Convention '72: Ready or Not, Here They Come to Miami

AMERICAN political conventions are perhaps democracy's most spectacular sacrament. H.L. Mencken found them "as fascinating as a revival or hanging," and they are often a little of both. As sheer theater, they are a special American form, a television marathon, a grandiose town meeting staged by DeMille. Yet for all their exuberant buncombe, their stretches of interminable tedium and their gusts of rhetoric, the conventions have the seriousness and the fascination of great political power in transfer.

Part of their fascination is that each convention achieves a being totally its own, with its particular cast of winners and losers, its unique settings...

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