The Mechanisms of Nixonland

by Henry on September 10, 2008

The week before last, I chaired an APSA panel on Rick Perlstein’s “Nixonland”:http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FNixonland-Rise-President-Fracturing-America%2Fdp%2F0743243021%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1221059642%26sr%3D8-1&tag=henryfarrell-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325, with responses from Paul Krugman, Nolan McCarty, Paul Pierson and Eric Rauchway. I can honestly say that this was the best APSA panel I’ve ever been at (and this isn’t self-promotion – my contributions were limited to the boring non-creative stuff like organizing questions from the audience); when I finish transcribing the audio of the panel and put it up on the WWW, you’ll be able to decide for yourself. Anyway, one of the key questions that panelists discussed was the extent to which it was true that Nixonland was still with us today, and if so, why? The last couple of days (and today’s nonsense from the McCain campaign about how Obama wants to give comprehensive sex education to kindergarten children, which maps almost perfectly onto similarly nonsensical political arguments that Rick documents in the 1960s) provide pretty good evidence that Nixonland is alive and well. But why?
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