In "The Vision Thing," Shaun O'Connell reviews a number of books whose subject matter is not merely the presidential election of 1988, but the impact of image politics in the age of the thirty-second sound bite. He quotes Neil Postman in Amusing Ourselves to Death: "Just as the television commercial empties itself of authentic product information so that it can do its psychological work of [pseudotherapy], image politics empties itself of authentic political sustenance for the same reason."

The works discussed in this article include: All by Myself: The Unmaking of a Presidential Campaign, by Christine M. Black and Thomas Oliphant; The Worst Years of Our Lives: Irreverent Notes from a Decade of Greed, by Barbara Ehrenreich; The Quest for the Presidency: The 1988 Campaign, by Peter Goldman, Tom Mathews, and the Newsweek Special Election Team; Whose Broad Stripes and Bright Stars? The Trivial Pursuit of the Presidency, 1988, by Jack W. Germond and Jules Witcover; What I Saw at the Revolution: A Political Life in the Reagan Era, by Peggy Noonan; The Politics of Rich and Poor: Wealth and the American Electorate in the Reagan Aftermath, by Kevin Phillips; and My Turn: The Memoirs of Nancy Reagan, by Nancy Reagan, with William Novak.



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