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'Whistlestop' by John Dickerson

FROM THE PUBLISHER: "Whistlestop" tells the human story of nervous gambits hatched in first-floor hotel rooms, failures of will before the microphone, and the cross-country crack-ups of long-planned stratagems. At the bar at the end of a campaign day, these are the stories reporters rehash for themselves and embellish for newcomers. In addition to the familiar tales, "Whistlestop"also remembers the forgotten stories about the bruising and reckless campaigns of the nineteenth century when the combatants believed the consequences included the fate of the republic itself. Some of the most modern-feeling elements of the American presidential campaign were born before the roads were paved and electric lights lit the convention halls-or there were convention halls at all.

"Whistlestop" is a ride through the American campaign history with one of its most enthusiastic conductors guiding you through the landmarks along the way.