From Library Journal
In this excellent book, Whalen (American history, Boston Univ.) tells the compelling story of one of the more interesting and important elections in modern U.S. history. John F. Kennedy's 1952 victory over Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. marked only the third time in Massachusetts history that a Democrat won a Senate seat. It also marked the beginning of Democratic dominance of the state. The book is rich in details about the candidates, the issues at play in the race, and the many factors that contributed to the Kennedy upset. The author's analyses of the roles played by Joseph McCarthy, Eisenhower, labor unions, and women voters are incisive. Whalen also makes clear the importance of the new medium of television in the campaign and JFK's natural ease with it compared with Lodge's discomfort. In some respects, this is a tale of politics of a bygone era, when two people of great talent and strong character could square off in an election without resorting to petty name-calling and emerge with their dignity and integrity intact. Perhaps this should be required reading for today's candidates. Recommended for public and academic libraries.DThomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes Barre, PA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
If John Kennedy hadn't beaten incumbent senator Henry Cabot Lodge (Massachusetts) in 1952, Adlai Stevenson might well have run for president a third time in 1960. The '52 race was notable not just because it pitted Boston's Brahmins against its rising Irish aristocracy but also because Kennedy defeated Lodge, despite Eisenhower's landslide presidential victory. Boston University historian Whalen analyzes the candidates, their campaign organizations, the intraparty squabbles they encountered, and the way each man approached the electorate. (Even in '52, for example, Kennedy paid attention to the new medium of television, and courted women voters.) An involving study. Mary Carroll
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