No Holding Back The 1980 John B. Anderson Presidential Campaign

What People Are Saying?

“You did a terrific job.”    Hon. John B. Anderson, Washington DC, 10/29/2011

This is “the definitive work on the Anderson campaign” and “you have made a really important and lasting contribution to the history of American politics.”    Dr. Clifford Brown, Chairman of Political Science Department, Union College, 11/2/2011

“Jim Mason has reminded us of the importance of this campaign . . . Voters of all political backgrounds will enjoy Mason’s most definitive account of a landmark campaign.”  Dean T. Hartwell,  Author — Truth Matters, 11/5/2011

“You have deftly captured the rhythm, tone and perspective of an important time in our history. . . . That book of yours is a monumental achievement and there is nothing out there or on the horizon to challenge it as THE definitive book on the 1980 JBA campaign.”  Bill O’Donnell, campaign / press aide in 1980, 11/8/2011

“I love your book.  It is certainly the most thorough book on any presidential candidate’s campaign that I have ever seen.” Richard Winger, Publisher / Author / Ballot Expert, 12/21/2011

“It’s honestly one of the best political books I’ve ever read and certainly as good as any of the other top campaign books like What it Takes or the Theodore White series.   I cannot express how truly impressed I am.” Dr. Jacob Appel, Scholar/Historian, 1/1/2012

“I finished your book today. It is excellent.” Ed Morgan, Campaign Aide, 1/5/2012

“I find it an interesting read.  I’m particularly glad to see that, instead of just a surgical dissection of John’s presidential bid, you took the time to give a thorough look at his background and entire political history.  It gives one “the measure of the man” so vital in understanding his quest.” Jack Gargan, Reform Party Chairman & Founder of T.H.R.O. 1/23/2012

“I am amazed at the level of detail you were able to deliver in the book. It seemed like you must have had notes documenting just about every day of Anderson’s campaign. . . . I want to congratulate you on a job well done.”  George from Michigan, reader, 2/2/2012

“Don’t miss the wonderful new account of John’s 1980 bid for the presidency, No Holding Back.” FairVote Reformer, Center For Voting and Democracy monthly newsletter, 2/4/2012

“Mason chronicles John B. Anderson’s 1980 presidential campaign.  Using secondary sources and over 60 interviews, Mason painstakingly recounts the history of the campaign.  The 50-page epilogue concludes that the campaign had a significant legacy as some candidates since the Anderson campaign have run as anti-candidates, different from typical politicians.  Readers seeking a detailed description of the Anderson campaign will find this book valuable. Summing Up: Recommended.  Review by CHOICE, 3/15/2012

“I enjoyed your book on John Anderson’s campaign immensely.  Superbly done!”  Darcy Richardson, Author, 5/5/2012


Review from Ballot Access News, Volume 27, Number 9, Page 4, 1/1/2012

This book, which took over ten years to research and write, is the definitive book on the Anderson presidential campaign of 1980. The author spent thousands of hours interviewing people who were leaders of the Anderson campaign, including Anderson himself. The book contains previously unpublished information about the campaign. It even reveals that key figures in the Iran government dangled an opportunity for Anderson to theoretically play a key role in negotiations over the American embassy hostages. Anderson resisted the temptation, because he perceived that any involvement would have undercut the U.S. government’s efforts to win freedom for the hostages.

Probably the general perception nowadays about Anderson’s campaign is that he peaked in June (much as Ross Perot peaked in June 1992), and it was all downhill from then until November. But No Holding Back makes it clear that this perception is incorrect. There were big disappointments for the Anderson campaign, during the summer of 1980, followed by surprising gains in early September. The 1980 general election presidential campaign was very volatile, and during early September, Anderson had a chance of winning the election.

The book describes the legal steps President Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party took to keep Anderson off the ballot in certain states. None of these attempts succeeded, and Anderson became the first independent presidential campaign in U.S. history to be on the ballot of all jurisdictions.

I frequently read books in the evening, while in bed. I tend to get sleepy after reading an hour in bed. But while I was reading No Holding Back, I would stay awake for hours.

Even though I lived through the 1980 campaign, I learned a great deal from this exciting, well-written, balanced book. Even though it is lengthy, and has large pages, I read it from cover to cover in four days, simply because it was very good reading.

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