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The Making of an Ink-Stained Wretch: Half a Century Pounding the Political Beat Hardcover – October 4, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press; First edition (October 4, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801882478
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801882470
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,958,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Almost every human foible has been displayed at some point during the past half century of presidential campaigning. Candidates have lied, cheated and stolen, they've fallen (both literally and figuratively), been shot at, gone batty and been caught in various compromising positions. As a political reporter and columnist, Witcover is one of a select few who has seen it all. An inquisitive mind with an innate interest for the competitiveness of national politics, he followed every presidential campaign from the contest between Kennedy and Nixon in 1960 to the battle between Bush and Kerry in 2004. Along the way, he engaged some of the century's most notable politicians, accumulating a treasure trove of political anecdotes chronologically presented in this impressive career memoir, portraying with equal objectivity both the winners and those who lost their presidential bid, though it's the latter that prove to be most interesting. With the notable exception of George W. Bush ("the worst and most dangerous president of my lifetime"), Witcover shies away from overt indictments, instead treating even those candidates whose politics or personalities he despised with a measure of respect. Their foibles, after all, were the breadcrumbs of his career.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

One of the reporters featured in Timothy Crouse's Boys on the Bus (a landmark account of the 1972 presidential race), Witcover has worked the trenches of American politics for some 50 years, writing for the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Baltimore Sun and pairing, most famously, with Jack Germond for 24 years on one of D.C.'s must-read political columns. True to the author's workmanlike style, this memoir is not particularly flashy, but it is informed, covering as it does almost every major American political figure since JFK, particularly in the heat of their campaign battles. And there are some fine anecdotes, as when 1976 presidential hopeful Morris Udall announced, after losing in the Democratic primaries to Jimmy Carter: "The voters have spoken--the bastards!" For news junkies, Witcover shares many boys-on-the-bus adventures (alcohol being a major player) and also offers a glimpse into the newsrooms of the illustrious dailies for which he reported. A good backstory volume for those with deep interests in American politics and journalism. Alan Moores
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Jules Witcover is one of the most distinguished and recognized of the veteran Washington correspondents. A former political columnist for the Baltimore Sun, he is the author of numerous books, including 85 Days: The Last Campaign of Robert Kennedy, Very Strange Bedfellows: The Short and Unhappy Marriage of Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, The Party of the People: A History of the Democrats, and The Year the Dream Died: Revisiting 1968 in America.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Matthew S. Richter on January 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you are a fan of Timothy Crouse's Boys on the Bus; or you read Witcover and Germond's Presidential election analyses; or you followed their column (and later just his), then this book will be a blast. Highly insightful and full of great anecdotes (and several practical jokes), I thoroughly enjoyed a more personal perspective about many of the same events detailed in his other books. The book provides an insider's view of the political writer's world with great characterization and great storytelling. Mr. Witcover has had a wonderfully exciting life and has been witness to some of our greatest (and worst) moments. I have always respected his logical and well-researched analysis. All around great stuff!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The item was as advertised. It was sent in a timely fashion. The price was great.
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