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Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics
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December 2017: Social Issues > Playing with Fire - Lawrence O'Donnell 3/5

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Nicole D. | 1482 comments I had no particular interest in the 1968 election, but I like Lawrence O'Donnell a lot so I decided to give this a go and it was pretty interesting. I was 5 at the time, so obviously didn't realize what was going on around me.

Every time I read a book like this, I think wow - it was exactly the same then as now. From Lincoln on the Bardo, to this. So I wonder - is this just the way of politics? The divisiveness and all that goes with it - or are we reading into what happened then and likening it to now? The parallels are sometimes eerie.

This was a race with a lot of candidates and the Vietnam war and Civil Rights as platforms. It was a race that brought us our first anti-war candidate (Eugene McCarthy), our first televised right vs. left arguments (Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley) and the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy. It also gave us the birth of Fox News, and Roger Ailes as a political influencer.

There was a lot of fascinating stuff in this book. Details. Lots of details. Every minute little detail. Can you tell where I'm going with this? The book (for me) got bogged down in too much detail, which is why it was ultimately 3 stars.

It was a fascinating time, and parts of the book really gripped me, and other times I sad there and said yadda, yaddda, yadda, Nonetheless, I'm glad I read it.

Listened to audio read by Lawrence. It was well done.


message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6432 comments Nicole D. wrote: "I had no particular interest in the 1968 election, but I like Lawrence O'Donnell a lot so I decided to give this a go and it was pretty interesting. I was 5 at the time, so obviously didn't realize..."

Great review. I often wonder if politics is actually more divisive today, or if it just seems more divisive because so many more people and media outlets are in on the "conversation". I really enjoyed your review . . .sounds like more detail than I would want to know, but I liked hearing your perspective.


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