Just Plain Dick

Richard Nixon's Checkers Speech and the "Rocking, Socking" Election of 1952
Author(s): Kevin Mattson
Original Publish Date: Sep 18, 2012
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (7.10 hours)
Product Number: Z100094074
Released: Jun 16, 2015
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781481573528
Narrator/s: Keith Szarabajka
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A behind-the-scenes look at one of the most famous campaign speeches-Richard Nixon's "Checkers" speech, to be published on its sixtieth anniversary It all started with some businessmen bankrolling Richard Nixon to become a "salesman against socialization." But in this precursor to current campaign finance scandals, Nixon had some explaining to do to keep his place on Eisenhower's Republican ticket, so he took to the airwaves. In making his speech, Nixon left behind lines about a "Republican cloth coat" and a black-and-white cocker spaniel named Checkers. The speech saved and bolstered Nixon's political career and set the tone for the 1952 campaign. Just Plain Dick is political history and more. It's the story of a young man nearing a nervous breakdown and staging a political comeback. While the narrative focuses tightly, almost cinematically, on the 1952 election cycle-from the spring primary season to the summer conventions, from the allegations against Nixon through to the speech in September and finally the election in November-Mattson also provides a broad-stroke depiction of American politics and culture during the Cold War. Readers will see Nixon's contribution to current campaign styles. Here is a story of phony populism, a hatred of elites (tagged "eggheads" back then), and emotionally charged appeals erasing a rational assessment of a politician's qualifications. An entertaining and suspenseful read, Just Plain Dick is ideal election context for political junkies and those fascinated with 1950s America.

All formats/editions

Author(s): Kevin Mattson
Product Number EB00636726
Released: Feb 23, 2016
Business Term: 52 Circ / 730 Day
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
ISBN: #9781608198160

Professional reviews

"This audiobook provides a detailed chronology of the Eisenhower vs. Stevenson presidential election of 1952, the first one to be broadcast in great depth by that new medium, at the time, television. Keith Szarabajka's tone, speed, and inflection offer excellent spot-on character portrayals, first and foremost of the often imitated Republican vice presidential candidate, Richard Nixon. Mattson argues, reasonably effectively, that Nixon's national paid television broadcast denying illegal benefit from campaign contributors, commonly known as the "Checkers speech," was the turning point for Nixon's defense of his position on the Republican ticket. While the appeal of this book will be primarily for political buffs and historians, Szarabajka, by adjusting his volume and intensity in just the right places, provides a fascinating story that highlights Nixon's intelligence, strategic thinking, and paranoia. W.A.G. (c) AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine"