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Publisher's Summary

From one of America's most talented historians and winner of a LA Times Book Prize comes a brilliant new account of Richard Nixon that reveals the riveting backstory to the red state/blue state resentments that divide our nation today.

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.

©2008 Rick Perlstein. All rights reserved.; (P)2009 BBC Audio

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

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  • Overall
  • Stanley
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 07-17-09

Very Entertaining Historical Novel

If you like recent political history this is a very good effort by the author. Brings together a diverse cast of characters all centered around Richard Nixon and his far reaching influence that is still evident today

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Robin
  • randolph, NJ, United States
  • 04-13-13

Good book, poorly read

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Stephen R. Thorne?

I will make a point of NOT buying any books he narrates.

Was Nixonland worth the listening time?

This seems to be a well-written book -- and I'm certainly interested in the topic -- so I might read the actual book sometime in the near future; but I couldn't deal with the narrator's bland style and his mispronunciation of so many names (and these were names of people I knew: he could be mispronouncing many other names and I just don't know the difference.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Somewhat cynical review American life and values

If you could sum up Nixonland in three words, what would they be?

organized, quick-paced, biased

Would you be willing to try another book from Rick Perlstein? Why or why not?

Yes, on certain topics, but I would be better prepared for the cynical point of view.

Which character – as performed by Stephen R. Thorne – was your favorite?

This book is written strictly from a narrator's point of view. Mr. Thorne does a good job narrating, and sometimes succeeds in portraying actual voices where relevant. Good listen.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Tricky Dick, how social conditions allowed an abominable personality to climb to the pinnacle of American politics, then hurtle to the bottom.

Any additional comments?

I highly recommend this book to anyone under the age of 55. Since I lived through that period, and in California to boot, it was pretty much like a rerun. Mr. Perlstein gives fast pace, albeit, cynical coverage to everything from Communist scares, to race riots, to Watergate. The presentation is pretty negative and doesn't dwell on the few good things that did happen during the mid-20th century.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • zrer10
  • Knoxville, Tn United States
  • 08-25-11

The Nixon at the end of the galaxy.

There are some interesting ideas in this book. Like showing how the southern strategy started with nixon and how todays republican party is more a product of Richard Nixon then Ronald Reagan. However I dont think you need 30 hours to make this point, and far too many times the author is reaching. For the author everything seems to go back to Richard Nixon from the tinkerings of Mayor Daily to southern waterhosing. And how the author transitions back to Richard Nixon after going off on a 30 minute rant about some obscure political detail by saying 'And there was Richard Nixon' with the word nixon pressed is really annoying.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


A thorough and detailed history of a fascinating time. The writer combines social, economic and political history into a seamless tapestry that recaptures the flavor of an era. As someone who lived through this period, I thoroughly enjoyed remembering all the energy and quirkiness of the hippie era. I

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • James
  • United States
  • 06-09-11

Long- But well worth the listen

I wasn't born until 1984- so I didn't experience the Vietnam and Nixon era first hand. This book is a great listen for younger generations who didn't live through the time period but want to find out more about it.

It is very comprehensive and Rick Perlstein does a good job of sticking to the facts without any political leaning.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jennifer
  • San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 05-17-11

Stimulating review the 60's and 70's

Nixonland triggered many memories, and provided information and analysis of events, trends of milestones and headlines now largely forgotten. Its value, regardless of your own political perspective, is as background for understanding the forces at work in current society. This is true be it for presidential races, debates over taxes and funding priorities, and current wars. This is not simply a biography of Nixon, but of an era. The author is largely descriptive vs judgmental of people and events, and when he is judgmental, it is applied to all in similar measure. The foolhardiness and greed of all in the political spectrum is noted, as well as the courage and talent of a few. Highly detailed, yet it reads/is delivered like a story. Some events and moments are hard to listen to, because they are so tragic: Riots in Newark, My Lai and Calley, LBJ and Nixon lies to the public, manipulation of public opinion by both parties, the pain and confusion of regular people in the face of cultural change, racial inequity, and the changing social contract of America. A compelling and thoughtful book, it demands listening with an open mind, as there is information and opinion neither the Right nor the Left want to hear.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

good book / disappointing reading

I'm fascinated with all the insight into the inner workings of American Politics. So sad. The disappointment is the frequent mispronunciation by this reader. Many of the names are slaughtered, but the story is captivating.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Richard
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 03-11-10

Thorough account of an important time

Perlstein's account of the rise of Nixon is thorough and engaging. It was a real pleasure learning about the ideologies and the political landscape of a time that is far removed from mine. Before listening to the book, I assumed it would be about the rise of Nixon. What surprised me the most was learning about cultural and political landscape that was fracturing American during this time. I would highly recommend Nixonland to all the political and cultural junkies out there.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • Sunrise, FL, United States
  • 09-23-09

Excellent but sickening

Well done. It's amazing how corrupt and morally bankrupt Nixon was. How many soldiers and innocent civilians died waiting for Nixon's "secret plan" to end the war? As far as Watergate, anyone who says "every politician does the same" should read this book. Nixon takes paranoia, corruption, and just plain evil to new dimensions.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful