They Also Ran

They Also Ran is the title of a 1943 book by Irving Stone. Stone, a historian, evaluates several unsuccessful candidates for President of the United States in light of their places in history (and those of their victorious opponents), and attempts to assess whether or not the American people made the "right" choice in rejecting them for that office.

The Chicago Tribune called They Also Ran "a fascinating and challenging book, while the New York Times praised it as "a brilliant idea . . . brilliantly executed". The book inspired the Also-Ran Gallery in Norton, Kansas, a collection of black-and-white portraits of unsuccessful presidential candidates.


Similar to Plutarch, the also-rans are grouped into parallel lives. For example, the first section compares newspapermen Horace Greeley and James M. Cox favorably to the candidates who served their troubled terms of office: Grant and Warren Harding.


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