Let the People Rule: Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of the Presidential Primary

Let the People Rule: Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of the Presidential Primary

The exhilarating, prescient story of the four-month campaign that changed American politics forever. Let the People Rule tells the exhilarating story of the four-month campaign that changed American politics forever. In 1912 Theodore Roosevelt came out of retirement to challenge his close friend and handpicked successor, William Howard Taft, for the Republican Party nomination. To overcome the power of the incumbent, TR seized on the idea of presidential primaries, telling bosses everywhere to “Let the People Rule.” The cheers and jeers of rowdy supporters and detractors echo from Geoffrey Cowan’s pages as he explores TR’s fight-to-the-finish battle to win popular support. After sweeping nine out of thirteen primaries, he felt entitled to the nomination. But the party bosses proved too powerful, leading Roosevelt to walk out of the convention and create a new political party of his own. Using a trove of newly discovered documents, Cowan takes readers inside the colorful, dramatic, and often mean-spirited campaign, describing the political machinations and intrigue and painting indelible portraits of its larger-than-life characters. But Cowan also exposes the more unsavory parts of TR’s campaign: seamy backroom deals, bribes made in TR’s name during the Republican Convention, and then the shocking political calculation that led TR to ban any black delegates from the Deep South from his new “Bull Moose Party.” In this utterly compelling work, Cowan illuminates lessons of the past that have great resonance for American politics today.

Presidential Elections and Majority Rule

The Rise, Demise, and Potential Restoration of the Jeffersonian Electoral College

Presidential Elections and Majority Rule

The Electoral College that governs America has been with us since 1804, when Thomas Jefferson's supporters redesigned it for his re-election. The Jeffersonians were motivated by the principle of majority rule. Gone were the days when a president would be elected by acclamation, as George Washington had been. Instead, given the emergence of intense two-party competition, the Jeffersonians wanted to make sure that the Electoral College awarded the presidency to the candidate of the majority, rather than minority, party. They also envisioned that a candidate would win by amassing a majority of Electoral College votes secured from states where the candidate's party was in the majority. For most of American history, this system has worked as intended, producing presidents who won Electoral College victories derived from state-based majorities. In the last quarter-century, however, there have been three significant aberrations from the Jeffersonian design: 1992, 2000, and 2016. In each of these years, the Electoral College victory depended on states where the winner received only a minority of votes. In this authoritative history of the American Electoral College system, Edward Foley analyzes the consequences of the unparalleled departure from the Jeffersonians' original intent-and delineates what we can do about it. He explains how states, by simply changing their Electoral College procedures, could restore the original Jeffersonian commitment to majority rule. There are various ways to do this, all of which comply with the Constitution. If only a few states had done so before 2016, the outcome might have been different. Doing so before future elections can prevent another victory that, contrary to the original Jeffersonian intent, a majority of voters did not want.

Hatred of America's Presidents: Personal Attacks on the White House from Washington to Trump

Hatred of America's Presidents: Personal Attacks on the White House from Washington to Trump

This work examines expressions of personal hostility and animosity toward presidents—even beloved ones—throughout American history and their impact on policymaking, politics, and culture. • Investigates a unique form of expressions of hatred toward American presidents, focusing on the personal rather than the political • Covers every president from Washington to Trump • Includes coverage of personal attacks on First Families • Details how presidents and allies responded to these attacks

The International Harvester Company

A History of the Founding Families and Their Machines

The International Harvester Company

Ancient farmers used draft animals for plowing but the heavy work of harvesting fell to the humans, using sickle and scythe. Change came in the mid-19th century when Cyrus Hall McCormick built the mechanical harvester. Though the McCormicks used their wealth to establish art collections and universities, battle disease, and develop birth control, members of the family faced constant scrutiny and scandal. This book recounts their story as well as the history of the International Harvester Company (IHC)--a merger of the McCormick and Deering companies and the world's leader in agricultural machinery in the 1900s.

These Truths: A History of the United States

These Truths: A History of the United States

New York Times Bestseller In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation, an urgently needed reckoning with the beauty and tragedy of American history. Written in elegiac prose, Lepore’s groundbreaking investigation places truth itself—a devotion to facts, proof, and evidence—at the center of the nation’s history. The American experiment rests on three ideas—"these truths," Jefferson called them—political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. And it rests, too, on a fearless dedication to inquiry, Lepore argues, because self-government depends on it. But has the nation, and democracy itself, delivered on that promise? These Truths tells this uniquely American story, beginning in 1492, asking whether the course of events over more than five centuries has proven the nation’s truths, or belied them. To answer that question, Lepore traces the intertwined histories of American politics, law, journalism, and technology, from the colonial town meeting to the nineteenth-century party machine, from talk radio to twenty-first-century Internet polls, from Magna Carta to the Patriot Act, from the printing press to Facebook News. Along the way, Lepore’s sovereign chronicle is filled with arresting sketches of both well-known and lesser-known Americans, from a parade of presidents and a rogues’ gallery of political mischief makers to the intrepid leaders of protest movements, including Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist orator; William Jennings Bryan, the three-time presidential candidate and ultimately tragic populist; Pauli Murray, the visionary civil rights strategist; and Phyllis Schlafly, the uncredited architect of modern conservatism. Americans are descended from slaves and slave owners, from conquerors and the conquered, from immigrants and from people who have fought to end immigration. "A nation born in contradiction will fight forever over the meaning of its history," Lepore writes, but engaging in that struggle by studying the past is part of the work of citizenship. "The past is an inheritance, a gift and a burden," These Truths observes. "It can’t be shirked. There’s nothing for it but to get to know it."

Roosevelt's Revolt

The 1912 Republican Convention and the Launch of the Bull Moose Party

Roosevelt's Revolt

 The presidential election of 1912 was the only one whose candidates included an incumbent president, a former president and a future president. Theodore Roosevelt, in the Oval Office from 1901 to 1909, chose not to run again. When his former Secretary of War, William Howard Taft, took controversial actions as his successor, Roosevelt challenged him for the 1912 Republican nomination. Taft emerged as the nominee and Roosevelt ran as a third-party candidate on the Progressive (Bull Moose) ticket, causing a split in the GOP that allowed Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win the presidency. The author examines the election in detail and traces the effects of Roosevelt’s actions on the Republican Party for decades. Appendices detail Republican primary results and all of the parties’ platforms and provide a summary of presidential assassinations and attempts.

The Splendid Misery

The Story of the Presidency and Power Politics at Close Range

The Splendid Misery

Reviving memories of a dozen national administrations, this backstage account traces the running battle between the executive and legislative branches to capture political leadership of the nation. In doing so, it etches the pattern by which the workaday functions of the country's highest office are carried out, not always by the President. Told in an anecdotal style, much of the work is devoted to the administrations of Franklin, D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and President Eisenhower.