Beyond the Book: Background information when reading America America

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America America

A Novel

by Ethan Canin

America America
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    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 2008, 480 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2009, 480 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Amy Reading

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Beyond the Book

The 1972 Democratic Nomination
Senator Henry Bonwiller, the presidential candidate to whom Liam Metarey acts as closest advisor, is fictional, but the rest of the details of the 1972 Democratic nomination battle are true.

The field was crowded with men—and two women—vying to challenge President Nixon's re-election effort. Nixon was seen as vulnerable because of the abysmal state of the Vietnam War. Senator Ed Muskie from Maine was the party establishment's choice, but his campaign fizzled when a supposedly forged letter to the Manchester Union Leader claimed that he was prejudiced against Americans of French-Canadian descent. Muskie refuted the charges in what has since become known as "the crying speech." Several news outlets reported that he broke down in tears during the speech. Muskie denied that he wept, but the damage to his persona was done. This incident appears in America America as the opening for Senator Bonwiller to steal his party's ...

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