The Triumph of William McKinley

The Triumph of William McKinley

Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters

Book - 2015
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President William McKinley's 1896 campaign ended a bitter period of political gridlock and reformed and modernized his party; the result was a governing majority that dominated American politics for the next thirty-six years. Rove shows how McKinley's strategies offer important lessons for both political parties today.
Publisher: New York :, Simon & Schuster,, 2015.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781476752952
Branch Call Number: 324.97388 RO
Characteristics: viii, 482 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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Apr 02, 2019

Rove has written a thoroughly researched analysis of the 1896 presidential campaign of William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan. In an era before radio, tv, and social media, politics, especially political campaigns, were as much social events as "get out the vote" rallies. Long speeches were expected and seeing a candidate was considered a highlight. This was the first campaign where the candidate mattered more than the "favorite sons" selected by various states who would give their votes to the final candidate decided by the political party at the summer conventions. McKinley's campaign is widely considered to be the first modern presidential campaign. He was also the last Civil War veteran to be elected President. Immigration, widespread unemployment, and wealth for the few were issues that McKinley and Bryan campaigned on as well as tariffs and the gold standard. To this modern reader, Bryan ran a Trump-style campaign that featured fear and divisiveness while McKinley's campaign emphasized unity and prosperity.

Vincent T Lombardo Mar 18, 2016

Prodigiously researched, well-written, and very informative! I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I learned a lot and I highly recommend it if you are a history buff or political junkie!

Feb 29, 2016

to me this was a tough read, and I generally like books about presidents and elections. a large majority of the book revolves around the Free Silver vs Gold Standard debate of the time. and if you don't understand and/or care about it, you'll lose interest.

pw1040 Dec 21, 2015

This is an "I did not know that" book. Very easy to read. Informative as to the political customs of the time.


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Apr 08, 2019

"Both candidates knew the labor vote would deeply influence the election's outcome, even decide key states. As September opened, whose message would sway the 'toiling masses,' as Bryan called them? That of the Boy Orator of the Platte or that of the Napoleon of Protection?"

Apr 08, 2019

"McKinley drew on his many personal relationships, never got embroiled in making deals involving cabinet posts and patronage, and kept his campaign out of needless local fights by focusing on instruction rather than naming delegates."

Apr 08, 2019

"Elections in a large, diverse country like the United States rarely offer uncomplicated story lines."


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