The celebrated host of MSNBC's The Last Word presents an account of the 1968 presidential election to evaluate its lasting influence on American politics and the Democratic party, exploring the pivotal roles of RFK and McCarthy, two high-profile assassinations and the Chicago riots.
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.
O'Donnell brought back many of my memories of the street violence during the Democratic National Convention. I also remember my total devastation when finding out that Bobby Kennedy had been assassinated in June 1968 after his victory in the California primary. I also remember my relief when Lyndon Johnson declined to run for another presidential term. 1968 was the time when I became extremely interested in politics. I remember how important it was from my personal standpoint and from the country's in our getting out of the Vietnam War.
This book is also a homage by O'Donnell to Eugene McCarthy. McCarthy decided to take on Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic Party in order to stop the Vietnam War. There is also a villain in the book. The villain is Richard Nixon who was willing to undermine Pres. Johnson's peace efforts so that he would be elected President.
The narrative of this book is extremely compelling. This may have been the most consequential year of my life and maybe in the history of the United States. Much of our poisonous politics can be traced back to 1968 due to Richard Nixon and George Wallace. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in our history and our politics.