Nixon: Ruin and Recovery, 1973-1990

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Nixon Volume I: The Education of a Politician 1913-1962

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ambrose continues to pull no punches in his third volume on the former president; highly recommended for those seeking to fathom the Nixon enigma. Photos. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Although Ambrose discusses Nixon's post-presidential roles as author and elder statesman, this final volume of his three-part biography ( Nixon: The Education of a Politican, 1913-1962 , LJ 5/1/87; one of LJ 's ``Best Books of 1987''; and Nixon: The Triumph of a Politician , LJ 11/1/89) is largely the story of Watergate. Unlike Tom Wicker's One of Us: Richard Nixon and the American Dream ( LJ 2/1/91), which credits Nixon as a domestic success, Ambrose concludes that because of Watergate, Nixon's well-intended national and international programs were not ``accomplishments but might have beens.'' The ultimate and, to Ambrose, tragic legacy of the president who wanted to be admired but not liked was the destruction of the moderate wing of the Republican party. Complemented by Roger Morris's Richard Milhous Nixon: The Rise of an American Politician and Herbert Parmet's Richard Nixon and His America (both reviewed LJ 12/89), Ambrose's three-volume biography is an indispensable acquisition for academic collections and is highly recommended for most public libraries as well. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/91.-- Karl He licher, Upper Merion Twp . Lib., King of Prussia, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671792084
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 10/28/1992
  • Pages: 672

Meet the Author

Stephen E. Ambrose
An historian whose books prompted America to regard its war veterans with newfound reverence, Stephen E. Ambrose was as prolific as he was passionate about his country. His bestsellers chronicled our nation’s critical battles and achievements, from his seminal war works D-Day and Band of Brothers to his fitting last love letter To America.

Biography

"I was ten years old when [World War II] ended," Stephen Ambrose once said. "I thought the returning veterans were giants who had saved the world from barbarism. I still think so." Years after he first watched combat footage in the newsreels, the popular historian brought fresh attention to America's aging WWII veterans through such bestselling books as Band of Brothers, about a company of U.S. paratroopers, and The Wild Blue, about the B-24 bomber pilots who flew over Germany. Though best known for his books on World War II, Ambrose also produced multi-volume biographies of Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, a history of the building of the transcontinental railroad, and a fascinating account of the Lewis and Clark expedition across the American West.

As a young professor of history, Ambrose was one of many left-wing academics who spoke out against American involvement in the Vietnam War. Yet he revered the veterans of World War II, and he interviewed and wrote about them at a time when many of his colleagues considered military history old-fashioned. "The men I admire most are soldiers, sailors, professional military," Ambrose would later tell The Washington Post. "Way more than politicians."

He labored without much popular acclaim or academic renown until 1994, when his book D-Day June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II burst onto the bestseller lists. War heroism was suddenly a hot topic, and Ambrose's approach, which focused on the experiences of soldiers rather than the decisions of high command, was perfectly suited to a popular audience. More bestsellers followed, including Citizen Soldiers, The Victors and Undaunted Courage. Ambrose's vivid narrative accounts were devoured by readers and praised by critics. "The descriptions of individual ordeals on the bloody beach of Omaha make this book outstanding," wrote Raleigh Trevelyan in a New York Times review of D-Day.

Ambrose retired as a professor of history at the University of New Orleans in 1995, but he continued to write one or more books per year. He also founded the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans, worked with his family-owned business organizing historical tours, and served as the historical consultant for the 1998 Steven Spielberg film Saving Private Ryan. Spielberg later turned Ambrose's Band of Brothers into an HBO miniseries.

This rise to fame was accompanied by criticism from some of Ambrose's fellow historians, who charged that he could be careless in his research and editing. In early 2002, he faced accusations of plagiarism when reporters noted that a number of phrases and sentences in his books were lifted from other works. Ambrose responded that he had forgotten to place quotation marks around some quotes, but said he had footnoted all his sources. "I always thought plagiarism meant using another person's words and ideas, pretending they were your own and profiting from it. I do not do that, never have done that and never will," he wrote in a statement on his Web site.

When he was diagnosed with lung cancer a few months later, he began work on a memoir, To America. "I want to tell all the things that are right about America," he said in an interview with the Associated Press. Ambrose died in October 2002, at the age of 66.

Good To Know

Ambrose was a star football player at the University of Wisconsin and played in the Rose Bowl, according to his friend and co-author Douglas Brinkley.

As a college sophomore, Ambrose abandoned his pre-med major for history after he attended a class on "Representative Americans" taught by professor William Hesseltine.

For more than 20 years, Ambrose and his family spent their vacations traveling portions of the Lewis and Clark Trail. They canoed the Missouri and Columbia rivers, endured soaking rains and summer snowstorms, and read from the explorers' journals at night by the light of their campfires.

Ambrose named his house in Mississippi "Merry Weather," after Meriwether Lewis. His Labrador was called Pomp, after the nickname of Sacagawea's son.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Stephen Ambrose
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 10, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Whitewater, Wisconsin
    1. Date of Death:
      October 13, 2002
    2. Place of Death:
      Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Defective copy

    Not to take anything away from the author or the content, unfortunately I received a copy from a reseller (no fault of his of course) with pages 401-432 MISSING. Not torn out mind you but absolutely missing. I don't know about anyone else but a book with missing pages is not worth reading. It can best be evaluated by going through the index and finding topics covered under the missing pages and then you can see what you won't be reading. Simply put I don't like books with missing pages. I may just try ordering another copy but unfortunately I only see a 1988 reprint which is my defective copy. Apart from that I recommend any reading by the late Stephen Ambrose. He himself thought Nixon such a great subject that his biography of Nixon had to be written in a trilogy. The subject itself is of 5-star quality

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2003

    An interesting(yet balanced) view of Nixon

    One of the first full-lenght books I read on Richard Nixon was Chris Matthews' "Kenndy and Nixon", which explained the relationship between these two late twentieth century dominating figures. It was interesting and inspired me to learn more about Nixon-not Kennedy whom you hear about almost every day. Ambrose's biography I would call farily honest and does congratulate and call Nioxn on his successes (I think i spelled that right) and failures. I'm now looking for the second volume but as is to my understanding it's out of print so who knows? Worth the time-if you're interested in a good true story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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