What It Takes by Richard Ben Cramer
The Way to the White House

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What he found wasn't always pretty — in fact it seldom was — and that's why Cramer's book is possibly the best one ever written about an American election.
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Synopsis

A masterpiece of political reportage that exposes the emotional reality of the modern American campaign system Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Richard Ben Cramer cracks open the heart of the American political system in this classic exploration of the 1988 presidential campaign. Cramer delves into the personal, intimate lives of the key candidates, including George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, Joe Biden, and Michael Dukakis, as he seeks to understand the drives, passions, egos, and failings that transform an individual into a president. Exhaustively researched from thousands of hours of interviews, What It Takes creates powerful portraits of the men who would be president, and how the campaign for the highest office transforms them.
 

About Richard Ben Cramer

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Richard Ben Cramer was born in Rochester, New York on June 12, 1950. He received a bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins University and studied at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. He worked at The Baltimore Sun before joining The Philadelphia Inquirer in the 1970s. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for his coverage of the Middle East as a correspondent. He later wrote for Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone and Esquire. His first book, What It Takes: The Way to the White House, was published in 1992 and examined the 1988 presidential campaign. His other works include DiMaggio: The Hero's Life, What Do You Think of Ted Williams Now?, and How Israel Lost: The Four Questions. He died from complications of lung cancer on January 7, 2013 at the age of 62. At his death he was working on a book about Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees.
 
Published August 2, 2011 by Open Road Media. 1074 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Biographies & Memoirs, History. Non-fiction
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Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Schaub on Oct 24 2014

What he found wasn't always pretty — in fact it seldom was — and that's why Cramer's book is possibly the best one ever written about an American election.

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