12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Making of the President, 1960 (Hardcover)
If you want to understand what is happening in the closing stages of this campaign, then read Theodore White's Making of the President 1960. I was drawn to this book because of the parallels between these two very close elections featuring a cast of characters in many ways similiar: the dull but experienced Vice President running on peace and prosperity versus the more charismatic challenger who argues that American can do better. Who will win? Just like 1960, it's sure to go down to the wire.
In particular, White's accounts of the early primaries and the balloting at the Democratic Convention were completely engrossing. 1960 may have been the first modern election in that it was ultimately decided by television, but Campaign '60 started out much differently than the media-driven spectacles of today. White artfully goes behind closed doors and shows how the well-oiled Kennedy organization's battle of personal persuasion won them just enough delegates to seize the nomination. White's account of the Kennedy victory confirms the truth that the skill with which a campaign is waged has much more to do with victory and defeat than deterministic generalities like "peace and prosperity" or "are you better off than you were 4/8 years ago?"