This image is the cover for the book Center


A portrait of Washington politics during one of the most turbulent eras in American history by the twentieth century’s premier US government insider.

During his three decades as a journalist and political pundit for the New York Herald Tribune and Newsweek magazine, Stewart Alsop covered many of the defining historical events of mid-to-late twentieth-century America, from the post–World War II boom and the Red Scare to the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban missile crisis, the Kennedy assassination, and the Vietnam War. In The Center, Alsop provides a perceptive, provocative, and marvelously erudite insider’s view of the American political landscape of the 1960s, reporting from the beating heart of Washington, DC, the power center of the Western world.

With an unblinking eye and razor-sharp intellect, Alsop cogently explores an arena of unbridled political power and influence that spans from the White House to Capitol Hill to the Supreme Court. He offers remarkable insights into the motivations and very human foibles of the key figures behind some of the century’s most momentous events: Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and Secretary of State Dean Rusk, CIA Director Richard Helms and Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas, among many others.

The Center is a must-read for anyone interested in American politics and how the system got us to where we are today.

Stewart Alsop

Stewart Alsop (1914–1974) was a longtime political columnist and commentator on American affairs. A graduate of Yale University, he worked in book publishing until World War II. Rejected by the US Army for medical reasons, he joined the British Army and fought with the King’s Royal Rifle Corps in Italy. He transferred to the US Army in 1944 to carry out missions planned by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)—the topic of his book Sub Rosa, written with OSS compatriot Thomas Braden. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre with palm for his work on wartime missions in France.
From 1945 to 1958, Stewart Alsop was cowriter, with his elder brother Joseph Alsop, of the thrice-weekly “Matter of Fact” column for the New York Herald Tribune. He went on to become the Washington editor of the Saturday Evening Post and wrote a weekly column for Newsweek from 1968 until his death in 1974. His final book, Stay of Execution, traces the years—his last—after his diagnosis with a rare form of leukemia.

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