“With only a month to go before the mid-term elections, the slurs are splatting like tomatoes at a Spanish tomato-throwing fiesta…The ads that work best are the funny or funky ones, because people remember them, argues David Mark, the author of “Going Dirty: the Art of Negative Campaigning”.

—The Economist

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“Going Dirty painstakingly explores this long history of negative campaigning, recounting both familiar episodes (Willie Horton, anyone?) and those readers may have forgotten. The recurring theme is that well-timed, adroitly executed attacks are often effective; sloppy tactics by campaigns that misunderstand the electorate tend to elicit backlashes.”

—W. James Antle III, National Review

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“Instead of the bemoaning the low blows struck in the name of electoral politics, from Swift-boat slander to friend-of-terrorist smears, Mark is convinced that negativity is a distinctly positive feature of U.S. elections.”

—Kerry Howley , Reason magazine

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“For the serious student of political campaigns, this book includes nearly everything you wanted to know about negative campaigning and has some very interesting case studies as tactics changed during the the television and Internet era. A chapter titled “What Good Old Days” reminds us that negative campaigning is an American tradition. Recommended.”

—Taegan D. Goddard, Political Wire

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David‘s latest book is Dog Whistles, Walk-Backs and Washington Handshakes: Decoding The Jargon Slang and Bluster of American Political Speech. Written with Almanac of American Politics Co-Author Chuck McCutcheon, Dog Whistlesdecodes what politicians really mean when they use odd-sounding, insider-ish phrases.


With a forward by author, journalist and television analyst Jeff Greenfield, Dog Whistles will help you keep up your antennae on high alert for intentionally-confusing language by political types of both parties.

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