POWER SHIFT: The Rise of the Southern Rim and Its Challenge to the Eastern Establishment by Kirkpatrick Sale

POWER SHIFT: The Rise of the Southern Rim and Its Challenge to the Eastern Establishment

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Sale contends that Nixon and his dishonest associates represented the ascendancy of an entire political bloc--the aerospace, agribusiness, real estate and oil interests beyond the pale. Nixon's personal associates are anatomized with the malicious exuberance of a good prosecutor nailing his case; Sale is especially biting on Bebe Rebozo, the Florida speculator and confidant of Havana hoods, and some cabinet members you would cross the street to avoid. By the time he's through Sale is wondering out loud whether Watergate wasn't a CIA operation to get rid of Nixon and re-establish the hegemony of the Eastern Establishment. This he sees as a major ongoing fight, documenting the enormous growth-oriented economic sector below the 37th parallel which spawned ""the cowboy challenge"" running on ""machismo, pragmatism and lack of ethics,"" as well as ""rightism, racism and repression."" The book argues that both the domestic and foreign policies of Nixon (LBJ too) equaled ""Southern rim"" policies. This leads to a range of oversimplifications--for one, the Nixon welfare plan was the work of Eastern Establishmentarians, whose own freedom from machismo, pragmatism and immorality can also be contested in the foreign policy sphere. In fact, the book's view of the Eastern Establishment is too monolithic to be fully convincing. On the Presidential level, immediate constituencies are confused with an actual power nexus. But this is grand muckraking for a period of shakeup when all political constellations are in unprecedented flux. Sales is the author of the well-received SDS documentary (1973).

Pub Date: Nov. 21st, 1975
Publisher: Random House