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photoThe year was 1948. "Give Em Hell" Harry Truman was president. India's Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in New Delhi. Former State Department official Alger Hiss was indicted on perjury charges after denying he passed documents to Communist spies.

Also in 1948, three rising stars on the U.S. political scene, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon were grasping for the fast track that would, ultimately, take each of them to the Oval Office, one after the other.

In a provocative new book, veteran journalist Lance Morrow explores the lives of the three future presidents in what he describes as the pivotal year of 1948, when all were ambitious congressmen facing major turning points, and the nation was re-imagining itself as a global superpower. "1948," says Morrow, "was the seedbed ... of the three men's political futures" and a predictor of their falls from grace years later.

Hear a conversation with Lance Morrow about the hree men who would be U.S. presidents, and the dark compromises they made in 1948.

Guests:

Lance Morrow, essayist for Time magazine, author of the new book "The Best Year of Their Lives: Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon in 1948--Learning the Secrets of Power"

Jack Beatty, On Point News Analyst and a senior editor for The Atlantic Monthly.

This program aired on April 13, 2005.

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