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The Making of the President : The 1960s

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In the 1960s, writer Theodore H. White changed journalism forever by putting the campaign for the White House under a microscope. The first of his bestselling series on presidential elections, The Making of the President, 1960, earned a Pulitzer Prize and became a TV documentary that won four Emmys®, including program of the year. This collection brings together three television adaptations of White’s influential books for a full, in-depth account of presidential politics during the tumultuous 1960, 1964, and 1968 elections.

Produced by Oscar® nominee David L. Wolper (Roots), these programs feature White’s insightful scripts and rare film footage that reveal the winners and losers in unguarded, behind-the-scenes moments. All the backroom deals, convention-floor drama, and campaign strategy come alive again in three historic races: Kennedy-Nixon, Johnson-Goldwater, and Humphrey-Nixon-Wallace. From preprimary jockeying to the final vote tally, these spellbinding narratives dissect the inner workings of our democracy and trace the path to power.

Journalist and author Theodore H. White served as China bureau chief for Time and as correspondent and editor for The New Republic, The Reporter, and Colliers. He won numerous writing awards, including a Pulitzer Prize and two Emmys®.

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Amazon.com: 10 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE PRESENTATION, historical & unbiased politically May 20 2011
By Harold Wolf - Published on Amazon.com
WELL DONE! 3 separate documentaries, award-winning, based on Theodore H. White's books, one a Pulitzer Prize winner. Each feature is 79 min. and is a continual look at elections via historic archival film footage. Very nostalgic for those of us old enough to have watched 1960's election news. The footage, some a half-century old, explains the predominance of B/W. The final '68 disc has the early period-capable color. You see it as all Americans (the world) saw it on TV. Wonderful. When the actual footage sound is muted, excellent narration fills the audio.

SUBTITLES exist for all 3 features, PLUS the bonus films. Viewer's guide adds fun campaign historical info. Remember Pat Paulsen?

Eisenhower will be replaced by whom? Footage goes from primary campaigns to conventions and finally the fall election JFK wins. This period of time is when campaigns/conventions were more than money & TV ads. The conventions actually chose a candidate-not just a programed prime time 4-day political party pep session and media event. There was drama & suspense. A very unbiased look at the Presidential campaigns of all the 1960's elections. Even in B/W!
Bonus: 25 min B/W '64 Democrat Convention tribute to JFK. 5 text 'loser' bios: Dems Symington, Stevenson, Humphrey, Johnson; Rep Rockefeller

Part 1: 'The Battle for the Nomination' begins with a Dallas assassination of JFK. Johnson's short run as replacing JFK makes him the incumbent. Republicans play catch-up, but with a Rep liberal/conservative conflict. Goldwater vs. Rockefeller. But Lodge wins NH. Remember campaign songs? Civil Rights & M.L.King become big news in 1963.
Part 2: Black riots become an election issue. Dem Convention is all Johnson and the question of his running mate. Even so soon after a Presidential assassination, LBJ campaigns hand-to-hand, pressing the flesh with no fear. Goldwater statements put fear in potential voters. "Landslide Johnson" actually sets a landslide record, with a 2/3 Dem congress.
Bonus: 51 min. "The March of Time: Seven Days in the Life of the President" (LBJ) See Bill Moyers, LBJs press sec, as a young man, no gray.; 2 text failed Republican candidate bios: Lodge, Scranton

Author T.H.White opens (in color). Following is the Viet Nam problem and Tet. McCarthy announces to fight Johnson-college students join. For Republicans, "Nixon's the One." Romney runs a short race. McCarthy's NH showing encourages Bobby Kennedy. War overpowers Pres. Johnson's campaign-HE QUITS THE RACE! VP Humphrey jumps in. M.L.King goes to Memphis, his mountaintop end. Violence continues in Nam & USA. Kennedy leads CA primary poll-WINS!-then is shot in front of a TV camera. Rockefeller & Reagan toss in hats. Rep nominee Nixon watches the riotous Dem Convention in Chicago. Wallace impacts the election.
Bonus: 6 text post-election bios: McCarthy, McGovern, Romney, Reagan, Wallace, LeMay

With the wonderful fresh look at the archival footage, it seems like only yesterday. And history has told us so much more about the winners and losers of the 1960's elections. Historically educational for some, nostalgic for me. A good political documentary set, without the party bias. Refreshing.

Companion DVD potential might be: "20th Century Politics & Presidents with Mike Wallace."
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
So much political history. Wish the sound was better Nov. 19 2011
By Beatrice - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Has very interesting history but sound makes it difficult to understand what some of the charaters are saying. So many historical faces but often not names. Names as subtitles would have been helpful with position title. Still, worth the time to watch. Really learn at lot about our presidents and what they went through to reach the office of President. You also learn about our relationship with other countries plus other additonal info.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Takes you back to a simpler era. April 3 2013
By G. Stevenson - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Especially found the bonus material regarding the JFK tribute at the '64 convention very moving, in view of the upcoming 50th anniversary of that day in Dallas........
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Chronical of U.S. Political History April 26 2014
By DenB - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I ordered this set to help in writing a syllabus for a college-level course on media and American politics.
Anyone interested in American history should own this DVD set.
My plan is to show these DVDs during the class that will begin January, 2015
Great and important history, especially for use in class Oct. 12 2013
By Leslie C. Francis - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I teach college juniors and seniors political communications. 1960 was a pivotal year/campaign for understanding the "campaign industry" and the advent of a different kind of political journalism, which Teddy White spurred with his pioneering book. Watching this superb documentary conveys that fact very effectively. And The Making of the President 1968 is a terrific primer on that year's chaos and tragedy, and how it shaped so much of what we live with (suffer through?) today.

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