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The Making of the President 1968 (Landmark Political) Paperback – October 5, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In The Making of the President 1968, the third volume of the groundbreaking series that revolutionized American political journalism, Theodore H. White offers a compelling account of one of the most turbulent presidential campaigns in history: the 1968 election that put Richard M. Nixon in the White House. Viewing the electoral process from an insider's perspective—capturing both the vast scope and the intimate, behind-the-scenes details—White chronicles a campaign that saw the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, was marked by protest and violence in the streets of Chicago, and that came down to a neck-and-neck finish between the tenacious but ill-starred Hubert H. Humphrey and the most fascinating politician of the modern age: the finally, unexpectedly, victorious Richard Nixon.

About the Author

Theodore H. White (1915–1986) was an American political journalist, historian,and novelist, best known for the Making of the President series: his accounts of the1960, 1964, 1968, and 1972 presidential elections, all of which are being reissued withnew forewords by Harper Perennial Political Classics. His other books include ThunderOut of China, America in Search of Itself, and In Search of History: A Personal Adventure.

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Product Details

  • Series: Landmark Political
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reissue edition (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061900648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061900648
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bill Slocum VINE VOICE on October 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Theodore White's considerable acumen and access to the corridors of power made him a worthy chronicler of the 1960 and 1964 presidential campaigns, but his tone of genteel liberalism made him seem an anachronism by 1968, the year of the Tet offensive, race riots, and the generation gap. But his "The Making Of The President - 1968" may be the best of his election chronicles precisely because of White's position at the nexus of one of America's great culture clashes.

It was the year Vice President Hubert Humphrey tried to shake off the cold grip of his unpopular boss, Lyndon Johnson, and run as his own man, while Richard Nixon sought to convince the electorate he was new and improved from the 1960 figure they rejected. Which one would be more successful?

There's not a lot of tension in the contest itself. White's readers knew who won, as do you. But White does shine in the wealth of detail he offers on the race, his philosophical analysis of shifting attitudes, and a cast of unique characters including the racist third-party candidate George Wallace, prickly peace advocate Eugene McCarthy, and hapless George Romney, an early GOP frontrunner of whom another Republican comments: "Watching George Romney run for the presidency was like watching a duck try to make love to a football."

There was tragedy in the 1968 race, too, most especially the murder of Democrat Sen. Robert Kennedy after his win in the California primary. White dedicates the book to Bobby and Jack Kennedy, and it's clear the reporter's heart was broken by what happened to them. Yet he manages to stand back and give an objective account of Kennedy's foreshortened run.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Rozsa on December 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In his previous books, Theodore H. White was able to use the presidential election as a platform upon which an impartial, fact-based, and compelling drama could be told. His chronicle of the election of 1968 still contains many of those assets - his description of the Nixon campaign is probably better than that provided by any of the other reporters at the time, his objectivity and fairness toward Humphrey is admirable (especially in light of the undeserved persecution he received from most other media outlets at the time), and his coverage of the emerging New Left (as found in the presidential campaigns of Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy) is detailed and compelling. So what is the problem? It lies in one serious deficiency - White's lack of understanding for, and virtual unwillingness to detail, the extremist groups that rose to prominence in 1968.
As much as White might have been loath to admit it (and as much as many thoughtful pundits rightfully regret it), the fact is that one of the most important phenomena of the 1968 presidential election was the way that it brought to national attention sections of the far-left and far-right that would eventually integrate themselves into the fabric of the two major political parties.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K.A.Goldberg on March 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In this his third book about U.S. Presidential elections, Theodore H. White chronicles the campaign in a year when everything seemed to go wrong. As the author shows, 1968 saw stalemate in Vietnam, campus unrest, race riots, rising crime, and assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. White captures the flavor of the campaign, beginning with President Lyndon Johnson, whose popularity had fallen so far that he quit the race and rarely left the White House. I felt the author went too easy on Richard Nixon's questionable law and order campaign (and lack of specifics on Vietnam), but his description of Nixon's comeback is otherwise on target. We see Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey's as a decent, well-qualified candidate whose narrow loss may have stemmed from the convention riots in Chicago. The author drops all objectivity in his disdainful look at third-party candidate George Wallace, whose race-baiting campaign won five southern states and nearly 10 million votes nationwide. The book isn't perfect, but it captures the tenure of the times; a nation awash in wealth yet troubled by war and violence.

Theodore H. White (1915-1986) was a superb chronicler of U.S. politics during Presidential campaigns (1960-1972, plus 1980). Despite minor flaws, this superbly readable book captures the tenure of the USA in that troubled year.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ROBERT on November 23, 2002
Format: Unknown Binding
1968 was a pivotal turning point in U. S. History in which there was a convergence of historical forces that caused distinctive changes and was marked by unexpected eruptions in the state of affairs. The reading of this book is much like a reading of Homer`s Iliad as it very engaging and very readable. As I personally recall this period in my memory when I was young (aged 13) I relive most of these events especially the time around Christmas when all these events were played out and the final act of the year was the circumnavigation of the moon by the Apollo astronauts and the first ever view of the Earth from space. We knew that we were in a new era.
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