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The Selling of the President by Joe McGinniss

The Selling of the President

By Joe McGinniss
1 Contributor

Joe McGinniss was just twenty-six when he wrote the book that would redefine political journalism. “The Selling of the President”, about Richard Nixon’s 1968 run for the White House, was the first book ever to take an unvarnished look at the dirty game of campaign politics. “Overnight,” Dwight Garner of The New York Times noted, “it made Theodore White’s ‘Making of the President’ campaign books seem wan and dated.” McGinniss’s startling behind-the-scenes narrative of how a candidate is packaged and sold to the American public stunned readers of the time. Forty-five years later, in the thick of another presidential election, the story is as relevant—and surprising—as ever. With its lively accounts of the clever and cynical men hired to market the Nixon brand (including a young and witty Roger Ailes) and its fresh insights into McLuhanesque campaign techniques, “The Selling of the President” examines the genesis of the modern political campaign. As McGinniss writes in a new introduction to this digital edition, “‘The Selling of the President’ is the first account of the marriage of convenience/ménage à trois between national politics, network television, and Madison Avenue.” Politics as usual began right here.

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