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The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election

The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election
Author: Zachary Karabell
ISBN 13: 9780375700774
ISBN 10: 375700773
Edition: N/A
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: 2001-04-10
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
List Price: $17.95

In the presidential campaign of 1948, Americans had a choice across the ideological spectrum, from the far Right to the far Left. This account tells the story of all four candidates' campaigns, and argues that this was the last time a presidential race was dominated by radio and print media, and the last time that progressive and Left points of view were debated and covered in the mainstream press. The author has taught at Harvard, the University of Massachusetts, and Dartmouth. His essays have appeared in newspapers and national publications. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Library Journal

Dewey defeats Truman! claims Karabell (Architects of Intervention) in this engaging narrative of the 1948 presidential election. It was the final contest in which voters could choose from four candidates representing quite distinct political ideologies and the final campaign before television "worked its destructive magic." Incumbent President Harry Truman and Tom Dewey, his Republican opponent, offered voters moderate choices, while Progressive Henry Wallace and Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond were extreme alternatives. The author is strongest discussing the impact of the press, polls, and radio and describing the importance of the convention, which was then "a mix of high politics, low politics and entertainment." Truman was the last candidate to verbally savage his opponents, especially Dewey, who instead ran a civil but dull campaign--the kind future voters would come to expect. Dewey's campaign and not Truman's "Give-'em-Hell-Harry" strategy became the model for following elections. In this respect, the author concludes, Dewey did indeed defeat Truman. Along with Gary Donaldson's more analytical Truman Defeats Dewey (LJ 10/15/98), Karabell provides an intriguing overview of this watershed election. Recommended for all libraries.--Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twsp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\