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This should prove an enlightening book for that minority whom the authors acknowledge as more than superficially interested in the mechanics of national politics. The President of the United States is of course much more than that--he is one of the two de facto world leaders today. The welter of political tradition and gratuitous circumstance through which a man must rise to this prominence is scrutinized here in terms of our relatively stable two-party system, the strategies condoned in the pursuit of office, and the resources available to contestants and their adherents. The variety of approved gambits is strictly limited, and it is up to the candidate to choose those which best suit him; needless to say, they need not have much to do with either his personal opinions or current realities. The means for pursuing strategies, that is, for gaining the public's eye and ear, have been modified drastically in recent years, and admittedly depend to a great extent on access to great amounts of money. These authors conclude, perhaps over-optimistically but with some well-marshalled reasons, that wealth, and friendliness or animosity of the press, do not necessarily have a critical bearing upon the outcome of presidential elections.

Pub Date: March 18th, 1964
Publisher: Scribners