A belated happy Super Tuesday to you, readers.

When we vote, who do we vote for?  How can we really know what a candidate is all about?  We visit their websites, look over the literature we get in the mail, but most of our understanding of what a candidate stands for comes through print media, radio, and TV.

Lincoln Douglas debates commemorative stamp, 1958

For this post, we bring you two interviews with writers talking about their presidential subjects.  We start with Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward talking to Studs shortly after the publication of All the President’s Men. They give Studs the details of some of the more exciting and suspenseful moments of their work, and even if you’ve seen the movie or read the book, it’s a jolt to hear it in their own unrehearsed voices.

Next up is Doris Kearns Goodwin talking about her book Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream.  She talks a great deal about how Johnson’s personal life and childhood experiences affected his professional and political life, and how, in her observation, as the world changed he struggled to change with it.  Through her eyes, he becomes a very human figure: “All we saw was this extraordinary powerful character… What I found underneath was an incredibly vulnerable, sad, interesting, terrified man.”

Looking for more?  Check out the post featuring Hunter S. Thompson talking about his book Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.

Earlier this week, we learned of the death of Chicago doctor Quentin Young.  In addition to his important work at Michael Reese Hospital and Cook County Hospital, Dr. Young was a fervent activist.  He joined Martin Luther King, Jr. on his march from Selma to Montgomery (and also treated him when he was in Chicago), registered black voters in Mississippi, and in 2001, at 77, he participated in a 167-mile march for universal healthcare.  Dr. Young was both friend and doctor to Studs.

Dr. Young at a rally in San Francisco for single-payer healthcare, 2007.

Dr. Young at a rally in San Francisco for single-payer healthcare, 2007.

At the time of this interview, Dr. Young (who appeared on the show sixteen times!) was Director of Medicine at Cook County Hospital, and he had recently released a memo banning the prescription of sleep aids and other potentially addicting drugs by clinic doctors.  He and Studs talk about the factors that led to this decision, including the financially-driven relationship between pharmaceutical companies and doctors, and the fact that doctors were giving out prescriptions as a substitute for spending time with patients.  Does this sound familiar?  It was 1974.

Photo credits: Lincoln/Douglas: By US Post Office [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.  Quentin Young: Flickr user rstephemi CC BY-SA 2.0.

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