Miami and the Siege of Chicago
1968. The Vietnam War was raging. President Lyndon Johnson, facing a challenge in his own Democratic Party from the maverick antiwar candidate Eugene McCarthy, announced that he would not seek a second term. In April, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and riots broke out in inner cities throughout America. Bobby Kennedy was killed after winning the California primary...more
‘Alcorn had a friendly freckled face and sandy hair, black horn-rims, a jaw which could probably crack a lobster claw in one bite, his voice drilled its authority. He was the kind of man who could look you in the eye while turning down your bid for a mortgage.’
hell yeah. i LOVE norman mailer. i love him for his great b...more
While Mailer can paint a beautiful portrait of pomp and circumstance, as well as behind-the-scenes political theatrics at their finest, I didn't completely believe he had a firsthand account of the events that he captured. His third-person narrative and hoaky use of the term "the reporter" stifled and confin...more
Yes I know the man is dead and this was written in t...more
In this entertaining but uneven pair of essays, Norman Mailer explores the uneasy mood of 60s American through the prism of the Republican and Democratic Conventions of 1968. Mailer excels when describing the geography and personality of Miami and Chicago - the openings of both essays are tours de force in setting out the personality of the cities with broad strokes with just the right touch of detail.
Mr. Mailer has a soft s...more
The portrait he gives is one of a divided and confused Ame...more
Composed of coverage of the Republican convention in “Nixon and Miami, August 5-9,” and of the Democratic convention and the street protests around it in “The Siege of Chicago, August 26-29,” Mailer’s reportage provid...more
The phase had been used recently in a chat I...more
This time Mailer covers the fight that is a presidential nominating convention. The contrast could not be sharper: The Republicans have an orderly and genteel floor fight between the left, center and right (Nelson Rockafeller, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, respectively), while the Democrats have a rough-and-tumble convention ove...more
If you want to round out the facts from the history books, and put some context to the c...more
1968 conventions were a lot more interesting, though terribly dispiriting and full of beatings. It was interesting to read about Nixon and not have it filtered back through Watergate. Seems he was a jerk before that, too!
Also, *love* the first few paragraphs in the Chicago section. Mailer can write about a city like nobody else.
Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, and Tom Wolfe, Mailer is considered an innovator of creative nonfiction, a genre sometimes called New Journalism, but which covers the essay to the nonfiction novel. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize twice and the National Book Award once....more