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IHS Press

Campaign Crossroads: Presidential Politics in Indiana from Lincoln to Obama

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Campaign Crossroads is a look back over the varied, sometimes important, sometimes irrelevant, but always interesting presidential campaign cycles in Indiana history. By taking in the influences of technology, transportation and communication itself, we see an evolution in the political process that is not only altogether Hoosier, but also altogether American in its quality and importance.

Using a narrative, qualitative history approach with a mix of primary and secondary sources, the work examines not only the rhetoric of presidents and presidential hopefuls as they have crossed Indiana, but also the nature of campaigns and their impact on Indiana communities. While Indiana enjoyed the position of being a battleground state for the better part of a century from the 1870s until the 1960s, it has also been ignored, dismissed, and on occasion created some of the most unexpected political drama America has to offer.

Of particular importance in this work is the role of Indiana newspapers the state flush with hometown papers of all political persuasions in communities big and small and the role of railroads and other transportation, as well as technology have played in shaping how campaigns occur. Interestingly, despite the advances, even recent examples exist as in the 2008 Democratic primary in which no technology can replace the value of retail politics of candidates out directly asking Hoosiers for their vote.

Hardcover. 622 pages. 2017, Indiana Historical Society Press. By Andrew E. Stoner.