Nixon: The Truimph of a Politician, 1962-1972

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Nixon Volume II: The Triumph of a Politician 1962-1972

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This second volume of Ambrose's biography begins with Nixon's drive to the presidency, which began, in the author's view, on November 7, 1962, with the ``You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore'' press conference following his failure to be elected governor of California. Ambrose describes the successful 1968 presidential campaign against Hubert Humphrey, Nixon's first term in the White House and the 1972 campaign against George McGovern, which concluded with his stunning reelection margin. ``I confess,'' the author writes disarmingly, ``that I do not understand this complex man.'' It is unduly modest of Ambrose, for he offers a more rounded and detailed view of Richard M. Nixon--his instinctive reactions, patterns of thought, prejudices, convictions and accomplishments--than has yet been published. His account of Nixon's first term in office includes a thorough analysis of the president's efforts to end the war in Vietnam, his reestablishment of Sino-American relations, his authorship of detente with the Soviet Union and the start of arms control. Nixon's less successful domestic battles are covered in depth, with emphasis on his inability to work with Congress. Ambrose has turned up fresh material about the origins of the Watergate scandal, and describes how Nixon contrived to delay the crisis until after his reelection. Photos. (Oct.)
Library Journal
It was clear with the first of these projected three volumes ( Nixon: The Education of a Politician, 1913-1962 , LJ 5/1/87, an LJ ``Best Book of 1987'') that this will be the definitive Nixon political biography. This second volume covers ten of the most critical years of Nixon's career and is based upon the available written and spoken words of Nixon and his associates, a monumental body of material. Ambrose, an Eisenhower authority, makes a unique contribution in balancing Nixon's stunning political abilities and glaring personal deficiencies, noting the consequences for the country and its president. His is a captivating work, written with fairness and skill. No library should omit this from its collection.-- Susan E. Parker, Harvard Law Sch. Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671528379
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/19/1989
  • Pages: 736

Meet the Author

Stephen E. Ambrose
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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