Friday, October 26, 2012

Roundup on Presidential Politics and History

"Historian reflects on George McGovern's enduring impact on presidential politics," Public Radio International, October 22, 2012

McGovern, an icon of liberalism, was a senator and representative from South Dakota, serving from 1957 to 1981. Princeton University professor Julian Zelizer said McGovern played a key role in changing the rules of politics conventions.

"Everything you need to know about presidential debate history," The Week, October 14, 2012

When were the first debates held? The seven encounters between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas in 1858 are widely considered to be the first "presidential" debates — even though they took place two years before the men were actually running for president.>>>

Sarah Rainsford, "Cubans remember missile crisis 'victory,'" BBC, October 16, 2012

The countryside around San Cristobal is littered with traces of the Cuban missile crisis, when the world came the closest yet to nuclear war.

It was here that the Soviet Union installed dozens of nuclear missiles, pointing at America. Fifty years on, a local guide called Stalin took me to explore what remains of that history.

Joseph Crespino, "Moderate White Democrats Silenced," NYT, October 2, 2012

Part of the story of working-class whites in the Deep South lies in the demise of the moderate white Democrats who used to win their votes. And that story is wrapped up very much in the history of voting rights and redistricting.

Christopher Benfey, "The Empty Chair that Keeps Me Awake at Night," NYRBlog, October 17, 2012

I have no idea what Clint Eastwood had in mind when he dragged an empty chair up to the stage at the Republican Convention in Tampa last August. Maybe he was thinking, as some have suggested, of some bygone exercise in a Lee Strasberg acting class. “Please, Clint. Talk to the chair. You are Hamlet and the chair is Ophelia. Please. Just talk to her.” Or maybe a marriage counselor had used an empty chair to teach the tight-lipped gunslinger from Carmel how to empathize with his wife. “Go ahead, Clint, make her day. Tell her what you’re feeling.”

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