McGovern, George Stanley
In 1971 McGovern announced his candidacy for the presidency, promising to end the war in Vietnam, cut defense spending by $30 billion, increase corporate taxes, and provide a guaranteed annual income for all Americans. His grassroots campaign won him the Democratic nomination in 1972, but his handling of the Thomas Eagleton affair, in which he announced full support for his running mate and then dropped him for Sargent Shriver, plus Republican charges of radicalism, contributed to his overwhelming defeat by Richard M. Nixon.
McGovern was reelected to the Senate in 1974 and served as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations under Presidents Ford and Carter. He lost a bid for a fourth Senate term in 1980, and made an unsuccessful run for the 1984 Democratic presidential nomination. Under President Clinton, McGovern served as U.S. representative to the Food and Agriculture Organization. In 2001 he became the World Food Program's first global ambassador on hunger. He continued to be a vocal supporter liberal causes, and opposed the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. McGovern wrote War against Want (1964), A Time of War, A Time of Peace (1968), The Great Coalfield War (1972), Terry: My Daughter's Life-and-Death Struggle with Alcoholism (1996), The Third Freedom: Ending Hunger in Our Time (2001), The Essential America (2004), Out of Iraq (2006, with W. R. Polk), and What It Means to Be a Democrat (2011).
See his autobiography (1978); biography by R. S. Anson (1972); studies by R. Dougherty (1973), G. W. Hart (1973), and E. McGovern (1974); S. E. Ambrose, The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s over Germany (2001); B. Miroff: The Liberals' Moment: The McGovern Insurgency and the Identity Crisis of the Democratic Party (2007); J. M. Glasser, The Eighteen-Day Running Mate (2012).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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