Anything for a Vote: Dirty Tricks, Cheap Shots, and October Surprises in U.S. Presidential Campaigns - Joseph Cummins 

Quirk

All this ugliness heating up between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama? Par for the course.

Joseph Cummins should know. He's written the book "? literally "? on all the trash-talking and backstabbing that would-be commanders-in-chief have done on their way to the White House (or, in the losers' case, unemployment), in "Anything for a Vote."

No sniping has gone unnoticed in Cummins' often hilarious summation, tracking every American presidential election since 1789's initial bout, which pitted George Washington against, er, himself. Arranged chronologically, each chapter focuses on that year's campaign, candidates and end result.

But what you really want is the mud, and since plenty of that has been hurled throughout history, the mess is a glorious one. For example, John Quincy Adams was accused of offering his wife's maid up for a Russian czar's prurient pleasures.  In his legendary televised debate with Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy enjoyed a romp with a hooker 90 minutes beforehand, and once wrote a note while on the campaign trail to a staffer, "I suppose if I win "? my poon days are over?"

Featuring great illustrations by Mike Fink, the book's insides are printed entirely in red, white and blue. Because is there anything more American than bitching and moaning?

"?Rod Lott

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