Garrett M. Graff’s first book—written in anticipation of the 2008 presidential campaign—explores a pivotal moment of the digital revolution and how the candidates should respond to the first campaign in which the issues of globalization and technology dominate and are transforming the political landscape.
He asks: Will the two major parties seize the moment and run the first campaign of the new era, or will they run the last campaign all over again?
Globalization, Graff argues, has made technology both the medium and the message of 2008. The usual domestic issues (the economy, health care, job safety) are now global issues. Meanwhile, the emergence of the Web as a political tool has shaken up the campaign process, leaving front-runners vulnerable right up until Election Day.
Combining vivid campaign-trail reporting with a provocative argument about the state of American politics, Graff makes clear that whichever party best meets the challenges of globalization will win the election–and put America back on course.
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux
First Edition: November 27, 2007
“In his lively new book, The First Campaign: Globalization, the Web and the Race for the White House, Garrett M. Graff… raises a lot of provocative questions about how candidates are grappling with ‘the new campaign paradigm,’ (which, he says, emphasizes a dialogue between candidates and voters, instead of a one-way conversation); how they are planning to chart America’s course in a new, globalized world that is increasingly reliant on broadband communication and technological innovation; and how his own generation (born in the 1980s and ‘more technologically savvy and more civic-minded than the one before it’) regards the current state of politics…. [T]he astonishingly young Mr. Graff (who was born in 1981) proves in these pages that he is a cogent writer, willing to tackle large-scale issues and problems.”Michiko KakutaniThe New York Times
“The First Campaign is a graceful book, and an important one. It’s a success born of perspective: Graff gets enough distance to sketch the landscape—with all its moving parts—while remaining firmly embroiled in the fight.”Christian Science Monitor
“Graff offers an up-to-date synthesis of the multiple challenges facing Americas as we adjust to living in a flattening world, and a valuable critique of how our policy debates on everything from health care to education haven’t yet caught up with reality.”TechPresident.com
“Having invented most modern technology, including the Internet, the United States is walking blind and backwards into the future, argues a former Howard Dean webmaster and current Washingtonian editor. Ardent tech-evangelist Graff offers an incisive and fairly persuasive text laying out the reasons why the 2008 presidential campaign will not only be extraordinarily important, but unlike any ever seen before… Therefore, writes the author, ‘the first campaign of a new era is upon us.’”Kirkus Reviews