Books and More (Post-Election)

Journalistic and academic accounts offer interesting details and useful insights on the 2020 presidential campaign and its aftermath.


Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes.  March 2, 2021.  LUCKY: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency
New York: Penguin Random House.
"The inside story of the historic 2020 presidential election and Joe Biden’s harrowing ride to victory, from the #1 New York Times bestselling authors of Shattered, the definitive account of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign...  Allen and Parnes brilliantly detail the remarkable string of chance events that saved him, from the botched Iowa caucus tally that concealed his terrible result, to the pandemic lockdown that kept him off the stump, where he was often at his worst. More powerfully, Lucky unfolds the pitched struggle within Biden’s general election campaign to downplay the very issues that many Democrats believed would drive voters to the polls, especially in the wake of Trump’s response to nationwide protests following the murder of George Floyd..."

Edward-Isaac Devore.  May 25, 2021.  BATTLE FOR THE SOUL: Inside the Democrats' Campaigns to Defeat Trump.  New York: Viking. [Penguin Random House imprint]
"An award-winning political journalist for The Atlantic tells the inside story of how the embattled Democratic party, seeking a direction for its future during the Trump years, successfully regained the White House...
Edward-Isaac Dovere’s Battle for the Soul is the searing, fly-on-the-wall account of the Democrats’ journey through recalibration and rebirth. Dovere traces this process from the early days in the wilderness of the post-Obama era, though the jockeying of potential candidates, to the backroom battles and exhausting campaigns, to the unlikely triumph of the man few expected to win, and through the inauguration and insurrection at the Capitol."

Michael Wolff.  July 13, 2021.  LANDSLIDE: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency.  New York: Henry Holt & Co.. [Macmillan imprint]
"As the Trump presidency’s hold over the country spiraled out of control, an untold and human account of desperation, duplicity, and delusion was unfolding within the West Wing. Landslide is that story as only Michael Wolff can tell it...   Once again, Wolff has gotten top-level access and takes us front row as Trump’s circle of plotters whittles down to the most enabling and the president reaches beyond the bounds of democracy as he entertains the idea of martial law and balks at calling off the insurrectionist mob that threatens the institution of democracy itself."

Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.  July 20, 2021.  I ALONE CAN FIX IT: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year.  New York: Penguin Press.
"The true story of what took place in Donald Trump’s White House during a disastrous 2020 has never before been told in full. What was really going on around the president, as the government failed to contain the coronavirus and over half a million Americans perished? Who was influencing Trump after he refused to concede an election he had clearly lost and spread lies about election fraud? To answer these questions, Phil Rucker and Carol Leonnig reveal a dysfunctional and bumbling presidency’s inner workings in unprecedented, stunning detail."

Michael C. Bender.  Aug. 10, 2021.  FRANKLY, WE DID WIN THIS ELECTION: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost.  New York: Twelve Books. [Hachette imprint]
"Michael C. Bender, senior White House reporter for the Wall Street Journal, presents a deeply reported account of the 2020 presidential campaign that details how Donald J. Trump became the first incumbent in three decades to lose reelection—and the only one whose defeat culminated in a violent insurrection... Fresh interviews with Trump, key campaign advisers, and senior administration officials are paired with an exclusive collection of internal campaign memos, emails, and text messages for scores of never-before-reported details about the campaign. FRANKLY, WE DID WIN THIS ELECTION is the inside story of how Trump lost, and the definitive account of his final year in office that draws a straight line from the president’s repeated insistence that he would never lose to the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol that imperiled one of his most loyal lieutenants—his own vice president."

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.  Sept. 21, 2021.  PERIL.  New York: Simon & Schuster.
"The transition from President Donald J. Trump to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. stands as one of the most dangerous periods in American history.  But as # 1 internationally bestselling author Bob Woodward and acclaimed reporter Robert Costa reveal for the first time, it was far more than just a domestic political crisis.  Woodward and Costa interviewed more than 200 people at the center of the turmoil, resulting in more than 6,000 pages of transcripts—and a spellbinding and definitive portrait of a nation on the brink."

