The Last Campaign by Zachary Karabell
How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election

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Synopsis

In The Last Campaign, Zachary Karabell rescues the 1948 presidential campaign from the annals of political folklore ("Dewey Defeats Truman," the Chicago Tribune memorably and erroneously heralded), to give us a fresh look at perhaps the last time the American people could truly distinguish what the candidates stood for.

In 1948, Harry Truman, the feisty working-class Democratic incumbent was one of the most unpopular presidents the country had ever known. His Republican rival, the aloof Thomas Dewey, was widely thought to be a shoe-in. These two major party candidates were flanked on the far left by the Progressive Henry Wallace, and on the far right by white supremacist Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond. The Last Campaign exposes the fascinating story behind Truman’s legendary victory and turns a probing eye toward a by-gone era of political earnestness, when, for “the last time in this century, an entire spectrum of ideologies was represented,” a time before television fundamentally altered the political landscape.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Zachary Karabell

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Zachary Karabell was educated at Columbia, Oxford and Harvard, where he received his PhD. in 1996. He is the author of several books, including The Last Campaign, which won the Chicago Tribune's Heartland Award, and Parting the Desert: The Creation of the Suez Canal. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, and Newsweek. He lives with his wife and two children in New York, where he is an executive vice president of a leading asset management firm.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 322 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Apr 01 2000 | Read Full Review of The Last Campaign: How Harry ...

Publishers Weekly

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In 1948, Harry Truman was virtually a lame-duck president. He had no support in the polls, the right wing of his party was lurching toward Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond, the left wing toward Progressive ca

Apr 03 2000 | Read Full Review of The Last Campaign: How Harry ...

Publishers Weekly

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Television, Karabell asserts, homogenizes candidates and pushes them toward the center, robbing the American electorate of political diversity among its leadership.

| Read Full Review of The Last Campaign: How Harry ...

AV Club

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Historical essayist Zachary Karabell's The Last Campaign looks back a half-century to the press and the pollsters' notorious bungling of the 1948 presidential campaign, which ended with Harry Truman smirking while hoisting a copy of the Chicago Daily Tribune with the headline "Dewey Defeats Truman."

Mar 29 2002 | Read Full Review of The Last Campaign: How Harry ...

Austin Chronicle

The central paradox of Zachary Karabell's engaging new book, The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election, is the fact that we never really do learn how Truman accomplished his remarkable electoral feat, which continues to fascinate and occasionally haunt historians, candidates, and ...

May 12 2000 | Read Full Review of The Last Campaign: How Harry ...

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