The Seventies Shift
When Michael Barone began his career as a political observer, Los Angeles was like Des Moines by the sea and America was transfixed by the Vietnam war and the counterculture. Nobody saw the deeper forces that were beginning to transform the nation.
On Wednesday, June 10, at 6:17 pm, with a feeling of calm relief, I finished writing my share of The Almanac of American Politics 2010. This is the 20th edition of the book, and the moment came almost exactly 39 years from the time Grant Ujifusa, whom I had known as a fellow editor of The Harvard Crimson, asked me to be a coauthor of the first. Grant’s idea was to prepare a portrait of every state, congressional district, and member of Congress for students protesting President Richard M. Nixon’s decision in the spring of 1970 to send U.S. troops into Cambodia, but as we began working—equipped, in my own case, with a Smith-Corona portable electric typewriter and a pocket calculator, then an incredibly high-tech device—it occurred to us that our guide could be useful to Americans with all kinds of political views. After months of work and the providential finding of a publisher, Lovell Thompson’s Gambit, Inc., The Almanac of American Politics 1972 appeared a few months before the year began.
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Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and coauthor of the biennial Almanac of American Politics. He is the author of several other books, including Our First Revolution: The Remarkable British Upheaval That Inspired America’s Founding Fathers (2007).more from this author >>