If you've read this blog, especially many of my earlier posts, you know that this is an era and a movement that I'm fascinated in, and one which I believe can still be felt today. Because I'm not quite finished with the book yet, I'm going to hold off on a long analysis. Also, I'm going to an event at the National Press Club tomorrow at which Perlstein will be discussing his work so I want to hear what he has to say. Nonetheless, pick "Nixonland" up and dive in.
Monday, May 19, 2008
I'm going to be doing a series of posts over the next little while, now that the primaries are winding down, on the fantastic new book by Rick Perlstein, "Nixonland." The second in his series on the rise of conservatism in America (following up on "Before the Storm"), the book is essentially a portrait of the period from 1964-1972. What makes his work so interesting is that it challenges, and presents a counter to, the traditional narrative of the 1960's that many have given us. While he discusses at length the anti-war movement, the rise of black power, and other developments on the left, what Perlstein is more interested in explaining is what was going on in reaction to these movements. Using Nixon as the central actor, "Nixonland" is, in short, the history of the Silent Majority.