The Gumshoe and the Shrink: Guenther Reinhardt, Dr. Arnold Hutschnecker, and the Secret History of the 1960 Kennedy/Nixon Election

Overview


The Gumshoe and the Shrink is a tale of political intrigue?a detective story and medical mystery set against the backdrop of the closest and most storied presidential election in American history. It?s the never-before-told account of how the craziest private detective in the country uncovered Richard Nixon?s most closely guarded secret?that he was seeing a psychotherapist?and how that discovery put victory out of Nixon?s reach in the 1960 election.

At the center of the story ...

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Overview


The Gumshoe and the Shrink is a tale of political intrigue—a detective story and medical mystery set against the backdrop of the closest and most storied presidential election in American history. It’s the never-before-told account of how the craziest private detective in the country uncovered Richard Nixon’s most closely guarded secret—that he was seeing a psychotherapist—and how that discovery put victory out of Nixon’s reach in the 1960 election.

At the center of the story is a manic-depressive private eye named Guenther Reinhardt, who in the fall of 1960 set out to destroy Richard Nixon. With Election Day just a few months away, Reinhardt discovered that Nixon was seeing a psychotherapist. And in those days, the only thing worse for a politician than needing to see a “shrink” was actually seeing one.

Nixon’s brilliant psychotherapist, Dr. Arnold Hutschnecker, is the other character at the center of this story. Dr. Hutschnecker tried heroically to mold Nixon into the person they both wanted him to be—a man of peace. But like the fictional Dr. Frankenstein, his experiment failed terribly and a monster was created instead.

The secret battle for the presidency detailed in The Gumshoe and the Shrink is supported by two key documents that have never been seen before: Guenther Reinhardt’s 12-page confidential report on the relationship between Nixon and Dr. Hutschnecker, and Dr. Hutschnecker’s unpublished memoirs detailing his treatment of Richard Nixon. These documents provide many fascinating insights into their “forbidden” relationship—and into Nixon’s tortured psychology.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Thrice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, Robb (Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors the Movies) investigates the seldom-told story of a bizarre detective, a skeptical shrink, and their influence on one of America's closest and most dramatic presidential elections-the 1960 race between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. This engrossing narrative shows how Guenther Reinhardt-the titular gumshoe described by former colleagues as "unbalanced" and "messed up"-exposed Nixon's secret meetings with psychotherapist Dr. Arnold Hutschnecker-a self-described pacifist who had narrowly survived a Russian firing squad in WWI-and how this discovery enabled Kennedy to pull ahead and win the presidency that would lead to his untimely death. Robb does an excellent job of exploring the candidates' bitter battle for office-one in which "both sides waged a secret war to destroy the other"-, Nixon's troubled psychology, and the myriad characters that peopled this politically and socially tumultuous era. Drawing from Reinhardt's previously confidential report (printed in an appendix) and Dr. Hutschnecker's unpublished memoirs, this is a story that will interest a wide range of readers, from political historians to fans of high-stakes intrigue.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher

"This book has it all—power, wealth, and skullduggery, plus unbridled ambition for the highest stakes imaginable: the White House. Imagine two presidential candidates in 1960—John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon—who checkmate each other's campaigns with the threat of revealing a damaging secret. The fact that this book is true, and scrupulously documented, is chilling." —Kitty Kelley, author, The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty

"An eye-opening look at two interesting, shadowy figures who played unheralded roles in mid-twentieth century America: a private eye who dug up dirt on politicians and a psychotherapist who secretly treated Richard Nixon. Author David Robb digs ups fascinating new material as he traces the intersecting narrative arcs of these two little-known men who had otherwise been lost to history." —Professor Mark Feldstein, Chair of Broadcast Journalism, University of Maryland, author, Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon

"David Robb has returned to the great tradition of the nonfiction novel with his masterful The Gumshoe and the Shrink. Every page, every word lives in the same world we were first introduced to by T. E. White, Tom Wolfe, and Truman Capote—and Robb is every part their equal. But this book goes one step further because it tells a story we have never heard before about one of the most famous men of the twentieth century. In that way, Robb proves himself one of the most important modern historians working today." —Rod Lurie, writer and director, The Contender and Nothing But the Truth

"I thought there was nothing new to be written about the Kennedys. How little I knew!" —Laurence Leamer, author The Kennedy Men, The Kennedy Women, and Madness Under the Royal Palms

