Essays

Thomas E. Patterson
The 1976 presidential campaign, as presented on the network evening news, was primarily a competition to be won or lost. Only secondarily did it seem to involve national policy and quality of leadership.
Most of the evening news coverage was given over to what can most aptly be called the "horserace"-the candidates' comings and goings on the campaign trail, their strategies for winning votes, and their prospects for victory or defeat. Such subjects accounted for 60...

1928, despite a prominent Republican's re-mark that "We haven't time to monkey around with novelties," Democrats and Republicans were ready to spend a total of more than $1 million for commercial radio time. But not until the mid-1940s did the first detailed examination of ra- dio's impact on politics appear-in THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE: How the Voter Makes Up His Mind in a Presidential Campaign Paul F.Lazarsfeld et al. (Columbia, 1944, later eds. 1948-68, cloth & paper).
The case in point...

Most of us have grown up with the idea that large states have more influence in the selection of a President than small states because of the peculiarities of our electoral system. The big states do wield significant power on Election Day because of the all-or- nothing quality of the electoral college vote. But there is, in fact, an even greater inequality of influence among the states during the nominating process-the state conventions, caucuses, and pri- mary elections. This particular inequality c...

As always when a new administration settles in, there is specula- tion in Washington over the Supreme Court-its future direction, possible vacancies, presidential appointees. The nine Justices often surprise Presidents. As the makeup and outlook of the Court change, the Justices do not always decide constitutional cases along predictable ideological lines. The Court's decisions have shaped America's history; in no other nation is the highest court so powerful. Here, political scientist Alpheus...

By the late 1960s, many educated Americans (novelist Updike has observed) had come to focus not on books but on "the art mu-seum, the symphony orchestra, the cinema, the educational TV band, the charming conversation-these were where the essences of culture condensed and could be supped." Today, to an extent not possible before World War 11, "a person who takes pride in being civilized may feel, at heart, that the written word, in its less casual forms, has nothing crucial to offer." M...

Pages