What it Takes
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What it Takes : The Way to the White House

By (author) Richard Ben Cramer

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An American Iliad in the guise of contemporary political reportage, What It Takes penetrates the mystery at the heart of all presidential campaigns: How do presumably ordinary people acquire that mixture of ambition, stamina, and pure shamelessness that makes a true candidate? As he recounts the frenzied course of the 1988 presidential race -- and scours the psyches of contenders from George Bush and Robert Dole to Michael Dukakis and Gary Hart -- Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Richard Ben Cramer comes up with the answers, in a book that is vast, exhaustively researched, exhilarating, and sometimes appalling in its revelations.

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  • Paperback | 1051 pages
  • 132.08 x 203.2 x 48.26mm | 612.35g
  • 01 Jun 1993
  • Random House USA Inc
  • Vintage Books
  • New York
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0679746498
  • 9780679746492
  • 113,095

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Review quote

"Quite possibly the finest book on presidential politics ever written, combining meticulous reporting and compelling, at times soaringly lyrical, prose." -- Cleveland Plain Dealer "The ultimate insider's book on presidential politics...an unparalleled source book on the 1988 candidates." -- San Francisco Chronicle

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Flap copy

An American Iliad in the guise of contemporary political reportage, What It Takes penetrates the mystery at the heart of all presidential campaigns: How do presumably ordinary people acquire that mixture of ambition, stamina, and pure shamelessness that makes a true candidate? As he recounts the frenzied course of the 1988 presidential race -- and scours the psyches of contenders from George Bush and Robert Dole to Michael Dukakis and Gary Hart -- Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Richard Ben Cramer comes up with the answers, in a book that is vast, exhaustively researched, exhilarating, and sometimes appalling in its revelations.

show more