Eugene McCarthy: The Rise and Fall of Postwar American Liberalism

Eugene McCarthy The Rise and Fall of Postwar American Liberalism Originally a New Deal liberal and aggressive anticommunist Senator Eugene McCarthy famously lost faith with the Democratic party over Vietnam His stunning challenge to Lyndon Johnson in the New

  • Title: Eugene McCarthy: The Rise and Fall of Postwar American Liberalism
  • Author: Dominic Sandbrook
  • ISBN: 9781400077908
  • Page: 300
  • Format: Paperback
  • Originally a New Deal liberal and aggressive anticommunist, Senator Eugene McCarthy famously lost faith with the Democratic party over Vietnam His stunning challenge to Lyndon Johnson in the 1968 New Hampshire primary inspired young liberals and was one of the greatest electoral upsets in American history But the 1968 election ultimately brought Richard Nixon and the RepOriginally a New Deal liberal and aggressive anticommunist, Senator Eugene McCarthy famously lost faith with the Democratic party over Vietnam His stunning challenge to Lyndon Johnson in the 1968 New Hampshire primary inspired young liberals and was one of the greatest electoral upsets in American history But the 1968 election ultimately brought Richard Nixon and the Republican Party to power, irrevocably shifting the country s political landscape to the right for decades to come Dominic Sandbrook traces one of the most remarkable and significant lives in postwar politics, a career marked by both courage and arrogance Sandbrook draws on extensive new research including interviews with McCarthy himself to show convincingly how Eugene McCarthy s political experience embodies the larger decline of American liberalism after World War II These were tumultuous times in American politics, and Sandbrook vividly captures the drama and historical significance through his intimate portrait of a singularly interesting man at the heart of it all.

    One thought on “Eugene McCarthy: The Rise and Fall of Postwar American Liberalism”

    1. Dominic Sandbrook's biography of Eugene McCarthy has been on my to-read pile for a bit. I confess that the obvious knowledge of him was based upon his strong second place finish to LBJ in the 1968 New Hampshire primary.Although LBJ took 49.4%, McCarthy stunned the pundits and population with a robust 42.2%. The results led to two of the first of many events that made 1968 one of the most turbulent presidential campaigns of the last century (possibly to be duplicated in 2016). First Robert F. Ken [...]

    2. Eugene McCarthy more or less embodied anti-war, socialistic American liberalism in 1968. He came close to winning the New Hampshire primary, was a significant factor in L.B.J.'s decision not to run again, and inspired a generation to political idealism. Then he was gone, and pretty much forgotten. British historian Dominic Sandbrook uses this as a metaphor for late 1960's American liberalism. In Eugene McCarthy's rise and fall Sandbrook finds the perfect metaphor for the real subject of his book [...]

    3. "[] McCarthy privately mocked all the contenders [in the 1960 Democratic primary] and told his friends that none were as qualified as he was, an extraordinarily proud assertion for a man who had been a senator for barely a year. He was, he declared, 'twice as liberal as Humphrey [and] twice as Catholic as Kennedy,' a remark that soon found its way into the press and that he unsuccessfully sought to deny having made."---"The columnist and Kennedy confidant Joseph Alsop recalled that during a plan [...]

    4. More of passing interest to UK readers I guess who are not that familiar with the books subject. The subject was not a heroic man and seems like a forgotten footnote in history for good reason. Only saved by Sandbrooks writing.

    5. Well-balanced and insightful, but it suffers from the inescapable fact that Gene McCarthy simply wasn't a very interesting or significant historical figure. Like the man himself, his biography's dramatic arc peaks too early and then simply withers in its last 100 pages.

    6. good biography, very unflattering view of McCarthy as self-absorbed, willing to back conservatives (Regean).

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