Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America

Nixonland The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America Told with urgency and sharp political insight Nixonland recaptures America s turbulent s and early s and reveals how Richard Nixon rose from the political grave to seize and hold the presiden

  • Title: Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America
  • Author: Rick Perlstein
  • ISBN: 9780743243032
  • Page: 248
  • Format: Paperback
  • Told with urgency and sharp political insight, Nixonland recaptures America s turbulent 1960s and early 1970s and reveals how Richard Nixon rose from the political grave to seize and hold the presidency.Perlstein s epic account begins in the blood and fire of the 1965 Watts riots, nine months after Lyndon Johnson s historic landslide victory over Barry Goldwater appeared tTold with urgency and sharp political insight, Nixonland recaptures America s turbulent 1960s and early 1970s and reveals how Richard Nixon rose from the political grave to seize and hold the presidency.Perlstein s epic account begins in the blood and fire of the 1965 Watts riots, nine months after Lyndon Johnson s historic landslide victory over Barry Goldwater appeared to herald a permanent liberal consensus in the United States Yet the next year, scores of liberals were tossed out of Congress, America was divided than ever, and a disgraced politician was on his way to a shocking comeback Richard Nixon.Between 1965 and 1972, America experienced no less than a second civil war Out of its ashes, the political world we know now was born It was the era not only of Nixon, Johnson, Spiro Agnew, Hubert H Humphrey, George McGovern, Richard J Daley, and George Wallace but Abbie Hoffman, Ronald Reagan, Angela Davis, Ted Kennedy, Charles Manson, John Lindsay, and Jane Fonda There are tantalizing glimpses of Jimmy Carter, George H W Bush, Jesse Jackson, John Kerry, and even of two ambitious young men named Karl Rove and William Clinton and a not so ambitious young man named George W Bush.Cataclysms tell the story of Nixonland Angry blacks burning down their neighborhoods in cities across the land as white suburbanites defend home and hearth with shotguns The student insurgency over the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Robert F Kennedy and Martin Luther King, and the riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention The fissuring of the Democratic Party into warring factions manipulated by the dirty tricks of Nixon and his Committee to Re Elect the President Richard Nixon pledging a new dawn of national unity, governing divisively than any president before him, then directing a criminal conspiracy, the Watergate cover up, from the Oval OfficeThen, in November 1972, Nixon, harvesting the bitterness and resentment born of America s turmoil, was reelected in a landslide even bigger than Johnson s 1964 victory, not only setting the stage for his dramatic 1974 resignation but defining the terms of the ideological divide that characterizes America today.Filled with prodigious research and driven by a powerful narrative, Rick Perlstein s magisterial account of how America divided confirms his place as one of our country s most celebrated historians.

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    About “Rick Perlstein

    • Rick Perlstein

      Eric S Rick Perlstein born 1969 is an American historian and journalist He graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A in History in 1992 He is a former writer for The Village Voice and The New Republic and the author of numerous articles in other publications Until March, 2009 he was a Senior Fellow at the Campaign for America s Future where he wrote for their blog about the failures of conservative governance.Perlstein is also the author of the books Before the Storm Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus 2001 and Nixonland The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America 2008 Before the Storm covers the rise of the conservative movement culminating in the nomination and campaign of Barry Goldwater and how the movement came to dominate the Republican Party despite Goldwater s loss Nixonland covers American politics and society from 1964 to 1972, centering on Richard Nixon s attempt to rehabilitate himself politically and his eventual successful use of the resentment of settled society against the social unrest of the day to rebuild the Republican Party.His article for the Boston Review on how Democrats can win was published in book form under the title The Stock Ticker and the Superjumbo, together with responses.

    799 thoughts on “Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America

    • Call us America the Schizophrenic.How else can you explain a country that embraced a right wing philosophy after a devastating terrorist attack that led to blindly following a moron for eight years, yet finally overwhelmingly rejected those politics by voting in the liberal opposition only to seemingly overnight turn into a nation of screaming maniacs who consider spending a dime on anything but guns and prisons a waste of tax payer money?The cold comfort I got from reading Nixonland was that Am [...]

