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Pivotal Tuesdays Audiobook

Pivotal Tuesdays: Four Elections That Shaped the Twentieth Century

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Publisher's Summary

No matter how frustrated or disinterested voters might be about politics and government, every four years, on the first Tuesday in November, the attention of the nation - and the world - focuses on the candidates, the contest, and the issues. The partisan election process has been a way for a messy, jumbled, raucous nation to come together as a slightly-more-perfect union.

Pivotal Tuesdays looks back at four pivotal presidential elections of the past 100 years to show how they shaped the 20th century. During the rowdy, four-way race in 1912 between Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Eugene Debs, and Woodrow Wilson, the candidates grappled with the tremendous changes of industrial capitalism and how best to respond to them. In 1932, Franklin Roosevelt's promises to give Americans a "New Deal" to combat the Great Depression helped him beat the beleaguered incumbent, Herbert Hoover. The dramatic and tragic campaign of 1968 that saw the election of Richard Nixon reflected an America divided by race, region, and war and set in motion political dynamics that persisted into the book's final story - the three-way race that led to Bill Clinton's 1992 victory.

Exploring the personalities, critical moments, and surprises of these races, Margaret O'Mara shows how and why candidates won or lost and examines the effects these campaigns had on the presidencies that followed.

The book is published by University of Pennsylvania Press.

©2015 University of Pennsylvania Press (P)2016 Redwood Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"A completely captivating read.... Just a delicious book, written by an authoritative historian and brilliant narrator." (Anne Kornblut, Washington Post)

"Pivotal Tuesdays is a substantial achievement-a trenchant, balanced explication of the major shifts in twentieth-century presidential politics-and a ripping good read-clear, wry, beautifully written." (Bruce Schulman, Boston University)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

5.0 (23 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jim 07-31-16
    Jim 07-31-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
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    "Important book...especially this year."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Shows how important it is to vote. And the ins and outs of the campaigns were fascinating.


    What about James Killavey’s performance did you like?

    Nice voice. Good pacing. Intelligent reading.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Quite a few, actually.


    Any additional comments?

    This quote about the print copy was what got me looking for the audio:
    "Four presidents are on the cover of this book, but the elections in between are covered quite thoroughly as well. It's honestly kind of shocking to realize how many times the majority has voted for a certain candidate only because the other option was so unfavorable. As I'm writing this review, the general 2016 election hasn't yet started, and Clinton and Trump are to be the two candidates. As I read this book, I couldn't help but make similarities between this election and others in history, even though this election year already seems so strange."

    27 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter 08-07-16
    Peter 08-07-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
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    5
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    "Captivating...and chilling"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    To many friends. Election coming up and this book could make a difference. Just listen to the sample to see what I mean.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Made history come alive. Fascinating and very well written.


    Have you listened to any of James Killavey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I think so..don't recall what titles, though. Good voice for this book.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Very beginning about qualifications for President. This part is actually in the sample


    Any additional comments?

    Another Pivotal Tuesday coming up in November. I hope God Americans have the sense to pick a qualified person, not an egomaniac, or the pivot for the county could be straight down!

    24 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexi 10-20-16
    Alexi 10-20-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
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    "Great book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Pivotal Tuesdays to be better than the print version?

    Yes...was able to read it while commuting. Can't do that with print!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Too many to name just one.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No..too long.


    Any additional comments?

    Important book..especially this year with an election coming up.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caitlyn 10-22-16
    Caitlyn 10-22-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
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    14
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    "Intriguing and Topical read."
    What did you love best about Pivotal Tuesdays?

    A amazing book on every level.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Pivotal Tuesdays?

    These are probably the four most important elections of the last century and with another coming up, an important listen for any concerned citizen.


    What does James Killavey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Deep mellow voice. Easy to listen to.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. Too long.


    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 09-22-16
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 09-22-16 Member Since 2016

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Captivating Read"

    I thought this might be a good book to read while observing the theatrics of the current election process and how it will affect the future of our country. Every four years the voters must focus on electing a new president. O’Mara’s book looks back at four pivotal presidential elections of the past 100 years to show how they shaped the twentieth century.

    We are again facing some of the same issues, for example the 1912 election year discussion of what to do with large dominant corporations. We are also facing gigantic corporations controlling their sector but now it is globally. We had a severe recession after deregulating the banks from the 1932 reforms and last but not least racism and anti-Semitism have raised their heads again as in the 1950s-60s. On top of all this we are weary of long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    I found it most interesting that O’Mara chose the 1912 four-way race between Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Eugene Debs, and Woodrow Wilson. I have found this election most interesting and have read biographies of each of these men along with other books on the subject to help me understand the issues of this critical election. The candidates grappled with the tremendous change of industrial capitalism and how to respond to it. The next election O’Mara chose was in the heart of the depression in 1932 between Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt. They addressed ways to combat the depression and ways to prevent it from happening again. In 1968 the election campaign of Herbert Humphry verses Richard Nixon saw an America divided by race, region and the Viet Nam War. In 1992 there was the three-way race between George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot.

    The book is well written and researched. O’Mara discusses the politics but also explores their personalities, critical moments and surprises of each of these races. The author shows how candidates won or lost and how these campaigns effected the next presidential races. The author reveals the evolution of our nation and the importance of each person’s vote. Margaret O’Mara is a history professor.

    If I had not been so interested in the topic of this book I would have stopped listening. There is something wrong with the quality of the sound; the sound seemed like it was far away. James Killavey’s narrative style was not appropriate for this academic book. Killavey has been narrating audiobooks for over twenty years so he either should have chosen a different style or the publisher should have chosen a different narrator.

    I would recommend this be read in book or e-book format and skip the audiobook format because of poor sound and inappropriate narrative style.

    6 of 24 people found this review helpful

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