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The Making of the President 1964 Paperback – Bargain Price, October 5, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Paperback, Bargain Price, October 5, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Theodore H. White’s landmark Making of the President series revolutionized American political journalism, investing his subject with both epic scope and a fresh frankness about backroom political strategy that was unlike anything that had come before. In this secondvolume of his groundbreaking series, White offers an intimate chronicleof the 1964 campaign for the White House, from the earthshaking tragedy of President Kennedy’s assassination through the battle for power between Lyndon B. Johnson and Barry Goldwater, whose candidacy paved the way for the modern conservative movement. White reports from within both campaigns, bringing to life a turbulent year in America’s history and a furious contest between two tough and seasoned political pros.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Theodore H. White (1915–1986) was an American political journalist, historian, and novelist, best known for the Making of the President series: his accounts of the 1960, 1964, 1968, and 1972 presidential elections, all of which are being reissued with new forewords by Harper Perennial Political Classics. His other books include Thunder Out of China, America in Search of Itself, and In Search of History: A Personal Adventure.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reissue edition (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061900613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061900617
  • ASIN: B0058M71IO
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,531,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Randy Keehn VINE VOICE on July 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In completing "The Making of the President 1964" I have read all of Theodore White's series. I realized after beginning this book that Mr. White was apparently in awe of one of the subjects of his first book in this series; John F. Kennedy. Admittedly, the assasination of President Kennedy was a major event in our history and it certainly had an effect on the election of 1964. However, White portrays JFK as a man far greater than anyone else in the political world of 1963-64. In doing so, he diminishes his credibility. As a youth in those times, I remember the tragedy of Kennedy's assasination. I ALSO remember the awesomeness of President's Johnson's agenda. I won't debate the pros and cons of the "Great Society". I will, however, acknowledge that LBJ got things done that I don't believe JFK could have. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a prime example. It should have been the Civil Rights Act of 1963 but I don't believe that President Kennedy had the influence or power to have accomplished what President Johnson did. Unfortunately, although White makes allowances for the skills of Lyndon Johnson, the recurring theme in this book is that JFK would have been so much better.

Oh, by the way, there was another man who was involved in this race; Senator Barry Goldwater. White's treatment of Goldwater goes somewhat along the line that the Senator was good company in an after hours social gathering but that he was inept politically. White is especially harsh on Goldwater's vote against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I recall, from reading his autobiography some years ago, that Goldwater opposed the legislation on Constitutional grounds.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr. White's chronology of the 1964 Presidential race was published in 1965. Our nation was still in shock over the murder of President Kennedy, the Cold War was in full swing, the Civil Rights Movement with multiple race riots was front and center and television news was coming into its own as a powerful, sensationalistic, social medium. The author starts off the book with a riveting account of JFK's assassination which sets the tone for the remainder of the book. It is well-known that Mr. White was enamoured of the Kennedys and it clearly shows in how he portrays them. But beyond his bias and liberal inclinations, the Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist does an outstanding job describing the 1964 run for the White House. Little did Mr. White know that Senator Barry Goldwater's shellacking by President Johnson was the first stirrings of the future Reagan Revolution and that LBJ's presidency would collapse under the storm brewing in Vietnam. The reader will come to understand the power struggle between the Eastern, liberal GOP establishment vs the evergrowing Southern and Western mindset. He does a commendable job of describing both Southern politicians and how their philosophical attitudes about the role of government were very different. The book captures the feel of the times, the behind-the-scenes brawls and shows a vibrant economic country struggling with who we are as a nation? This is a civic lesson with flair. I enjoyed it even more than Mr. White's first volume describing the 1960 race between Kennedy and Nixon. A truly great work of reporting and, yes, art.
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By avidreader on September 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wish White was writing about the presidential elections today. His style and insight is captivating, educating and interesting. A page turner that holds your interest even though you already know how it ends.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well researched and well written, this book followed White's pioneering "The Making of the President 1964" and is deservedly a classic. The first 50 or so pages talks about President Kennedy's assassination and Lyndon Johnson's actions, including--within 3 days of JFK's death--rescinding his order to start withdrawing advisers from Vietnam (beginning with 1000 out by Christmas). White shows Johnson's cynicism and manipulation--along with the skills and commitment that got Kennedy's Civil Rights Act through Congress in 1964, the man who told the Jt Chiefs of Staff, "Just get me re-elected and you can have your war." Johnson was afraid Republicans would nominate moderate maverick George Romney (Mitt's father) who he thought could win, but instead they chose conservative Barry Goldwater whom Johnson portrayed as a warmonger while promising, "I'll never send American boys to fight in Vietnam."

That was a lie, unfolding behind the scenes in 1964 with the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, but Americans wouldn't find out about Johnson's Vietnam plan until after he was elected--in the largest landslide in history. White captures the personalities behind the scenes--Johnson's insecurity and how he finally found the love he craved from the crowds that greeted him along the campaign trail.

But he turned victory into defeat, sending combat troops into Vietnam to "not become the president who lost Vietnam like we lost China"--at the height of the war, he had over 500,000 Americans fighting there and the opposition was so great at home that he was forced to not run for reelection in 1968. In the end, Americans lost anyway--and 55,000 Americans died there along with an estimated 2 to 3 million Vietnamese.
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