Like most campaigns, the 1952 presidential campaign began with polite debate and an implied treaty of mutual respect. Last week the air waves crackled with television scowls and such words as "bigotry", "fraud", and "lies." In its climax, the 1952 campaign was a strident and bitter conflict.

The conflict was the most predictable result of all. The three months of campaigning were part of a crisis in U.S. history, part of a deep struggle to align the U.S. with the responsibilities, opportunities and dangers of the newest phase of its existence—world leadership in the cold war with Communism. The presidential...

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