- MP3 CD
- Publisher: Brilliance Audio; MP3 Una edition (August 5, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1491534737
- ISBN-13: 978-1491534731
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 196 customer reviews
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The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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“A Rosetta stone for reading America and its politics today… a book that is both enjoyable as kaleidoscopic popular history and telling about our own historical moment… Epic work.” (Frank Rich New York Times Book Review, listed among the 100 Notable Books of 2014)
“One of the most remarkable literary achievements of the year... The Invisible Bridge covers three years in 800 pages, but somehow, you don't want it to end.” (NPR.org included among the Best Books of 2014)
“Rick Perlstein has established himself as one of our foremost chroniclers of the modern conservative movement…much of ‘The Invisible Bridge’ is not about politics per se but about American society in all its weird, amusing, and disturbing permutations. He seems to have read every word of every newspaper and magazine published in the 1970s and has mined them for delightful anecdotes…it would be hard to top it for entertainment value.” (The Wall Street Journal)
“Enthralling, entertaining… oddly charming and ultimately irresistible.” (Boston Globe)
“For Americans younger than fifty-five, the story of conservatism has been the dominant political factor in their lives, and Rick Perlstein has become its chief chronicler, across three erudite, entertaining, and increasingly meaty books…. ‘The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan’…finally brings into focus the saga’s leading character, Ronald Reagan….What gives ‘The Invisible Bridge’ its originality is the way Perlstein embeds Reagan’s familiar biography in the disillusionments of the seventies.” (The New Yorker)
"’The Invisible Bridge’ is a magnificent and nuanced work because of Perlstein's mastery of context, his ability to highlight not just the major players but more important, a broader sense of national narrative.” (David Ulin The Los Angeles Times)
“Engrossing...invaluable to readers aching to find answers to why the country is so deeply polarized today.” (The New York Times)
“A mixture of scholarly precision, outrage and wry humor.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
“This is gripping material… Perlstein's gift lies in illustrating broad political trends through surprising snapshots of American culture and media.” (Chicago Reader)
“Rick Perlstein is becoming an American institution...a superb researcher and writer.” (The New Republic)
“[A] magisterial survey of America during the mid-1970s…in many ways, The Invisible Bridge is Perlstein’s biggest accomplishment…through the accumulation of divergent storylines, a knack for finding telling anecdotes, and a frenzied pace that magnetizes Perlstein’s writing, he manages to create a vivid portrayal of this turbulent epoch…. Perlstein’s true genius lies in his ability to dig out, synthesize, and convey a jagged, multi-layered episode of history in a compelling prose…. Perlstein has again delivered a superb portrayal of American conservatism, crowning him as one of the leading popular historians of our time.” (Forbes.com)
“Perlstein has an eye for telling detail, understands the potency of American regionalism, and is shrewd about electoral technique and rhetoric. He vividly captures personalities, and his biographical chapter on Reagan is an especially masterful distillation. He is empathetic in entering into his subjects’ perspectives, gifted at recounting the sheer bizarreness of history’s twists and turns.” (Financial Times)
“Invaluable….Perlstein is among the best young historians working today….His rich, deeply knowledgeable books…tell us almost as much about 21st century developments like the birth of the Tea Party and the current Congress' intractable gridlock as they do about the politics of the 1960s and '70s.” (San Francisco Chronicle, included among 100 Recommended Books: The Best of 2014)
“Perlstein ranges far beyond political history, in his case touching on just about everything interesting that happened in the United States between 1973 and 1976… The narrative bounces entertainingly and revealingly from high policy to low humor.” (Washington Post)
