MLA Platinum Award Press Release

A Different Kind of Democratic National Convention: Background information when reading The Nix

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Nix

by Nathan Hill

The Nix by Nathan Hill X
The Nix by Nathan Hill
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2016, 640 pages
    May 2017, 640 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte
Buy This Book

About this Book

A Different Kind of Democratic National Convention

This article relates to The Nix

Print Review

Political ButtonsIn The Nix, Sam's mother, Faye, takes part in the protests that took place at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, one riddled by unrest and tensions. It was a convention held in Chicago where then mayor Richard Daley was believed to have been instrumental in many of the goings-on both inside and outside the political arena.

The lead-up to the convention, which nominated Vice President Hubert Humphrey for President and Senator Edmund Muskie for Vice President, was already charged along political and racial lines. Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated just two weeks prior and riots had broken out in 125 cities around the country, including in Chicago, where mayor Daley suggested the police had gone too easy on the rioters. Senator Robert Kennedy was also assassinated – he was incidentally a challenger in that year's Democratic Primary and up until his death, had been leading the delegate count.

Humphrey RallyThe disaffected youth and overall electorate galvanized around one primary issue that dominated the national consciousness for years: the Vietnam War. Determined to make a statement and with a secondary objective of showing support for anti-war Senator Eugene McCarthy, who also participated in the primary, these protesters rallied around the anti-war cause to effect change in the party's platform.

Among the various groups that came together for the protests was the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, which had been planning a youth protest march to coincide with the convention. The close to 10,000 protesters were met with around 23,000 police and National Guard members.

A student planted a North Vietnam Communist flag on the statue of a Civil War hero, one of the many flashpoints for intense clashes with police. The Chicago 1968 convention protests are remembered for severe police brutality and the reckless use of tear gas (it is said that this tear gas even reached Hubert Humphrey's room in his hotel, a nugget that is included in The Nix). A federal investigation found there to be provocations from the demonstrators including rocks and bottles thrown at police, but the scale of the response was nevertheless regarded as disproportionate and as per the report, "unrestrained and indiscriminate."

Police RiotsThe violence was not limited to just the streets either. Inside the convention floor, tensions broke out between anti-war delegates and the rest, and many were jostled and threatened. A famous news clip shows veteran correspondent Dan Rather of CBS News being assaulted by security guards: "Unless you intend to arrest me, don't push me please."

The protests are said to have had a deep effect on the country's psyche (Nixon, the opposition candidate won the election) and brought about changes to the primary nominating process for both sides, whereby party leaders could not anoint the party representative behind closed doors.

Dan Rather Convention Floor Fight 1968:

Political buttons in 1968, courtesy of
Posters of Presidential candidate, Hubert Humphrey, courtesy of
Police riots, courtesy of

Filed under People, Eras & Events

Article by Poornima Apte

This "beyond the book article" relates to The Nix. It originally ran in September 2016 and has been updated for the May 2017 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    by Carolina De Robertis
    Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis follows five characters who share a house, troubles, joys and parts...
  • Book Jacket: Daughters Of Smoke & Fire
    Daughters Of Smoke & Fire
    by Ava Homa
    Ava Homa's debut novel begins with an epigraph by Sherko Bekas, a Kurdish poet, the last lines of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Book of V.
    The Book of V.
    by Anna Solomon
    In ancient Persia, Esther, a young Jewish woman, parades herself in front of the king in a desperate...
  • Book Jacket: How to Be an Antiracist
    How to Be an Antiracist
    by Ibram X. Kendi
    Ibram X. Kendi opens How to Be an Antiracist with a personal story he finds shameful in retrospect, ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Last Train to Key West
    by Chanel Cleeton

    Romance and danger are locked into Cleeton's suitcase for this journey to 1935 Key West.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Stone Girl
    by Dirk Wittenborn

    A riveting tale of deception, vengeance, and power set against the haunting beauty of the Adirondacks.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Beekeeper of Aleppo
by Christy Lefteri

This moving, intimate, and beautifully written novel puts human faces on the Syrian war.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Of Bears and Ballots

An Alaskan Adventure in Small-Town Politics

A charming account of holding local office with an entertaining, quirky cast of characters.



Solve this clue:

A S Louder T W

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.