Peter Shea has been a writer, editor, and teacher for over 25 years, and a history geek for far longer. He has written about prominent Irish Americans, educational gaming, and cutting-edge technologies in higher education. Peter is a Director of Professional Development at the community college level. In the Arena marks his return to the subject of public lives in America.
In the Arena profiles 34 American leaders who captured their party’s nomination for the presidency, but never reached the Oval Office. Author Peter Shea chronicles the rise, early careers, campaigns, and later achievements of historical giants like Aaron Burr and Henry Clay, up through modern candidates Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton. A foreword by 1988 candidate Michael Dukakis gives readers more personal insight into what it’s like to run for one of the most powerful positions in the world – and come up short.
Photos of monuments and other memorials accompany each subject, along with campaign memorabilia, illustrating the legacy many of these candidates left behind after relinquishing their dreams of serving as President of the United States. In a speech that gave the book its name, President Theodore Roosevelt gave ultimate credit “to the man who is actually in the arena…who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” In the Arena honors, in words and pictures, their courage and sacrifices.
Peter Shea, author of In the Arena: A History of American Presidential Hopefuls, joined the History Unplugged podcast to discuss the rise, early career, campaign, and later achievements of Presidential candidates.