Miami and the Siege of Chicago
by Norman Mailer, introduction by Frank Rich
1968. The Vietnam War was raging. President Lyndon Johnson, facing a challenge in his own Democratic Party from the maverick antiwar candidate Eugene McCarthy, announced that he would not seek a second term. In April, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and riots broke out in inner cities throughout America. Bobby Kennedy was killed after winning the California primary in June. In August, Republicans met in Miami, picking the little-loved Richard Nixon as their candidate, while in September, Democrats in Chicago backed the ineffectual vice president, Hubert Humphrey. TVs across the country showed antiwar protesters filling the streets of Chicago and the police running amok, beating and arresting demonstrators and delegates alike.
In Miami and the Siege of Chicago, Norman Mailer, America’s most protean and provocative writer, brings a novelist’s eye to bear on the events of 1968, a decisive year in modern American politics, from which today’s bitterly divided country arose.
Norman Mailer's Miami and the Siege of Chicago...analyzed events inside and beyond the convention hall with its author's characteristic, and in this case perfectly appropriate, blend of intellectual grandiosity and journalistic acumen.
— A.O. Scott, The New York Times
An excellent account of the conventions...Mailer sets the scene sensually like Dickens...his vignettes have imperial authority.
— Wilfred Sheed, The New York Times Book Review
Mailer was a poet laureate of the punch, and this classic New Journalism-style report on the '68 conventions sizes up presidential wanna-bes as if they were a batch of second-rate palookas...His descriptions alone are reason to read this still-relevant book.
— Time Out New York
Wrong as often as he was right, Mailer seems so brave precisely because he was so ready to risk looking foolish. In Miami and the Siege of Chicago, which he wrote on assignment for Harper's, Mailer was not only perfectly attuned to the moment but prescient.
— The Boston Phoenix
Dazzling accounts of the Republican and Democratic party conventions of 1968...
This is Mailer's classic account of the Democratic and Republican conventions of 1968. It is an insightful portrayal of the politicians and the turbulent time.
— United Press International