Published by University Press of America (an imprint of the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group), No Holding Back: The 1980 John B. Anderson Presidential Campaign tells the story of that election from the perspective of candidate John B. Anderson. Anderson ran as a Republican candidate in the primaries and then as an independent candidate in the general election against Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. Long a footnote to history, Anderson’s campaign had some moments when it was running very well in this election, including a 26% poll total in June of 1980. It is a great political story that occurred at a defining moment in the history of American politics, and one that had a great effect on a generation of candidates that followed him.
Two books have been previously published about the 1980 Anderson campaign. One, by Clifford Brown and Robert Walker, reprinted the entire Anderson campaign platform that he released in August of 1980 and included a short introductory chapter that explains the context of that document. A second book, by aide Marc Bisnow, is a personal memoir of his experiences working as a young aide with Anderson in a changing and expanding campaign. In short, No Holding Back is the first historical narrative of this important campaign, written with the perspective that comes with time and historical developments.
To write this book, over seventy-five interviews with over sixty people associated with the campaign were conducted. This includes a couple of long interviews with the candidate himself, as well as interviews with his running mate, four of his campaign managers, prominent journalists who covered the campaign, workers from both the GOP and independent phases, and staffers (both high and low level) from every important department in the campaign. With only a few exceptions, I found all of the important Anderson staffers who were still living and all agreed to be interviewed for the project.
No Holding Back has 450 pages of text, is about 250,000 words, has over 1200 endnotes, a campaign timeline, a photograph section with shots from the campaign, and political cartoons from the campaign by Herblock, Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury, and others.
Those interviewed for the project include John Anderson, Mike Astrue, Lee Auspitz, Dan Balz, Dick Bennett, Mark Bisnow, William Bradford, Jeanne Bradner, David Broder, Clifford Brown, Ed Coyle, Roger Craver, Mary Dent Crisp, Bonnie Cronin, Bart Doyle, John Engber, June Foster, George Frampton, Dee Frankfourth, Alton Frye, Zev Furst, Bill Galston, David Garth, Howard Gillette, Bill Glew, Don Graul, Liz Hager, Eunice Howe, Tom Johnson, Michael Jones, Rick Kessler, Lucille LaPlante, George Lehner, Margot Lindsay, Pat Lucey, Mary MacArthur, Michael MacLeod, Vicky Golden Markell, Tom Mathews, Mary McGrory, Bill McKenzie, Ed Morgan, Jim Nowlan, Bill O’Donnell, Ann Peckham, Mark Recktenwald, Michael Rosenbaum, Robert Sann, Fran Sheehan, Paul Sieracki, Samantha Silva, Rob Smith, Ira Teinowitz, John Topping, John Wade, Kirk Walder, Robert Walker, Tom Wartowski, Richard Winger, David Wood, and Mark Youngholm.