The Hollywood Smile That Lifted the Conservative Brand

Ronald Reagan and his wife, the actress Nancy Davis

Rick Perlstein looks at the tumultuous political and economic situations of the 1970s. In January 1973 Richard Nixon announced the end of the Vietnam War and prepared for a triumphant second term—until televised Watergate hearings brought him down in 1974. Congressional investigators exposed the CIA for assassinating foreign leaders. While the national mood and economy soured, Ronald Reagan was inventing his conservative political brand—strong, optimistic, and patriotic. Perlstein’s book The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan examines this transformation in the Republican Party.

The Invisible Bridge, by Rick Perlstein