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One of the great ironies of American politics is that George McGovern, one of the most misinterpreted and misunderstood men ever to seek the presidency, was also perhaps one of the most intelligent and far-sighted. Sadly, he is generally remembered for his landslide defeat to Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential contest. The stigma of that defeat has often overshadowed McGovern's otherwise influential and respectable career in politics. Richard Michael Marano shows that despite his infamous defeat, ...
One of the great ironies of American politics is that George McGovern, one of the most misinterpreted and misunderstood men ever to seek the presidency, was also perhaps one of the most intelligent and far-sighted. Sadly, he is generally remembered for his landslide defeat to Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential contest. The stigma of that defeat has often overshadowed McGovern's otherwise influential and respectable career in politics. Richard Michael Marano shows that despite his infamous defeat, McGovern—very much a man of high principles—stood tall and spoke his conscience when he decided in 1983 that he would again run for the presidency. While his candidacy was at first seen by many as a pathetic attempt by a political has-been to relive past glories, McGovern quickly proved his critics wrong by running a solid, admirable campaign.
In an era of conservatism, McGovern offered the American voter a clear alternative to the politics of Ronald Reagan, and his campaign helped guide the Democratic candidates onto a platform based on substantive issues and common sense ideas. Marano, a McGovern activist in the Connecticut campaign, provides an inside, yet detailed and documented, account of McGovern's last play on the national stage and all that went into it. This book is an in-depth analysis of the 1984 Democratic campaign, as well as a detailed discussion of George McGovern's common sense program for America.
|Introduction: A Visit with the Ghost of Elections Past||1|
|1||The New Right and the Old Paranoia: Senate Defeat||21|
|2||The Decision to Run: Quixotic or Common Sense?||45|
|3||This Land Is Your Land: The Press Reaction||55|
|4||On the Road Again: Hoping Lightning Strikes Twice||63|
|5||The McGovern Platform: Realism and Common Sense||85|
|6||This Land Is My Land: Iowa||107|
|7||Running on a Shoestring: New Hampshire||129|
|8||Super Tuesday: Massachusetts or Bust||151|
|9||The Peacemaker: Emergence of an Elder Statesman||185|
|App||1984 Democratic Primaries and Caucuses||203|
|App||The New Realism: A Revival of the Old Common Sense||205|
|App||Address by Senator George McGovern to the Democratic National Convention||213|
Posted January 13, 2011
Even many of George McGovern's most ardent supporters from 1972 can easily forget that he ran for the presidency in 1984. Very few, even in McGovern's own family, were convinced that he could run a successful campaign. McGovern was, after all, up against such stronger candidates as Walter Mondale, Gary Hart, Jesse Jackson, and John Glenn. As Marano demonstrates, McGovern himself was aware of the long odds, yet chose to run if only to influence the party's direction in 1984. Rather than becoming a Harold Stassen of the Democratic Party, Marano argues, McGovern tried to become the party's navigator. McGovern offered himself up as a "conscience vote," for party members who abhored unnecessary war, and sought to alleviate poverty, initiate tax reform, and pursue meaningful arms control. The Democrats, McGovern argued, must challenge, rather than equivocate, the guiding assumptions of the Reagan era.
Mr. Marano's book is the product of a great deal of research; he successfully digs up a number of obscure articles covering his campaign appearances, speeches, and statements. It is a fitting complement to such books as Stephen Gillon's "The Democrats' Dilemma," which also scrutinize the Democrats' loss of direction in the Reagan era. Ultimately, Marano's book makes an argument about how party liberals might offer alternatives to a conservative paradigm. After the Democrats' devastating loss in the 2010 midterm elections, this book is of particular relevance.
Posted September 15, 2004
Posted September 24, 2003
Richard Marano provides an in-depth analysis of one of history's most honest, forthright and moral political figures. Marano points out the historical inaccuracies and political misconceptions of George McGovern that plagued him in his last campaign of 1984. Marano also illustrates the pitfalls of the 'horserace' mentality of American politics, that which overemphasizes the importance of winning or losing and ignores the underlying issues. This mentality adversly affects otherwise highly qualified candidates such as George McGovern as well as the mindset of the voters themselves. This book makes readers aware that, despite his shortcomings in the win-loss column, George McGovern has made a truly positive impact on society and politics. Marano provides thorough research and rare insight into the life and the ideals of this extraordinary man and well-qualified presidential candidate. He also takes the reader deep inside the political process itself. Richard Marano reminds us to look beyond the hype and headlines and to look within ourselves and to the raw truth behind the political spotlight, when we cast our vote. I highly recommend this book to political history buffs and to those who are concerned about the deterioration of our electorate process.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.