Posted by: clholoman | March 9, 2011

R.I.P. David Broder

It has just come across that David Broder has died. He has been known for the last several years (or longer, according to the WaPo obit) as “the Dean” as in the dean of political writers. I think he was about the last of the old-school, shoe leather, relatively non-partisan political reporters. I started reading him regularly as a result of one of the first poli sci classes I took at UNC, where we read “The Boys on the Bus”, a great account of the way the press covered the 1972 presidential campaign, in which he and R.W. “Johnny” Apple of the NYT were basically the stars.

We read that book along side “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail.” They were both written by authors working at the time for Rolling Stone–Timothy Crouse and Hunter Thompson about the same 1972 campaign. Crouse’s is pretty straight non-fiction writing, whereas Thompson’s is, of course, his trademark “gonzo journalism.” (The book is the collected long-form articles that were published during the campaign. Don’t know if Crouse’s stuff was published before coming out in book form.) I recommend the exercise of reading them together. (But if you have to choose one, make it Fear and Loathing; it’s a total hoot.)

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