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    Joe McGinniss, The Selling of the President 1968
    Mcguinness looks at propaganda and its role in American politics through Richard Nixon's media campaign of 1968. It describes how Richard Nixon, in order to "sell" the public his image of the 'new Nixon' utilized television propaganda. Nixon knew that he could not rely on the press to give him a positive image. He ends up relying on television "the way a polio victim relied on an iron lung" (p. 38).

    Mcguiness looks in detail at each of Nixon's media consultants. These include the speechwriter William Gavin, the creative director of advertising, Harry Treleaven and Raymond Price, Nixon's best and most prominent speechwriter. It discusses how each of these people helped craft a media friendly Nixon. Treleaven, for example, went to "work on Nixon's personality" and sense of humor.

    The book is shocking because it shows how every public can be manipulated. Nixon's campaign was built around television shows where Nixon would answer live questions. McGinniss points out "Nixon could get through the campaign with a dozen or so carefully worded responses that would cover all the problems of America in 1968" (p. 63). The careful grooming of his image causes even Nixon to remark: "It's a shame a man has to use gimmicks like this to get elected."

    This book is helpful for anyone interested in propaganda and how publics can be manipulated. Hopefully, for journalists, it will provide guidance for how to read the reality behind the image.