Review of “Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America” by Rick Perlstein

My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies

Historian and journalist Rick Perlstein’s widely-praised “Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America” was published in 2008. His first book “Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus” explores American culture in the 1960s. Perlstein’s most recent book “The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan” picks up where “Nixonland” ends.   Perlstein is currently working on a fourth book in this series on America’s political and social fabric.

Readers will quickly discover that “Nixonland” is more a cultural and social history of the United States than a biography of Nixon. Divided into four broad sections (corresponding to the national elections in 1966, 1968, 1970 and 1972) this book explores social trends and unrest deriving largely from Vietnam and racial tensions.

Perlstein’s overarching thesis, tying together two parallel narratives involving American society and…

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