February 27, 2009

N.D.S.:

From Nixonland to Obamaland: A thorough and absorbing account of how Richard Nixon took advantage of shifting political dynamics in the 1960s sheds new light on that era, and also on American politics today. (Sean Collins, Spiked Review of Books)

Historian Rick Perlstein tackles head-on the question of the relationship between Nixon’s ascendancy and the changes occurring in American society in Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America. Indeed, putting Nixon’s name in the title might be slightly misleading: the book is really a broad review of society and culture as well as politics in this period, and for long episodes Nixon virtually drops out of the picture. Weighing in at a hefty 748 pages, Nixonland is as sprawling, noisy and character-full as was the era itself. While uneven at times, it is a riveting read.

Indeed, Friend Perstein has given us an enjoyable history of the '60-early '70s marred only by its organizing thesis--that the decades were a reflection of Richard Nixon. the times created the man, not vice versa.


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Posted by Orrin Judd at February 27, 2009 5:47 PM
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