Book Reviews of Nixon Agonistes : The Crisis of the Self-Made Man

Nixon Agonistes : The Crisis of the Self-Made Man
Nixon Agonistes The Crisis of the Self-Made Man
Author: Garry Wills
ISBN-13: 9780451617507
ISBN-10: 0451617509
Publication Date: 4/3/1979
Pages: 560
Edition: Updated and expanded
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.

5 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: New American Library
Book Type: Unknown Binding
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

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reviewed Nixon Agonistes : The Crisis of the Self-Made Man on + 582 more book reviews
This was a required book in one of my college classes. It was so good, that I have kept it these past few decades. Because it has been so long since I read it, I am borrowing a review from Amazon:

Forgotten masterpiece, July 28, 1998
Reviewer: Stanley Allen (League City, TX United States)

It's too bad that this book is out of print. Probably it stopped selling because of its title -- people must have assumed that it was only relevant for the Nixon era. Not so! The book is valuable today for the evocation of the early part of that time (especially the summer of 1968), but more than that, it is a masterful analysis of that collection of shared intellectual assumptions that make up a great deal of American political (and other) impulses -- specifically, that set of post-Lockean interpretations of social, moral, economic and political life which fall under the rubric of "liberalism". Wills details the connection between Nixon and this background, and the results are far-ranging. Many of the great American assumptions about life are implicated and their mythical foundations revealed: equality of economic opportunity, electoral "mandates", democracy via fair elections in countries that do not have them, fair competition of ideas in academia, and others. Wills leaves no stone unturned. The book deserves to be reprinted again.
Original review above was July 1998; Below added Jan 2003:
Hurrah! It's back in print! Get your copy before it disappears again!

I should have mentioned that, in addition to the fun of watching Wills dismantle the superstructure of liberalism, the book provides great pleasure through its style. Wills writes non-fiction better than most poets write sonnets.