After several years out of print, my 1992 book from Random House, The Campaign of the Century: Upton Sinclair's Race for Governor of California -- and the Birth of Media Politics, has just emerged in a "classic" new edition. Campaign won the Goldsmith Book Prize, was one of five finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and served as the basis for an episode in the PBS The Great Depression series. You can order it -- paperback or e-book -- from the publisher (free shipping) or paperback or Kindle via Amazon.
The modern political campaign--dominated by advertising tricks, "spin doctors," and attack ads on the screen--was invented in this 1934 campaign. It was one of the dirtiest campaigns ever and also marked Hollywood's first all-out plunge into politics, after socialist author Sinclair swept the Democratic primary. Sinclair's End Poverty in California (EPIC) crusade was one of the great mass movements in U.S. history, and the links to today's economic crisis, media trickery and political climate are profound. The cast of characters in this wild and entertaining tale reads like a "Who's Who," from FDR and Hearst to Will Rogers and Katharine Hepburn. The L.A. Times led the press attack. Chairman of the GOP campaign? Earl Warren. And so on. More on the Hollywood angle here.
Go here to the PoliPoint Press site to order or read the first 12 pages (click the "Preview" tab). Also available at Amazon in paperback or via Kindle.
UPDATES: My piece in The Nation posted. Listen to or read segment on NPR's "On the Media" online now. In unique move, Huff Post is carrying my daily "coverage" of the 1934 campaign until Election Day. Email me at: email@example.com. Video credit: Lyn Goldfarb.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Whatever Happened to 'Baghdad Bob'?
is author of a dozen books (click on covers at right), including the new "THE TUNNELS: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill." He was the longtime editor of Editor & Publisher. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @GregMitch