Stephen Karlson (shkarlson) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Stephen Karlson


The late Theodore H. White produced a series of these titles covering 1960 to at least 1972. (The opening chapter of The Making of the President: 1960 offers an overview of the timing of voting, state-by-state that is still instructive in interpreting those midafternoon exit polls.) Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson precede the table of contents in The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election with a quote from Making: 1960. The book that follows is very much in the White tradition, albeit with each party's nomination presented as a separate book-within-the-book, rather than the protagonists appearing in sequence. Everybody knows the outcome, which precludes Book Review No. 35 from giving any spoilers. I'm not sure whether my sensibilities have shifted or if Messrs. Balz and Johnson are more open with their Eastern Liberal Establishment prejudices than Mr White was. That the dust jacket includes photographs of Jon Stewart and Tina Fey along with some of the more obvious principal characters suggests the possibility. That Saturday Night Live's send-ups of press treatment of the Democratic candidates receive context that its lampooning of Sarah Palin does not reinforces it. On the other hand, the reportage presents enough self-inflicted chaos in the Clinton organization to suggest that Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos" might have had little or no effect: the writing, however, makes no mention of the role of talk radio, and little mention of the role of internet politics, in the primary and the campaign.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)
Tags: history, politics
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