"This is an ambitious, wide-ranging, and superbly written account filled with wonderful insights into key players…Perlstein views the rise of Reagan, with his celebration of America’s ‘special destiny’ and moral superiority, as a rejection of a more honest and practical view of our role in the world after the traumas of Vietnam and Watergate. This is a masterful interpretation of years critical to the formation of our current political culture." (Booklist [starred review])
“To call this book rich in anecdotes is an understatement. Perlstein adopts a you-are-there narrative that gives the reader a sense of what average Americans took in during the turbulent period from Watergate to the 1976 elections… the mini-biography of Reagan nestled in the pages is a page turner, as is Perlstein's climactic account of the nail-biter presidential nominating convention in 1976.” (Associated Press)
“He tells a great tale, in every sense … It says a lot about the quality of Rick Perlstein's material and storytelling that more than 700 pages into his latest cinder block of ink and tree, I could still keenly relish yet another tasty fact, another aside… Also extraordinary is the writer's herculean research and the many relevant or just colorful items he uses to fill in the edges and corners and form the frame of this sprawling portrait…there's much to enjoy here.” (Newsday)
“Full of the tragic, the infuriating, and the darkly funny... Outstanding work.” (Publishers Weekly [starred review], included in the PW Staff's Favorite Books We Read in 2014)
“Sweeping, insightful and richly rewarding…His riveting narrative continues the author’s efforts to chronicle the ascendancy of conservatism in American political life…This is a fascinating, extremely readable account of an important decade in America’s political history.” (Bookpage)
“A compelling, astute chronicle of the politics and culture of late-20th-century America… Perlstein once again delivers a terrific hybrid biography of a Republican leader and the culture he shaped…Perlstein examines the skeletons in the Reagan, Ford and Carter closets, finds remarkable overlooked details and perfectly captures the dead-heat drama of the Republican convention. Just as deftly, he taps into the consciousness of bicentennial America. He sees this world with fresh eyes.” (Kirkus [starred review])
“This is certainly one of the most thorough political investigations of this time frame and an important read for scholars of this period. Recommended.” (Library Journal)
“One of America’s greatest chroniclers of the origins of the modern American right wing.” (Salon)
"Magisterial." (Farran Smith Nehame Criterion Collection)
"Rick Perlstein skillfully recounts the era that was shaped by the scandal and the way in which the sordid activities of the Nixon administration unfolded on a day-by-day basis." (Julian Zelizer CNN.com)
"A volume on the Reagan presidency surely beckons. If it is as crammed with historical gems as this one, readers will be well served." (The Economist)
"The author of Nixonland is certain to generate new debates among conservatives and liberals about Reagan’s legacy." (USA Today)
“A painstakingly crafted illustration of the political landscape that made the improbable inevitable.” (Entertainment Weekly)
"Magnificent…an extraordinary book, massive in scope and detail, and essential to a complete understanding of our nation’s politics. There are two contemporary historians who must be read by anyone hoping to understand American politics. One is Robert Caro, and the other is Rick Perlstein." (BookReporter.com)
“Perlstein has an unmatched ability to convey the sense of an era. Even readers who didn’t live through 1970s America will feel as if they did after reading this book.” (CSMonitor.com)
"Perlstein’s narrative gift allows him to take Reagan’s seeming simplicity and dissecting the layers of complexity that went into crafting it." (Eclectablog)
“Expansive, rich, and masterful.” (Los Angeles Review of Books blog)
“Perlstein’s energetic style and omnivorous curiosity about his subject make him a winning narrator… Perlstein deftly captures the wellspring of Reagan’s nature.” (Dallas Morning News)
“Perlstein knows so very much about American politics, some of it profoundly evocative of lost worlds and pregnant with understanding of our own… What places Perlstein among the indispensable historians of our time is his empathy, his ability to see that the roles of hero and goat, underdog and favorite, oppressor and oppressed are not permanently conferred… It requires such an empathy to reimagine the mid-’70s as a time, rather like our own, when almost nobody looking at the surface of day-to-day life was able to take the full measure of the resentment boiling just underneath it." (Bookforum)
