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Lawrence O'Donnell (2) foi considerado como pseudónimo de Lawrence O'Donnell, Jr..

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Obras de Lawrence O'Donnell

Foram atribuídas obras ao autor também conhecido como Lawrence O'Donnell, Jr..


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I enjoyed this book and thought it was well done. At certain points, I was unable to grasp / keep track of the details, but I was impressed with O'Donnell's presentation of his subject and so this work kept my interest. I normally don't read books about politics / U.S. political history, but the time period interested me as I was 8 years old in 1968. My father was a Republican (moderate conservative) and my mother a Democrat (centrist liberal). Which I mention because this kind of "bipartisanship" was still possible back in 1968 and in the years before Washington gridlock became so suffocating. From Watergate of course, I remember that Nixon was evil (a sociopath) and that he was the sworn enemy of the hippies / anti-war protesters. But I didn't know until reading "Playing With Fire" that he'd swung the election in his favor through treasonous actions taken via the Vietnam Peace Talks/Chennault Affair. The material about Eugene McCarthy was enlightening since as a child, I only remember his name and not what he stood for and what he achieved (which I admire). Knowing what I know now, I have great respect for McCarthy's anti-war stance and his refusal to compromise. The only thing I'd remembered about the Hubert Humphrey of 1968 is that he was a "square"; a Democrat, but an old-fashioned guy like my father.

The section about the Abbie Hoffman and the creative anarchy of the yippies and their "merry prankster tactics" was also elucidating; I've been meaning to read Abie Hoffman's "Steal This Book" and it's next on my list. I'm in agreement with O'Donnell's point of view re: the similarities between the 1968 and 2016 elections: the convergence of the far left [the yippies] the far right [George Wallace] the inability of the Democrat party to unify [the friction between Bobby / Ted Kennedy, McCarthy and Humphrey). And in terms of the "what ifs": If only Humphrey hadn't been outspent by Nixon, then maybe the course of history could have been changed. The communications between Johnson & Nixon, as presented by O'Donnell, seemed downright creepy in the way they avoided the "elephant in the room" [Nixon's treasonous actions re: the Vietnam Peace Talks/Chennault Affair]. Finally, in the context of "Playing With Fire" and in my view, the difference between 1968 and 2016 is that Nixon was implementing his corrupt actions behind the scenes (Nixon wanted to be seen as "good" / "A fine upstanding citizen"). Whereas Trump is blatantly corrupt, shameless and lacking in restraint. And he enjoys flaunting all of that in the public arena.
… (mais)
stephencbird | outras 16 resenhas | Sep 19, 2023 |
Holy crap this was a slog. It started out really promising, full of interesting details that related, if not compared, the political situation in the US today to what it was 50 years ago. It ended up being a detailed account of all that goes on in a presidential campaign, from wrangling over delegates and running mates to organizing campaign events. 1968 was undeniably an interesting time in American history, with Vietnam and Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. And the events surrounding the political figures are covered pretty well here. But the minutiae of the Democratic and Republican campaigns kind of muddied up the narrative a bit too much. As a Canadian I find the American electoral system befuddling, and this book didn’t do much to demystify it for me. Occasional commentary relating Nixon and the evolution of the Republican party to the current situation with Trump was quite interesting (frankly I thought—and hoped—there would be more of that) and I was energized at the end by the epilogue, which told what happened to the characters from the story who did not go down in infamy. This has definitely filled my nonfiction quota for a while.… (mais)
karenchase | outras 16 resenhas | Jun 14, 2023 |
All about the people, the politics and the shifts in power and culture during the 1968 election. All told through a fascinating writing style.
kenkarpay | outras 16 resenhas | Mar 29, 2023 |
Long winded and unchallenging for the first half or more, this develops pace and interest only after 1968 erupts into violence.

It feels like several half-written books have been mashed together to produce this, with the core content focussing almost obsessively on Eugene McCarthy and elevating his importance far above what most people would assume. The rambling epilogue ends with practically elevating McCarthy to sainthood.

The relevance of the history to the 2016 campaign is touched on briefly and inconsistently throughout with throwaway lines about Trump repeating certain phrases word for word etc. but it never commits to using the 1968 campaign as a lens to better understand 2016, or vice versa. As such, those references feel forced and partisan rather than natural and insightful.

The final chapters feel rushed and sprint through Nixon's secret interference in the peace process as well as quickly summarising Watergate in ways that are so superficial as to seem almost pointless.

Two stars "it was okay" is fair. While very dated and naively fawning over Nixon, Theodore White's 1968 edition of The Making of the President is still better. Read that, then read a serious expose on Nixon and Watergate to get the full picture.
… (mais)
ElegantMechanic | outras 16 resenhas | May 28, 2022 |


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