They Also Ran
They Also Ran is the title of a 1943 book by Irving Stone
Irving Stone
Irving Stone was an American writer known for his biographical novels of famous historical personalities, including Lust for Life, a biographical novel about the life of Vincent van Gogh, and The Agony and the Ecstasy, a biographical novel about Michelangelo.-Biography:In...

. Stone, a historian, evaluates several unsuccessful candidates for President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 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
Chicago Tribune
The Chicago Tribune is a major daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, and the flagship publication of the Tribune Company. Formerly self-styled as the "World's Greatest Newspaper" , it remains the most read daily newspaper of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Great Lakes region and is...

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
Norton, Kansas
Norton is a city in and the county seat of Norton County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 2,928.-History:...

, a collection of black-and-white portraits of unsuccessful presidential candidates.

An updated version was released in 1966, with brief analyses of the 1944 to 1964 elections.


Similar to Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

, the also-rans are grouped into parallel lives. For example, the first section compares newspapermen Horace Greeley
Horace Greeley
Horace Greeley was an American newspaper editor, a founder of the Liberal Republican Party, a reformer, a politician, and an outspoken opponent of slavery...

 and James M. Cox
James M. Cox
James Middleton Cox was the 46th and 48th Governor of Ohio, U.S. Representative from Ohio and Democratic candidate for President of the United States in the election of 1920....

 favorably to the candidates who served their troubled terms of office: Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

 and Warren Harding.
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