Feature

Also of interest…in electoral politics

The Gospel According to the Fix; The Candidate; The Eighteen-Day Running Mate; Selecting a President

The Gospel According to the Fixby Chris Cillizza (Broadway, $12) A book isn’t a natural fit for Washington Post political blogger Chris Cillizza, whose frequently updated blog The Fix has long been a “must-read for political junkies,” said Ken Kurson in The Wall Street Journal. But this compact guide to the election season is a winner. Cillizza brings “the perspective of a historian, the sources of a journalist, and the breezy dish of a gossip columnist” to 23 random takes on the triumphs, tragedies, and miserable bumblings that have defined our electoral process.

The Candidateby Samuel L. Popkin (Oxford, $28)Samuel Popkin knows what it takes to win the White House, said Adam Kirsch in CSMonitor.com. A successful candidate, says the former political consultant in his fascinating new book, must be three things—a monarch, a visionary, and a CEO. Along with sound advice on how to win elections, “the most engaging parts of The Candidate are Popkin’s capsule histories of past campaigns, especially the losing ones,” from Hillary Clinton’s failed nomination bid to Jimmy Carter’s cursed re-election bid.

The Eighteen-Day Running Mateby Joshua M. Glasser (Yale, $26)When it comes to selecting a vice presidential candidate, “do not choose in haste,” said Fred Barnes in The Wall Street Journal. That’s the takeaway from Joshua Glasser’s “rigorously reported” account of George McGovern’s disastrous selection of Missouri Sen. Tom Eagleton as his 1972 running mate. Eagleton was dropped from the ticket after 18 days, following revelations that he’d undergone electroshock therapy for depression, and Glasser’s retelling of this sad tale has “lessons for would-be presidents.”

Selecting a Presidentby Eleanor Clift and Matthew Spieler (Thomas Dunne, $20) The first in a series on the fundamentals of American government, Eleanor Clift and Matthew Spieler’s new book is an “engaging” primer on the presidential electoral process, said Dennie Hall in the Oklahoma City Oklahoman. Clift, a Newsweek contributor, and Spieler, formerly with Congressional Quarterly, lay out the basics on everything from caucuses to Inauguration Day to campaign dirty tricks in prose that’s “unadorned and easy to read.” 

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