12 October 2012

"Today it’s hard to fathom that anyone would think a political novel might be an election game-changer. But 1958 was a different time. Major novelists were celebrities, best sellers could be cultural events and Steinbeck himself had credibility as a moral authority. The Stevenson camp was trying to use an unorthodox media strategy to attack the man they saw as their greatest foe, just as politicians today use social media to bypass traditional gatekeepers and influence public opinion. The question was, would Steinbeck agree?"

This tale of a (spoiler) never-written Steinbeck Nixon attack novel is splendid. I'll definitely take a print copy with me when I jump in my time machine to head back to 1958. I'll have time to make that happen when not chatting up Peggy Olsen in the Sterling Cooper secretary pool.

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