The United States is an indirect democracy rather than a direct one; citizens rarely choose policies, but instead choose representatives to do that for them. But how can voters know what their representatives will do once elected, in order to make an informed choice? In part, by looking to their clearest and most authoritative policy manifestos. Foreign Affairs has long been the place for aspiring presidents and their advisers to present their foreign policy visions, and so with the 2016 campaign well under way, we decided to provide some context for it by pulling together nearly a century’s worth of campaign-related articles from our archives.

In this collection, you’ll find everybody, from all the major candidates in 2008—including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee—to crucial historical figures such as Colonel House, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and many more. The more than 60 essays it includes represent a unique trove of political Americana, a time machine that can transport you back to any election you want and see how things looked to the players themselves, in real time. It’s a great volume to keep close at hand as you watch the election unfold—even as you keep an eye on the magazine and for essays by current candidates, along with continuous coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the world at large.

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