By Theodore H. White

The best political tale ever told—the epic conflict among John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, as captured in Theodore White's dramatic and groundbreaking chronicle

The Making of the President 1960 is the e-book that revolutionized—even created—modern political journalism. Granted intimate entry to all events concerned, Theodore White crafted a virtually mythic tale of the conflict that pitted Senator John F. Kennedy opposed to Vice-President Richard M. Nixon—from the decisive fundamental battles to the history-making televised debates, the 1st in their style. Magnificently specified and exquisitely paced, The Making of the President 1960 imbues the nation's presidential election method with either grittiness and grandeur, and tested a benchmark opposed to which all new crusade newshounds might degree their paintings. The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for normal nonfiction—and the 1st access in White's influential four-volume "narrative historical past of yankee politics in action"—this vintage account is still the keystone of yankee political journalism.

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Washington’s mythical status is such a commonplace that we don’t often question the mythological work of such a story. What does it mean for Weems to create a president at once so impenetrable and so sentimentally permeable, so hard and yet so soft? It seems that Weems was reworking the Elizabethan doctrine of the king’s two bodies to negotiate the newer tensions of representative democracy in the United States. If, as historian Michael Paul Rogin summarizes, the doctrine worked in two directions, making the political realm “independent of the body mortal who governed it” and at the same time allowing the officeholder to absorb the realm into his “personal identity,” the president’s hard and soft bodies HOW THE PRESIDENT BECOMES A SUPERHERO 41 offered a symbolic solution to some central political conundrums facing the United States under the Constitution: How do you have both unity (what the nation was built on) and political difference (what democracy depends on)?

In the evening Washington attended dinner parties with the local elite, at which the standard thirteen national toasts would be offered. Such celebrations encouraged citizens to set aside political disagreement in a unifying exercise of national feeling, where carefully coordinated theatrics gave participants a chance to experience citizenship as the thrill of spectatorship. But these civic exercises could not quell swelling political disagreement during the 1790s. And indeed, political opposition staked its public expression by modifying federalist celebrations: their demonstrations featured the people as democracy’s actors instead of the president.

Democracy is a project for independence, but it also depends and can thrive on our interdependence. Drawing on energizing examples of open systems projects—on the Internet and in activist culture—this chapter asks readers to reimagine and retake democracy as a project we lead together, amid and out of the synergy of our many differences. It asks readers to invest in a democratic project in self-governance that recovers the often forgotten, crucial middle clause of Lincoln’s resonant formulation: of the people, by the people, for the people.

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