Mollie Hemingway.  Oct. 12, 2021.  RIGGED: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our 2020 Elections.  Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing.
"RIGGED is the definitive account of the 2020 election. Based on Mollie Hemingway's exclusive interviews with campaign officials, reporters, Supreme Court justices, and President Trump himself, it exposes the fraud and cynicism behind the Democrats' historic power-grab... It was a devastating triple punch. Capping their four-year campaign to destroy the Trump presidency, the media portrayed a Democratic victory as necessary and inevitable. Big Tech, wielding unprecedented powers, vaporized dissent and erased damning reports about the Biden family's corruption. And Democratic operatives, exploiting a public health crisis, shamelessly manipulated the voting process itself. Silenced and subjected, the American people lost their faith in the system."

Jonathan Karl.  Nov. 16, 2021.  BETRAYAL: The Final Act of the Trump Show.  New York: Dutton. [Penguin RandomHouse imprint]
" Picking up where the New York Times bestselling Front Row at the Trump Show left off, this is the explosive look at the aftermath of the election—and the events that followed Donald Trump’s leaving the White House—from ABC News’ chief Washington correspondent."

Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns.  May 3, 2022.  THIS WILL NOT PASS: Trump, Biden and the Battle for American Democracy.  New York: Simon & Schuster. (+)
"...a book by New York Times journalists Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns that aims to be the definitive assessment of the 2020 election as a turning point in American politics and the most complete account of the Trump-Biden campaign and its consequences. Mr. Martin and Mr. Burns have collaborated on and off for more than a dozen years, starting at POLITICO during the 2008 election. With deep reporting from both parties, their book will document a period of crisis in the country: a presidential race rocked by plague and protest, followed by a new administration facing overlapping national emergencies and the erosion of an old political order."

John Heilemann.  ???.  HELL AND HIGH WATER: Joe Biden's Moment and America's Existential Election.  New York: Simon & Schuster (+).
"The book will be a dramatic, first-hand account of Biden’s improbable, decisive, and potentially transformative triumphs over a sprawling field of Democratic rivals and then Donald Trump in a race with existential stakes...  Heilemann has known and covered Biden and his family for more than three decades, in print and on television. The forthcoming book will be based both on that unique history and Heilemann’s reporting on the 2020 campaign—when, amid a raging pandemic, a ruinous recession, and convulsive racial justice protests from coast to coast, the author criss-crossed the country to chronicle the critical moments of the fierce battle for the Democratic nomination and the tumultuous general election."

Ryan Lizza and Olivia Nuzzi.   ???.  Title tbaNew York: Simon & Schuster.
"Together, Lizza and Nuzzi’s combination of veteran experience and fresh perspective masterfully convey the significance of 2020’s momentous political and social upheaval in this turbocharged chronicle of the 2020 presidential campaign, taking us on a rollicking rollercoaster ride through an election year roiled by one shocking curveball after another."

See also:
Michael Schaub.  "Former Trump Campaign Manager Writing Book."  Kirkus Reviews, Nov. 9, 2020.

Chuck Rocha.  Aug. 19, 2020.   TÍO BERNIE: The Inside Story of How Bernie Sanders Brought Latinos Into the Political RevolutionStrong Arm Press.
"This book is a true behind the scenes look at the Bernie 2020 Latino outreach operation and Chuck’s unique story of redemption through his personal journey to Bernie." — Jeff Weaver, Bernie 2020 Senior Advisor

Jesse Moss, director.  Nov. 2021.  MAYOR PETEAmazon Original.
"Mayor Pete brings viewers inside Pete Buttigieg's campaign to be the youngest U.S. President, providing an unprecedented intimacy with the candidate, his husband Chasten, and their ambitious team. This film reveals what really goes on inside a campaign for the highest office in the land and ways it changes the lives of those at its center." (1 h 36 min)


Andrew E. Busch and John J. Pitney, Jr..  Feb. 24, 2021.  DIVIDED WE STAND: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
"Continuing a R&L tradition now entering its fourth decade, this book provides the most comprehensive and authoritative account of the national 2020 election, including the presidential nomination process and general election, and congressional and state elections. Andrew E. Busch and John J. Pitney Jr. revisit the campaigns and results through the short lens of politics today and the long lens of American political history. With its keen insights into the issues and events that drove the 2020 elections, Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics will be an invaluable resource for students and all political observers seeking to understand a historic election that will continue to resonate throughout American politics for many years to come."

Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman, eds.  April 2021.  A RETURN TO NORMALCY? The 2020 Election that (Almost) Broke America.  Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
"In A Return to Normalcy?, Larry Sabato, Kyle Kondik, and J. Miles Coleman bring together respected journalists, analysts, and scholars to examine every facet of the stunning 2020 election and its aftermath, and how these events will impact American politics moving forward. In frank, accessible prose, each author offers insight that goes beyond the headlines and dives into the underlying forces and shifts that drove the election from its earliest developments to its chaotic conclusion. A Return to Normalcy? is an indispensable read for political junkies and all students of American politics."

Nicola D. Gutgold.  May 2021.  ELECTING MADAM VICE PRESIDENT: When Women Run Women Win.  Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
"When Women Run Women Win presents the presidential bids of the six women who ran for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 2020 and the historic, groundbreaking vice-presidential candidacy of Kamala Harris... This book demonstrates the progress women candidates have made as they have moved from symbolic to viable candidates and shines a light on the diminishing obstacles that face women candidates while taking readers on a journey through the victorious progress of a woman United States Vice President."

Michael Nelson, ed.  June 15, 2021.  THE ELECTIONS OF 2020.  Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press.
"The Elections of 2020 is a timely, comprehensive, scholarly, and engagingly written account of the 2020 elections. It features essays by an all-star team of political scientists in the immediate aftermath of the 2020 general election, chronicling every stage of the presidential race as well as the coterminous congressional elections, paying additional attention to the role of the media and campaign finance in the process.  Broad in coverage and bolstered by tables and figures presenting exit polls and voting results in the primaries, caucuses, and the general election, these essays discuss the consequences of these elections for the presidency, Congress, and the larger political system."

William Crotty, ed.  June 2021.  THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 2020: Donald Trump and the Crisis of
.  Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
"The Presidential Election of 2020: Donald Trump and the Crisis of Democracy places the election of 2020 within the context of the Trump presidency, a chaotic and tense time in American politics and a dangerous one. The election is analyzed in depth and its meaning for the state of American society is made clear. A major theme in the book is a critique of Donald Trump's leadership, his incompetence in office, his appeal to followers and the danger this has proven to represent."

Robert E. Denton, Jr., ed.  July 2021.  THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: A Communications Perspective.  Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
"As he has done for each presidential campaign since 1992, Robert E. Denton, Jr. gathers a diverse collection of communications scholars to analyze specific areas of the most recent campaign season.  Topics include early campaign rhetoric, the nomination process and conventions, candidate strategies, presidential debates, political advertising, the use of new media, news coverage of the campaigns... The first section addresses the major political campaign communication areas to include pre-primary/candidate surfacing, the conventions, the debates, political advertising, social media and news coverage of the campaign. The second section includes two unique aspects of political branding and the politics of food in the 2020 campaign. The final section of the volume provides the broad overviews of campaign spending and finance as well as the national perspective of explaining the vote."

Scott E. Buchanan and Branwell DuBose Kapeluck, eds.  Sept. 2021.  THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN THE SOUTH.  Lanham MD: Lexington Books.
"The 2020 Presidential Election in the South details how the 2020 presidential election developed in the twelve states of the South. This edited volume features preeminent scholars of Southern politics who analyze the momentous Election of 2020. In addition to chapters organized by state, this volume also focuses upon the issues that drove southern voters, the nominations process in early 2020, as well as a chapter focusing on where the region may be headed politically in the next decade. In addition, each state chapter includes analysis on notable congressional races and important patterns at the state level."  

