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Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates

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Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“In his quiet but intense way, Jim Lehrer earns the trust of the major political players of our time,” notes Barbara Walters. “He explains and exposes their hopes and dreams, their strengths and failures as they try to put their best foot forward.”

From the man widely hailed as “the Dean of Moderators” comes a lively and revealing book that pulls back the curtain on more than forty years of televised political debate in America. A veteran newsman who has presided over eleven presidential and vice-presidential debates, Jim Lehrer gives readers a ringside seat for some of the epic political battles of our time, shedding light on all of the critical turning points and rhetorical faux pas that helped determine the outcome of America’s presidential elections—and with them the course of history. Drawing on his own experiences as “the man in the middle seat,” in-depth interviews with the candidates and his fellow moderators, and transcripts of key exchanges, Lehrer isolates and illuminates what he calls the “Major Moments” and “killer questions” that defined the debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain.

Oftentimes these moments involve the candidates themselves and are seared into our collective political memory. Michael Dukakis stumbles badly over a question about the death penalty. Dan Quayle compares himself to John F. Kennedy once too often. Barack Obama and John McCain barely make eye contact over the course of a ninety-minute discussion. At other times, the debate moderators themselves become part of the story—and Lehrer is there to give us a backstage look at the drama. Peter Jennings suggests surprising the candidates by suspending the carefully negotiated rules minutes before the 1988 presidential debate—to the consternation of his fellow panelists. Lehrer himself weathers a firestorm of criticism over his performance as moderator of the 2000 Bush-Gore debate. And then there are the excruciating moments when audio lines go dead and TelePrompTers stay dark just seconds before going on the air live in front of a worldwide television audience of millions.

Asked to sum up his experience as a participant in high-level televised debates, President George H. W. Bush memorably likened them to an evening in “tension city.” In Jim Lehrer’s absorbing insider account, we find out that truer words were never spoken.

Synopsis:

With an update by the author for the 2012 election

 

A veteran newsman who has presided over eleven presidential and vice-presidential debates, Jim Lehrer gives readers a ringside seat for some of the epic political battles of our time, shedding light on all of the critical turning points and rhetorical faux pas that helped determine the outcome of America’s presidential elections. Drawing on his own experiences as “the man in the middle seat,” in-depth interviews with the candidates and his fellow moderators, and transcripts of key exchanges, Lehrer illuminates what he calls the “Major Moments” and “killer questions” that defined the debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain. In this paperback edition, he also offers his expert analysis of the 2012 Republican primary debates.

 

Asked to sum up his experience as a participant in high-level televised debates, President George H. W. Bush memorably likened them to an evening in “tension city.” In Jim Lehrer’s absorbing account, we find out that truer words were never spoken.

 

“A brisk and engaging memoir.”—The Washington Post

 

“Enthralling . . . remarkable . . . a wonderful political memoir.”—Bookreporter

 

“A really good read . . . [There is] no debating quality of Jim Lehrer’s book.”—Associated Press

 

“Jim Lehrer is a national monument, and this riveting book shows how he became America’s moderator.”—Michael Beschloss, author of Presidential Courage

 

“A political junkie’s backstage pass.”—The Capital Times

About the Author

Jim Lehrer is the author of twenty novels, two memoirs, and three plays, and for years was the executive editor and anchor of The NewsHour on PBS. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his novelist wife, Kate. They have three daughters.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780812981438
Author:
Lehrer, Jim
Publisher:
Random House Trade
Author:
Lehrer, Jim
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
7.9 x 5.1 x 0.52 in 0.4 lb

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Journalism » Journalists
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General

Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates New Trade Paper
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$16.00 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Random House Trade - English 9780812981438 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , With an update by the author for the 2012 election

 

A veteran newsman who has presided over eleven presidential and vice-presidential debates, Jim Lehrer gives readers a ringside seat for some of the epic political battles of our time, shedding light on all of the critical turning points and rhetorical faux pas that helped determine the outcome of America’s presidential elections. Drawing on his own experiences as “the man in the middle seat,” in-depth interviews with the candidates and his fellow moderators, and transcripts of key exchanges, Lehrer illuminates what he calls the “Major Moments” and “killer questions” that defined the debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain. In this paperback edition, he also offers his expert analysis of the 2012 Republican primary debates.

 

Asked to sum up his experience as a participant in high-level televised debates, President George H. W. Bush memorably likened them to an evening in “tension city.” In Jim Lehrer’s absorbing account, we find out that truer words were never spoken.

 

“A brisk and engaging memoir.”—The Washington Post

 

“Enthralling . . . remarkable . . . a wonderful political memoir.”—Bookreporter

 

“A really good read . . . [There is] no debating quality of Jim Lehrer’s book.”—Associated Press

 

“Jim Lehrer is a national monument, and this riveting book shows how he became America’s moderator.”—Michael Beschloss, author of Presidential Courage

 

“A political junkie’s backstage pass.”—The Capital Times

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