"A fascinating, and wonderfully researched historical narrative, The Gumshoe and the Shrink is an important addition the Kennedy/Nixon oeuvre. But the story of Guenther Reinhardt is more than that—it is a powerful reminder of how the American electoral process plays out in the trenches, a cautionary tale of the highest order. David L. Robb reminds us how investigative reporting should be conducted, but rarely is anymore. My fingers are crossed that he will be the one to finally convince us to get serious about policing our electoral process." —Gus Russo, author, The Outfit and Supermob

"This engrossing narrative shows how Guenther Reinhardt—the titular gumshoe described by former colleagues as 'unbalanced' and 'messed up'—exposed Nixon's secret meetings with psychotherapist Dr. Arnold Hutschnecker—a self-described pacifist who had narrowly survived a Russian firing squad in WWI—and how this discovery enabled Kennedy to pull ahead and win the presidency that would lead to his untimely death. . . . Drawing from Reinhardt's previously confidential report (printed in an appendix) and Dr. Hutschnecker's unpublished memoirs, this is a story that will interest a wide range of readers, from political historians to fans of high-stakes intrigue." —Publishers Weekly (March 1, 2012)

"Robb insightfully reveals how a notorious detective and a respected doctor intersected with history through their connections to the political powerhouses of the day. He continues with a recap of the balance of Nixon's political life. This will be very engrossing reading especially for presidential history buffs and conspiracy theorists." —Library Journal (April 2012)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595800664
  • Publisher: Santa Monica Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/2012
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


David L. Robb is an award-winning freelance journalist who has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize three times. He is the author of Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors the Movies. His work has been featured in Daily Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, LA Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, the Nation, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. He lives in Los Angeles.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Urgent Call to Nixon 7

Chapter 2 The Will to Live 14

Chapter 3 The Private Detective 20

Chapter 4 Bohemian Grove 32

Chapter 5 The Firing Squad 39

Chapter 6 The Consultation 44

Chapter 7 Jack and Dick 49

Chapter 8 J. Edgar Hoover Sacks Guenther Reinhardt 56

Chapter 9 The Pink Sheet 61

Chapter 10 The 1956 Democratic National Convention 65

Chapter 11 The Arrest of Dr. Hutschnecker 70

Chapter 12 Nixon's Mother 77

Chapter 13 Occupied Germany 82

Chapter 14 JFK and "The New Nixon" 85

Chapter 15 Addison's Disease 89

Chapter 16 Nixon Starts a Rumor in Bed 94

Chapter 17 The Trial of Dr. Hutschnecker 98

Chapter 18 Guenther Reinhardt and the Lost Mountain of Gold 100

Chapter 19 The Rat Pack 105

Chapter 20 Kennedy's Father 113

Chapter 21 The Medical Board vs. Dr. Arnold Hutschnecker 118

Chapter 22 "You Can't Trust the Bastards" 121

Chapter 23 The Return of Guenther Reinhardt 130

Chapter 24 The Break-In 132

Chapter 25 Stampeding the Herd 138

Chapter 26 Denial 145

Chapter 27 "Fightin Joe" McCarthy 154

Chapter 28 Crime Without Punishment 164

Chapter 29 Civil Rights 169

Chapter 30 The First TV Debate 176

Chapter 31 The Apt Pupil 182

Chapter 32 The Second TV Debate 184

Chapter 33 The Doctor's Past Is Uncovered 188

Chapter 34 The Secrets Are Revealed 193

Chapter 35 Election Day 200

Chapter 36 The Pack Rat 205

Chapter 37 Marilyn 211

Chapter 38 Saving the World: The Cuban Missile Crisis 218

Chapter 39 The Arrest of Guenther Reinhardt 223

Chapter 40 November 22, 1963 228

Chapter 41 Vietnam 237

Chapter 42 "This Is Treason!" 244

Chapter 43 The Last Days of Guenther Reinhardt 258

Chapter 44 "The Peace President" 264

Chapter 45 The Reckoning 271

Chapter 46 Why Watergate? 279

Chapter 47 Richard Nixon's "Unforgivable Sin" 282

Appendix: Guenther Reinhardt's Confidential Report 291

Acknowledgments 299

Endnotes 301

Index 331

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