- Publisher: Macmillan Library Reference (June 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0028646231
- ISBN-13: 978-0028646237
- Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 22.2 x 29.2 cm
- Shipping Weight: 626 g
In volume 1 a who's who^-type paragraph is given for each candidate, but with no indication of why the person was running or what his or her agenda was if elected. Entries note for which office and party the person was seeking nomination and the year. Extensive personal information (education, career, mailing address, if appropriate) is given for some candidates; others lack even a birth date. Perpetual candidate Harold Stassen's entry is half a page long. The more than 3,500 biographies will provide fodder for trivia contests. There were 11 people with the name Adams who were candidates, from Sam in the 1700s to R. Jerry Adams in 1988.
Volume 2 concentrates on the elections, with party platforms and statistics for each election. Entries for early years are brief, listing only the names of candidates and electoral votes won. By the nineteenth century, there were party conventions, and tables show the votes for each candidate for nomination. A "Highlights" section summarizes some of the issues of the election. In later years, platform highlights are listed for most candidates. In 1912, presidential primaries began to be held, and their results are listed. In the 1792 election there were five candidates and no political parties, compared with 1992 with numerous candidates, primaries in many states, and a number of third parties with some interesting platforms--the Planet Party supported a call for General Electric to clean up the planet. An extensive bibliography concludes the second volume, but there are no indexes that would enable the researcher to find all Communist Party candidates, for example.
Although Havel does an excellent job in providing biographical, statistical, and descriptive information on those who have declared as candidates for president or vice president of the U.S., much of this information is available in other works. The Encyclopedia of the Republican Party and The Encyclopedia of the Democratic Party [RBB N 15 96] reprint the party platforms for the two major parties and discuss conventions. Encyclopedia of Third Parties in the United States [RBB N 1 91] describes more than 80 parties and their platforms and candidates. Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections also covers third parties, platforms, and voting statistics. Havel is unique in providing information on many obscure candidates who never made it on a ballot. Research libraries that need this level of detail will want to purchase this set. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.