This book covers the two presidential campaigns of Jesse Jackson. It examines the electoral system and points out, among other things, the structural difficulties which Jackson experienced in marshalling voters, particularly in the south. Gibbons asserts that the electoral system operated against him on several levels: psychological factors that condition minds to think of individuals in terms of race first created an enormous barrier; the active racist position adopted by the media lent disproportionate attention to Jackson; and the patronizing position among the majority of Americans practically annihilated his chances of success. Gibbons describes the 1984 campaign as the beginning of the mission, while in 1988 there was the hope for real change. The fact that Jackson did not succeed the second time is less important than the forces for change he unleashed. The campaign reflected the cultural shaping of the media along lines of race and ethnicity, also indicative of the entire nation's attitudes towards minority representation.
A lucid, insightful and probing analysis of the pervasive impact of race on the social institutional fabric of American Society. Professor Gibbons holds the American democratic polity under a searing, interpretive analysis that is buttressed by his profound knowledge of comparative media and socio-political systems.