In this engaging book, Gary A. Donaldson tells the story of Kennedy versus Nixon with a sharp eye for the salient political developments and a keen sense of the drama of an election that was unlike any other the nation had experienced. The election of 1960 was an orchestrated political drama, organized as a sweeping campaign from coast to coast and staged for a national television audience. This made it the first modern campaign in which the television media changed the dynamics of presidential politics and in which photographs, charisma, and direct appeals to voters counted as they had never done before. It was also an election of intense personal rivalry made all the more spirited by the prejudice against Kennedy's Catholicism and his intention to widen the American political arena. The First Modern Campaign is essential and engaging reading for anyone interested in contemporary politics in the United States.
Gary A. Donaldson is professor of history at Xavier University of Louisiana. He is the author of many books on American history in the twentieth century, including Liberalism's Last Hurrah: The Presidential Campaign of 1964, Modern America: A Documentary History of the Nation Since 1945, and The Second Reconstruction: A History of the Modern Civil Rights Movement.
Chapter 1: The "Modern Republicanism" of Eisenhower and the GOP Split in the Fifties Chapter 2: The Democrats Endure the Eisenhower Years Chapter 3: Kennedy and the Liberals Chapter 4: The Democrats Slug It Out in the Primary Season Chapter 5: Waiting for Nixon Chapter 6: The Conventions Chapter 7: Campaign One Chapter 8: The Great Debates Chapter 9: Campaign Two Chapter 10: Epilogue and Analysis