“The twists and turns along the way are more than worth the ride by anyone interested in high-level politics and intrigue as well as those with a bent toward the cultural side of the dreary—and violent—seventies. And let’s face it: anyone who can keep a reader’s attention in a tome that covers only three years (1973 to 1976) in over 800 pages deserves some kudos.” (Origins)
“Perlstein’s achievement, both in this volume and the series as a whole, is impressive. The research is prodigious, the prose vivid, and one can only imagine what his treatment of Reagan’s presidency will bring….. Perlstein covers a great deal of ground masterfully." (NationalMemo.com)
“A lovely book that I paged through hungrily.” (MotherJones.com)
“Perlstein’s work is important for his collection, curation, and analysis…. For those wondering where and when the seeds of the modern right wing first started to sprout, this is the place to look.” (Best Books of 2014 PublishersWeekly.com)
“[A] vast and engrossing new history of the ‘70s.” (Salon.com)
“If you haven’t read it, Rick Perlstein’s latest volume on the rise of the conservative movement, “The Invisible Bridge,” is worth a look. It focuses on the fall of Richard Nixon and the rise of Ronald Reagan. Perlstein takes us back to the chaos of the mid-1970s, remembered now, in political terms, mostly for Watergate. But he makes vivid other events of those very troubling times: gas shortages, rampant inflation, domestic terrorism and the ignominious end of the Vietnam War.” (WashingtonPost.com, included in The Fix's Best Political Books of 2014)
“A rip-roaring chronicle….an exhaustive and kaleidoscopic picture of what it felt like to be an American from early 1973 when the prisoners of war began coming home from Vietnam to Ronald Reagan’s failed effort to capture the Republican presidential nomination in August 1976.” (The American Prospect)
“Filled with startling insights…. In blending cultural with political history, “The Invisible Bridge” strikes me as an obvious addition to any list of nonfiction masterpieces.” (Salon.com)
“The Invisible Bridge is even more compulsively readable than the previous two volumes in the series.” (Washington Monthly)
“A fascinating look at how the GOP was transformed in the Ford and Rockefeller years into the party it is today.” (Toledo Blade)
“Witty look at the high-voltage politics and culture of the early ’70s." (Kansas City Star, 100 Best Books of 2014)
“Perlstein's comprehensive popular history connects the dots, framing, in the process, a nuanced portrait of contemporary American conservatism.” (David Ulin Los Angeles Times, among his Best Books of 2014)
“As pointed out in Rick Perlstein’s magnificent new book, The Invisible Bridge, Ronald Reagan had instituted a cult of America’s innocence.” (Politic365)
"Perlstein’s deep research–especially into the newspapers and magazines of that time–is artfully arranged and written." (The Satirist) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
About the Author
Rick Perlstein is the author of Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America, a New York Times bestseller picked as one of the best nonfiction books of the year by more than a dozen publications, and Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus, which won the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Award for history. He lives in Chicago.
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Top customer reviews
But having said that, I have to qualify my praise a bit. First, there is a lot of detail here, sometimes more than I could stand. Perhaps I am not enough of a political junky, but I in all three books I found myself occasionally skimming over multiple pages without any loss of context or flow.
Second, I think at times Mr. Perlstein reaches a bit in making his case, as for example when he speculates that The Exorcist was popular because it touched a subconsious worry in people that the children of the day where being possesed by the strange new culture of the 60's and 70's. Well, ok, but I went to see The Exorcist when it came out, and I wasn't real worried about young people. In fact, I was one of the young people, blissfully wallowing in all that new culture. It is a fun argument to consider, but one of the worst things you can do when you are trying to make an case is to stretch, and this is a stretch.
