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Richard Nixon

THE AGE OF 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.                                                                                                                                                       

Steven Shaviro, author of CONNECTED, WITHOUT CRITERIA, and POST-CINEMATIC AFFECT

“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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You may also be interested in other titles in the Zero Books imprint

Capitalist Realism [978-184-694-317-1] 2009 £7.99 $14.95 by Mark Fisher is a modern analysis, illuminated by contemporary references from the worlds of film, literature and art, of the ways in which capitalism has presented itself as the only realistic political-economic system.

Militant Modernism [978-184694-176-4 £9.99 $19.95 2009] by Owen Hatherley argues for a Modernism of everyday life, defending modernism in design, film and architecture.

The Meaning of David Cameron  [978-184694-456-7 £6.99 $12.95] by Richard Seymour widens the debate beyond televised debates, party manifestos, campaign trail propaganda and media coverage, and asks whether Cameron is the cipher of the social forces he represents.

Meat Market: female flesh under capitalism [978-1-84694-521-2 £6.99 $12.95 April 2011 Zero Books] by activist Laurie Penny is a feminist dissection of women’s bodies as the fleshy fulcrum of capitalist cannibalism, whereby women are both consumers and consumed. This is a suitably provocative treatise from the voice of student protest and Penny Red columnist.

Around the Outsider: Essays presented to Colin Wilson on the occasion of his 80th birthday  [978-1-84694-668-4 £15.99 May 2011 O-Books] by Colin Stanley is a collection of essays in honour of former ‘Angry Young Man’, the English philosopher/author Colin Wilson, on the occasion of his eightieth birthday.

A Year on the Sauce [978-1-84694-529-8 10.99  19.95 2011] by Brendan Montague is a limited edition collection of stories from the most edgy radical news blog in the UK.

The Politics of Down Syndrome [978-1-84694-613-4 £9.99 $14.95 85pp Sept 2011 Zero] by The Book Depository MD Kieron Smith is a call for people to think again about what it means to be inclusive, why we’re hung up on the idea of intelligence and how an inclusive society is a better society.

The Message [978-1-84694-879-4 £9.99 $16.95 Zero Sep 2011] by Tariq Goddard is a topical literary thriller set in a fictional African state in the grip of civil war. Are 21st Century Empire Builders preparing for another go at Africa, 100 years after the Heart of Darkness? See the parallels with the real civil war going on in Libya. This book is being reviewed by Kirsty Wark and guests on BBC 2’s Review Show this month.

Another coming next year is
Beyond the Left: The Communist Critique of the Media [978-1-84694-976-0 £9.99 $14.95Jan 2012 Zero] by Stephen Harper attacks the cherished assumptions of liberal media criticism, and updates and recharges the Marxist critique of the media.

Review copies and more information is available.

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Sarah Palin

THE REACTIONARY MIND

 Dear friends:

I wanted to let you know that my book The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin is one day away from its official publication date, which happens to coincide with Rosh Hashanah (hence my writing you today), but you can buy it now at Amazon or elsewhere, in hard cover or on Kindle.

If you live in the New York area or will be traveling here next week, I’d like to invite you to a public conversation between me and Chris Hayes, host of the excellent new MSNBC show “Up With Chris Hayes,” about my book.  It will be on Thursday, October 6, at 7 pm, in the Martin Segal Theater of the CUNY Graduate Center.  That’s 365 5th Avenue, between 34th and 35th. Seating may be tight, so try to get there early. Here’s a link to the event. It’s being sponsored by the Center for Humanities, The Nation, and the Roosevelt Institute.

If you do come, please make sure to say hi.  And whether you can or can’t come, I’d be grateful if you could share this note to your friends and colleagues and lists.

Happy New Year!

Corey Robin

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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