The Year of the People

Front Cover
Doubleday, 1969 - Presidents - 323 pages
This book is the story of one year, told by the man whose candidacy gave people a symbol and a voice. Senator Eugene J. McCarthy helped to create the new politics with a campaign run on issues, rather than personalities; a candidate seeking not to enlarge his personal power but to restore power to the people, especially those whose opinions often seemed to be in the minority. He had the courage to challenge the traditional system - including his party, the President and his policies - and in the process swept a new spirit, a new vitality, and a new generation into politics. Now Senator McCarthy recounts these events as he saw them, casting fresh light on his goals and motivations and achievements. He makes clear why he decided to run, and why that decision was less surprising than it seemed. He explains his campaign strategy, including why, despite frequent criticism, he refused to abandon his undramatic, low-key style, and why he spent valuable time in states he knew he could never win. He discusses his widely misinterpreted relations with Senator Robert Kennedy and his aides. He tells why he did not mount an independent candidacy after the convention and what he hoped to gain by withholding his endorsement of Vice President Humphrey. Finally he reflects on the impact his campaign has already had, his hopes for his supporters, both young and old, and what their success can mean to the future of American politics. In sum, The Year of the People is a unique document of the 1968 campaign: part memoir, part commentary, part testimonial. Like its author, it is candid, articulate, and often surprising, by turns witty and blunt, plain and poetic.

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