The Real Mad Men of New York City
Roger Stone, the sharp-dressed, right-wing political operative who is no fan of any Democrat, has it in for Lyndon Johnson. Mr. Stone says the architect of the War on Poverty and the Great Society is better remembered as the Great Conspirator and accuses him of responsibility for nine murders, including the greatest crime of the 20th century, the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Read More
Picture Don Draper a few years down the road, gripping an AARP card instead of a tumbler of Canadian Club, and you’ve got Don Blauweiss.
On a recent Friday morning, the 78-year-old Mr. Blauweiss was in a green Jeep stick-shift waiting for The Observer at the Metro-North station in Bronxville. He was sporting a black leather jacket, black turtleneck and a full head of curly white hair. “My red BMW is in the shop,” the self-described New Yorkquino apologized in a laidback Queens cadence.
As we stuttered through the sloping streets of the tony Eastchester suburb, Mr. Blauweiss described the AMC drama as “meticulous down to every detail—the princess telephones, the wardrobing.” He should know. In the sixties, Mr. Blauweiss got his start as a twentysomething art director at Doyle Dane Bernbach, the agency credited with setting off a “creative revolution” that transformed Madison Avenue, upending the Sterling Coopers of the world in the process.
It’s a trick he’d like to pull off again. With several compadres from the old days, Mr. Blauweiss has just launched a new advertising consultancy, Senior Creative People, targeting an overlooked demographic: his own.
“The only thing that’s somewhat different from my experience was the amount of drinking that they did,” he went on, pivoting the jeep up the hill of his driveway. “There was plenty of drinking going on. There were even a couple who might keep a bottle in the desk. But nobody, at least not at DDB, had a bar in their office. Now don’t forget! Sterling Cooper was the antithesis of Doyle Dane, so who knows . . .”
Speaking as the 100th anniversary of Lyndon Johnson’s birth approached last summer, biographer Robert Caro spoke of how Johnson’s presidency managed to be both triumphant and disastrous at the same time.
“You listen to the [people] who were concerned with what Lyndon Johnson did on the domestic side, and you say, ‘There Read More
Last night on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the host did a segment about President-elect Obama’s Lincoln-esque ‘Team of Rivals’ (good topic!), in which he stitched together footage of pundits commenting on the prospect of a Hillary Clinton cabinet appointment.
One of the clips was of ABC News’ Sam Donaldson saying, Read More
In the middle of the 20th century, the national Democratic Party was being pulled in two radically different and fundamentally incompatible directions, the most loyal components of its coalition divided by racial politics.
Since the Civil War, the party’s most reliable base of support had been in the South, where voters were known to boast Read More
After affixing his signature to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Lyndon Johnson famously quipped that he’d just signed away the South, a prophecy that was affirmed in that year’s election – when Republican Barry Goldwater won five historically Democratic states in the deep South while suffering blowout losses everywhere else – and in elections Read More
The Liberal Hour: Washington and the Politics of Change in the 1960s
By G. Calvin Mackenzie and Robert Weisbrot
The Penguin Press, 422 pages, $27.95
These days "liberal" is a word rarely used as anything but a pejorative in American politics. In the 1960s, however, it was the dominant political philosophy in Washington. President Lyndon Read More
The McCain campaign has posted an on-line "strategy briefing," in which campaign manager Rick Davis uses a series of charts and maps to paint a rosy picture of the G.O.P. candidate’s fall prospects.
About five minutes into the slideshow, Davis turns to the electoral map and highlights what are matter-of-factly labeled the Read More
A few weeks ago, when the nation celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day, many Americans forgot the role King played as a Jeremiah who sought economic justice for all. As excerpts from the famous “Dream” speech comforted us about racial progress, our class gaps were the widest since the Depression.
While racial sideshows play on Read More
By 1966, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. had boycotted Montgomery buses, marched on Washington and secured the ballot for all races. When he arrived in Chicago in January, however, he was unable to do much of anything. In the city that had served as the Promised Land for thousands of blacks pushed north by Read More