The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan

THE INVISIBLE BRIDGE                              RICK PERLMAN

In January of 1973, Richard Nixon announced the end of the Vietnam War and prepared for a triumphant second term—until televised Watergate hearings revealed his White House as little better than a mafia den. The next president declared upon Nixon’s resignation “our long national nightmare is over”—but then congressional investigators exposed the CIA for assassinating foreign leaders. The collapse of the South Vietnamese government rendered moot the sacrifice of some 58,000 American lives. The economy was in tatters. And as Americans began thinking about their nation in a new way—as one more nation among nations, no more providential than any other—the pundits declared that from now on successful politicians would be the ones who honored this chastened new national mood.

Ronald Reagan never got the message. Which was why, when he announced his intention to challenge President Ford for the 1976 Republican nomination, those same pundits dismissed him—until, amazingly, it started to look like he just might win. He was inventing the new conservative political culture we know now, in which a vision of patriotism rooted in a sense of American limits was derailed in America’s Bicentennial year by the rise of the smiling politician from Hollywood. Against a backdrop of melodramas from the Arab oil embargo to Patty Hearst to the near-bankruptcy of America’s greatest city, The Invisible Bridge asks the question: what does it mean to believe in America? To wave a flag—or to reject the glibness of the flag wavers?


After reading Nixonland written by the same author he takes you through the 70’s which was just as turmoil as the 60’s were. At least for me, starting high school in 74 by the end of the decade it was totally different. Now having a book going back through the different times of the Patty Hearst kidnapping, and the bank robbery, the different organizations that were up and running against the government, the Symbionese Liberation Army, Weather Underground, the Manson trails at the beginning of the decade, civil rights was still going on, and so much more in California. The author takes you through that and Watergate, the rise of Ronald Reagan on the National scene at the Republican convention that was much closer than I think most people really knew the time, but still, Ford ran against Carter only to lose. Then of course four years later with the Iran hostage crisis Regan would be President. There is a lot to take in with this book as there was with Nixonland, for me I grew up in a home that talked politics and was pro-republican. My father also worked for the government and said that Nixon only got caught that other Presidents had done the same things, so I take everything with a grain of salt. This is a good book because I was brought back to a time of the 70’s that for me was still good even though there still was turmoil around. For me, some of the best music came out of the 70’s, but not some of the best politicians. Still, I think this book is very much worth the read, and Ronald Reagan was a smart man to take advantage of what he could and is still the only man who was President of a union, and the President of the United States. A good book. I received this book from I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at

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