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Friday, May 18, 2012

Samuel Popkin looks at the winners and losers of political campaigns, and examines what it takes to win—and stay in—the White House. The BBC’s A History of the World in 100 Objects is about a Sudanese slit drum. This week’s Please Explain is all about drones and aerial surveillance.

What it Takes to Win—and Hold—the White House

Samuel Popkin, Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego, examines the winners—and losers—of the last 60 years of presidential campaigns, explaining how challengers get to the White House, how incumbents stay, and how successors hold power for their party. His book The Candidate: What it Takes to Win—and Hold—the White House looks George H. W. Bush's campaign for reelection in 1992, Al Gore's campaign for the presidency in 2000, and Hillary Clinton's effort to win the nomination in 2008, and gives an account of what goes on inside a campaign and what makes one succeed while another fails.

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Please Explain: Drones

Nick Paumgarten, staff writer for The New Yorker, explains what drones are, how they work, and the technological advancements that are making drones more prevalent in military and civilian life. He’s the author of “Here’s Looking at You” in the May 14 issue of The New Yorker.

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