1960--LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon: The Epic Campaign That Forged Three Presidencies

LBJ vs JFK vs Nixon The Epic Campaign That Forged Three Presidencies It was the election that would ultimately give America Camelot and its tragic aftermath a momentous contest when three giants who each would have a chance to shape the nation battled to win the presi

  • Title: 1960--LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon: The Epic Campaign That Forged Three Presidencies
  • Author: David Pietrusza
  • ISBN: 9781402761140
  • Page: 374
  • Format: Hardcover
  • It was the election that would ultimately give America Camelot and its tragic aftermath, a momentous contest when three giants who each would have a chance to shape the nation battled to win the presidency.Award winning author David Pietrusza does here for the 1960 presidential race what he did in his previous book, 1920 the Year of the Six Presidents which Kirkus RevieIt was the election that would ultimately give America Camelot and its tragic aftermath, a momentous contest when three giants who each would have a chance to shape the nation battled to win the presidency.Award winning author David Pietrusza does here for the 1960 presidential race what he did in his previous book, 1920 the Year of the Six Presidents which Kirkus Reviews selected as one of their Best Books of 2007 Until now, the most authoritative study of the 1960 election was Theodore White s Pulitzer Prize winning The Making of the President, 1960 But White, as a trusted insider, didn t tell all Here s the rest of the story, what White could never have known, nor revealed Finally, it s all out including JFK s poignant comment on why LBJ s nomination as vice president would be inconsequential I m 43 years old I m not going to die in office Combining an engaging narrative with exhaustive research, Pietrusza chronicles the pivotal election of 1960, in which issues of civil rights and religion Kennedy was only the second major party Roman Catholic candidate ever converged The volatile primary clash between Senate Majority leader LBJ and the young JFK culminated in an improbable fusion ticket The historic, legendary Kennedy Nixon debates followed in its wake The first presidential televised debates, they forever altered American politics when an exhausted Nixon was unkempt and tentative in their first showdown With 80 million viewers passing judgment, Nixon s poll numbers dropped as the charismatic Kennedy s star rose Nixon learned his lesson resting before subsequent debates, reluctantly wearing makeup, and challenging JFK with a aggressive stance but the damage was done.There s no one better to convey the drama of that tumultuous year than Pietrusza He has 1,000 secrets to spill a fascinating cast of characters to introduce including a rogue s gallery of hangers on and manipulators and towering historical events to chronicle And all of it is built on painstaking research and solid historical scholarship Pietrusza tracks down every lead to create a winning, engaging, and very readable account.With the 2008 elections approaching, politics will be on everyone s mind, and 1960 LBJ vs JFK vs Nixon will transform the way readers see modern American history A sampling of what Theodore White couldn t chronicle and David Pietrusza does Richard Nixon s tempestuous Iowa backseat blowup, and his bizarre Election Day road trip The full story of a sympathetic call from JFK to Coretta Scott King John Ehrlichman s spy missions on the Nelson Rockefeller and Democratic camps The warnings before Election Day that Chicago s mayor Daley would try to fix the race s outcome JFK s amphetamine fueled debate performance

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    One thought on “1960--LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon: The Epic Campaign That Forged Three Presidencies”

    1. 3.5 starsSpoiler alert: JFK wins the election, LBJ "wins" the veepstakes and Nixon loses (for eight years anyways).While not as good as The Making of the President 1960 by Theodore H. White, this book benefits from being published decades after the election took place as opposed to a few months later. This provides a more historical perspective rather than on-the-ground journalistic perspective. Thanks to this there is a more in depth treatment of turning points that distinguish this campaign fr [...]

    2. (Review originally posted on Dead Presidents)1960: LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon - The Epic Campaign That Forged Three PresidenciesBy David PietruszaHardcover. 523 pp.2008. Union Square PressAfter the last of four historic Presidential debates in 1960, Vice President Richard Nixon shook hands with his opponent, Senator John F. Kennedy, and said, "It sure goes by fast, doesn't it?".  As I was reading David Pietrusza's 1960: LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon - The Epic Campaign That Forged Three Presidencies (2008, [...]