Luke Perry, ed.  Sept. 24, 2021.  THE 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY: Key Developments, Dynamics, and Lessons for 2024Palgrave MacMillan.
"This book examines the outcome, dynamics, and lessons of the 2020 Democratic Primary. The authors examine how Joe Biden separated himself from a crowded field of candidates, the role that primary rules played in this process, the influence of gender and race on the primary campaign, new developments with the Iowa Caucuses and national party conventions, and what all this could mean for the 2024 election."

Terri L. Towner and Jody Baumgartner, eds.  Oct. 2021.  THE INTERNET AND THE 2020 CAMPAIGN.  Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
"Although many developments surrounding the Internet campaign are now considered to be standard fare, there were a number of newer developments in 2020. Drawing on original research conducted by leading experts, The Internet and the 2020 Campaign attempts to cover these developments in a comprehensive fashion."

 Robert E. Denton Jr., ed.   Nov. 2021.  STUDIES OF COMMUNICATION IN THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN.  Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
"Studies of Communication in the 2020 Presidential Campaign explores a wide range of communication elements, themes, and topics of the 2020 presidential election. The introduction provides a brief snapshot summarizing the role of more traditional elements of campaign communication as well as the newer elements of social media and journalistic practices that transformed the political landscape in 2020. Each chapter serves as a stand-alone study focusing on the role and function of communication within the context of the chapter topics and the 2020 election."

 Robert E. Denton Jr., ed.   Nov. 2021.  CAMPAIGNING IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE 2020 ELECTIONS: A Communications PerspectiveLanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
"This volume explores political communication during the post-election phase from election day until the inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden. Chapters address political branding, the nature of argumentation in the era of partisanship, the themes and issues of media coverage, examination of Trump’s January 6th address in terms of inciting an insurrection or free speech, Trump’s discursive strategy, political advertising and political cartoons during this period concluding with an examination of the post-election lawsuits."

Cayce Myers.  Nov. 2021.  MONEY IN POLITICS: Campaign Fundraising in the 2020 Presidential Election.  Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
"Examining the fundraising from the party primaries through the General Election, Myers shows how contributions make an impact on the success of presidential candidates. He addresses how the role of corporate donations, individual contributors, and small donorship have become political talking points. Specific attention is given to the evolution of political fundraising, including a discussion regarding super-PACs, joint fundraising committees, and campaign committees. The author explores how modern fundraising prowess serves as a barrier to successful entry into top tier candidacy but does not necessarily guarantee victory."

Robert H. Watrel, Kimberly Johnson Maier, Ryan Weichelt, Fiona M. Davidson, John Heppen, Erin H. Fouberg, J. Clark Archer, Richard Morrill, Fred M. Shelley and Kenneth C. Martis, eds.  Mar. 2022.  ATLAS OF THE 2020 Elections.  Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
The Atlas of the 2020 Elections explains the results of the 2020 elections with a series of unique maps unleashing the illustrative power of cartography and the relevance of history and political geography. The contributors—a balanced mix of geographers, political scientists, and historians—provide a comprehensive examination of the election process from the primary campaigns through the general election and post-election events. In addition to the presidential election, the Atlas has full coverage of other important races, including congressional races, state races, and local and state referenda.

Daniel E. Bergan, Bruce I. Newman, eds.  May 12, 2022.  THE 2020 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: Democratic Norms and Group Perceptions

"Chapters in this edited volume explore the communications of the President, and other actors, including groups promoting turnout and fact-checking candidate statements. It uses the historic 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign to explore the relationship between campaign messages and democratic norms, as well as the potential of social norms to shape election-year behaviors, attitudes, and perceptions among voters. This volume highlights different features of the changing role of democratic and group norms in presidential elections...  The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Political Marketing."

Luke Perry, ed.  tbd.  THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: Key Issues and Regional DynamicsPalgrave MacMillan.
"...will adopt a regional approach to understanding 2020 presidential election outcomes. Contributors analyze electoral outcomes in the Midwest, Southwest, Southeast, and Northeast, enriching contextual understandings of the national results and illuminating nuances in public opinion, voter behavior, and party politics."


Past Cycles: 2016    |   2012: Journalistic, Academic   |   2008: Journalistic, 2, Academic    |   2004   |   2000