The Great Debates Revisited: Rick Perlstein
American life changed forever in 1960 when Vice President Richard M. Nixon and Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kennedy ushered politics into the multimedia age with the first televised presidential debates.
This fourth event in a series called The Great Debates Revisited features a screening of the fourth presidential debate between Kennedy and Nixon, with introductory commentary and a post-screening Q&A session led by Rick Perlstein.
The fourth debate attracted the largest TV audience and is considered a draw, with Kennedy given the advantage. The candidates argued over Cuba – with Kennedy almost telegraphing the coming Bay of Pigs invasion – and traded perhaps the sharpest personal barbs in the series.
Rick Perlstein is a historian and former senior fellow at the Campaign for America’s Future. He is the author of Nixonland: the Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America and Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus.
The Kansas City Public Library, the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, and the Truman Library Institute present The Great Debates Revisited to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this landmark moment in American political history.