Articles

Books About Presidential Campaigns

May 09, 2008

Political sage Karl Rove casts his vote for these books about presidential campaigns

1. The Making of the President, 1960

By Theodore H. White


Antheneum, 1961

The story opens: "It was invisible, as always. They had begun to vote in the villages of New Hampshire . . ." Who wouldn't be hooked by that? For any presidential-election junkie whose needs during this campaign season cannot be satiated by cable TV, the Internet, scores of debates, thousands of ads and countless talking heads, "The Making of the President, 1960" is essential reading. It was the first volume in what turned out to be Theodore H. White's deeply personal chronicle of every presidential campaign from 1960 to 1980. His goal, he wrote, was to capture "the quality of leadership under the pressure of great forces" as the American people decided who would occupy the Oval Office. The entire series by this consummate reporter and elegant writer is worth reading, but White's coverage of the Kennedy-Nixon contest remains the best. I was 16 when my dad bought a copy for 75 cents at a used bookstore and wrote my name and the date -- "November 17, 1967" -- on the title page. I still have it.

FULL ARTICLE: http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB121038068053082327.html

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