Nixon's Shadow

The History of an Image

David Greenberg (Author, Rutgers University)

Overview | Inside the Book
 

How an image-obsessed president transformed the way we think about politics and politicians.

To his conservative supporters in 1940s southern California, Richard Nixon was a populist everyman; to liberal intellectuals of the 1950s, he was "Tricky Dick," a devious manipulator; to 1960s radicals, a shadowy conspirator; to the Washington press corps, a pioneering spin doctor; to his loyal Middle Americans, a victim of liberal hatred; to recent historians, an unlikely liberal. Nixon's Shadow rediscovers these competing images of the protean Nixon, showing how each was created and disseminated in American culture and how Nixon's tinkering with his own image often backfired. During Nixon's long tenure on the national stage—and through the succession of "new Nixons" so brilliantly described here—Americans came to realize how thoroughly politics relies on manipulation. Since Nixon, it has become impossible to discuss politics without asking: What is the politician's "real" character? How authentic or inauthentic is he? What image is he trying to project? More than what Nixon did, this fascinating book reveals what Nixon meant.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • October 2004
  • ISBN 978-0-393-32616-1
  • 5.5 × 8.2 in / 512 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

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