REFLECTIONS: Like the Twelve-Bar Blues

The world, a little uncertain whether to expect fun or disaster, eagerly watched another one of those strange American tribal customs—the Republican National Convention. A corps of 45 foreign correspondents tried its baffled best to explain the proceedings to the folks back home. Wrote the Manchester Guardian's Alistair Cooke: "The art of conveying to a European audience the rules of the convention game eludes us all. Like baseball or the twelve-bar blues, it is seemingly too fluid a thing to be grasped . . ."

Europeans, to whom politics is grim and often deadly business, were puzzled by the rowdedow....

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