|From the Award-Winning Author of 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents
—Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Caro
" a must-read"
—Joe Scarborough, MSNBC
"Almost half a century after Theodore White's The Making of
the President, 1960, Pietrusza (1920: The Year of the Six
Presidents) raises the bar with his winning and provocative
chronicle. . . . Highly recommended . . . "
—Library Journal (starred review)
"Pietrusza is not beholden to any of the three candidates . . . a
wide-ranging panorama that includes a vast cast of characters
. . . An outstanding reexamination"
"[A] colorful, character-driven narrative. . . . A lively look at the
underside of a campaign."
"Historian and author Pietrusza provides a revisionist view of
the 1960 presidential campaigns that pitted John F. Kennedy
against Lyndon B. Johnson, then against Richard M. Nixon—
and greatly influenced their individual presidencies. The book
has the tone of a thriller, complete with suspense and twists
and turns, but is based on the author's examinations of five
decades of primary and secondary sources. Fresh details
illustrate Kennedy's well-hidden self-destructive behavior,
Johnson's insecurities, and Nixon's adversarial relationship
with the news media. This is the kind of book that makes
reading history enjoyable."
—Book News (©Book News Inc., Portland, OR www.booknews.
"Vote-buying, backroom deals and other unsavory aspects of
the American political system are difficult to get away with in
the age of cell phone cameras, blogs a voracious 24 hour news
cycle. But as recently as a half-century ago such tactics were
not uncommon in American politics, and in the election of 1960
they played a significant role in electing a president. David
Pietrusza's 1960: LBJ vs. JFK vs Nixon: The Epic Campaign that
Forged Three Presidencies weaves together a stunning tale of
closed-door political intrigue during a period of rapid change in
"The political machinations of Joe Kennedy, father of
Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kennedy, are laid bare in
Pietrusza's compelling tale. During the West Virginia
Democratic primary Kennedy's minions were not shy about
spreading around campaign cash to achieve their desired
result. Meanwhile Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson's
late entry into the presidential contest, at the Democratic
convention in Los Angeles, forced party stalwarts to take sides
against two powerful forces who would soon team up on a
national ticket as a matter of convenience. Republican Vice
President Richard Nixon, meanwhile, had to do battle with
rising conservative forces within his own party and a less-than-
enthusiastic endorsement by his one-time political patron,
President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
"Pietrusza's '1960' is essential for understanding the political
forces that in many ways shaped the world we live in today.
This book should be an anchor of any political library."
author of Going Dirty: The Art of Negative Campaigning
and senior editor at POLITICO
"among my favorites, prominently displayed on my bookshelf"
Michael LaRosa, Press Secretary to Dr. Jill Biden
"manages to shed fresh details on that year’s epic"
—Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL)
"among the best political books I've ever read."
—Political consultant Roger Stone
"I flew through this book—partly because I couldn’t put it down
and partly because it is supremely readable. Pietrusza’s
research brings us amazing quotes, and the book features
complex characters who are full of enough stories that it’s
easy to get lost in a book about each of them individually. In
1960, these individuals are playing a part in the same drama
and there is never a moment where you wish the author would
switch back to something more interesting. Every story he
tells is interesting."
—Anthony Bergen, Dead Presidents blog
"Here's what Theodore White didn't tell you in 'The Making of
the President, 1960.'"
—The Denver Post
"LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon: The Epic Campaign That Forged Three
Presidencies aims to take us deeper into the campaign than
Theodore White's famous The Making of the President, 1960.
And it does . . ."
—The Chicago Sun-Times
"full of lively quotations"
—Presidential Studies Quarterly
"a fascinating look at three very different men who ran
campaigns for the highest office during that election"
"one of the best history books I've ever read. . . . Pietrusza
writes in a conversational story-telling style that's part tabloid,
part historian, telling a lot that the newspapers would never
have dared report. . . . You could read 50 biographies of JFK or
Nixon and still learn many new things in this book. . . . If you're
a history geek and want a read that's fun, but informative and
historically accurate, I highly recommend this book for your
—Presidential History Geeks blog
"recommended . . . Another corrective to the flaws in
[Theodore S.] White's work. Pietrusza . . . wrote . . . decades
after the 1960 election, so [he] had a more expansive and
dispassionate perspective than White and access to
information the Kennedy camp worked hard to keep from the
—Jason Maoz, JewishPress.com
"Pick it up. It's beautifully written, and aside from the insights,
it delivers the dirt as well of which there's no shortage with
these particular personalities. Very interesting book."
—Joe Rubenstein, Gotham Variety podcast
"wonderfully informative and entertaining"
—Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch and author of the
New York Times bestseller The Politically Incorrect Guide to
Islam (and the Crusades)
"one of the best books about American politics ever written. . .
. I learned something new on every page. . . . The politics and
culture of the time are recreated in a vivid, well-told way. . . .
objective and even-handed. Every intelligent American- and
indeed, any intelligent foreigner interested in American history
and American politics, should read this fine book."
—Dr. Joseph A. Harder
"a riveting, larger-than-life page turner"
"engaging and entertaining . . . A must-read for anyone
interested in presidential politics . . . a great account of one of
the more interesting presidential races in US history. This
book is really a mix of history and a bit of soap opera. Lots of
juicy background information and it really does make you think
differently of all three of these presidents. The author simply
does not play favorites . . ."
"His best book by far."
—Author Ryil Anderson
"Best political book I've read . . . haven't been able to put it
down . . . how you want your political history . . . a jaw-
dropping fact on nearly every page."
"This is the third of David Pietrusza's election year books I've
read—the other two were 1920 and 1948—and I recommend
them highly. They are light and breezy. He manages to find
sympathetic faces in largely unsympathetic crowds without
whitewashing the major players—and he manages to find
major players unsympathetic without mistaking them for
interchangeable. He could keep writing these for every
American election as far as I'm concerned, and I'd keep
reading them. 1864! 1900! There are dozens of elections yet to
go before he gets to the ones that are uneasily close to Right