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Mailer: A Not Un-American Writer

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 September 2018

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At Miami Beach last summer Norman Mailer decided that George McGovern is “the first tall minister I ever really liked.” He was so carried away by this discovery that he used the word “tender” when he spoke to McGovern about the mood on the night of the acceptance speeches. Before he reached that pitch of endorsement he had worried repetitiously about McGovern's undersupply of “charisma,” regretted the Methodist candidate's insufficient use of metaphor and found the convention that nominated McGovern boring because it lacked drama and there was not enough evil in the room. In these past twelve years Mailer has often seemed to be judging American politics by one criterion: whether it provides the right sort of material for his writing.

Research Article
Copyright © Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 1972

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