“Presidential Campaign Posters from the Library of Congress” (Quirk Books, 208 pages, $40)
Now that the presidential election is in full swing, it’s fun to take a look back to see how previous candidates have presented themselves and what issues they focused on.
“Presidential Campaign Posters” is a full-color, oversized collection of posters from every campaign since 1828 (represented by one simple pro-Andrew Jackson poster and one grisly anti-Jackson poster). Some are straightforward portraits of the candidates — a 1908 poster has nothing but William Howard Taft’s rotund face and the word “BILL” on a green background — others are just words; still others are complicated mixes of portraits, text and designs. And there are the slogans: “Well, Dewey or Don’t We,” “Prosperity at Home, Prestige Abroad,” “Now More Than Ever” and, most recently, “Hope.”
It’s not just the main contenders: Some of the posters are for third-party and even write-in candidates, and a few satirical ones are featured as well.
Each poster has its own page, perforated in case you want to tear it out. Accordingly, information about the poster and other facts about that campaign (electoral and popular vote totals, key issues, quotes, etc.) is on the reverse of the poster — not on the facing page, which takes a little getting used to if you’re just flipping through the book.
And it’s a fun book to flip through: colorful, informative, funny and thought-provoking. It’s perfect for political junkies, or for anyone interested in history.
Two authors to visit Wichita this week
Watermark Books, 4701 E. Douglas, will host two authors for readings and book-signings this week.
On Wednesday, Alex Grecian will talk about his novel "The Yard" (Putnam, 422 pages, $26.95). The book centers on a detective in Scotland Yard in the late 19th century, working to solve the murder of one of the Yard’s own while the police are trying to rebuild their image after failing to solve the Jack the Ripper killings. A key character is the first forensic pathologist in London, Bernard Kingsley — a real historical figure fictionalized for this story.
On Thursday, Dorothy Wickenden will discuss her book "Nothing Daunted" (Scribner, 320 pages, $15). This nonfiction book tells the story of Wickenden’s grandmother, Dorothy Woodruff, and Woodruff’s friend Rosamond Underwood traveling west in 1910 to become teachers in a tiny town in Colorado, far both geographically and culturally from the society lifestyle they had enjoyed in the East. Wickenden used the letters of the two women to their families as a starting point for this look at the still-forming West of a hundred years ago.
Both events start at 7 p.m. and are free. For more information, call 316-682-1181.