The Men and the Moment

The Election of 1968 and the Rise of Partisan Politics in America

By Aram Goudsouzian

240 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 10 halftones, appends., notes, index

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-5109-5
    Published: April 2019
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-5110-1
    Published: March 2019

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The presidential election of 1968 forever changed American politics. In this character-driven narrative history, Aram Goudsouzian portrays the key transformations that played out over that dramatic year. It was the last "Old Politics" campaign, where political machines and party bosses determined the major nominees, even as the "New Politics" of grassroots participation powered primary elections. It was an election that showed how candidates from both the Left and Right could seize on "hot-button" issues to alter the larger political dynamic. It showcased the power of television to "package" politicians and political ideas, and it played out against an extraordinary dramatic global tableau of chaos and conflict. More than anything else, it was a moment decided by a contest of political personalities, as a group of men battled for the presidency, with momentous implications for the nation’s future.

Well-paced, accessible, and engagingly written, Goudsouzian’s book chronicles anew the characters and events of the 1968 campaign as an essential moment in American history, one with clear resonance in our contemporary political moment.

About the Author

Aram Goudsouzian is professor of history at the University of Memphis. His previous books include Sidney Poitier and Down to the Crossroads.
For more information about Aram Goudsouzian, visit the Author Page.

Reviews

"Goudsouzian's book is slim and compulsively readable; as a primer on the election, it is unmatched."--Clay Risen, Chapter 16

"Certainly worthy of attention as a reliable assessment of this critical election that established a new political environment for years to come. Suitable for most collections."--Library Journal

“Offers a brisk chronicle of the pivotal US presidential election of 1968 by focusing on eight of the candidates vying for the nation’s highest office. . . . This book will be useful for students of both history and political science.”--Choice Reviews

"An insightful and fast-paced ride down the wild road of 1968 presidential politics. Expert and novice alike will finish this book amazed at the pace of history of one campaign year."--Jefferson Cowie, Vanderbilt University

"At a time of fierce partisan clashes and turbulence in American politics, it’s instructive to read Aram Goudsouzian’s The Men and the Moment. In his account of the 1968 election, Goudsouzian draws vivid portraits of the conniving politicians, hacks, phoneys, and demagogues who played major roles during another period of sharp division and turmoil in this country."--Curtis Wilkie, University of Mississippi

"This is an impressive book rooted in an authoritative knowledge and sophisticated understanding of the period."--Robert Mason, University of Edinburgh

Multimedia & Links

Listen: Goudsouzian talks to Bill Sher on the New Books Network podcast. (05/14/2019, running time 33:11)

Watch: Goudsouzian talks to WREG-TV Memphis about the election that marked the identities of the Republican and Democratic parties as we know them today. (04/16/2019, running time 5:17)