The Making of the President 1960 (Barnes & Noble Common Reader Edition Series)by Theodore H. White
What is an American presidential election? "The most awesome transfer of power in the worldthe power to marshal and mobilize, the power to send men to kill or be killed, the power to tax and destroy, the power to create and the responsibility to do so, the power to guide and the responsibility to healall committed into the hands of one man."
These words, written by Theodore H. White in the opening chapter of this classic book, are as true today as when they were written nearly a half-century ago. White's unprecedented examination of crucial campaign, in which the young and charismatic John F. Kennedy squared off against the seasoned vice president, Richard M. Nixon, is both a fascinating historical document and a compelling narrative of character and consequence. The distinguished reporter's detailed appreciation of the instinct and experience that shape the political process is a revelation in our current age of sound bites, relentlessly chattering punditry, and the all-consuming influence of televisionan influence first felt in the Kennedy-Nixon debates that proved to be a critical factor in the 1960 election.
Following seven candidates from the earliest stirrings of aspiration through the rigors of the primaries, the drama of the conventions, and the grueling campaigning that culminated in one of the closest electoral contests in our nation's history, White provides a valuable education in the ways and means of our political life. The Making of the President 1960 is an extraordinary document, a celebration of the genius of American democracy and an anatomy of the ambition, cunning, and courage it demands from those who seek its highest office. For what it can teach us about the forces that determine the destiny of presidential candidates, it remains required reading today.
Theodore H. White was born in Boston in 1915. After his Harvard graduation, he was recruited by John Hersey to cover East Asia for Time magazine, becoming chief of its China Bureau in 1945. This experience inspired his first book, Thunder Out of China (written with Annalee Jacoby). In 1948 he went to live in Europe, and his experience as a European correspondent led to Fire in the Ashes, published in 1953. That same year he returned to the United States to work as national correspondent for The Reporter, and then for Collier's magazine. After the collapse of Collier's in 1956, White turned his hand to fiction, completing two novels, The Mountain Road and The View from the Fortieth Floor, in the next four years.
At the time Collier's closed down, White was planning a story on "The Making of the President 1956" for the magazine; he revived the idea in the next election year, resulting in his most famous book, The Making of the President 1960, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 1962. Having found his vocation as our "storyteller of elections," White went on to produce three more Making of the President volumes, covering the 1964, 1968, and 1972 campaigns. Subsequently, he was author of Breach of Faith: The Fall of Richard Nixon; In Search of History: A Personal Adventure; and America in Search of Itself: The Making of the President 1956-1980. He died in May 1986.
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Whites analysis explained the process clear enough for a student in the 1960-72. He helped me make my first Presidential choice in 1972. White also wrote"Making of America Presidential races 1956-1980. " His books belong on political science majors shelve as well as political historian. Miss these sort of works were they available today they would shead more light on the process ;then many people would have a clear understanding of the process. If you think this is not relavite to today . I urge the reader to skip to Kennedy speach of September 1960 . Remove communism and subistute terriorism and you have the issue of religion ,elder,education, health care. Are things that different? This and the other 3 books will change you view of politics in an easy to read format . Enjoy the read!