The Selling of the President

The Selling of the President Cover

The Selling of the President

By Joe McGinniss

Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780140112405, 251pp.

Publication Date: August 2, 1988

What makes you cast your ballot?
A Presidential candidate or a good campaign?
How he stands on the issues or how he stands up to the camera?

The Selling of the President is the enduring story of the 1968 campaign that wrote the script for modern Presidential politickingand how that script came to be. It introduces:

  • Harry Treleaven, the first adman to suggest that issues bore voters, that image is what counts
  • Roger Ailes, a PR man who coordinated the TV presentations that delivered the product
  • Frank Shakespeare, the man behind the whole campaign, who, after eighteen years at CBS, cast the image that sold America a President
  • And the candidate, Richard Nixon himselfa politician running on television for the highest office in the land

In his introduction, Joe McGinniss discusses whyunfortunatelyhis classic book is as pertinent today to understanding our political culture as it was the year it was published.

About the Author
Joe McGinniss was a young Philadelphia journalist when he began to follow the team of public relations men and television specialists who created Richard Nixon's image for the American public during the presidential campaign of 1968. In 1969, with the publication of The Selling of the President, Joe McGinnis immediately became a nonfiction star of the first rank. His other books include Heroes, Going to Extremes, Fatal Vision, Cruel Doubt, and a novel, The Dream Team. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.