- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Northeastern; First Edition edition (October 12, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1555534627
- ISBN-13: 978-1555534622
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1,920,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1676 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Elections & Political Process > Political Parties
- #2425 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Elections & Political Process > Elections
- #22660 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Political Science
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Kennedy Versus Lodge: The 1952 Massachusetts Senate Race Hardcover – October 12, 2000
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From Library Journal
In this excellent book, Whalen (American history, Boston Univ.) tells the compelling story of one of the more interesting and important elections in modern U.S. history. John F. Kennedy's 1952 victory over Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. marked only the third time in Massachusetts history that a Democrat won a Senate seat. It also marked the beginning of Democratic dominance of the state. The book is rich in details about the candidates, the issues at play in the race, and the many factors that contributed to the Kennedy upset. The author's analyses of the roles played by Joseph McCarthy, Eisenhower, labor unions, and women voters are incisive. Whalen also makes clear the importance of the new medium of television in the campaign and JFK's natural ease with it compared with Lodge's discomfort. In some respects, this is a tale of politics of a bygone era, when two people of great talent and strong character could square off in an election without resorting to petty name-calling and emerge with their dignity and integrity intact. Perhaps this should be required reading for today's candidates. Recommended for public and academic libraries.DThomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes Barre, PA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
If John Kennedy hadn't beaten incumbent senator Henry Cabot Lodge (Massachusetts) in 1952, Adlai Stevenson might well have run for president a third time in 1960. The '52 race was notable not just because it pitted Boston's Brahmins against its rising Irish aristocracy but also because Kennedy defeated Lodge, despite Eisenhower's landslide presidential victory. Boston University historian Whalen analyzes the candidates, their campaign organizations, the intraparty squabbles they encountered, and the way each man approached the electorate. (Even in '52, for example, Kennedy paid attention to the new medium of television, and courted women voters.) An involving study. Mary Carroll
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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The book takes a look at the rivalry between the two political families, which extended back for decades, and tracks the paths that Kennedy and Lodge took to their 1952 clash. The courting of various voter blocs by the two candidates is recounted. In the fall campaign, JFK used the same strategies, such as effective use of television and making sure that his opponent did not get to his right on foreign policy, that he used to defeat Richard Nixon nationally in 1960.
This Senate race was a turning point in Massachusetts politics--an Irish Catholic Democrat defeated a Boston Brahmin Republican, portending Democratic dominance that continues to this day in the Bay State. The stakes involved in this contest could not have been higher; some believed that had Lodge beaten Kennedy, he would have been the one to succeed Eisenhower as president. Anyone interested in post-WWII American politics will enjoy this story of a Senate race that changed the course of mid-20th century American history.
Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. was the grandson of an early 20th Century political titan and Teddy Roosevelt confidant, and in 1952, an accomplished, three-term Senate incumbent in his own right. John F. Kennedy was the upstart Congressman with star power: the charismatic war hero with a natural electoral base in the Bay State's sizable Irish Catholic community and plenty of Daddy's money to bolster his campaign.
Thomas Whalen tells the story of the election that would catapult Kennedy into national prominence and put him on the road to the White House eight short years later. Whalen explores many reasons for Kennedy's victory, including his assiduous courting of the women's vote, adroit use of the new television medium, and the electorate's strong affinity for an "Irish Brahmin."
Another major factor, according to Whalen, was Lodge's role in helping to engineer the Republican nomination for Dwight Eisenhower at the Republican convention. Lodge, who served as Ike's campaign chairman, earned the eternal enmity of the Taft loyalists, who meted out their retribution by openly siding with his Democratic opponent in the 1952 Senate campaign. Kennedy's position as an avowed Cold Warrior helped to facilitate the flight of Republican conservatives such as the influential newspaper publisher Basil Brewster into the Kennedy camp. Even Ike's superb showing at the top of the ticket -- he won Massachusetts handily -- could not carry the day for Lodge, who would never again hold elective office.
Lodge's defeat would signal the beginning of the end of Yankee Republican primacy, and cement Democratic hegemony in the Bay State. After Ike, no Republican Presidential candidate would carry the state again until Reagan in 1984.
For the Kennedy clan, the victory was sweet revenge. JFK's maternal grandfather, the irrepressible "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, had failed in a bid for the elder Lodge's Senate seat in 1916.
Highly recommended for anyone interested in U.S. politics.