America in the 1950s may seem like a halcyon time, but Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady
, a lively account of the 1950 race for the Senate in California, shows just how raucous and divided the nation was as it entered the decade. Two prominent members of Congress, a former actress and ardent liberal, Helen Gahagan Douglas, and future president Richard M. Nixon, waged a vicious and often dirty fight in the election. The entire nation paid attention as Nixon smeared Douglas as a Communist, claiming she was "pink right down to her underwear." Greg Mitchell provides a well-written account of the race that would forever define Nixon in the minds of many.
From Library Journal
Replacing the mellow elder-statesman Nixon of recent books (e.g., Monica Crowley, Nixon Off the Record, LJ 10/1/96), Mitchell (The Campaign of the Century, LJ 4/1/92) again offers us the unscrupulous "tricky Dick." Mitchell makes a strong case that the 1950 California senatorial campaign was one of the dirtiest in history. Nixon's opponent, Helen Gahagan Douglas, was doomed as a liberal and a woman in a political time unfriendly to both. Nixon was aided by friendly newspaper editors, the deft use of television, skill in splitting the electorate by class and gender, and venal ploys such as anti-Semitic allusions to Douglas's husband, actor Melvyn Douglas. Douglas survived her defeat and became a respected speaker for women's issues until her death in 1980. This evocative political morality tale is strongly recommended for public libraries.?Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, Pa.
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