Presidential Campaign Biographies

The Presidential Campaign Biography Collection was begun in 1964 when the graduating class of Central Michigan University gifted the Clarke Library with funds to acqure biographies written as part of an individual’s quest for the presidency.  The collection today extends chronologically from the election of Andrew Jackson to that of Barack Obama. It focuses on candidates from the two major parties, the Democrats and Republicans, and generally does not include biographies published by third party candidates. For more contemporary campaigns the collection includes not only biographies of the two final presidential candidates, but also any announced candidate for a major party nomination who has part of a primary campaign published a biography. For more contemporary campaigns, the collection also includes politically motivated books about primary candidates or presidential nominees that are not issues by the party or candidate.  Although it can be difficult to draw clear lines in this area, these books are neither primarily abstract discussions of policy nor primarily journalistic endeavors, but rather books published primarily either to support or attack a particular candidate.