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    • July 2008
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Presidential Debates

Fifty Years of High-Risk TV

Alan Schroeder

Alan Schroeder's popular history now covers the 2000 Bush-Gore and 2004 Bush-Kerry debates, including innovations in format and press coverage, and adds new research on televised debates since 1960. Schroeder organizes his book according to a television production timeline, highlighting the importance of pre- and postdebate periods, as well as the live telecasts themselves. He describes production in painstaking detail, from the selection of questioners to camera angles, from makeup to lighting and set design.

Televised debates represent a rare departure from well-choreographed campaigns, and new media such as YouTube continue to reshape form and content. Conducting interviews with journalists and industry insiders, and drawing on his own experience as an award-winning reporter and television producer, Schroeder delivers a fascinating backstage tour of every aspect of debate performance.

About the Author

Alan Schroeder, a professor in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University, has written extensively about the relationship between presidential politics and the media. He has also worked as a journalist, television producer, and diplomat.

"Schroeder's 'tour' is a good one, sparked by lively writing and an eye for telling details." — Publishers Weekly

"Alan Schroeder's book gives readers an illuminating and detailed behind-the-scenes look at the debates that have shaped recent American history." — Tim Sampson, Politics (Campaigns & Elections)

"The most compulsive read in recent times on how and why we elect our national leaders." — San Francisco Chronicle

"If you are interested in presidential politics and think debates help decide the outcome of elections, this book is essential reading. Inside are fascinating accounts of what has gone on behind the scenes at every debate since Kennedy-Nixon." — Judy Woodruff, senior correspondent, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

"Schroeder's book is far and away the best I've ever come across on the history of presidential debates." — Ken Rudin, political editor, National Public Radio

About the Author

Alan Schroeder, a professor in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University, has written extensively about the relationship between presidential politics and the media. He has also worked as a journalist, television producer, and diplomat.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part I. Preproduction
1. The Predebate Debate
2. Predebate Strategy
3. Candidate Preparation
4. Predebate News Coverage
Part II. Production
5. The Debaters
6. The Questioners
7. The Productions
Part III. Postproduction
8. Postdebate News Coverage
9. The Audience
10. Making Presidential Debates Better
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Appendix: Schedule of Televised Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates: 1960-2004
Index

About the Author

Alan Schroeder, a professor in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University, has written extensively about the relationship between presidential politics and the media. He has also worked as a journalist, television producer, and diplomat.

About the Author

Alan Schroeder, a professor in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University, has written extensively about the relationship between presidential politics and the media. He has also worked as a journalist, television producer, and diplomat.

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About the Author

Alan Schroeder, a professor in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University, has written extensively about the relationship between presidential politics and the media. He has also worked as a journalist, television producer, and diplomat.

About the Author

Alan Schroeder, a professor in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University, has written extensively about the relationship between presidential politics and the media. He has also worked as a journalist, television producer, and diplomat.