Wednesday, April 6, 4 p.m., HGS 119A&B (Yale University)
Backlash: Writing the Psyche of a Divided Nation
Writer Rick Perlstein, author of Before The Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of The Conservative Consensus (2001) and Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America (2008), is now at work on the third volume of his Backlash Trilogy, a history of American conservatism from the Red Scare to Ronald Reagan. On April 6, Rick will join us at Writing History to present the cornerstone chapter of his work-in-progress. This chapter, which will be circulated in advance on the v2, treats the repatriation of American POWs from Vietnam in February and March of 1973 as a case study in the formation of two political cultures whose clashes would define the battlefield to come: a culture of critical reckoning, which questioned the idea of America as God’s chosen nation, and a culture of patriotic reassurance, which spearheaded the rise of Reagan. Join us for a historical exploration of American psycho-politics … the providential self-conception, the mode of moral outrage, and the politics of ignorance. Refreshments. Co-sponsors: The Graduate Writing Center and the MacDougal Center.