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Richard Nixon


Professor Carl Freedman

Book publication date: January 2012
“I believe the second half of the twentieth century will be known as The Age of Nixon” [Robert Dole, at Nixon’s funeral].

In the age of the Tea Party, Mitt Romney, and Rick Perry, not to mention Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, Nixon seems hair-raisingly left-wing by current Republican Party standards: and yet, he laid the groundwork for much of the Republican right wing today.

Carl Freedman picks up the mantle of Garry Wills, David Frost and other political commentators to reassess Nixon’s profound psychic connections with the American people and his influence on many of the most important currents in American life. The book is not just a work of political biography but a study of cultural power: a study in the ways that culture shapes our politics and frames our sense of possibilities and values.  

Future generations have several ways in which to learn about Nixon the man, Nixon the politician and Nixon the myth; these include John Adams’ 1987 opera Nixon in China, Oliver Stone’s 1995 movie Nixon and Garry Wills’ 1970 biography Nixon Agonistes. It is nearly 40 years since the events which led to Nixon’s downfall. The release of his secret grand jury testimony was ordered in July, 36 years after the Watergate trial itself. The Age of Nixon is timely. It is a new kind of book, for both academic and general readers, applying Marxist cultural theory and psychoanalysis to the study of American electoral politics.

Richard Nixon was real, for all that he seems like a fictional character concocted in the course of some strange literary collaboration between Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Theodore Dreiser, and J. G. Ballard. Carl Freedman’s compelling book takes the full measure of Nixon the man, Nixon the media image, Nixon the myth, and even Nixon the ideal type, the quintessential expression, and the most capacious representative of the political and economic system under which we continue to live today.                                                                                                                                                       


“Professor Carl Freedman writes on modern thought and culture: most notably Marxist critical theory, science fiction, film, and US electoral politics.  Previous titles include Critical Theory and Science Fiction (2000) and The Incomplete Projects: Marxism, Modernity, and the Politics of Culture (2002). He was born in North Carolina and received his higher education at the University of North Carolina, Oxford University, and Yale University.  He has taught at Yale, at Wesleyan University (Connecticut), and, since 1984, at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge), where he is Professor of English.

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Review copies and more information is available.

Best wishes
Catherine Harris
John Hunt Publishing Sales & Marketing
Laurel House SO24 9JH England T: 07879483708

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