    • You’re trudging slowly along one of those interminable moving walkways you get in airports; you have your political luggage with you. Each side of the walkway a thousand things are happening, it’s hard to take them all in – newspapers, blaring tv debates, screens showing footage of all kinds of violent bombings and assassinations, there's yelling ranting crowds on each side, there are looming politician’s faces spewing statistics and believable cures for cancer; and raining down on you a [...]

    • I enjoyed Nixonland very much, as Perlstein managed to intermingle many events and personages that were new to me with those of which I was considerably more aware, and to do so with an effortlessly breezy, witty, and readable style; however, this is a long book, and as the pages piled past it felt long—although it never dragged or stalled, it did eventually prove exhausting in the sheer accumulation of details on electioneering and strategizing, rioting and reacting, Vietnam maneuvering and W [...]

    • A supplemental review! - this is just some of my favourite outrageous quotes from Mr Perlstein and his mostly less than merry pranksters - starting with a jarring fact I found quite jaw-dropping:…an LA cop stopped a black man named Leonard Deadwyler for speeding through Watts. He had been speeding [his wife] to the nearest hospital, miles away; there was no hospital in Watts, an area twice the size of Manhattan. P89Here's something that will ring a bell with anyone who watches the news:The Pen [...]

    • This was a hard book for me to get through. I had to take breaks and read two other books while getting through this one. It was a bit slow going, and also depressing. Nixon was the first Republican president who was obsessed with power. Power was much much more important to him then doing the job of the president, which is to care for the welfare of the citizens of the United states. Up until Nixon, the presidents of the time new their job was to serve. To make this nation a great place to live [...]

    • Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland struck me as the book Hunter Thompson should or could have written, if he hadn't been so totally caught up in a haze of paranoia, drugs, and booze. But, in fairness to Thompson, he was on the ground in real time during these crazy years. What Perlstein captures, however, is Thompson’s full steam ahead energy, while at the same time cataloguing a decade’s worth of political and cultural mayhem (and I mean EVERTHING). To Perlstein’s credit, there are no sacred co [...]

    • I have long maintained that the most influential president of the 20th century was not FDR or Reagan but Richard Nixon. While Roosevelt may have created more programs and Reagan changed the economic tone of the nation, Nixon changed how we voted and how our politicians campaigned. And that may have the most longstanding effect on 21st century America.Rick Perlstein traces that change through the tumultuous career of Richard Nixon. He illustrates how Nixon set on the formula of turning the "silen [...]

    • Nixonland is a solid book on the Nixon Era. The first half in the early 1960s only tangentially covers Nixon himself. The second half covers mainly Nixon's presidency. Overall the book covers a little too much ground so many of the historical events and persons and anecdotes are thin. There are several vignettes of Reagan's governorship and protests and riots in California that seem like they could have made a good standalone book. But after the first half of Nixonland there is little mention of [...]

    • Nixonland is a divided America cynically manipulated and exploited by Richard Nixon. Rather than try to bring people together and heal the country in a time of turmoil, Nixon chose to exacerbate the tensions and polarize the country so he could pose as the savior for his so called silent majority. This is the second of Perlstein’s three books depicting the rise of modern American conservatism. It chronicles the violence and radical social change of the 1960’s, the domestic politics of the Vi [...]

    • Almost 900 pages of meticulously researched and documented items that basically boil down to two sayings: "The more things change, the more they stay the same." and "Those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it." Enlightening. Almost like the entire 4 seasons of the Battlestar Galactica reboot. You go through hours of riveting plot and information only to be told in the end that "This has all happened before and it will happen again." It really is uncanny. So much of what we a [...]

