Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes (6 Cassettes)

Overview

Richard Nixon said he wanted his administration to be "the best chronicled in history." But when Alexander Butterfield disclosed the existence of a voice-activated taping system to a Senate committee in July 1973, Nixon's White House and its recordings quickly became the most infamous in American history. The tapes dominated the final two years of Nixon's presidency, and almost single-handedly forced his resignation. But only 60 hours were actually made public in the 1970s. Many thousands of hours remained secret...
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Overview

Richard Nixon said he wanted his administration to be "the best chronicled in history." But when Alexander Butterfield disclosed the existence of a voice-activated taping system to a Senate committee in July 1973, Nixon's White House and its recordings quickly became the most infamous in American history. The tapes dominated the final two years of Nixon's presidency, and almost single-handedly forced his resignation. But only 60 hours were actually made public in the 1970s. Many thousands of hours remained secret and in Nixon's hands, and he fought fiercely to keep them that way right up to his death. Finally, thanks to a lawsuit brought by historian Stanley I. Kutler with the advocacy group Public Citizen, a landmark 1996 settlement with the Nixon estate and the National Archives is bringing over 3,000 hours of tapes to light. The initial release in November 1996 of over 200 hours of material comprised all those conversations concerning abuse of power - every Watergate-related tape, as well as those concerning many other campaign misdeeds and some Pentagon Papers discussions. Finally, the full story of Nixon's downfall can be told. Packed with revelations on almost every page, the Abuse of Power tapes offer a spellbinding portrait of raw power and a Shakespearean depiction of a king and his court. Never have the personalities of Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Colson, Haig, Kissinger, Dean, and Mitchell been so vividly captured with the spoken word. And never has an American President offered such a revealing record of his darkest self.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Nixon: "I can't believe that they can tie [Watergate] to me. What's your feeling?" H.R. Haldeman: "It'll be messy." Right. Twenty-five years after the existence of Nixon's secret White House tape recordings became known, Kutler sued for and won their release. The excerpts provided in this excellent production are a fine example of oral history at its most dramatic (see also Michael Beschloss's Taking Charge: The Johnson White House Tapes, Audio Reviews LJ 2/1/98). Actor William Windom captures the vocal expressions listeners associate with Nixon. The voices of Haldeman, John Erlichman, Henry Kissinger, John Dean, Alexander Haig, and Rose Mary Woods are rendered realistically by an ensemble company. The effect is riveting and brings the listener into the Oval Office with Nixon and the White House staff as they try to distance themselves from the firestorm of allegation being leveled at them from outside. By the end, even Nixon is referring to himself in the third person to separate himself from the inevitability of the official investigation. All libraries will want at least one copy of this production, especially those with a focus on 20th-century political history.Barbara Valle, El Paso P.L., Tex.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787117153
  • Publisher: NewStar Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/1998
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 6 Cassettes
  • Pages: 2
  • Product dimensions: 4.27 (w) x 6.99 (h) x 1.69 (d)

Table of Contents

Editorial Note
Cast of Characters
Introduction: The Tapes of Richard Nixon
Pt. 1 The Pentagon Papers and Other "White House Horrors": June 1971 - June 1972 1
Pt. 2 Watergate: Break-In and Cover-Up: June 1972 - December 1972 43
Pt. 3 Watergate: The Unraveling of the Cover-Up: January 1973 - April 1973 187
Pt. 4 The President Under Siege: May 1973 - July 1973 387
Epilogue: The Final Year: The Fall of the President: July 1973 - August 1974 637
Acknowledgments 641
Index 643
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