Nixon Rebuilds: From Defeat to the White House, 1962–1968
John David Briley
Richard Nixon’s election to the presidency in 1968 was an improbable vindication for a man branded as a loser after unsuccessful presidential and gubernatorial campaigns. Yet during the 1966 mid-term elections, he emerged as the critical figure who united the fractured Republican Party after the disastrous 1964 presidential election. Along the way, he sensed how large swaths of the American public were moving against the Democrats, and how a candidate could take advantage of this.
Filling an important gap in the Nixon literature, this book explores his dynamic reinvention during the dark days of the mid-sixties—a period that mirrored his 1946–1952 rise from obscure congressman to Eisenhower’s vice-president. Beginning with his 1962 press conference after losing the California governor’s election and ending with his 1968 presidential victory, a far more human Nixon is revealed, unlike the familiar caricature of the shady politician and orchestrator of Watergate who would do anything to win.