Nixon off the Record: His Candid Commentary on People and Politics

Nixon off the Record: His Candid Commentary on People and Politics

by Monica Crowley
     
 

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Nixon and I met for the first time on October 2, 1989, and he was exceedingly generous with the commodity that was the most precious to him: time.... And, surprisingly for a man who had been so often damaged by those he trusted, Nixon trusted me immediately. I became a member of his small circle of advisers. I listened as he confided his views on international…  See more details below

Overview

Nixon and I met for the first time on October 2, 1989, and he was exceedingly generous with the commodity that was the most precious to him: time.... And, surprisingly for a man who had been so often damaged by those he trusted, Nixon trusted me immediately. I became a member of his small circle of advisers. I listened as he confided his views on international affairs and world leaders, American politics and policy, Watergate, and his own personal career, and human nature.
—Monica Crowley

Nixon off the Record is the unique story of Richard Nixon's intense political life after he left the presidency—told by Monica Crowley, Nixon's foreign-policy assistant and political confidante during the last years of his life.

With fully reconstructed conversations based on extensive notes made at the time, Nixon off the Record puts the reader in the room with the thirty-seventh president, listening to his views on leadership, his opinions of White House predecessors and successors, his activities and thoughts during the 1992 presidential campaign and election, and his assessment of Bill Clinton's first year in office and his potential challengers in 1996. Nixon's views give voters uncommon criteria by which to measure presidential candidates—including Bob Dole—and their ability to exercise effective leadership.

Richard Nixon was one of the most controversial and indestructible presidents of the twentieth century. With her privileged perspective and unlimited access to Nixon, Crowley has written a perceptive and spirited memoir that shows not just what Nixon thought in the last years of his life but who he was. She offers anunprecedented behind-the-scenes view of Nixon's activities and opinions, giving the reader a front-row view of recent American political history.

Nixon's unparalleled experience placed him in a unique position to judge leaders who had come before and after. His assessments are candid, astonishing, and sometimes explosive. This book places those judgments in context and brings them alive for the last American presidential election of the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Crowley, a foreign policy assistant to Richard Nixon from 1990 until his death in 1994, kept a diary of Nixon's thoughts about leadership, the 1992 election, and President Clinton. The diary is the basis for this book and a forthcoming one on foreign policy. Nixon believed he was the only great postwar president and Clinton the worst. Despite this, they established an improbable dtente because Clinton, more than any Republican president, actively sought the former president's counsel. Nixon's wise advice, in turn, helped compensate for that provided by an inexperienced State Department. This cordial relationship was ended by Clinton's failure to attend Pat Nixon's funeral and by Whitewater, which was becoming all too reminiscent of Watergate. The section on the 1992 campaign becomes mired in detail, but the one on leadership finds Nixon at his most insightful. Truman and Eisenhower are fondly remembered as "tough sons of bitches," while Johnson is denounced as a "calculating bastard." Crowley, much to her credit, remains in the background, letting Nixon be Nixon. She presents a sincere portrait of the former president, who even in his twilight years never lost his zeal for politics. Recommended for public libraries.Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Township Lib., King of Prussia, Pa.
School Library Journal
YA-Crowley, who served as foreign-policy assistant to former President Nixon from 1990 to his death in 1994, kept a daily diary in which she recorded his views on a variety of topics. Nixon believed that three main qualities are required for effective leadership: "head, heart, and guts." He analyzed other presidents, from FDR to the present, and potential candidates in terms of the presence or absence of these traits. When Clinton became president, he enabled Nixon to reemerge as a respected elder statesman by inviting him to the White House and openly seeking his advice. The other presidents who followed Nixon failed to do either, and so, in the strange world of politics, it was a young Democratic leader who gave renewed value to Nixon's judgment and experience. To the author, Nixon was a generous and enriching mentor, and the trust, respect, and affection each held for the other shines through the narrative. The book is easy to read, and gives an intimate, sympathetic, and seemingly unedited look at Nixon the man, as well as his opinions and analyses of people, politics, and historical perspective, and a clear vision for the future. His urgent hope was that history view his life evenhandedly, both its highs and lows. Students interested in government and politics will look forward to the companion volume.-Judy Sokoll, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679456810
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/05/1996
Pages:
231
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.59(h) x 1.15(d)

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