They Also Ran, third and fourth edition

I ran across the third eidtion of the Irving Stone “They Also Ran”, the first edition published in 1943 the second in 1947 and this third in 1966.  The first finished off with Willkie, the second with Dewey, and has cut and pasted the final paragraph “of the candidates profiled, the only candidate that might still be elected president” from Willkie to Dewey.

So I was wanting to see how Nixon gets profiled in 1966.  It largely dodged the task, sticking in a short chapter which hurtled through Stevenson, Nixon, and Goldwater — and stated it was shoving Nixon aside as he still might become President.  So what we’re left with was a explanation on what Stevenson versus Eisenhower looked like from the vantage point of 1966 — “The Western Canon versus the Western Movie”.  An anti-intellectual populace going with the smart common sense do it-er, the intellectual vindicated at Sputnik.  Of course, cynics will always purport that Stevenson’s oh-so-smart speeches indicate largely a well-thumbed thesaurus.   Goldwater is more sympathetically drawn than  I would suppose with a note of “yes, he could’ve been more accepting of Rockefeller, and not said that thing about Extremism, but then he wouldn’t have been Goldwater.”

Almost President — with “Profiles of twelve men who have run for the presidency and lost, but who, even in defeat, have had a greater impact on American history than many of those who have served as president” — is an obvious offspring of They Also Ran, the fourth edition I suppose.   The one mention of They Also Ran, I see one mention — stating that the Alton Parker section is sourced to They Also Ran due to the fact that Parker is the one candidate never to have received any biographical treatment.  The other interesting brief from this section is James Blaine — painted unsympathetically as the ultimate cynical empty politician, the inspiration for a couple archetypal depiction in Gilded Age literature and a man who is unheralded and statue-less in his native state of Maine.  In terms of historical footnotes, I do not know if it’d be better to be Alton Parker or James Blaine.

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