Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Kennedy vs. Carter: The 1... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Good readable copy. Worn edges and covers and may have small creases. Otherwise item is in good condition!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Kennedy vs. Carter: The 1980 Battle for the Democratic Party's Soul Hardcover – March 2, 2010

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$34.95
$34.29 $16.45

Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$34.95 FREE Shipping. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover


Editorial Reviews

Review

"A fresh, engaging, and insightful account of Ted Kennedy and American liberalism at a turning point. At the heart of Stanley's book is a startling thesis: our standard accounts of contemporary American politics, in which Ronald Reagan was bound to rise as liberalism fell, have it wrong." -- Bruce Miroff

"An excellent and ambitious study that illuminates a key moment in the history of the Democratic Party." -- Lewis L. Gould

From the Back Cover

"A fresh, engaging, and insightful account of Ted Kennedy and American liberalism at a turning point. At the heart of Stanley's book is a startling thesis: our standard accounts of contemporary American politics, in which Ronald Reagan was bound to rise as liberalism fell, have it wrong."--Bruce Miroff, author of <I>The Liberals' Moment: The McGovern Insurgency and the Identity Crisis of the Democratic Party</I><P> "An excellent and ambitious study that illuminates a key moment in the history of the Democratic Party."--Lewis L. Gould, author of <I>The Modern American Presidency</I>
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas; 1 edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700617027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700617029
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,062,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
0%
4 star
67%
3 star
0%
2 star
33%
1 star
0%
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Timothy Stanley writes an excellent narrative of the battle between Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy for the 1980 Democratic presidential nomination. I think that Jimmy Carter's loss to Reagan has successfully and inaccurately entered the public consciousness as the story of failed liberalism versus triumphant conservatism, and Stanley's book does a good job of addressing this modern myth. Kennedy's popularity as a truly liberal alternative to the conservative Carter makes it clear the the American people's desire for change was not a desire for conservatism, but for someone who projected an image of confidence and leadership. That person was not Jimmy Carter. Had the twin crises of Iran and Afghanistan not rallied the country (temporarily) around Carter during the early Democratic primaries, Kennedy could have denied Carter the nomination, and possibly beat Reagan in general election.

I only have one criticism, which doesn't even involve the 1980 election. On page 169, Stanley states that Barack Obama did not have a majority of elected delegates during the 2008 Democratic Convention, and that the superdelegates' votes are what allowed him to carry the convention. In the final count, Obama carried both pledged and superdelegate votes. The math for 2008 is complicated because of the Michigan and Florida debacle (Obama wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan), but that seems like something that should have been clarified in the book.

Nitpicking aside, this is a valuable contribution to the study of an often overlooked campaign.
1 Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Every election is "the most important election" of your lifetime. But as much as any race, 1980 can make that claim because of the apparent rebuke of the Democrats and the emergence of Ronald Reagan. Of course, the truth always has a few more shades of gray. 1980 was notable for being a big Reagan victory and for the loss of several big name Democratic senators (Birch Bayh, George McGovern, Frank Church, John Culver, Gaylord Nelson, and Warren Magnuson), but of course the Democrats did retain the House for twelve more years. Timothy Stanley's book reveals some other shades of gray about the 1980 race and what it meant. Stanley's thesis is that it was not a rebuke to liberalism but rather a rebuke to Carter and America's place in the global economy and geopolitical situation during his presidency. In some ways, Carter lived and died by the sword as Stanley discusses an interesting memo written by Carter's pollster after Carter's 1976 win stating that Carter won despite his party label, not be cause of it.

The liberal flame still burned in the 1970s and there was even a still young(ish) Kennedy liberals could imagine as president. A lot could be said about whether Ted Kennedy even wanted to be president, but the fact is he disliked Carter and jumped into the race with both feet As it went on, his energy went up and although it was apparent that he could not win through the primaries relatively early he slogged on through. What Stanley shows is that this fight between Kennedy and Carter was a long time coming and that Carter had done much to ostracize those who should have been his biggest supporters. Stanley also marshals detailed polling to demonstrate that Kennedy could have been elected president had he bested Carter.
Read more ›
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Stanley takes an outsider's view of the 1980 election. He found polling data that inspired him to question the conservative shift supposedly underway. In particular, polls suggested Ted Kennedy could have either been the Democratic nominee, or the winner in a three-way race for President.

Yet Stanley has a strong political angle. He thinks Kerry lost in 2004 because he wasn't promoting strong liberal solutions. He attributes Obama's 2008 victory to his embrace of government stimulus. Instead of using documents that suggest the depth of U.S. anxiety circa 1980, he quotes politicians who said the public was upbeat.

In particular, Stanley misconstrues the media's power. He refers to it interpreting events, when it generated and framed public opinion. NBC was furious because Carter had cancelled U.S. involvement in the Moscow Olympics, an anchor of the network's schedule. Their campaign coverage was draconian, capped off by the now-famous decision to call Reagan's victory well before West Coast voting finished. Never before or since has a network gone on a limb so early.

Stanley dismisses the view that Kennedy and John Anderson distorted and diluted the election, almost entirely for Reagan's benefit. This would upset his political cart, which holds that centrism fails, liberalism succeeds. But it was clear Carter lacked a power base. The Democrat Party was a house divided from the McGovern debacle. The young liberals still high on the 1960s couldn't stomach his patriotic realism. Older Democrats never appreciated the upstart Georgian, who didn't play ball like they expected.

Evangelical southerners supported Carter in 76, but abandoned him in 80.
Read more ›
2 Comments 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Kennedy vs. Carter: The 1980 Battle for the Democratic Party's Soul
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Kennedy vs. Carter: The 1980 Battle for the Democratic Party's Soul