This sets the stage for Perlstein's handling of Nixon, which, while striking me as quite reasonable, fair, and perceptive for the most part, also possesses blind spots that make themselves more apparent as the story progresses. Out of its ashes, the political world we know now was born. After reading this book, my internal map of the 1960s has been redrawn, and I now see the present with a whole new perspective. And he exploited the hell out of it: What Richard Nixon left behind was the very terms of our national self-image: a notion that there are two kinds of Americans. For example, he has an easy time accepting why many Americans would react negatively to the outbreaks of lawlessness in which social protest appeared an excuse to smash windows, set cars afire, and loot anything not bolted down.
He did not create the resentment in the South after the civil rights legislation but he certainly did stroke and feed it and when necessary distance himself from it slyly turning it into solid political base for the Republicans and of course himself. Two things are seen again and again throughout this epic tale of mid-century America: Richard Milhaus Nixon and the Vietnam War. You can see why the reactionaries were panicking. The author advances his belief that Nixon helped precipitate and define the cultural-political bifurcation of the country into two groups, each of which views the other as not only anti-American, but possessed of an ideology that would destroy the nation were it ever to achieve complete victory. Between 1965 and 1972, America experienced no less than a second civil war. 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.
It's doubtful that he can duplicate Nixon's successes but never say never. P291 At the trial of the Chicago 8 : Questions asked during jury selection: Do you know who Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin are? Instead, he hones in on the social-political aspects of these years, focusing on the way that politicians spoke to the electorate, and how the electorate reacted in turn. Even more so, Nixon, like then-mayor of Chicago Richard J. Some of the comparisons do not match up; for example, thankfully there is nothing like a Vietnam War currently going on. Bumping into the author at Midway Airport, I proudly told him that I had just finished the book and planned to lend it to a friend.
Between 1965 and 1972, America experienced no less than a second civil war. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a B. The final section of the book focuses on the 1972 reelection of Nixon, the beginnings of Watergate, and the disastrous presidential campaign of Democratic South Dakota Senator George McGovern. One habit I found particularly annoying was his insistence on referring to major political figures by diminutive versions of their first names, even when those are not the names by which they are famous, and in one or two cases where this introduces some ambiguity. 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. We learn that Nixon was a highly nasty person with a sad and pathetic inferiority complex.
Daley, and George Wallace but Abbie Hoffman, Ronald Reagan, Angela Davis, Ted Kennedy, Charles Manson, John Lindsay, and Jane Fonda. Out of its ashes, the political world we know now was born. But coverage of his early years is far too rapid to serve as a meaningful introduction to his life. Though he lost badly, his grassroots support — in terms of small-dollar donations — had been strong. And America tried; oh yes it did. Even back then, Nixon was consumed with an us-vs-them mentality, and was scornful of those more fortunate than he.
Perhaps because Perlman has a very solid grasp on the history of the 1960s through 1972, there isn't much to dispute here other than the sparse coverage of topics. At the time I was just thinking of American lives. If you were for it, you were okay with the idea of burning little children with napalm or machinegunning them, like at My Lai; you thought that My Lais happened all the time in war. Astride with this development was the greatly divisive Vietnam War and the radicalization of youth into the in-your-face individualism and rule-breaking of the New Left, a perceived direct assault upon the wholesome and necessary values of what came to be called, by Nixon himself, the Silent Majority. The next year scores of liberals were thrown out of Congress, America was more divided than ever, and a disgraced politician was on his way to a shocking comeback: Richard Nixon. But far worse was his use of the war itself.
Nixonland was originally published in 2008, at the tail-end of eight tumultuous years of terrorism, war, and recession. Instead, I bought her a copy for her own use. To make this nation a great place to live This was a hard book for me to get through. This was the reality Richard Nixon was playing political games with. It's really shocking what it has happened to the Republican party.
Most Americans now also see the Iraq war as a big mistake. Most of the north eastern Republicans were against the war. If you are looking for a straight biography of Nixon you might be disappointed. I remember him running againt Pat Brown for Governor. I was present in some of the events described, aware of most of the others through the media.
Today, it is the reversal of the Silent Majority. Fueled by rising frustration over the senseless war in Vietnam and the slow pace of achieving racial equality, people became hippies, anti-war protesters, black nationalists and cultural rebels. Both populations — to speak in ideal types — are equally, essentially, tragically American. 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. 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. It is the story of America book-ended by the elections of 1964 and 1972.