Today I acquired a copy of Rick Perlstein’s second book, Nixonland, which Scribner is to publish May 12 (though the book is already being shipped at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble’s website). Starting tomorrow afternoon I’ll be blogging about it in several installments, through the weekend. At 750 pages of text (not counting nearly 100 more of footnotes) it is, along with Conrad Black’s recent biography, the most massive book on the Nixon era since Richard Reeves’ President Nixon eight years ago. Perlstein’s first book about Sen. Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign, Before The Storm, was very well-received upon its publication in 2001, in both conservative and liberal publications, where this young historian was praised for his diligent research and impartiality. But in the course of this decade his statements both about contemporary politics and historical issues have become decidedly more partisan. A recent Chicago Reader profile discussed this shift. And, earlier this month, David Frum of the American Enterprise Institute conducted an online debate (via digital camera and telephone) with Perlstein about the arguments in his book and the contemporary political scene.
April 30, 2008 By Leave a Comment