    • It starts with a riot and ends in an elegy, a deep feeling of loss. In between is almost nonstop frantic energy and bad moods. This is not a biography of Nixon, though he broods and connives throughout like Milton’s Devil, this book is a panorama or Boschian landscape of the era that brought this deeply paranoid, inferiority complex plagued man to power. The title of Nixonland is taken from an Adlai Stevenson quote, “a land of slander and scare, of sly innuendo, of poison pen and anonymous p [...]

    • To understand how Trump was able to use race and class divisions to win the US Presidency this gives a good background to what happened a half-century ago with the rise of President Nixon and his blatantly racist "southern strategy". (Remember the US south ideologically speaking narrows but really goes all the way north through the US Biblebelt/Rustbelt to the Canadian border.)

    • This is a lengthy, but very detailed, discussion of how the modern political landscape came to be. Writing too much about it would rehash the book, but the author comes from his background as an analyst of Barry Goldwater's effect on the FDR-Truman consensus to discuss how Nixon leveraged, and extended, social divisions and the rifts in American public consciousness to create his political career.If you think you fully understand the modern culture wars, and everything that went on in the 1960s, [...]

    • I am of the age where, until his death in 1994, I considered Nixon to be the omnipresent evildoer. He was around when I was born, and he was still around 47 years later. You couldn't get rid of him. I felt the boomers would be more correctly called the "Nixon Generation." I was too young to remember him vilifying Helen Gahagan Douglas, but I do remember him as Vice-president getting (literally) stoned in Caracas. I remember him running againt Pat Brown for Governor. His, "you won't have Nixon to [...]

    • I put Perlstein’s Nixonland on my "to read" shelf, after I read a very effective and thorough review of the book in the September 1/8, 2010, edition of The Nation. Perstein's book is a must-read for any one interested in the Republican Party's calculated obliteration of whatever tatters and remnants of New World democracy still informed the American polity during the years that Perlstein examines. I found that this book, although a great read, as one would expect from a much honored journalist [...]

    • Richard Nixon. Old "Tricky Dick. Ol' Tricky Dick Nixon. Good old Milhouse. Old Tricchard Dixon. Slick Ricky. Nasty Nixo. Ol' Rubber Nose. The Sweaty Boy. What an utter prick.

    • Nixon; brilliant, conniving, duplicitous, paranoid, self conscious, striving. A man peculiarly able to manipulate upheaval and confusion to his own benefit. Nixon's almost first politically conscious act was to organise a college club called the Orthogonians. This club was for the remnants of of the student body who didn't make it or felt excluded by a "circle of swells" called Franklins. The Franklins were the kids who always wore black ties in photos and knew how to carry it off. They were smo [...]

    • Though one might mistake Nixonland for being an exhaustively researched and detailed biography of Richard Nixon, Rick Perlstein's tome is something very different. Nixonland's central character is not the man himself, but the America in which he rose to power. Nixon's role in these times, the manner in which he manipulated and exploited events, seems of secondary importance (at least to this reader.) Nixonland's real triumph is Perlstein's startlingly vivid resurrection of America in the years 1 [...]

    • This is a massive book. It is the story of America book-ended by the elections of 1964 and 1972. Two things are seen again and again throughout this epic tale of mid-century America: Richard Milhaus Nixon and the Vietnam War. The story begins in the smoke and flames of the 1965 Watts Riots and concludes with the first rumblings of the only scandal (thus far) to topple an American Presidency: Watergate.So much is brought up in this book that it strikes me as to why hasn't someone bought up the fi [...]

    • Not just fascinating and readable, this book is also important: essential reading for anyone trying to get their heads round what's going on in American politics at the moment (and at any time since the early sixties). Part of a trilogy (so far) by Perlstein, centred in turn on Barry Goldwater (Before the Storm), Nixon (Nixonland), and Reagan (The Invisible Bridge). But it's so much more than an account of the back-room politics. Perlstein wants to give a detailed picture of the whole landscape [...]

