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The Making of the President 1964

The Making of the President 1964 [Kindle Edition]

Theodore H. White

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Product Description

Product Description

“[White] revolutionized the art of political reporting.” —William F. Buckley

A national bestseller, The Making of the President 1964 is the critically acclaimed account of the 1964 presidential campaign, from the assassination of JFK though the battle for power between Lyndon B. Johnson and Barry Goldwater. Author Theodore H. White made history with his Pulitzer Prize-winning The Making of the President series—detailed narrative histories that revolutionized the way presidential campaigns were reported. Now back in print with a new foreword by fellow Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham, The Making of the President 1964 joins The Making of the President 1960, 1968, and 1972, as well as Theodore Sorensen’s Kennedy and other classics, in the burgeoning Harper Perennial Political Classics series.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 947 KB
  • Print Length: 482 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061900613
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reissue edition (14 Dec 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003V1WT18
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #186,173 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ode to JFK 27 July 2008
By Randy Keehn - Published on
In completing "The Making of the President 1964" I have read all of Theodore White's series. I realized after beginning this book that Mr. White was apparently in awe of one of the subjects of his first book in this series; John F. Kennedy. Admittedly, the assasination of President Kennedy was a major event in our history and it certainly had an effect on the election of 1964. However, White portrays JFK as a man far greater than anyone else in the political world of 1963-64. In doing so, he diminishes his credibility. As a youth in those times, I remember the tragedy of Kennedy's assasination. I ALSO remember the awesomeness of President's Johnson's agenda. I won't debate the pros and cons of the "Great Society". I will, however, acknowledge that LBJ got things done that I don't believe JFK could have. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a prime example. It should have been the Civil Rights Act of 1963 but I don't believe that President Kennedy had the influence or power to have accomplished what President Johnson did. Unfortunately, although White makes allowances for the skills of Lyndon Johnson, the recurring theme in this book is that JFK would have been so much better.

Oh, by the way, there was another man who was involved in this race; Senator Barry Goldwater. White's treatment of Goldwater goes somewhat along the line that the Senator was good company in an after hours social gathering but that he was inept politically. White is especially harsh on Goldwater's vote against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I recall, from reading his autobiography some years ago, that Goldwater opposed the legislation on Constitutional grounds. Whether or not one agrees with his opinion that the Act violated the seperation of powers cited in the US Constitution, Theodore White owed Goldwater at least a brief explanation of the Senator's rationale. I did not come across one sentence to that effect leaving the Republican candidate appearing like he had a few sheets in the closet.

Obviously, I found a great deal to criticize about White's perspective of the men involved in this election. I will acknowledge that the author covered a lot of ground and background in putting this book together. His analyses of the issues of the day are somewhat dated but also gives evidence that he still has a pretty good insight on national politics and issues. 1964 was a tough year to be a Republican. Based on White's adoration of JFK, it was also a tough year to be a Democrat who was anybody but John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ghost of JFK 28 Nov 2011
By Franklin the Mouse - Published on
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Mr. White's chronology of the 1964 Presidential race was published in 1965. Our nation was still in shock over the murder of President Kennedy, the Cold War was in full swing, the Civil Rights Movement with multiple race riots was front and center and television news was coming into its own as a powerful, sensationalistic, social medium. The author starts off the book with a riveting account of JFK's assassination which sets the tone for the remainder of the book. It is well-known that Mr. White was enamoured of the Kennedys and it clearly shows in how he portrays them. But beyond his bias and liberal inclinations, the Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist does an outstanding job describing the 1964 run for the White House. Little did Mr. White know that Senator Barry Goldwater's shellacking by President Johnson was the first stirrings of the future Reagan Revolution and that LBJ's presidency would collapse under the storm brewing in Vietnam. The reader will come to understand the power struggle between the Eastern, liberal GOP establishment vs the evergrowing Southern and Western mindset. He does a commendable job of describing both Southern politicians and how their philosophical attitudes about the role of government were very different. The book captures the feel of the times, the behind-the-scenes brawls and shows a vibrant economic country struggling with who we are as a nation? This is a civic lesson with flair. I enjoyed it even more than Mr. White's first volume describing the 1960 race between Kennedy and Nixon. A truly great work of reporting and, yes, art.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Feel-Good Political Chronicle 11 Dec 2006
By Matthew Rozsa - Published on
As hard as that must be to imagine today, there once was a reporter named Theodore H. White who wrote novel-like books about presidential elections, and actually made his readers feel good about the democratic process afterward. This chronicle about the election of 1964 covers the major people (Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Robert Kennedy, Barry Goldwater, Nelson Rockefeller, William Scranton, Henry Cabot Lodge) and themes (the civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam, the clash between New Deal liberalism and the nascent neo-conservative movement) with a sense of optimism and joy that is all but missing in contemporary political literature. While White fails to recapture the intimacy from the Pulitzer Prize-winning original book (wherein he was practically a member of the Kennedy campaign staff, and thus capable of giving readers an intimate glance at the man himself), he is nevertheless able to bring us closer to the people, the issues, and the sheer joy of politics in the working than any other author could conceivably dream of doing.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good look at a major political realignment 3 Sep 2007
By Robert Fishman - Published on
In this version of The Making of the President, Theodore White provides his usual in-depth analysis of a Presidential election, along with relevant socio-economic and cultural developments. The 1964 Presidential election was based squarely on ideology, as opposed to managerial competence. As Mr. White discusses, Democratic incumbent Lyndon Johnson stood for the idea that for every problem that existed in the USA, the federal govt. had a solution, while his Republican challenger, Sen. Barry Goldwater, saw the federal govt. as the major obstacle to American progress. This sharp ideological difference has often defined American politics since that time.

