeed arguably cost Henry Clay New York and the election...in 1844 against James Polk.
I just got the book and have already read about half in two days...I expect when I finish I will also highly recommend it. It's good to see the unsuccessful candidates get some attention...they are all accomplished and interesting figures who made an impact on their country.
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