This work describes the evolution of the modern US presidential campaign, from its origins in the late 19th century to the extravaganzas we know today. When Democrat William Jennings Bryan took that first innovative step in 1896 to travel thousands of miles and address frenzied crowds all across the continent, he had thrown out the old rule book that said "The office should seek the man rather than the man seek the office". The Republican response was another unprecedented move, and the building of the largest presidential campaign war chest the US had ever seen. The rest, as the saying goes, is history -and spin, photo op, sound bite, polls, upsets, ballot scandals, PR scoops, sex scandals, and public-image disasters, all wrapped up in newspaper stories and TV and radio broadcasts, and bathed in the maximum publicity imaginable. "Every Four years: The Presidential Campaigns since 1896" describes this vital part of American democracy through 26 elections from 1896 to 2004.