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.
About the Author
Award-winning journalist and author Richard Ben Cramer (b. 1950) is one of the top writers of literary journalism today. A graduate of Johns Hopkins and Columbia Universities, he began his career as a reporter for the "Baltimore Sun" in 1973 before moving to the "Philadelphia Inquirer", where he received the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the Middle East in 1979. His work has appeared in "Time", " Newsweek", the "New York Times""Magazine", "Rolling Stone", and "Esquire". He has authored five books, including the bestselling classic "What It Takes "(1992), and "Joe DiMaggio "(2000). He lives Maryland.
"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