A serviceable chronicle of the public relations dimension of American political campaigns, starting with the 1952 Eisenhower...

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PUBLIC RELATIONS AND PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS: A Crisis in Democracy

A serviceable chronicle of the public relations dimension of American political campaigns, starting with the 1952 Eisenhower effort, when PR and TV and variously acronymed ad agencies first became the dimension in the strategists' minds. Bloom, who candidly and copiously relies on secondary sources like Theodore White, dredges up various poignant tidbits -- a Republican comic book called ""From Yalta to Korea,"" for instance, and LBJ's skillful handling of the 1964 Walter Jenkins episode, as opposed to you-know-who's fumbling about you-know-who in 1972. Bloom begins by affirming the legitimacy of PR work, but by the end of the book subdued wryness sets the tone. Having surveyed Spencer-Roberts' ploys like the ""James Bond phase"" of Ronald Reagan's 1968 presidential push, and the way Rocky lied up and down the tube about his gubernatorial opponent, Bloom comes right out and says it's all rather undemocratic. Had the book been written at the height of Watergate, who knows what strictures he might have ventured. At the same time, the book fleshes out enough PR techniques, in the manner of Joe Napolitan's The Election Game (KR, 1972) to catch us up in campaign mechanics. It's a good reference, perhaps worthy of being buried in cornerstones as a charting of two decades of ""image"" politics.

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 1973

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: T. Y. Crowell

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1973