"[A] fascinating and entertaining look at the way these quadrennial gatherings used to be--before primaries and caucuses took all the drama and fun out of them."
"Haynes presents the party conventions of each presidential election year in briskly written form . . . This volume serves as a fine introduction and anecdotal portrait of the period . . . Full of lively anecdotes and detailed descripton, the volume is sure to appeal to political junkies interested in the development of one of the country's most colorful electoral institutions."
Choice, Current Reviews for Academic Libraries
"I'll give you three words: Beginnings--Intrigue--Tradition . . . . If you . . . want to find out about the conventions for the Whigs, Anti-Masons, Anti-Federalists, Democratic-Republicans, National Republicans, American/Know Nothings, Constitutional Union, Liberal Republicans, Republicans and Democrats . . . . If you want to experience Henry Clay's frustration in not being elected president, Andrew Jackson's political manipulation for his successor and Abraham Lincoln's nomination for two terms, you'll have to read the book . . . . [A] great recommendation for anyone interested in the beginnings of the election and convention process."
Spectrum, American Association of Law Libraries
"[A] richly detailed analysis of the origins of the American national nominating convention process . . . . Each nominating convention . . . is examined in such a way as to make the reader feel as if they are a part of the convention itself."
"[A] dream book for all political junkies . . . an exceptionally good read . . . . Be ready for a lesson in politics from a book that reads as neither a historical novel, nor as a textbook. There isn't a boring page in the book."
"The book features anecdotes and other accounts of conventions found by researching old newspaper articles, convention transcripts and biographies from those who experienced these early political gatherings . . . ."