“Lyndon Johnson’s campaign released “Daisy Girl” on Sept. 7, 1964. The infamous ad, meant to imply that Barry Goldwater might lead the world to nuclear destruction, aired only once but had an indelible impact on political advertising. David Mark, former editor in chief of Campaigns & Elections magazine examines the significance of this spot and others like it in his forthcoming book “Going Dirty: The Art of Negative Campaigning.” In a recent interview with NationalJournal.com’s Jennifer Koons, Mark discussed the book’s findings and commented on the future of campaign advertising.”

—Jennifer Koons, National Journal Online

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“Like pornographers, Mark argues, negative campaigners have seized emerging technology to reach their audience, bypassing gatekeepers to reach voters directly. The result, he claims, is a more rich, if less genteel, conversation. In Going Dirty (Rowman Littlefield), coming out next month, Mark lays out and defends the modern history of negative campaigning, from1928 attacks on presidential nominee and “rum-soaked Romanist” Al Smith to less-than-subtle images of Osama Bin Laden in 2004.”

—Kerry Howley, Reason Magazine Online

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“In “Dirty Politics,” Mark presents a slew of campaign case studies, from the first real presidential contest between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson to the race between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). Mark also studies negative campaigning in Congressional, gubernatorial and other races around the country, as well as current law surrounding campaign ads. He points out that sometimes going dirty works well. Other times, not so much.”

—Elizabeth Brotherton, Roll Call


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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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