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The Making of the President 1972 (Landmark Political) Paperback – Bargain Price, October 5, 2010
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From the Back Cover
In The Making of the President 1972, the fourth volume of narrative history of American politics in action, Theodore H. White brings his defining quartet of campaign narratives to a surprising and riveting close. The consummate journalist, White chronicles both the Democratic and the Republican parties as they jockeyed for position toward the end of Richard M. Nixon’s turbulent first term. He illuminates the cinematic moments that shaped the campaign—the attempt on George Wallace’s life, Edmund Muskie crying in the snow in New Hampshire, the swift rise and fall of Tom Eagleton, and the ongoing anguish of Vietnam—leading inexorably to a second chaotic collapse among the Democrats and a landslide victory for Nixon. Yet even as the president’s highest ambitions were confirmed, White watches aghast as the “new Nixon” of 1968 is eclipsed by the corrupt Nixon of old—a Shakespearean conclusion to an astonishing political epoch.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Theodore H. White (19151986) was an American political journalist, historian, and novelist, best known for the Making of the President series: his accounts of the 1960, 1964, 1968, and 1972 presidential elections, all of which are being reissued with new forewords by Harper Perennial Political Classics. His other books include Thunder Out of China, America in Search of Itself, and In Search of History: A Personal Adventure.
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Top Customer Reviews
A few things I noticed in this outing:
1. White really likes Richard Nixon. In previous entries, I do not remember his admiration and respect for Nixon, despite White's self-admitted liberal leanings, coming across so much. Ironically, the book was written during the height of investigations into Nixon's activities with his impeachment and removal looming.
2. White offers some of the greatest details on the stresses of the modern presidency. These details come late in the book, but when White describes the number of appointments the President makes, how many reports he (and some day she) is supposed to read, and the issues they are supposed to influence it is truly mind boggling how any human being can even attempt it. To a lesser extent, White demonstrates a similar problem with presidential candidates. The vice presidential selection process that McGovern used was rushed at best, stupid at worst. A contributing factor was the schedule he was keeping.
3. It is amazing how many people said no to the offer of the Democratic VP nomination, both before and after the Eagleton chaos. It is almost comical to read.Read more ›
Author Theodore H. White (1915-86) was among the nation's top political journalists, and he tells the story in masterful style. This book makes excellent reading for political junkies, history fans, and anybody with an interest in national elections. The same could be said for his three previous Making of the President efforts (1960, 1964, 1968).
This is a good size book, and it is often times dry reading. White packs a lot of information into every sentence. It took me quite some time to finish reading this book. Reading this book now, you can understand how the Dems lost their majority status, how the country moved towards the right, how a conservative Dem like Carter (yes, Fox News people, Jimmy Carter was a conservative Democrat), and a true conservative like Reagan, were able to ride an anti-government wave into power. The seeds of this were brewing by 1970-71, and Nixon sang the tune people wanted to hear in 1972; McGovern did not.
If you want a book that sticks to the facts, without laying on the "commentary" and built-in bias (right or left) that plagues our media these days, then this is the book for you. This is not a character study of Nixon. This is a stick to the facts explanation of how the 1972 Election came to be.
In 1972, Richard Nixon was the incumbent President of the United States. His re-nomination was never in doubt. Most of the early part of the book instead covers the Democratic side of the election. The 1972 election was marked by new rules in the Democratic Party creating more primary elections and thus a more contested battle for the nomination. The Democrats had several major candidates vying for the nomination this cycle. Hubert Humphrey, Democratic nominee in 1968, ran again for President, although he was unable to find enough support. Edmund Muskie was considered the front-runner for a while, but his campaign would collapse. Although there was some doubt as to who the nominee would be, when the Democrats convened their convention, George McGovern, Senator from South Dakota, would be nominated.
The book goes into detail about the missteps of McGovern's campaign. The biggest one would be that of his running mate, Senator Thomas Eagleton. Not too shortly after he was nominated for Vice President, it was revealed that Eagleton had a history of mental illness and had gone through electroshock therapy. Although he considered himself cured of it, the public questioned his place on the ticket. McGovern famously said he was behind Eagleton "1000 percent" but the issue did not go away. His place on the ticket would eventually be replaced with Sargent Shriver.
The book also looks at several issues of the election. One of the biggest was the Vietnam War. McGovern was staunchly anti-war.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's too bad we don't have the deference for politicians that we once did. Have politicians changed or have we? Read morePublished on May 28, 2014 by Skb
I wish White was writing about the presidential elections today. His style and insight is captivating, educating and interesting. Read morePublished on September 3, 2013 by avidreader
"In Delaware, a Democratic county committeeman told her friends, `The only way to save this party is for us to lose big. Read morePublished on November 2, 2012 by Steven Travers
While attending the 1972 Democratic Convention, New York City Mayor John Lindsay watched the comedy of errors around him and stated, "This party seems to have an instinct for... Read morePublished on October 24, 2012 by Franklin the Mouse
Many years ago I got Kennedy's case. It was a revelation.
I do not know anything better to present political campaings at its best. Read more
This superb narrative by journalist Theodore H. White (1915-86) captures the tenor of the times. The USA was a prosperous but divided nation in 1972, troubled by Vietnam, school... Read morePublished on November 13, 2005 by K.A.Goldberg
As the last of four successive accounts of presidential campaigns linked by their titles and author, "The Making Of The President 1972" is a remarkable end note to a series that... Read morePublished on January 6, 2005 by Bill Slocum