1968: The Election that Changed America, Volume 1968

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Ivan R. Dee, 1993 - Political Science - 178 pages
The race for the White House in 1968 was a watershed event in American poitics. In this compact and evenhanded narrative analysis, Lewis Gould shows how the events of that tumultuous year changed the way Americans felt about politics and their leaders; how Republicans used the skills they brought to Richard Nixon's campaign to create a generation-long ascendancy in presidential politics; and how Democrats, divided and torn after 1968, emerged as only crippled challengers for the White House throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Bitterness over racial issues and the Vietnam War that marked the 1968 election continued to shape national affairs and to rile American society for years afterward. And the election accelerated an erosion of confidence in American institutions that has not yet reached a conclusion. In this lucid account Mr. Gould considers the surprising decision of Lyndon Johnson not to seek renomination for the presidency; the phenomena of Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy; the campaigns of Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, and the third-party candidate George Wallace; the assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy; the disastrous Democratic convention in Chicago; and the extraordinary events of what Eugene McCarthy later called the "Hard Year". it was, Mr. Gould observes, "a time of recurrent shocks, intense emotions, and passionate Judgments. During a troubled time, fallible men and women made decisions that changed the nation". Mr. Gould offers deft portraits of the major players' and a balanced analysis of the campaigns, their strategies, and their results. He describes how Nixon and the Republicans discovered the so-called wedge issues that would later serve Ronald Reaganand George Bush so well in their presidential campaigns. And, based on fresh research, he fills in the details of Nixon's efforts to prevent the October surprise of a major peace initiative in Vietnam by President Johnson. Mr. Gould has written a calm and judicious history of a crucial moment in the nation's political history.

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1968: the election that changed America

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As the torch has been passed to the first president of the Vietnam-baby-boomer generation, Univ. of Texas historian Gould has provided in his analysis of the 1968 presidential election an explanation ... Read full review


The President Withdraws
The Violent Spring

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About the author (1993)

Lewis L. Gould is Barker Professor of Centennial History at the University of Texas, Austin. His other books include Reform and Regulation: American Politics from Roosevelt to Wilson and The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt.

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