Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics

by Lawrence O'Donnell

Hardcover, 2017






New York : Penguin Press, 2017.

User reviews

LibraryThing member ghr4
Lawrence O'Donnell's Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics is an engaging account of the tumultuos 1968 presidential campaign and America's social and political divisions primarily precipitated by the escalating Vietnam War and the growing anti-war movement. O'Donnell strikes just the right balance, providing fascinating depth and detail about the candidates, the campaigns, and the backroom dealings while still retaining a smooth, propulsive narrative so that the book never becomes ponderous or unwieldy.… (more)
LibraryThing member bemislibrary
This is a mixture of historical political events from the 1968 presidential election and Author O’Donnell’s personal recollections of events that occurred. He covers the key figures from the period, assassinations, violence at the Democratic convention in Chicago, and Vietnam War. Irregular subject organization and mixed tenses plays havoc with story pacing. It is an interesting account of the election, but the writing makes it hard to maintain interest at times. There are extensive notes, bibliography, and index.

I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway. Although encouraged, I was under no obligation to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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LibraryThing member brianinbuffalo
A fact you must know before picking up this intriguing political work. "Playing With Fire" goes far beyond chronicling the fascinating 1968 political election. In fact, as many readers begin their journey in political waters flowing back to the late 1950s and early 60s, they might start wondering what gives. But they will soon realize that the context O'Donnell provides is critical. This comprehensive tome is not for fair-weather political observers. It requires a commitment from readers to plow through some sections that are excessively detailed and downright dry. But the effort is well worth it as O'Donnell sheds light on many of the most important political figures in the 20th century. True, the final pages become a bit preachy as the author makes a case with perhaps too much gusto that Eugene McCarthy should be given credit for helping to end the Vietnam War earlier than it may have ended without his political maneuvers. But in the end, "Playing With Fire" is an imporant and enlightening book.… (more)



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