From the bestselling author of Nixonland and The Invisible Bridge comes the dramatic conclusion of how conservatism took control of American political power.
Over two decades, Rick Perlstein has published three definitive works about the emerging dominance of conservatism in modern American politics. With the saga’s final installment, he has delivered yet another stunning literary and historical achievement.
In late 1976, Ronald Reagan was dismissed as a man without a political future: defeated in his nomination bid against a sitting president of his own party, blamed for President Gerald Ford’s defeat, too old to make another run. His comeback was fueled by an extraordinary confluence: fundamentalist preachers and former segregationists reinventing themselves as militant crusaders against gay rights and feminism; business executives uniting against regulation in an era of economic decline; a cadre of secretive “New Right” organizers deploying state-of-the-art technology, bending political norms to the breaking point—and Reagan’s own unbending optimism, his ability to convey unshakable confidence in America as the world’s “shining city on a hill.”
Meanwhile, a civil war broke out in the Democratic party. When President Jimmy Carter called Americans to a new ethic of austerity, Senator Ted Kennedy reacted with horror, challenging him for reelection. Carter’s Oval Office tenure was further imperiled by the Iranian hostage crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, near-catastrophe at a Pennsylvania nuclear plant, aviation accidents, serial killers on the loose, and endless gas lines.
Backed by a reenergized conservative Republican base, Reagan ran on the campaign slogan “Make America Great Again”—and prevailed. Reaganland is the story of how that happened, tracing conservatives’ cutthroat strategies to gain power and explaining why they endure four decades later.
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“If you don’t think a chronicle of the rise of conservatism in American politics can be just as entertaining and illuminating as A Song of Ice and Fire, think again. Perlstein, a local historian, wraps up his acerbic, thoroughly researched, and energetic series on the conservative movement with this tome covering the four years just before Ronald Reagan began his tenure at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”
About Rick Perlstein
Rick Perlstein is the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan; Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America, a New York Times bestseller picked as one of the best nonfiction books of 2007 by over a dozen publications; and Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus, which won the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Award for history and appeared on the best books of the year lists of the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune. He is a contributing editor and board member of In These Times magazine.
About the Narrators
Gabra Zackman is an actress, author, and narrator who has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards. She was educated at Northwestern University. A classically trained actress, she has appeared in theaters all over the country as well as on film and television.
Jonathan Todd Ross is a writer and an Earphones and Audie Award–winning voice actor. He has lent his voice to numerous anime television shows, including Yu-Gi-Oh! and Sonic X.
Jacques Roy is a audio narrator and actor, known for The Lower Angels and Room and Board.
Sophie Amoss is a voice talent and Earphones Award–winning narrator.
Dan Bittner is an actor and voice talent and winner of several AudioFile Earphones Awards for audio narration. He has starred on stage and on the screen, in movies such as Men in Black, Adventureland, and the Producers: The Movie Musical. He has also appeared onstage as Macbeth and Sherlock Holmes in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.