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Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America Paperback – April 14, 2009
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"A richly detailed descent into the inferno -- that is, the years when Richard Milhous Nixon, 'a serial collector of resentments,' ruled the land." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Nixonland is a grand historical epic. Rick Perlstein has turned a story we think we know -- American politics between the opposing presidential landslides of 1964 and 1972 -- into an often surprising and always fascinating new narrative. This riveting book, full of colorful detail and great characters, brings back to life an astonishing era -- and shines a new light on our own." -- Jeffrey Toobin author of The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court
"This is a terrific read. What a delight it is to discover the new generation of historians like Rick Perlstein not only getting history correct but giving us all fresh insights and understanding of it." -- John W. Dean Nixon's White House counsel
"Rick Perlstein has written a fascinating account of the rise of Richard Nixon and a persuasive argument that this angry, toxic man will always be part of the American landscape." -- Richard Reeves author of President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination
"Rick Perlstein's Nixonland digs deep into a decisive period of our history and brings back a past that is all the scarier for its intense humanity. With a firm grasp on the larger meaning of countless events and personalities, many of them long forgotten, Perlstein superbly shows how paranoia and innuendo flowed into the mainstream of American politics after 1968, creating divisive passions that have survived for decades." -- Sean Wilentz Princeton University, author of The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008
"The mest book written about the 1960s." -- Newsweek
About the Author
Rick Perlstein is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan; 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 2007 by over 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 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 in Chicago.
Top customer reviews
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The author uses Richard Nixon as the central figure in this conflict and does an excellent job of detailing Nixon's reliance on status politics from his days as a college student to his election as President of the United States in 1972. Along the way, Perlstein uses not only military and political history but social and cultural history to vividly illustrate his points.
The book is extremely well written and well documented and, as a former history teacher, I would highly recommend Perlstein's work to anyone who remembers the sixties or anyone looking for an introduction to the most exciting decade of the second half of the 20th century.
Rick Perlstein has an incredibly witty and readable style. There are so many segments you're going to want to read aloud to anyone willing to listen -- and you'll have fun doing so because of Perlstein's excellent writing. I had to stop reading selections to my wife: after a while, I realized it was really the entire book I wanted to read to her. Instead, I bought her a copy for her own use. I know I'll be referring to this one frequently in the future.
It is an unforgettable story, told by a master writer.
1. A very thoroughly researched, insightful, penetrating book about one of the most interesting periods in American history;
2. While it isn't completely about Nixon, it describes the man and his history in some detail and Nixon is a very interesting man;
3. Perlstein does an excellent job describing the 'fracturing of America' in a way that doesn't really take a side but provides perspective on both sides.
1. I found Perlstein's writing, on occasion, unduly dense and difficult to sift through. He often selects sentence structure that seems unnecessarily complex. Even though I have an extensive vocabulary, I had to use the Kindle dictionary more than a few times. He even used some words that stumped the Kindle dictionary. When I'm trying to make my way through an 800 page book, I really don't want to go back and re-read a sentence three or four times or hunt around for a dictionary to look up an especially esoteric word. (In the context of this review, I even feel a little sheepish using the word 'esoteric.') If I were a friend of Perlstein's, I would suggest he spend a summer reading Steinbeck.
Moreover, the book is very thought-provoking and worth the considerable effort.
Most recent customer reviews
A helpful primer to, "how we got here".