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The Selling of the President Paperback – 31 Dec 1988

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 253 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin USA C/O Penguin Putnam Inc; Reprint edition (31 Dec. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140112405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140112405
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 263,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Joe McGinniss was a young Philadelphia journalist when he began to follow the team of public relations men and television specialists who created Richard Nixon's image for the American public during the presidential campaign of 1968. In 1969, with the publication of The Selling of the President, Joe McGinnis immediately became a nonfiction star of the first rank. His other books include Heroes, Going to Extremes, Fatal Vision, Cruel Doubt, and a novel, The Dream Team. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.


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Format: Paperback
Somewhere in the second chapter of this splendid book, Leonard Hall, national Republican chairman said; "You sell your candidates and your programs the way a business sells its products." This succinct message captures the essence of Joe McGinniss and his book, "The Selling of the President."
The author explains how Richard Nixon is packaged and distributed to the American people by clever television professionals.
The marriage of politicians and advertising men first took place in 1956 when Dwight Eisenhower ran for re-election and selected the agency of Batton, Barto, Durstine and Osborn. McGinniss explains that the basic advertising concepts remained unchanged right up to 1968 but that Richard Nixon made every use of all the sophisticated technical advances of the day. Moreover, the author details how slick New York advertising men seduced voters which elevated them from the smoky parlors to the expensive suites with the political big shots.
Advertising executives allowed Nixon to dominate the airwaves. To this end, the television campaign allowed Nixon to get through the campaign with a dozen or so carefully worded responses that would cover all the problems of America in 1968. After a while it is rather clear that Richard Nixon is basically a boring man. However, with proper packaging Nixon soon represented competence, respect for tradition, serenity, faith that the American people were better than people anywhere else, and that all these problems others shouted about meant nothing in a land blessed with the tallest buildings, strongest armies, biggest factories, cutest children, and rosiest sunsets in the world.
I found the marriage of political and advertising minds fascinating.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book years ago, in the 1970s, I think. Things in the news often remind me of it, especially as some of the key figures in the book, for example, Roger Ailes, are very much around today. He is head of Fox News now. The main polling expert in the Nixon campaign, who is mentioned a lot in the book, helped Nixon to craft different messages for the South and the major cities and was also very important in the Dubya campaigns. Altogether a very prophetic book, but also very funny.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
not as interesting as I expected as the and the appendix was half as long as the book and not very interesting
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A must read for anyone interested on politics and media.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great book keep it up McGinniss proud of you !
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