Thursday, December 20, 2007

Blast from the past

Why is it that two of the best books about Presidential campaigns came out of the 1972 election, which resulted in the election of two criminals (Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew)? Rick Perlstein reminded me of The Boys on the Bus by Timothy Crouse, which contains some observations that seem like they could've been written yesterday:

Reporters, especially campaign reporters, had no mandate to explore the past; recent history was just so much stale news. The story lay in the present. {300}

Journalism is probably the slowest-moving, most tradition-bound profession [sic] in America. It refuses to budge until it is shoved into the future by some irresistible external force. {321}

The other great one, of course, is the late Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail.

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