''Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds
is a great read for anyone interested in what goes on behind the scenes in politics. Why do campaigns behave the way they do? How was campaign strategy implemented through advertising during the infancy of television? It's a short (156 pages), rich look at a very important turning point in the history of American political campaigns: the birth of negative ads.'' ----Charlie Cook, National Journal
(5 Nov 2011)
''Disguised as a slender monograph, Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds
is actually a political thriller. Robert Mann, a journalism professor at Louisiana State University, worked in the mosh pit of Louisiana politics when it was firmly Democratic, and his expertise is evident as he dissects the watershed presidential election of 1964. . . . Mr. Mann's book is as carefully conducted as a symphony, and it crescendos with great intensity on the night of the ad's airing. Memos included in an appendix bolster his research and contain some gems, such as this note to the president on October 20, 1964: 'Our television has been most ineffective. We have used the same spots over and over until they have outlived their usefulness.' How fascinating that the campaign that ran the single most effective political ad in history complains, only five weeks after it aired, about the ability of its ads to matter to voters.'' ----Ken Kurson, Wall Street Journal
About the Author
Robert Mann holds the Manship Chair in Journalism at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University and is co-director of the school's Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs. Formerly an aide to three U.S. senators and a Louisiana governor, Mann is the author of critically acclaimed political histories of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War. His essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times and the Boston Globe.