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THE CAMPAIGN OF THE CENTURY: Upton Sinclair's Race for Governor of California and the Birth of Media Politics by [Mitchell, Greg]

THE CAMPAIGN OF THE CENTURY: Upton Sinclair's Race for Governor of California and the Birth of Media Politics Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

A colorful account of California's 1934 gubernatorial race, a forerunner of today's high-decibel, high-tech electioneering. Upton Sinclair, author of the meat-packing expos‚ The Jungle and a prominent Socialist who became a Democrat only a year before the general election, electrified millions with his EPIC (End Poverty in California) movement--and at the same time alarmed, in Mitchell's words, ``an array of powerful enemies almost unparalleled in American politics,'' including William Randolph Hearst, Herbert Hoover, and film-mogul L.B. Mayer. Mitchell (Truth...and Consequences, 1981) follows the nine-week campaign almost day by day, from the morning after Sinclair's astonishing primary victory to his November defeat at the hands of the lackluster, reactionary GOP incumbent, Frank Merriam. In between, California became a laboratory for the modern negative mass-media campaign, as Sinclair's enemies wedded some tried-and-true tactics (slush funds, dirty tricks, voter intimidation, biased reporting by nearly all of the state's 700 newspapers) to some disturbingly effective new ones: a campaign consultant to manage a gubernatorial contest, polling, a direct-mail operation, even newsreels (precursors of TV commercials) that attacked Sinclair. For a history as epic as the campaign that inspired it, Mitchell has found additional dash and drama in a wealth of primary source materials, contemporary newspaper accounts, and interviews, unfolding the campaign through the eyes of dozens of politicians, entertainers, and other public figures, including FDR, Charlie Chaplin, Melvin Belli, Pat Brown, James Cagney, and H.L. Mencken. An entertaining chronicle of the consummation of the unholy alliance of Madison Avenue, Hollywood, and politics. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Review

Winner of the Goldsmith Book Prize


Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award


Basis for one episode in the award-winning PBS documentary The Great Depression
“Sizzling, rambunctiously useful.” —Los Angeles Times


“Fascinating….a lively, anecdote-filled history.” —The New York Times Book Review


“To read  The Campaign of the Century is to understand how the business of electing officials
began to get so colossally out of hand.” —Newsweek


“America witnessed a transforming experience, as Greg Mitchell makes clear
in his vivid chronicle.” —Wall Street Journal


“There are lessons to be learned herein. Politicians learned them long ago, to the general detriment. Perhaps now Mitchell can help the rest of us learn them.” —Washington Post Book World


“A splendid history.” —San Jose Mercury News


“Mitchell gives us an important book” on “the Founding Fathers of modern politics.”
 —San Francisco Chronicle


Product details

  • File Size: 1200 KB
  • Print Length: 686 pages
  • Publisher: Townsend Books (December 5, 2011)
  • Publication Date: December 5, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006IYBXL2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,078,783 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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