Electing Nixon in 1968, Channeling Dissent, and Dividing Government
Will be required reading for any historian or political scientist seeking to understand the 1968 presidential election and its importance for the development of contemporary politics.--Political Science QuarterlyNelson's account will prove to be rewarding reading full of rich insights for anyone interested in this pivotal presidential election or searching for the origins of the politics of our time--Journal of Southern History Michael Nelson's Resilient America is lively and well-written, highly suitable for general readers. It would also be an excellent choice for college courses in American history and political science.--Claremont Review of Books The book provides a shrewd, informed, and reasoned account of intra- and inter-party politics in the 1960s.--The Forum No one has plumbed as deeply into the extraordinary election year of 1968 as Michael Nelson. His Resilient America offers scholarly acumen, vibrant prose, and a provocative thesis. Anyone who loves to read about American politics at its most intense will be enthralled.--Bruce Miroff, author of The Liberals' Moment: The McGovern Insurgency and the Identity Crisis of the Democratic PartyOne of America's most eminent presidential scholars takes on one of America's most contentious elections, the three-way 1968 contest among Republican Richard Nixon, Democrat Hubert Humphrey, and independent George Wallace. Nelson writes with a historian's sensibility, zeroing on key personalities and decisions, but also with a political scientist's feel for systemic developments. He argues that the culminating crisis of the late 1960s brought little immediate change to the nation's resilient political institutions, though it--and the winning candidate--commenced an era of divided government and intensified partisanship that still dominates the national political landscape.--David Courtwright, author of No Right Turn: Conservative Politics in a Liberal America Resilient America, Michael Nelson's account of the 1968 presidential election, is a gem of a book. Abjuring the ideological biases that have characterized almost all accounts of that election, Nelson steps back from the fray and shows how a society stressed and torn apart by the cultural and political divisions of the sixties was kept together by the outcome of the election and the subsequent operations of the president and Congress. The big story here is that of the political system saving the society from disintegration, a remarkable achievement. It is our good fortune as well that one of America's leading scholars of the presidency is also one of our finest writers. Nelson captures the drama and passion of the campaign, and of the entire tumultuous decade of the sixties, in a compelling narrative.--James W. Ceaser, author of Presidential Selection, Liberal Democracy and Political Science, Reconstructing America, and Nature and History in American Political Development In Resilient America, Michael Nelson, one of our nation's preeminent experts on the Presidency, takes a fascinating look at the pivotal 1968 election, one that in many ways created some of the contours that we see in our political scene today. Held during one of the most turbulent periods in American history, Nelson argues that whether one agrees with the outcome or not, the election served its purpose, creating some degree of resolution and stability at a time when it was so badly needed.--Charles E. Cook, Jr., columnist for the National Journal and editor & publisher of The Cook Political Report
Michael Nelson, the Fulmer Professor of Political Science at Rhodes College, is a Fellow of Southern Methodist University's Center for Presidential History and a Senior Fellow at the University of Virginia's Miller Center. He is the author of numerous books, including, most recently, The American Presidency: Origins and Development, 1776-2011, with Sidney M. Milkis, and How the South Joined the Gambling Nation: The Politics of State Policy Innovation, with John L. Mason, winner of the 2009 V. O. Key Award for Outstanding Book on Southern Politics from the Southern Political Science Association.