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The Making of the President 1960 by Theodore…

The Making of the President 1960 (1961)

by Theodore H. White

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8621215,151 (4.1)35

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Subtitle: A Narrative History of American Politics in Action.

About a year before the November 1960 election, Theodore H White began studying the likely candidates. He focused on a handful of men with aspirations and/or apparent qualifications: Humphrey, Kennedy, Stevenson, Johnson, Nixon, Rockefeller. He travelled from state to state reporting on the primaries or state caucuses / conventions. (In that era, there were only sixteen states that held primaries!) He attended the Democratic and Republican national conventions. And he closely followed the candidates as they campaigned for the presidency.

I was fascinated to learn some of this history, and the first-hand look at the “political machines” that produced these two candidates, and ultimately President John F Kennedy. I also found this a surprisingly nostalgic book … It was published in 1961, shortly after Kennedy’s inauguration, so there is no hint of what is to come in November 1963.

It’s somewhat dated – the process is different more than half a century later. And yet, there is something timeless about this story. Serious issues of race, the economy, potential for nuclear war, etc still plague our country. Good men and women still struggle to find solutions. My face-to-face book club had a fascinating and spirited discussion of this work. ( )
  BookConcierge | Nov 24, 2017 |
The Landmark Political Series
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
It is fascinating to read an "in-the-moment" account of history, as opposed to a historical look back at history. This really gave me a great sense of the issues of the day and the sense of driven energy JFK used, not to mention a good bit of family connections and money, to win the 1960 Presidential race. It also was interesting to see how when the chips were down, Kennedy acted without regard to politics, calling Coretta Scott King at a crucial moment in the campaign. Nixon, in contrast, refused to comment because that was the politically astute play, in his mind. Nixon considered the political outcome, rather than the morality of his action, or inaction. In that sense, JFK earned the right to be President. ( )
  cvanhasselt | Mar 20, 2014 |
I love political books- I rate Richard Ben Cramer's "What it Takes..." as my favourite ever book in fact. This however was an utterly tedious read.

Although it covers an exciting election, and it does give you a somewhat new perspective on Nixon/JFK and the challenges they faced before and after their nomination, it is done in a painfully unreadable way. For example entire lists of names are hurled at the reader, with a brief explanation of each person's role. These become impossible to recall- and yet paragraph after paragraph are filled with these names and their minor duties. No personalities, just duties- and even these are described in a way which is difficult to understand. Another example is the final chapter, which is as irrelevant as it is dull.

When I saw that a book about each election from 1960 to 1972 had been written by the same author I was excited, and was looking forward to reading every book. Now however I am certain I will not be picking up another book by this author. ( )
  Mason_100 | Oct 6, 2013 |
Fascinating in that it was written in 1961, antipicating 4 more years of Kennedy. Otherwise perfectly prescient, cognizant and detailed. Dragged at the end with too much flourish. ( )
  bontley | Aug 24, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061900605, Paperback)

Students of politics and political reporting should cheer: This too- long-out-of-print classic is coming back. The book and the campaign it covered are throwbacks to an era more and more citizens, increasingly mired in sound-bites and tabloidism, are at least subconsciously desperate to resuscitate. You'll be amazed at how knowledgeable (and sometimes even wise) both White and the candidates he covers--Kennedy and Nixon--seem. Yes, it was too good to be true, but what a nice idea.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:40 -0400)

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