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Extended Audio Sample Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America, by Rick Perlstein Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,301 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rick Perlstein Narrator: Stephen R. Thorne Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Told with urgency and sharp political insight, Nixonland recaptures America’s turbulent 1960s and early 1970s and reveals how Richard Nixon rose from the political grave to seize and hold the presidency. 

Perlstein’s epic account begins in the blood and fire of the 1965 Watts riots, nine months after Lyndon Johnson’s historic landslide victory over Barry Goldwater appeared to herald a permanent liberal consensus in the United States. But the next year, scores of liberals were tossed out of Congress, America was more divided than ever, and a disgraced politician was on his way to a shocking comeback: Richard Nixon. 

Filled with prodigious research and driven by a powerful narrative, Rick Perlstein’s magisterial account of how it all happened confirms his place as one of our country’s most celebrated historians.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Nixonland is a grand historical epic...This riveting book, full of colorful detail and great characters, brings back to life an astonishing era—and shines a new light on our own.”

    Jeffrey Toobin, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Rick Perlstein has written a fascinating account of the rise of Richard Nixon and a persuasive argument that this angry, toxic man will always be part of the American landscape.”

    Richard Reeves, New York Times bestselling author of President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination

  • “Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland digs deep into a decisive period of our history and brings back a past that is all the scarier for its intense humanity. With a firm grasp on the larger meaning of countless events and personalities, many of them long forgotten, Perlstein superbly shows how paranoia and innuendo flowed into the mainstream of American politics after 1968, creating divisive passions that have survived for decades.”

    Sean Wilentz, New York Times bestselling author of The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974–2008

  • “A great...book...It’s a great gift for somebody who really likes the dark side of politics.”

    Chris Matthews

  • “Perlstein is a fine writer with a well-developed capacity for seeing irony and absurdity; his storytelling skills make this an absorbing book, full of surprising details.”

    Washington Post

  • “[Nixonland] cements [Perlstein’s] reputation as a gifted and discerning historian. An exceptional work of excavation, synthesis, and storytelling, Nixonland derives its power partly from its resonance.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “The best book written about the 1960s.”


  • “This sprawling, complex, well-written book is jam-packed with ideas and insights that will capture any reader’s attention...Nixonland is a fascinating book that reads like a novel. Whether readers lived through the 60s or not, they will be gripped from start to finish.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Perlstein...is America’s best living historian of the conservative movement...Myth after myth of the 1960s are punctured...It is bigger and better than ideology.”

    American Spectator

  • “Perlstein is well known as a writer on the left, but his historian’s empathies are intense and unpredictable: he convincingly channels the resentment and rage on both sides of the battle lines and lets neither Nixon’s cynicism nor the naivete of liberals like New York mayor John Lindsay off the hook. And while election-year readers will be reminded of how much tamer our times are, they’ll also find that the echoes of the era, and its persistent national divisions, still ring loud and clear.”

    Amazon.com editorial review

  • “A compelling account.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A richly detailed descent into the inferno—that is, the years when Richard Milhous Nixon, ‘a serial collector of resentments,’ ruled the land.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, May 2008
  • An Amazon Best Books of the Year
  • One of the 2008 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Harsha Sekar | 2/8/2014

    " Nixonland was both a well-written and meticulously researched history of the tumultuous 1960's and the birth of movement conservatism, which has gone on to shape US public policy for the last several decades. Perstein offers new insights into the role that race relations played in galvanizing the new right and suggests that racial resentments shaped the political realignment of the 1960's as significantly as the Vietnam War. Overall, Perlstein manages to produce an action-packed account of the period between 1964-1972 while simultaneously making an important intellectual contribution. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Joe Kaiser | 2/3/2014

    " I was born in 1986 and I have mostly tuned out the romanticizing of the 60s and 70s so this book was my opportunity to jump right in. This is the definitive history of America 1966-1972. Nixon was a lot more interesting than I assumed he was. I like that he ended it before Nixon got taken down. What a good book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Lisapa Poe | 1/27/2014

    " Since I didn't live through the 60s, this was an extremely educational book for me. Perlstein uses tons of quotations and has copious end notes, and manages to cover the history in a fairly even-handed manner. And yet, I don't find it to be a compelling story. Correction: compelling story, not compellingly told. I was fascinated/horrified by Americans' willingness to harm or kill or slander other Americans, and Perlstein did a good job illustrating how the idea of "two Americas" all began, but it was a long, hard slog to get through the book. It's definitely not the length: I've read things like Guns of August and the Rise and Fall of the 3rd Reich with far more ease and enthusiasm. I just don't find Perlstein's writing style very engaging, to the point that it interfered with my ability to appreciate the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jared Tester | 1/1/2014

    " A classic of contemporary American History. "

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