An elated, victorious Truman brandishes a newspaper with the headline “Dewey Defeats Truman.” Theodore Roosevelt galvanizes the crowd with a fiery stump speech. Richard Nixon wipes away sweat during his debate with a poised JFK. Against the backdrop of a towering flag, Reagan captivates crowds with his promise of a stronger, prouder America. Bill Clinton weaves a spell with his saxophone. Throughout American history, few events have commanded the undivided attention of the public the way presidential campaigns have. Now the enduring moments of inspiration, the humiliating gaffes, and the heartbreaking losses of these campaigns are captured in a historic collection of photographs from America’s greatest photojournalists.
From the divisive election of Abraham Lincoln to the opening salvos of the 2004 campaign, America’s presidents — and pretenders to the office — come to life in these pages. These men embody not only the drama of their times, but also the great arc of American history. They are captured here in pivotal and telling campaign moments: on the stage and behind the scenes, on whistle-stop tours, at high-voltage conventions, and in head-to-head debates. Accompanied by political adviser Douglas E. Schoen’s trenchant essays, the striking photographs in On the Campaign Trail offer a unique view of the moments that have united and divided us during the race for the presidency. A fascinating journey in words and images, this landmark collection brings home the drama, fanfare, and power of America’s great national contest.