Of Myth and Memory

Dreaming of 1960 in the New World

Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

Hotspur: Why so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call them?

-- Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1

That exchange was one of John Kennedy's favorites. His instruments were sensitive to the bogus. He might find it very funny that the politicians of 1988 keep trying to summon spirits, notably his own, from the vasty deep of 1960.

Rhetoric comparing 1988 with 1960 has a wistful, if cynical, political purpose. It attempts to make a live political connection through the increasingly important American sacrament of...

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