A timely history of national conventions held in Chicago from the Civil War era to the latest 1996 convention at the United Center, Inside the Wigwam: Chicago Presidential Conventions 1860-1996 captures their drama, their behind-the-scenes intrigue and negotiations, and their local color. No American city has been the site of more national presidential minating conventions than Chicago. Since Abraham Lincoln was minated at the Wigwam in 1860, Chicago has hosted 25 national conventions. Authors R. Craig Sautter and Edward M. Burke describe the historical significance of each major convention and portray the often larger-than-life personalities who became - or wanted to become - president. The conventions reflected the often troubled times, from William Jennings Bryan's electrifying cross of gold speech in 1896 to the street violence that erupted in 1968 during the height of the Vietnam War. Sautter and Burke highlight the issues that confronted the country, transcending superficial campaign slogans and partisan speechmaking to discover what really happened on the convention floor and behind the smoke-filled rooms. Full of colorful anecdotes, the book also contains photographs of both candidates and minees, Facts-at-a-Glance boxes highlighting important convention details, key political issues of each convention, statistics, and trivia. Engrossing and thoughtful, Inside the Wigwam is a book for and about our times, an exciting examination of the often raucous political tugs-of-war that determined the fate of the nation.