In addition, Mr. White sets out a coherent explanation of why President Johnson's election was a virtual certainty (along with a wide margin of victory), as Johnson wore the JFK mantle, and most Americans did not want to reject that mantle, at least not so quickly after JFK was assassinated. At the same time, Mr. White makes a genuine effort to portray Sen. Goldwater as being sincere in his views, and as being a decent though widely misunderstood candidate. He also points out that at many times, Sen. Goldwater was his own worst enemy, coming out with statements that played right into the hands of Democratic campaign strategists (i.e., his comments about letting NATO commanders decide when to use "tactical" nuclear weapons against Soviet forces).

Finally, Mr. White explains how this election was, in an important way, the first modern election that was fought along regional lines. For example, the Republicans focused much of their resources on the South (an ironic shift for the Party of Lincoln), while the Democrats began to solidify their growing dominance in much of the Northeast and Upper Midwest (overturning many traditional bastions of Republican strength). In many ways, this sectional division still exists today, with the existence of "Red" states and "Blue" states. This sectionalization has had mixed results for both parties.

I do wish that Mr. White would have given more attention to the increasing conflict in Vietnam, as it did appear on the political horizon around that time. He doesn't seem to give it that much attention, instead focusing on a number of other major issues. I wonder what his reason was for having done this. Another interesting omission is that of Ronald Reagan. Reagan had made a passionate speech on behalf of Sen. Goldwater, entitled "A Time for Choosing." It was a televised speech that, many political commentators argue, helped launch Mr. Reagan's political career. Perhaps Mr. White had not picked up Mr. Reagan on the radar screen at this time, though he discusses Mr. Reagan in his 1968 installment of The Making of the President (by then Mr. Reagan had been elected Governor of California).
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic and Informative 30 Mar 2005
By K.A.Goldberg - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the second in a series of four books by Theodore H. White on U.S. presidential campaigns from 1960-1972, and the volume is tougher and less romantic than its best-selling 1960 predecessor. White describes both the political scene and the state of the nation in 1964. To begin, the author looks at President Lyndon Johnson's brief tenure in office following the Kennedy assassination. With the nation at peace and the economy booming, Johnson was practically a shoo-in for re-election. So the author concentrates heavily on the conservative insurgency that got Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona the Republican nomination. White does an equally good job describing the state of the nation that year, particularly the increasingly successful Civil Rights movement and the increasingly tragic violence and dysfunction of the black underclass. White also missed cues like the conservative ascendancy in the GOP, and the turn of the South to the GOP because of racial issues. Additionally, the author's admiration for Johnson seems to have shielded him from the man's enormous ego - a weakness that can drag leaders and nations into trouble.

Author Theodore H. White (1915-1986) was a superb political journalist, and few have ever matched his chronicles of U.S. politics. This book isn't his best effort, but it's clearly a valuable one.
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Popular Highlights

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Yet one must note, beyond the defeats and reversals he suffered in Congress, how much new legislation was actually approved and passed into law—more than at any other time since the 1930’s. &quote;
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These, then, were his legacies to the politics of 1964—Peace, slowly becoming real; Power, actual and at the ready; Prosperity, so vast as to be unsettling; and Equality for the American Negro, at whatever cost in adjustment. &quote;
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