Nixonland is a historical account of how Richard Nixon rose to power and held the presidency of the United States. The book begins with the 1965 Watts riots, which occurred nine months after Lyndon Johnson’s historic landslide victory over Barry Goldwater.
Perlstein’s narrative shows how scores of liberals were tossed out of Congress, America became 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, and out of its ashes, the political world we know now was born.
Perlstein’s thesis is that Richard Nixon manipulated the political and social events between 1965 and 1972 in a way that shaped the political divisions of the present day. The book is a masterful history of America in the tumultuous 1960s as well as a chronicle of Nixon and how he put that indelible mark upon it.
It is a reminder of how much those days seem like a study of an entirely different country from the vantage point of the twenty-first century, a time of great violence and radicalism that barely touched the vast majority of Americans who simply went about their lives anonymously in what was also a postwar economic boom in the most powerful and prosperous nation in the world.
- Nixonland is a gripping look at the Nixon era and how it laid the groundwork for the political divide that marks our country today.
- Perlstein’s account is filled with prodigious research and driven by a powerful narrative.
- The book is not only the best book written about Nixon and the 1960s but should also be required reading for anyone who wants to try to comprehend the madness that besets the nation today.
- Perlstein’s thesis is that Richard Nixon manipulated the political and social events between 1965 and 1972 in a way that shaped the political divisions of the present day.
What I Liked
This book was long but so engaging. It works very well as an audiobook. I loved how it framed the massive changes in the 1960s. And even though it was 50+ years ago, this era still affects our lives today. It’s the last time the political coalitions were reformed. If you want to learn about the ’60s – read this book. I had no idea, and it helps understand politics to this day.
What I Did Not Like
Nothing – excellent read.