George Will on Nixonland and a Reflection on 1958

Two items of particular interest in tomorrow’s edition (on line today) of the New York Times Book Review. First, there’s George Will’s take on Nixonland, the new book by Rick Perlstein, who, though a man of the Left himself, wrote a classic account of the Goldwater movement in his last book, Before the Storm. (Lew Rockwell’s review of that earlier work is here.) Perlstein has become one of my favorite political writers on the strength of these two books, though so far I’ve only had a chance to glance through Nixonland — it’s a 900-page doorstop. Once I’ve read it properly, I’ll write about it myself.

The 40th anniversary of 1968 — year of Gene McCarthy, LBJ dropping out, the French New Left taking Paris, the King and RFK assassinations, and all the rest — has been garnering a lot of coverage (including in the forthcoming issue of The American Conservative, wherein Bill Kauffman writes about what was right about the New Left), but the Times‘ Rachel Donadio look back a decade earlier in “1958: War of the Intellectuals,” which isn’t actually a very interesting piece, to be honest, but I flag it up for its Dwight Macdonald content. Any mention of Dwight is worth a bit of notice.

Meanwhile, I’m holed up in my garret working on a book review and a short article about Phyllis Schlafly. Will post some details once those pieces are written and on their way toward publication, God, and editors, willing.

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