    • a pretty extraordinary history. definitely the answer for all you people who were fretting "how could this have happened? this is a new thing, unseen before" when trump got elected. it's nothing new at all, really.i had a much longer, more meaningful review plotted out in my head, but it would lead to political discussion on my feed, something i've steadfastly refused for about a decade now (as a first-generation-collegiate Samoan Libertarian from the southeastern united states, i'm something o [...]

    • NIXONLAND is a huge, sprawling populist history of eight years of American history, that even with its generous 900 page length, feels like it has so much crammed into it.If I had the time, it’s a book I’d want to study. Not just for the glorious and entertaining detail of the book, but for how it applies to now.For starters, it’s a book to make Donald Trump look like a vainglorious incompetent. Okay, Donald Trump frequently makes himself look like a vainglorious incompetent, but NIXONLAND [...]

    • As time goes by and as more records are released, Richard M. Nixon emerges ever more sullied. This is at once a biography of the man and a history of the USA focused on the years of his two successful campaigns for the presidency. Throughout author Perlstein attempts to describe and understand the schizophrenia apparently dividing the nation as it divided Nixon himself.Personally, I enjoyed this book as a reminiscent overview of that period from 1967 through 1972 when I was politically active, f [...]

    • For the mission that Perlstein set out to accomplish, namely assessing how America could go from voting in such a large majority for LBJ to voting for Nixon in an equally overwhelmingly way, this book is nearly perfect at accomplishing that. This book is not a biography of Richard Nixon. I think Perlstein's writing is best summed up by something he wrote for the Baffler: I write long history books that are published with photos of presidents and presidential aspirants on the covers. The photos a [...]

    • Popular history at the absolutely highest level. In some ways, despite its central emphasis on Nixon, it stands with the best synthetic histories of the Sixties in America, comparable to Taylor Branch's America in the King Years trilogy. The difference, of course, is reflected in the titles: Perlstein spends more time on electoral politics, Branch on the details of the movement. When they take a step back and provide quick summaries of the big picture framing their central figures' actions, I us [...]

    • Interesting mesh of man and era, when the author focuses on it. Sometimes Nixon psychobiography and historical narrative only occasionally intersect and lack a causal link. Was disappointed that with such a glaring divide between the challengers and defenders of the culture that the author didn't find people doing both. The Jesus Movement, for instance, challenged many cultural assumptions without undermining Biblical family and sexual teachings.

    • I was looking for an epic book to read this summer and in today's political climate in America this seemed to be a good choice. Unfortunately I can't stand the author's style and that's too much of an obstacle to overcome in such a big book so I'm quitting after reading just five chapters.The author is too prominent in the narrative to ignore. I can almost feel him elbowing me every time he makes what seems to him to be a clever or witty comment about Nixon's iron ass (i.e. his ability to patien [...]

    • Warning: this review is a gusher. Here it is, one of my favorite books. I swallowed it whole--all 800 pages of it. Perlstein is simply amazing. He maintains a fast-paced story line that charges like an action movie. He leaks in his own commentary and ironic observations throughout. He culls together all manner of sources and ephemera, from transcribed clips of TV news broadcasts of the era, first-hand accounts of historical events like the ’68 Democratic Convention, memoirs from Nixon’s side [...]

    • I have a degree in history. I love nonfiction. However, I don't think I'm the intended audience for this book. I found it to be unnecessarily detailed on some subjects and insufficient in others. Example: I don't care about Jane Fonda. I do not understand why she warrants more than one mention, yet her and her antiwar activities were mentioned several times. It's a shame, because I would have enjoyed a different edit of this book.

    • The times I've been presented with the story of Richard Nixon, it tended to be some highly moralistic film or play; perhaps a fevered documentary that flashes back and forth between the oval office and some university where protests took place or outside a recruiting center or at a GOP convention. The media had a problem of being unable to separate itself from the dichotomy of the conservatives of the time with the "love generation" which was some Quixotic force of righteousness without a goal t [...]

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