A New Kind of Party Animal: How the Young Are Tearing Up the American Political Landscape

Michele Mitchell, Author
Michele Mitchell, Author Simon & Schuster $23 (224p) ISBN 978-0-684-83697-3
Reviewed on: 06/29/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
Paperback - 228 pages - 978-0-684-85441-0
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The 27-year-old author, who is the youngest person to have served on the New York Times editorial board, has refined the 1960s adage: ""Don't Trust Anyone over 30"" into ""Don't Trust Anyone on Social Security."" Her political jeremiad tries to show the clout of the 18- to 35-year-olds by highlighting several individuals in that age bracket. At one end of the spectrum is working-class Jerry Morrison, who went up against the political machine in Chicago and was surprised to learn that ""sinister"" precinct captains know how to manipulate votes. At the other end of the spectrum is Robert George, an African American who writes editorials for Newt Gingrich, who professed to have been shocked to learn that the House speaker wanted him in the photo as he signed the welfare bill only because he was black (George declined). Mitchell talks about the ""Lead or Leave"" campaign of young Americans around the nation who organized to fight the deficit--and ended up disbanding--though she also mentions that the reason why President Clinton's health-care reforms were dismissed was because ""young, healthy singles"" didn't want to pay for it. The author attacks ABC's Sam Donaldson--pointing out that he is 62--because he dismisses the importance of the Internet, to Mitchell, a hallowed alternate to the ""prepackaged drivel"" of network TV and newspapers. She then goes on about the history of volunteerism in the U.S. and the contributions of Teddy Roosevelt's father. Unfortunately, she has Ted Kennedy running for president in 1976, four years before he actually ran. Also, Warren Rudman was a senator from New Hampshire, not Maine. These kinds of errors from a political pro make it hard to take this book seriously. (July)
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