    3. A disappointing telling of the 1960 Presidential election. True, many books have been written about that campaign, but the author's premise was promising, telling it from the perspective of the three candidates who would eventually become President.However, the author seemed to quick to make superficial comments to distinguish this narrative from the others--and they typically didn't add up. For example, the book dismisses Lyndon Johnson's father as "nothing but a drunkard" Every biography I hav [...]

    4. Interesting style, but it paled a bit after a while. Don't get me wrong, injecting a little vigor and readability into political books is just what the doctor ordered (if only more of them didn't sound all terminally stodgy, like theses rotting away on some university shelf), but it was hard to know how to take his attitude sometimes. Like when he lambasts the supposed shallowness of the era of the TV presidential debate as "Government by gotcha." I mean, is he really that snide? Or is he that d [...]

    5. This book was fascinating. It's not something I'd typically read--I prefer fiction, and the nonfiction I do read is never related to politics--but I was taken in by the author's engaging writing style. It was at times a bit too distractingly metaphorical, but that made it all the more fun to read. I learned a lot about the election, and about the three candidates vying for presidency. At times the book may have been a little too thorough--I learned more than I ever needed to know about people I [...]

    6. This book is well-written and easy to read, and the author goes to some effort to be objective about all three candidates, as well as the others mentioned in the book. Unfortunately, this pursuit of objectivity results in the author sometimes telling events without helping us interpret their meaning or significance. Towards the end of the book, I could start to figure out the significance myself. Maybe I'm getting better at politics! Okay, maybe not.For those who are not as familiar with John F. [...]

    7. A good solid read. Just nothing that jumped out or made my jaw drop. Lots of anecdotal stories and quips.

    8. The 1960 U.S. presidential election is largely viewed today as an era-defining election, with JFK coming into power on an irresistible wave of change. Well, this book does nuance that idyllic view quite significantly and that's what make it an interesting and enjoyable read. For starters, the election was anything but a landslide for Kennedy, who barely squeezed a tiny 100,000 votes majority over Nixon on a total 70 millions votes cast. Secondly, for all its charismatic and telegenic proprieties [...]

    9. A bit of a tough read at times, but overall, an interesting perspective into the 1960 election. It's very well researched as you can tell by the 50+ pages of notes at the end and clear that the author knows what he is talking about. This helps serve as part of the Kennedy memoirs that were never to be due to the two tragic assassinations in the 1960s.

    10. In-depth history of the 1960 Presidential campaign. Very compelling to read through the ups and downs, twists and turns of a campaign showdown where we of course know the outcome, but is dramatic stuff none-the-less. I loved the information not only on the candidates, their wives, and families, but on each leaders friend's, staff, and advisers. Given the benefit of history it is interesting to note when candidates were given good advice, by whom, and insight into why, or why not, they'd choose t [...]

    11. Pietrusza provides a very interesting account of the 1960 election and takes up some of the most fascinating stories to occur on the campaign. The book takes a look primarily at the Kennedy campaign and their strengths and weaknesses dealing with the assertions that Joe Kennedy bought the election (largely supported here) and JFK's wandering eye (many of the allegations here are denied). The strategy of the modern elections from the beginning of presidential debates which this election is clearl [...]

    12. A great look at a key election, impacting more than 15 years of U.S. history.This is more than just The Great Debate and Papa Joe. The backroom dealings begin with the primaries, and the mistakes made by all.Adlai Stevenson dithers, Nelson Rockefeller jumps in late and Hubert Humphrey isn't up to the task. Kennedy takes on Nixon, and both sides have their pros and cons. And Nixon led deep into the election season. Then The Great Debate. Then Nixon battled back and took the lead again - which isn [...]

    13. I picked this book up at Barnes and Nobles, and was really just looking at something to read on the side. This book provides a lot of insight as to what Presidents John F. Kennedy (D-MA), Lyndon B. Johnson (D-TX) and Richard M. Nixon (R-CA) were thinking about as the election of 1960 played out. It's an amazing look at not only how these men performed, but it is also a great account as to how these men operated. Not only that, but it's amazing how their lives transitioned into their presidencies [...]

