The Contest by Michael Schumacher
The 1968 Election and the War for America's Soul

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Readers seeking an entertaining and informative study of the 1968 campaign would do well to start here.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A dramatic, deeply informed account of one of the most consequential elections and periods in American history

1968—rife with riots, assassinations, anti–Vietnam War protests, and realpolitik—was one of the most tumultuous years in the twentieth century, culminating in one of the most consequential presidential elections in American history. The Contest tells the story of that contentious election and that remarkable year. Bringing a fresh perspective to events that still resonate half a century later, this book is especially timely, giving us the long view of a turning point in American culture and politics.

Author Michael Schumacher sets the stage with a deep look at the people with important roles in the unfolding drama: Lyndon B. Johnson, Robert F. Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy, George Wallace, Richard Nixon, and especially Hubert H. Humphrey, whose papers and journals afford surprising new insights. Following these politicians in the lead-up to the primaries, through the chaotic conventions, and down the home stretch to the general election, The Contest combines biographical and historical details to create a narrative as intimate in human detail as it is momentous in scope and significance.

An election year when the competing forces of law and order and social justice were on the ballot, the Vietnam War divided the country, and the liberal regime begun with Franklin D. Roosevelt was on the defensive, 1968 marked a profound shift in the nation’s culture and sense of itself. Thorough in its research and spellbinding in the telling, Schumacher’s book brings sharp focus to that year and its lessons for our current critical moment in American politics. 

 

About Michael Schumacher

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Published July 3, 2018 by Univ Of Minnesota Press. 560 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences.
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Critic reviews for The Contest
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Above average
on Apr 16 2018

Readers seeking an entertaining and informative study of the 1968 campaign would do well to start here.

Read Full Review of The Contest: The 1968 Electio... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Michael Schaub on Jun 29 2018

Schumacher’s book is an exhaustive look not just at the 1968 election, but at the social changes that brought the country to that particular boiling point. It’s divided into four large sections, a structure that’s well suited for a topic with so many layers and personalities.

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