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Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of Americaby Rick Perlstein
Sunday, September 07, 2014 07:30 PM
Powell's City of Books on Burnside, Portland, OR
Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland, returns with a dazzling portrait of America on the verge of a nervous breakdown in the tumultuous political and economic times of the 1970s. The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan (Simon and Schuster) is the latest volume in the acclaimed political history of America by the author called the "hypercaffeinated Herodotus of the American century" (The Nation). Against a backdrop of melodramas from the Arab oil embargo to Patty Hearst to the near-bankruptcy of America's greatest city, The Invisible Bridge asks the question: What does it mean to "believe in America"? To wave a flag — or to reject the glibness of the flag wavers?
Synopses & Reviews
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 to herald a permanent liberal consensus in the United States. Yet the next year, scores of liberals were tossed out of Congress, America was more 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:
Then, 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.
From one of America's most talented historians comes a brilliant new account of Richard Nixon--set against the violent passions of America's 1960s Civil War--that reveals the riveting backstory to the red state/blue state resentments that divide the nation today. Illustrated.
About the Author
Rick Perlstein is the author of Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consenus, which won the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Award for history and appeared on the best books of the year lists of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune. His essays and book reviews have been published in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Nation, The Village Voice, and Slate, among others. He has received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for independent scholars. He lives with his wife in Chicago.
Table of Contents
1 Hell in the City of Angels
2 The Orthogonian
3 The Stench
4 Ronald Reagan
5 Long, Hot Summer
6 School Was in Session...
7 Batting Average
8 The Bombing
9 Summer of Love
10 In Which a Cruise Ship Full of Governors Inspires Considerations on the Nature of Old and New Politics
12 The Sky's the Limit
14 From Miami to the Siege of Chicago
15 Wednesday, August 28, 1968
17 The First One Hundred Days
19 If Gold Rust
20 The Presidential Offensive
21 The Polarization
25 Agnew's Election
26 How to Survive the Debacle
27 Cruelest Month
29 The Coven
30 The Party of Jefferson, Jackson, and George Wallace
31 The Spring Offensive
33 In Which Playboy Bunnies, and Barbarella, and Tanya, Inspire Theoretical Considerations upon the Nature of Democracy
34 Not Half Enough
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