    14. Great book, and not a boring page among the lot. Learned a ton about all 3 presidents, none of it was too flattering. I already knew most of the stuff about Nixon, but Kennedy and LBJ's sheer amount philandering was stunning. Neither could be president today, nor should they be. Supposedly JFK and Jackie would have separated if he hadn't won the nomination in 1960d I also had no idea the enormous influence that Joe Kennedy had, and the large amount of distaste that everyone outside the Kennedy c [...]

    15. In 1960, I was growing-up in a staunch Democratic household, so I heard a lot about JFK/LBJ - and not much about Nixon (at least, not much good). Reading this book was very interesting - resurrecting memories, as well as giving a lot of information. You always hear about the "backroom" dealings of the politicians - and this book told the details about them. Reading this during an election year when the race was close (as it was in 1960) made me wonder what goes on behind the scenes in today's po [...]

    16. Loved this book! I'm really trying to become a little more knowledgeable about our political history since everything I learned in school went in one ear and out the other This really gives fascinating insight into all of the major players. I have a different perspective now, and I also realized how clueless I really was about some things. I'm sure it helps, too, to be able to view the events of that time objectively now that it's 40 years later.

    17. I thought that this book was researched and written well. It took me longer to read than I had anticipated simply due to the large cast that was referenced throughout. Interesting cross section of history, going as far back to Woodrow Wilson all the way to Gerald Ford. Nice to read about the "players" at the time as a generation of politics to come was being formed. Very enjoyable for those interested in this period although much more was on the campaign season than the actual election night.

    18. Excellent read. The information gathered by the author was what a biography of these three men needed. Pietrusza's account of Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon was superb. By the end of the book, I retained viable information about the three presidents, and how the 1960 election put them on the pedestal in the annals of history. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in these three politicians, as well as to anyone with an eye for politics and history.

    19. It's amazing how much material can be supplied by one presidential election. The elections of 1960 and 1972 each have several great perspectives on the races, perhaps 2008 will crack that tier. I was skeptical that another book about the 1960 campaign could get to the levels sustained by prior volumes that focus on the contest or individual biographies. No matter - Pietrusza's book is comprehensive yet concise, epic but breezy. Required reading for the Nixon and Kennedy junkies out there.

    20. John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Richard Nixon and Lydon Baines Johnson all were political giants; all worthy of singular biographies. David Pietrusza brilliantly wove their life stories into a tapestry on the 1960 Presidential campaign. As one might suspect, these men and their staffs were less-than-angelic in their machinations to gain the White House.

    21. Zingy quotes, gossip, scandal, and looks into candidates' dark sides makes for entertaining history of the greatest race. But this is still for hard cores only. Way TMI on minor players who do not deserve equal pages as Kennedy, Nixon, and LBJ. Takes several minutes just to look at the list of the characters.

    22. An enlightening read, you'll never look at JFK, Johnson or Nixon the same way again. I found this book to be well-written and comprehensive, it's clear that Pietrusza did a great deal of research and has an intimate understanding of the "characters" in this non-fiction work. I thought it dragged a bit in the middle, but overall, it's a compelling piece of literature.

    23. Very colorful, but not overly serious or insightful narrative of the critical 1960 presidential campaign. Pietrusza has an engaging style and some juicy gossip to dish, and I appreciated his equal opportunity bashing of all the personalities involved regardless of affiliation, but those looking for serious scholarship or complex political analysis might be better advised to look elsewhere.

    24. 1960, 4 years before I was born. I love books about presidents and American history and boy was this a good read. If you think this recent presidential election had drama and huge characters check this book out. The subtitle says it all! One of the best of 2008 that's for sure.

    25. Another great book that helped me learn more about the atmosphere of the 50's and 60's. I'm currently reading a book by Robert A. Caro about LBJ and the campaign of 59/60 and up through when he becomes President. Incredible history

    26. Very interesting background on the election and all the players. Some surprise - didn't know Haldiman and Erlichman went back that far with Nixon. A lot I had heard about over the years all in all I would highly recommend.

    27. I really enjoyed this book. It showed that in a way politics have not changed all that much. Maybe not as hateful as it is today but just as backstabbing and backroom politics. The 1960 election showcased the 3 men that would be the presidents of the United States for the next 14 years.

    28. Very interesting and I might add "fair" look at the 1960 presidential election. You have always heard of Nixon's warts but this book also show the Kennedy warts. Fair and balanced.

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