New America: Politics and Society in the Age of the Smooth Deal

By Karl E. Meyer | Go to book overview

8/
The Soothing Cassandras

As the reporters in Washington survey the product of all their labor, the honest ones sometimes feel despairingly that more and more is being written about less and less.

-- DOUGLASS CATER

IN NO PROFESSION DOES DISTANCE lend so much enchantment as in journalism. The reader in Dubuque who picks up his local paper can be forgiven for conjuring up a flattering image of the Washington correspondent. He reads of mysterious "informed sources" who "reliably report" that a "sweeping new Congo policy" may "check the pro-Communist infiltration among Baluba tribesmen." Inevitably, there is the suggestion of whispered state secrets, an exchange of knowing looks in a hushed chancery, the shuffle of dispatch cases.

Then our reader in Dubuque turns to his favorite Washington columnist, and he feels as if he is in direct contact with the fonts of power. The column has a polished surface, and by skillful indirection conveys an impression of authoritative judgment. The reader is informed that "it is well understood" by those on the inside that the Congo

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New America: Politics and Society in the Age of the Smooth Deal
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents ix
  • Beforeword - The Fallen Idol 1
  • Part One / Symptoms 5
  • 2 - Washington: Leviathan, Inc. 18
  • 3 / - The Coming of the Smooth Deal 34
  • 4/ - Suitors in the Cloakroom 48
  • 5/ - Texas Leaves Its Landmarks 62
  • 6 - That Image in the White House 75
  • 7/ - Fortress of Yesterday 85
  • 8/ - The Soothing Cassandras 99
  • Part Two / Sources 117
  • 10 - The Twilight of Regionalism 127
  • 11 - The Old in Heart 136
  • 12 - Bohemia Moves Uptown 146
  • 13/ - Who Killed the Bull Moose? 158
  • 14 - Signposts to Futopia 167
  • 15 - The Two Worlds 181
  • Afterword - The Sweet Smell of Excess 190
  • Acknowledgments and Sources 197
  • Index of Names 207
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