The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2007 M12 18 - 336 pages
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In The Last Campaign, Zachary Karabell rescues the 1948 presidential campaign from the annals of political folklore ("Dewey Defeats Truman," the Chicago Tribune memorably and erroneously heralded), to give us a fresh look at perhaps the last time the American people could truly distinguish what the candidates stood for.

In 1948, Harry Truman, the feisty working-class Democratic incumbent was one of the most unpopular presidents the country had ever known. His Republican rival, the aloof Thomas Dewey, was widely thought to be a shoe-in. These two major party candidates were flanked on the far left by the Progressive Henry Wallace, and on the far right by white supremacist Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond. The Last Campaign exposes the fascinating story behind Truman’s legendary victory and turns a probing eye toward a by-gone era of political earnestness, when, for “the last time in this century, an entire spectrum of ideologies was represented,” a time before television fundamentally altered the political landscape.
 

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The last campaign: how Harry Truman won the 1948 election

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Dewey defeats Truman! claims Karabell (Architects of Intervention) in this engaging narrative of the 1948 presidential election. It was the final contest in which voters could choose from four ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
3
Prelude to the Year That
20
Truman Plans Ahead
34
Dixie Reacts
47
Wallace Gets Going
61
Dewey and His Rivals
76
The Cruelest Month
87
Dewey Versus Stassen
96
The Progressives Congregate
176
The Calm Before the Storm
186
The Victory Special
199
WhistleStops
209
The Dark Night of Dixie
219
Wallace Winds Down
230
Going Through the Motions
241
The Aftermath
254

Dixie Gets Serious
107
Wallace Hits His Stride
116
Truman Goes West
127
The Republicans Decide
138
The Democrats Assemble
151
Dixie Rises
164
Notes
268
Presidential Vote 193
293
Acknowledgments
295
Index 197
298
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About the author (2007)

Zachary Karabell was educated at Columbia and Oxford, and at Harvard, where he received his Ph.D. in American history in 1996. He is the author of What's College For? The Struggle to Define American Higher Education and Architects of Intervention: The United States, the Third World, and the Cold War, 1946-1962. He has taught at Harvard, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and Dartmouth. His essays and reviews have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Salon.com, Boston Globe, The Nation, Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Smithsonian Magazine, and The Christian Science Monitor.

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