Third, and most troubling, in the third book I ran into a couple of small but glaring errors. In one place he quotes a Doonesbury cartoon in which a character translates a poem into "mellowspeak" as "Oh wow, look at the moon." Mr. Perlstein quotes several lines from a poem by Wordsworth that he says appeared in the strip and were the subject of the joke. I happen to know that particular strip; it is one of my all time favorites. The poetry in the actual strip came from William Blake, not Wordsworth, and is entirely different from the lines Mr. Perlstein quoted. In fact, on a moment's reflection he would have realized that the lines he said were used are far too long to appear in a four frame comic strip, and you have to wonder how on earth he could have made this mistake. It is almost as if he just heard the about the strip's premise and punchline and just made up the rest without taking 30 seconds to do a Google search.
In another place he referenced a New York Times article profiling a women he called Betsy Griffin who came to the 1976 Republican convention to support the ERA. He notes that the Times failed to note that Ms. Griffin was the headmistress of a prestigeous girls' school. As chance would have it, I know the lady in question. She has been a good friend of ours for over 50 years. Her name is Griffith, not Griffin, and the reason the Times failed to mention her headmistress position is that she did not take that job until 1988.
Are these big serious mistakes? Obviously not. Are they stupid sloppy mistakes? I would have to say yes, and at least for me it calls into question how many those fascinating details he has in his books are 100% reliable. It also seems that when you are going to write a book that dings politicians for being fast and loose with details, you might want to make sure you are not guilty of the same thing.
So the bottom line is that these are excellent books that might have been improved with some pruning, a bit more rigor, and a little more fact checking.
Watergate cemented the culture of cynicism toward politicians that is still present today. For a while, it appeared like nobody was clean. Into this void stepped Ronald Reagan who promised a return to an age of when America was innocent, choices were black and white and things weren’t so complicated and confusing. Fair warning, if you love Reagan, you might want to avoid this book because Perlstein comes across as super liberal and liberals and Reagan are the political equivalent of oil and water.
The fundamental question throughout the back half of the book is how did Reagan come so close to winning the Republican Nomination from Gerald Ford- a sitting president? Perlstein is at his best as he is exploring and detailing the conservative network of sorts that the forces that wanted Reagan were able to tap into. My favorite section was actually the last 50-100 pages and the primary fights in both parties and the high drama at the Republican National Convention (definitely a far cry from today’s coronation oriented events.)
While it is a good view of the political and societal view of America in the 1970’s, I think Perlstein went overboard on some of his portrayals of Reagan and Ford.
As with both of the prior books there are references that show that some of our politics have not changed much over the years. Are the immigration debates new? I don't think so.
"President Ford implored, “We can afford to be generous to refugees” as “a matter of principle.” Mayor Daley of Chicago responded, “Charity begins at home.” The Seattle City Council voted seven to one against a pro-settlement resolution. California governor Jerry Brown said Congress’s refugee bill should be amended with a “jobs for Americans first” pledge. Explained Harvard sociologist David Riesman, “The national mood is poisonous and dangerous and this is one symptom—striking out at helpless refugees whose number is infinitesimal.”
Perlstein takes ground on Nixon that we have been over before, but it fits this story. The story evolves into the massive Ford/Reagan battle for the GOP nomination in 1976, with great detail on how that overall race developed. We even get a good peek at the rise of Jimmy Carter on the Democratic side. Perlstein focuses heavily on the GOP, and gives some great insight on how Ronald Reagan had superior political instincts, rejecting the standard advice given by advisors to great, and positive effect. (Reagan never condemned Nixon on Watergate when most of his own people wished he would)
We all know how that Ford/Reagan nomination battle ended, and that is where Perlstein ends this story. Reagan's loss brought out the Reagan naysayers, who underestimated his political appeal from the very start. After the loss many wrote him off, but his story was just beginning. Perlstein gives, to me, an unvarnished view of how Reagan managed to achieve his success, even in defeat. He gently mocks the left for not understanding Reagan's appeal, while showing us the "tricks" of Reagan's trade.
As with the other two books I give this one high ratings, and enjoyed reading it very much. It is over 800 pages so it will not be for everyone, but for those interested in this era it is a great read!