It’s more than an indication of how oblivious I am that I didn’t realize the Republican and Democratic conventions were coming up  until a friend of mine talked about how she was working on something to do with the Republican convention. Nobody I know and nobody I’ve overheard seems to care. The most common trend word associated with the election is disappointed  after money of course.

Teddy White’s The Making of the President 1960 is 50 years old. He called it a narrative history in the subtitle fancying up what was journalism but now it is truly history.  Citizens who were excited about the political process. Suspense about who would be the Vice Presidential nominee. Disagreement about ideas(though that’s more of a theme in the 1964 book). He even gives a general acknowledgement  “to the politicians of America”  who he calls “the pleasantest, shrewdest and generally the most honorable of companions.”  It seems like a description of a far away time which is a pretty good definition of history.

I found this in a library 25 cent rack where it should not have been. In addition to telling a good story about a close presidential race, White got a lot right. His characterization of Nixon as a loner was astute. He was the first and ultimate source on what happened in the first Kennedy Nixon debate. And he noted the beginning of the trend in the South toward the Republican party.  The characterization of Kennedy is funny because his JFK is not our JFK and his description is slobbering hero worship. At one point, he states that the Kennedy family “abhors alcohol.”  Really. Ending on a mocking note is not fair; rereading his book makes me wish I could vote in that election.

 

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