Nixon Agonistes: The Crisis of the Self-Made Man #2020

Nixon Agonistes: The Crisis of the Self-Made Man By Garry Wills Nixon Agonistes The Crisis of the Self Made Man From one of America s most distinguished historians comes this classic analysis of Richard Nixon By considering some of the president s opinions Wills comes to the controversial conclusion that Nixon
  • Title: Nixon Agonistes: The Crisis of the Self-Made Man
  • Author: Garry Wills
  • ISBN: 9780618134328
  • Page: 476
  • Format: Paperback
  • Nixon Agonistes: The Crisis of the Self-Made Man By Garry Wills
    Nixon Agonistes: The Crisis of the Self-Made Man By Garry Wills From one of America s most distinguished historians comes this classic analysis of Richard Nixon By considering some of the president s opinions, Wills comes to the controversial conclusion that Nixon was actually a liberal Both entertaining and essential, Nixon Agonistes captures a troubled leader and a struggling nation mired in a foolish Asian war, forfeiting the loyaFrom one of America s most distinguished historians comes this classic analysis of Richard Nixon By considering some of the president s opinions, Wills comes to the controversial conclusion that Nixon was actually a liberal Both entertaining and essential, Nixon Agonistes captures a troubled leader and a struggling nation mired in a foolish Asian war, forfeiting the loyalty of its youth, puzzled by its own power, and looking to its cautious president for confidence In the end, Nixon Agonistes reaches far beyond its assessment of the thirty seventh president to become an incisive and provocative analysis of the American political machine.
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      Garry Wills

    About “Garry Wills

    • Garry Wills

      Garry Wills is an author and historian, and a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books In 1993, he won a Pulitzer Prize for General Non Fiction for his book Lincoln at Gettysburg The Words That Remade America, which describes the background and effect of Abraham Lincoln s Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863.

    839 thoughts on “Nixon Agonistes: The Crisis of the Self-Made Man

    • The disjointedness of the talk seemed expressed in his face as he scowled his only expression of thoughtfulness or grinned his only expression of pleasure The features do not quite work together The famous nose looks detachable , but the aspect that awes one when he meets Nixon is its distressing width, accentuated by the depth of the ravine running down its center, and by its general fuzziness Nixon s five o clock shadow extends all the way up to his heavy eyebrows, though like many hairy men h [...]

    • Originally assigned by Esquire magazine to cover the late stages of the 1968 presidential election from the vantage point of the Nixon campaign, featuring that political warhorse and his energetic team of legal associates and young fireballers, Garry Wills under the prodding of his editor turned a ruminative essay upon Tricky Dick into six hundred pages of analysis, diagnosis, deduction, induction, and reflection upon the state of the American national soul at the closing out point of that tumul [...]

    • I had to put this book down for several months because I had to digest certain arguments especially in Part IV that went against long standing views of mine, but are so brilliantly argued, that I simply couldn t go on until they had been simmered, stewed, and thoroughly digested Wills is one of the most intelligent, brilliant, sheerly logical writers I have read in a long time his classical and Jesuitical training evident on every page As such, this book is utterly compelling His thesis, as also [...]

    • This is one of the most searing analyses I have read of Richard Nixon An equal assessment might be when Hunter S Thompson said in 1994 that Nixon was the death of the American Dream and that his body should be burned in a trash bin This coarse yet logical analysis of the most artificial character in politics also serves as a greater indictment of the contradictions of classical liberalism, as well as a view of the state of American society in the late 1960s, and how a Richard Nixon could come to [...]

    • Wills convincingly argues for the view that Nixon was really a liberal in the modern political sense His approach to Nixon, based on this premise, is both enlightening and intelligent Richard Nixon was certainly a national enigma, our president of polarization I personally saw that happen in my family Considering the policies initiated by Nixon for example, going off the gold standard, expanding major government programs like the EPA, and opening ties to Red China, the view of Nixon as a liberal [...]

    • This is a rather remarkable book I ve read several, recent books by Wills, but nothing quite like this One presumes from the style of his writing dense, sometimes almost lyrical that he spent a great deal of time stitching together and revising the original National Review, Esquire, New Politics and Saturday Evening Post articles into this subtle analysis of American political culture.This is not really a biography of Richard Nixon, though it does have many elements of biography, including visi [...]

    • I struggled finishing Gary Wills Nixon Agonistes, but finish it I did The book s first half comprising on site 1968 convention reporting from Miami and Chicago is superb, as sharp and funny as Norman Mailer or Hunter Thompson at their best The second half of Nixon Agonistes is a series of thinkpieces on the decline of American liberalism written in the bloviating manner of David Brooks or Thomas Friedman at their worst Wills discussed a few book titles I haven t read but am interested in checkin [...]

    • This may well be the ultimate book on Nixon and his rise to power However, I shan t pass judgment until I ve read his autobiographical, Six Crises While Perlstein s Nixonland is an insightful overview of the historical milieu that gave rise to Nixon, Wills book explores not only the historical events that landed this self made man in the White House, but the waves of American philosophical thought that lead to his rise To put it succinctly, Perlstein s book is an appetizer to Wills main course [...]

    • This book earned Wills a listing on Nixon s famous enemies list because of statements like The belief that our electoral system guarantees the choice of the best men and policies can only give voters a sense that the whole operation is a mockery when Richard Nixon is freely chosen to preside Overall, Wills treatment of Nixon is fairly balanced I actually felt sorry for the misery Ike put Tricky Dick through before Nixon s 1952 Checker s Speech Some reviewers make the point that Wills postulates [...]

