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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rick Perlstein Narrator: David de Vries Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the bestselling author of Nixonland: a dazzling portrait of America on the verge of a nervous breakdown in the tumultuous political and economic times of the 1970s

In January of 1973, Richard Nixon announced the end of the Vietnam War and prepared for a triumphant second term—until televised Watergate hearings revealed his White House as little better than a mafia den. The next president declared upon Nixon’s resignation “our long national nightmare is over”—but then congressional investigators exposed the CIA for assassinating foreign leaders. The collapse of the South Vietnamese government rendered moot the sacrifice of some 58,000 American lives. The economy was in tatters. And as Americans began thinking about their nation in a new way—as one more nation among nations, no more providential than any other—the pundits declared that from now on successful politicians would be the ones who honored this chastened new national mood.

Ronald Reagan never got the message, which was why, when he announced his intention to challenge President Ford for the 1976 Republican nomination, those same pundits dismissed him—until, amazingly, it started to look like he might just win. He was inventing the new conservative political culture we now know, in which a vision of patriotism rooted in a sense of American limits was derailed in America’s bicentennial year by the rise of the smiling politician from Hollywood.

Against a backdrop of melodramas from the Arab oil embargo to Patty Hearst to the near-bankruptcy of America’s greatest city, The Invisible Bridge asks the question: what does it mean to believe in America, to wave a flag—or to reject the glibness of the flag wavers?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Rick Perlstein has established himself as one of our foremost chroniclers of the modern conservative movement…Much of  The Invisible Bridge is not about politics per se but about American society in all its weird, amusing, and disturbing permutations. He seems to have read every word of every newspaper and magazine published in the 1970s and has mined them for delightful anecdotes…It would be hard to top it for sheer entertainment value.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “A Rosetta stone for reading America and its politics today…a book that is both enjoyable as kaleidoscopic popular history and telling about our own historical moment…Epic work.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Engrossing…invaluable to readers aching to find answers to why the country is so deeply polarized today.”

    New York Times

  • The Invisible Bridge covers three years in eight hundred pages, but somehow, you don’t want it to end…One of the most remarkable literary achievements of the year.”


  • “The latest tome by the author of Nixonland links the fall of Richard Nixon and the rise of Ronald Reagan to today’s charged political climate.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “The author of Nixonland is certain to generate new debates among conservatives and liberals about Reagan’s legacy.”

    USA Today

  • “For Americans younger than fifty-five, the story of conservatism has been the dominant political factor in their lives, and Rick Perlstein has become its chief chronicler, across three erudite, entertaining, and increasingly meaty books…The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan…finally brings into focus the saga’s leading character, Ronald Reagan…What gives The Invisible Bridge its originality is the way Perlstein embeds Reagan’s familiar biography in the disillusionments of the seventies.”

    New Yorker

  • "The Invisible Bridge is a magnificent and nuanced work because of Perlstein’s mastery of context, his ability to highlight not just the major players but, more important, a broader sense of national narrative.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “[What is] extraordinary is the writer’s herculean research and the many relevant or just colorful items he uses to fill in the edges and corners and form the frame of this sprawling portrait…there’s much to enjoy here.”


  • “This is gripping material…Perlstein’s gift lies in illustrating broad political trends through surprising snapshots of American culture and media.”

    Chicago Reader

  • “Full of the tragic, the infuriating, and the darkly funny, Perlstein captures the frantic nature of the period.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “This is an ambitious, wide-ranging, and superbly written account filled with wonderful insights into key players, from the prominent to the unjustifiably obscure…A masterful interpretation of years critical to the formation of our current political culture.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Perlstein once again delivers a terrific hybrid biography of a Republican leader and the culture he shaped…The scope of the work never feels limited. Perlstein examines the skeletons in the Reagan, Ford, and Carter closets, finds remarkable overlooked details, and perfectly captures the dead-heat drama of the Republican convention. Just as deftly, he taps into the consciousness of bicentennial America. He sees this world with fresh eyes…Always at the center of the narrative is Reagan, the self-appointed hero who assured a jittery populace that Vietnam and Watergate were just bad dreams. He was America’s cheerleader…A compelling, astute chronicle of the politics and culture of late-twentieth-century America.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Sweeping, insightful, and richly rewarding…His riveting narrative continues the author’s efforts to chronicle the ascendancy of conservatism in American political life…This is a fascinating, extremely readable account of an important decade in America’s political history.”


  • An August 2014 Amazon Best Book of the Month for History
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, August 2014
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Washington Post Bestseller
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller
  • An NPR Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • New York Times Notable Book
  • A 2014 New York Times Notable Book
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014
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