- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Almost half a century after Theodore White's The Making of the President, 1960, Pietrusza (1920: The Year of the Six Presidents) raises the bar with his winning and provocative chronicle. The political giants who battled for the 1960 presidency-and the closeness of the election-make for exciting narratives. The author writes respectfully of the three hopefuls but is not starstruck by any of them. Here, JFK is portrayed at times as a slacker who would not let politics get in the way of adultery. Richard Nixon was different from Kennedy, much less by his politics than by his lack of charm. Johnson, the indefatigable vote getter, was a champion of the lower class or a crude wheeler-dealer, depending on what the situation called for. Also prominently featured are Joe Kennedy, the family patriarch, and presidential and vice presidential hopefuls Nelson Rockefeller, Hubert Humphrey, and Adlai Stevenson. Pietrusza concludes with a thought worth pondering: Why was the election so close when Nixon did so much wrong (ignoring Martin Luther King Jr., choosing the patrician Henry Cabot Lodge as his running mate, not receiving support from President Eisenhower) while Kennedy did almost everything right (choosing the loyal LBJ as his vice-presidential running mate, winning the primaries, appearing healthy, gaining the black vote while retaining the white South)? The answer: there was something about JFK that the voters of 1960 simply did not like. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.