Monday, April 6, 2009

W. J. Rorabaugh's "The Real Making of the President"

W. J. Rorabaugh is professor of history at the University of Washington. His books include Kennedy and the Promise of the Sixties and The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition.

He applied the “Page 99 Test” to his latest book, The Real Making of the President: Kennedy, Nixon, and the 1960 Election, and reported the following:
Page 99 explains why Nelson Rockefeller declined to run against Richard Nixon for the Republican nomination in 1960. Party leaders did not want a contest, and polls showed Nixon with too great a lead for Rocky's campaigning to overcome. Rocky, however, continued to make himself available for a draft.

About one-sixth of the book is about Nixon gaining the Republican nomination. About one-third tells how Kennedy used money, organizational skills, and television to gain the Democratic nomination. About half the book concerns the Fall campaign. While Kennedy used money, organization, and television to beat Nixon, he also depended upon Lyndon Johnson to carry much of the South. Without Johnson, Kennedy would have lost.
Read more about The Real Making of the President at the publisher's website.

Learn more about W. J. Rorabaugh's scholarship at his faculty webpage.

--Marshal Zeringue