Book Reviews -- the Rehabilitation of Richard Nixon: The Media's Effect on Collective Memory by Thomas J. Johnson

By Liebovich, Louis W. | Journalism History, Autumn 1995 | Go to article overview

Book Reviews -- the Rehabilitation of Richard Nixon: The Media's Effect on Collective Memory by Thomas J. Johnson


Liebovich, Louis W., Journalism History


Johnson, Thomas J. The Rehabilitation of Richard Nixon: The Media's Effect on Collective Memory. New York: Garland, 1995. 249 pp. $68.

Are generational attitudes predictable phenomena? Do those who grew up in the Depression hold different values from those who matured during the turbulent 1960s? Do voters who formed the Roosevelt coalition tend to vote Democratic even today? Was the New Deal a product of a generation of idealistic young people who reached adulthood during the Progressive era, but who matured later? These questions have been addressed qualitatively by historians with mixed results.

Now comes Thomas J. Johnson, who assisted Gladys Engel Lang and Kurt Lang of the University of Washington in their 1986 ground-breaking analysis of the Nixon years. In this latest book, Johnson used statistical analysis from a selected audience sample to examine whether the media had any effect on the Nixon comeback in popularity in his later years and whether collective memory has had an impact upon Nixon's reputation.

Johnson concludes that Nixon was remembered more as a conniver than a tough statesman by all generations; memory of events in Nixon's early years before Watergate was a weak predictor of how he was viewed later; those who watched Watergate unfold on television judged Nixon more harshly; experiencing events directly through the media was a predictor as to whether Nixon would be closely associated with Watergate in memory; and finally, and most telling, political ideology, not memory or media, was the strongest predictor as to how Nixon was remembered.

This is a new and interesting approach to the Nixon years. Watergate analyses will be prevalent in the next decade because of the one-generation-after time frame when the most useful history is written. The implications are immense. If Johnson were able to show a distinct difference in attitude between the baby-boomers and other generations toward Watergate and Nixon, this would help to explain the cynicism that has come to dominate politics today as the baby-boomers rule the world. Unfortunately, his findings are not that definitive, but they begin to address an important question.

Johnson is a disciplined researcher. His book is heavily weighted with charts, tables, endnotes, and an exhaustive bibliography. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Book Reviews -- the Rehabilitation of Richard Nixon: The Media's Effect on Collective Memory by Thomas J. Johnson
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.