They Also Ran

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They Also Ran
Author Irving Stone
Country United States
Language English
Subject U.S. political and electoral history
OCLC 421063

They Also Ran is the title of a 1943 book by Irving Stone. Stone, a historian, evaluates several unsuccessful candidates for President of the United States in light of their places in history (and those of their victorious opponents), and attempts to assess whether or not the American people made the "right" choice in rejecting them for that office.

The Chicago Tribune called They Also Ran "a fascinating and challenging book,"[1] while the New York Times praised it as "a brilliant idea . . . brilliantly executed".[2] The book inspired the Also-Ran Gallery in Norton, Kansas, a collection of black-and-white portraits of unsuccessful presidential candidates.[3]

An updated version was released in 1966, with brief analyses of the 1944 to 1964 elections.


Similar to Plutarch's Parallel Lives, the also-rans are grouped by similarities. For example, the first section compares newspapermen Horace Greeley and James M. Cox favorably to the candidates who served their troubled terms of office: Grant and Harding.

Contents of 1966 edition[edit]

Book Chapter Subject Comments
Book One: "The Press Pass" I Horace Greeley
II James Middleton Cox
Book Two: "Three Time Losers!" I Henry Clay
II William Jennings Bryan
Book Three: "Judge Not!" I Alton B. Parker
II Charles Evans Hughes
Book Four: "Generals Die in the Army" I Winfield Scott
II John Charles Fremont
III George B. McClellan
IV Winfield Scott Hancock
Book Five: "Heroes Stand Alone" I Samuel J. Tilden
Book Six: "Main Chance Politicos" I Stephen A. Douglas
II James G. Blaine
Book Seven: "Governors, Pardon!" I Lewis Cass
II Horatio Seymour
III Alfred E. Smith
IV Alfred M. Landon
Book Eight: "Honest Wall Street Lawyers" I John W. Davis
II Wendell L. Willkie
Book Nine: "The Prosecutions Rest!" I Thomas E. Dewey
Book Ten: "Transition" I Adlai E. Stevenson
II Richard M. Nixon The 1968 U.S. presidential election had not yet occurred at the time of the writing.
III Barry M. Goldwater


  1. ^ Will Davidson. "An Author Rates Presidents and Their Opponents." Chicago Tribune. 30 May 1943.
  2. ^ Maxwell Gesimer. The New York Times. 30 May 1943.
  3. ^ Teresa Mendez. "Kerry joins the also-ran club." The Christian Science Monitor. 8 November 2004.

See also[edit]