Quest for the Presidency 1992 / Edition 1

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Quest for the Presidency 1992 reveals for the first time the full story of what really happened in the tumultuous 1992 presidential election. With unparalleled access to the inner workings of the various campaigns, Newsweek's award-winning team of reporters gathered the in-depth stories of the candidates; their handlers, pollsters, and supporters; and their strategies, strengths, and weaknesses. Woven together here in spellbinding and insightful narrative, these accounts reveal the changing order of American politics, which saw the strongest third-force challenge in eighty years, and the changing portrait of the American voter, more cynical yet more involved in shaping the political process than ever before. The rich reporting and you-are-there intimacy of private meetings, confidential conversations, informal war-gaming sessions, and other key moments in the campaigns provide new insight into the players and events of this critical election year. A broad array of never-before-published campaign documents and sixty-one of Newsweek's best on-the-scene photographs flesh out the record. The result offers an essential guide to understanding not only the Clinton candidacy but also the Clinton presidency; keen human understanding of George Bush's fall; and a hint of how a Texas billionaire's down-home style may have changed the political terrain forever.

The tumultuous presidential election of 1992 was a moment of historic change in America, and a special team of top Newsweek correspondents witnessed it all from the inside and won a National Magazine Award for the coverage. Here for the first time is the full story, augmented with authentic documents and on-the-scene photographs.

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Editorial Reviews

James David Barber

"This is significant: fascinating realities of how presidential election happened most recently. A brilliant book based on actual information, not mere impressionism. Very excellent interesting true stories which we need to know so we can revitalize democracy in the United States."--James David Barber, author of The Presidential Character and The Pulse of Politics
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A team of Newsweek reporters virtually lived with the 1992 presidential candidates for more than a year, tracking their respective campaigns. Full of revelations and witty turns of phrase, this crackling report provides a unique window on the contenders' maneuverings, pressures and frustrations. Hillary Clinton, we are told, in effect became her husband's closest campaign adviser, while his handlers systematically devised a rationale for his directionless candidacy, equipping him with a populist message. Bush, a reluctant campaigner who hated confrontations, by this account wanted Quayle off the ticket but could not bring himself to dump the Vice President. Meanwhile, a Bush adviser secretly approached Colin Powell to persuade the general to become Bush's running mate. Led by team anchor DeFrank (Newsweek's deputy Washington bureau chief and senior White House correspondent), the authors do a good job of explaining how Ross Perot tapped into the public's sense of alienation by packaging himself as a pragmatist who could take on bureaucrats and cure the nation's ills through sound business sense. Withering profiles of Jerry Brown, Patrick Buchanan, Paul Tsongas and other contenders round out the chronicle. An appendix reproduces dozens of confidential memoranda and documents from the various campaigns. Photos. 25,000 first printing. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Theodore H. White invented the modern presidential-campaign history in 1960, with several subsequent journalists contributing to the phenomenon. Newsweek magazine added a "group" journalism approach on the 1984 and 1988 and now the 1992 campaign. Though easy to critique, the approach works well in this volume. This seven-member team has put together a comprehensive, firsthand report on the 1992 campaign from the primaries through the general election. Despite its length and the known result, the book is compelling reading, presenting valuable insights into the campaigns of the candidates. For example, the reporters capture the essence of Jerry Brown's New Age "magical" campaign as a reflection of his flawed personality. They also offer priceless information on the Clinton campaign, which both helps make his presidency more understandable and offers hope for it. Their descriptions transform the candidates into human beings instead of stereotypes. Highly recommended for all collections.-William D. Pederson, Louisiana State Univ., Shreveport.
Eugene Sullivan
"Newsweek" magazine, in cooperation with Texas A & M Press, has produced a comprehensive report on the volatile national election of 1992. From the foreword listing the many contributing reporters to the numerous campaign documents appended, the book is an exhaustive and at times exhausting account of hardball American politics. Seasoned national reporters lining up to quiz candidates would often see the "Newsweek" team leaving the inner sanctum before any others were admitted, hence this inside version of the campaign that provides juicy details of staff infighting. Some readers may weary of reading about lengthy sessions with spin doctors--even candidate Clinton wearied of listening to them. Bush's demise is quickly analyzed, as is the rise and fall of citizen Perot's unorganized, amateurish efforts. The account as a whole is tough, funny, and compelling as it details a madcap race, which will remind readers of Adlai Stevenson's comment that by the time a candidate gets the nomination, he has compromised himself to death and probably doesn't deserve it.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780890966440
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
  • Publication date: 10/24/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 742
  • Sales rank: 1,243,602
  • Lexile: 1100L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.41 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 2.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Goldman, the principal writer, is a contributing editor at Newsweek, where he has written about politics and government for more than thirty years, including two earlier volumes in the Quest for the Presidency series. He is also author or coauthor of six other books.Thomas M. DeFrank, Newsweek's deputy Washington bureau chief and senior White House correspondent, won the 1993 White House Correspondents' Association's highest award for excellence in reporting for his account of George Bush's defeat.Mark Miller, who enjoyed unequalled openness in covering the Clinton camp, came to Newsweek in 1985 and is currently assigned to the Los Angeles bureau.Andrew Murr, whose Herculean task was to follow Ross Perot, Bob Kerrey, Paul Tsongas, and Jerry Brown, joined Newsweek in 1983 and is now based in the Los Angeles bureau.Tom Mathews, a former senior editor at Newsweek, has written for twenty-five years on subjects ranging from foreign affairs to fly fishing.
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