    • Written back when political commentary had of an academic elitist bent, Garry Wills explores the life and career of Richard M Nixon from the lemon ranches of southern California to the White House Published in 1970, Wills writes of the poisoned America of 1968, of LBJ s Vietnam War and how it disillusioned the public and how the cooly efficient political machine of Nixon is able to resurrect his dreams and emerge from a Republican pack of eager politicians that included Nelson Rockefeller, Geor [...]

    • I would recommend this book because Nixon is an important historical figure he took the US off the gold standard, he opened relations with China, he withdrew from the Vietnam war and he invented the war on drugs These acts still influence the US profoundly 40 years later But even because Nixon pioneered the use of polarization in modern electoral politics, a phenomenon that is still sticking like a spear out of the body politic 50 years later But mostly because Wills is a great writer and a dee [...]

    • Good book very thought provoking I found it gave me some new insights albeit fuzzy ones hard to pin down into American politics and social thought that is hard to pick up from conventional sources For example, the distinction between the Presidential and non Presidential parts of the political parties In a sense, it s not really about Nixon at all but about ways of thinking Some sections eg on the nature of liberalism were fairly hard work.

    • Maybe the best book I ve ever read It s certainly up there An incredibly great insight into the most savage president ever sworn in, and makes some really tremendous arguments in terms of how his policies would be placed today.

    • A spectacular work of politics and sociology Wills grasps the crisis of liberalism and faith in the American system that we are still experiencing today His description of the self made man and the centrality of the market in American philosophy is brilliant.

    • This is hands down the best political analysis of American politics from 1960 to the present I ve read It is amazing how prescient and how correct Wills was almost 50 years ago.

    • Wills starts by following the 1968 campaign of Richard Nixon From there, he goes on to examine what he calls American Liberalism , which is quite different from what most people nowadays or even thenadays in 1968 refer to as as liberal It turns out that Wills dislikes 50s and 60s era liberals as much as he dislikes Nixon.What Wills is talking about is a series of markets moral, economic, and political which pander to the larger myth of what people used to believe made America great many still do [...]

    • This was the most stunningly intelligent books I have ever read Over forty years old at this point, I found it as salient today as the day it was written, and devastatingly incisive The terrifying question that this begs is how have we changed so little in the last half a century The first 3 5 of the book consists of a series of anecdotes which roughly Sketch our the 1968 Republican primary, as well as its background, and the surrounding environment at the time He uses this setup to begin to inf [...]

    • Nixon Agonistes is educational and a little heavier than your average biography Actually the book is about political movements in the 60s than Nixon himself The good It is clear why Nixon was able to win in 1968 The two principle reasons were his team was politically astute than his opponents and the Left was a mess While I knew the general history of the 1968 election, Wills does a good job in explaining the various groups on the Left He also goes a little into the southern strategy of Nixon, [...]

    • This book is not at all a breezy read but an intensive look at Richard Nixon, the Presidential election of 1968 and the situations surrounding both of them it is somewhat of a psycoanalysis of Nixon, the man and the politician but also an examination of US 20th Century political thought The book combines history and philosophy in a sometimes spellbinding, sometimes slow moving way I m pretty much of a wonk but occasionally this book was too politically deft even for me Well worth the read howeve [...]

    • A book that I wish I had read about 8 years ealier It taught me not only that I really enjoy reading Gary Wills, but also gave me some insight into the value system of Robert E Lee and how it contrasts with that of the folks who engineered the diaster in Vietnam It was also one of the earlier discussions of the distinction between economic and social realism and the extent to which Nixon had a claim to the traditional liberal label.

    • This is a difficult book that is very gratifying It is brilliant about Nixon, about the Republican resurgence and how it fit into America at that time It is insightful about the 60s and today, as well But it s a tough, tough read with many portions that don t seem relevant until you read a lot But if you can, read it it s worth it.

    • Not sure how well this book has aged some sections don t feel especially relevant today but Wills s book is an exceptional portrait not of Nixon so much as of the America that elected Nixon in 1968 Wills portrays Nixon as an avatar of the old authorities and shibboleths of American life that would be overturned by the convulsions of the late 60s early 70s.

    • Terrific character study by one of the top intellectuals of the last fifty years Wills does a brilliant job with this intricate character his writing is as fluid as that of any historian I have ever read.

    • My first printing library copy of this book was missing seven pages pages 509 to 516 were not there Quite annoying and frustrating So if you want to read the book, look for a later printing or a softcover edition.

    • Just a fucking amazing, thought provoking book Putatively about the 1968 election, it s about the american political tradition and the fracturing of the new deal coalition Also, great stuff on Nixon and how bizarre a character he was.

    • I recently re read this book, and was reminded of why I thought it was the best book on Richard Nixon I had ever read, and also why and how it established Garry Wills as one of the finest historians of our generation.

    • Was written when Nixon was campaigning before he took office in 1968 Nevertheless a remarkable psychological portrait Wills observes Nixon, the things he says, and reveals some interesting sidebars on Spiro Agnew and Rockefeller The Checkers Speech is also covered and investigated.

    • a towering analysis of Nixon prior to Watergate covering all of his flaws and imperfections.Willis nails it.Illuminating

    • Read this long ago Have always thought of it as one of the better books that I ve ever encountered on American politics, as well as being a fascinating plunge into the Nixonian psyche.

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