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Presidential Debates 0th Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0231114004
ISBN-10: 0231114001
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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR. (See photo) 2000 Hardcover. Cover shows edge wear and shelf wear. Pages are clean, smooth and free of writing. Binding is tight. Smoke free. Ships direct from Amazon.
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ever since the 1960 Nixon-Kennedy debate, televised candidate confrontations have been a staple of presidential campaigns; they've gone from being a novelty, to being an option for candidates, to being expected and unavoidable. Viewed by millions of peopleAaccording to Schroeder, presidential debates get Super Bowl-sized ratingsAthe stakes could not be higher for the candidates. In this informative "backstage tour through the fractious world of presidential debates," Schroeder (a professor of journalism at Northeastern) reveals just how tightly these events are staged. Candidates and their staff at least try to control every aspect of the eventAfrom the seating position of the spouses to the color of the sheet hanging behind the podiums. Even the campaigners' ad-libs are carefully scripted. Reagan's famous "There you go again" was planned out beforehandAas was vice presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen's "You're no Jack Kennedy." Candidates spend weeks preparing themselves and making every attempt to prevent spontaneity. But happily, Schroeder notes, live TV cannot be totally scripted, and it is the rare moments of candor in increasingly pre-packaged campaigns that make the debates both good TV and educational for voters. Memorable unscripted moments include Bush's glancing at his watch in 1992 and the unfeeling reply Dukakis gave in 1988 to a question about the theoretical rape and murder of his wife. So, flawed as they are, the author suggests, presidential debates do matter. Indeed, they show signs of improving as new formats, like "town meetings," where real voters ask questions, loosening the candidates' grip on the process. In any event, they are not going away, and Schroeder's "tour" is a good one, sparked by lively writing and an eye for telling details. 3-city author tour. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Schroeder explores the shorter, but no less fascinating, history of presidential debates--how they have affected campaigns and news coverage of the election process. The first televised debate, in 1960 between Richard Nixon and John Kennedy, set the precedent for such debates, the role-playing and posing that goes into the drama behind the scenes as well as in front of the cameras. Schroeder's book is organized to parallel a television show: preproduction, production, and postproduction. This is a backstage look at the stars and their supporting casts of advisors, and the lesser cast members of moderators and questioners, in this examination of the merger of television and politics. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (September 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231114001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231114004
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,173,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
No one could have been less excited about the prospect of reading a book on debates than me. I put it off for as long as I could, finding every excuse not to begin. Once I picked up the book, however, I couldn't put it down. This book is filled with stories about the subtle moments in debates that have changed the course of elections and the course of history. Alan Schroeder's book is well-researched; I fact-checked some of the most unbelievable points and was pleased to discover that all were accurate.
If you are looking for a dry, academic book, this isn't for you. This a novel, complete with great characters, a plot that moves and lots of surprises. And the best part is, it's all true.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It never ceases to amaze me how much presentation and polish trumps content and character in politics. No where is there as evident as it is in Presidential debates. Alan Schroeder has taken the last forty-plus years of Presidential debates and analyzed them from a psychological standpoint; covering the elements that gave some candidates significant advantages as well as those that sank other campaigns. Equally as compelling is the coverage of the massive influences of preparation when the outcomes of the debates were nearly determined before they even began.

The book is articulated quite well never falling prey to the urge over analyze with theory. Schroeder includes a hefty number of examples in all aspects of the debates to substantiate his points leaving little doubt he has done his research. Perhaps lacking from the book is any real aspect of the speeches themselves. He refers to them constantly and often quotes pertinent lines, but no where in the book will you find the actual content. Given the purpose of the book this omission is by no means a detriment, but given the title it is certainly something I'd want to know before deciding to read the book.
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