Kennedy & Nixon: The Rivalry that Shaped Postwar America

Kennedy & Nixon: The Rivalry that Shaped Postwar America

by Chris Matthews
4.6 8

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Kennedy & Nixon: The Rivalry that Shaped Postwar America by Chris Matthews

In this compelling, smart, and well-researched dual biography, Chris Matthews shows how the contest between the charismatic John F. Kennedy and the talented yet haunted Richard Nixon propelled America toward Vietnam and Watergate.

John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon each dreamed of becoming the great young leader of their age. First as friends, then as bitter enemies, they were linked by a historic rivalry that changed both them and their country. Fresh, entertaining, and revealing, Kennedy&Nixon reveals that the early fondness between the two men—Kennedy, for example, told a trusted friend that if he didn’t receive the Democratic nomination in 1960, he would vote for Nixon—degenerated into distrust and bitterness. Using White House tapes, this book exposes Richard Nixon’s dread of a Kennedy “restoration” in 1972 drove the dark deeds of Watergate.

"Matthews tells his stories well, and Americans have a seemingly bottomless need to have these stories retold" (The New York Times Book Review).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439135310
Publisher: Free Press
Publication date: 11/01/2011
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 172,084
File size: 8 MB

About the Author

Chris Matthews is the host of MSNBC’s Hardball. He is the author of Jack Kennedy—Elusive Hero; Tip and the Gipper—When Politics Worked; Kennedy and Nixon; Hardball; and now Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit.

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Kennedy & Nixon: The Rivalry that Shaped Postwar America 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I must confess that sometime before I read Chris Matthews' book idespised Richard Nixon. But, after reading his book I feel a certain sympathy for the man. Fairly balanced Matthews shows us a man(Nixon)who may have been one of the greater presidents had his paranoia not gotten the better of him. However, as Matthews points out Nixon's paranoia wasn't created by him but by his enemies. Whom I'm sorry to say really did set out to destroy the man. The portrait of Kennedy however, is less flattering than the one offered by his remainign supporters. If there ever was a dappered president, Kennedy was it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
epiphanyscripts More than 1 year ago
I was riveted by this book; found it a real page turner! I felt that Mr. Matthews fairly portrayed Nixon, not covering up the path of paranoia that ultimately led to his demise, but honestly exposing all of the shaded elements that formed his political life. While Nixon may not be forgiven for the actions he choose, I found it fascinating to be led by such capable words through the maze that led him there. Likewise, I grew up hearing and reading about John Kennedy only through glowing eyes of praise, but from this book, I saw another, more complex side of things. I have great respect for Chris Matthews for writing such an intriguing book and have recommended it to several friends and colleagues who enjoyed it immensely as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like all of Chris Matthews books, this book reads quickly, precisely, and with a hint of Irish storytelling that Matthews himself has noted as being something he admired. Besides, this quickly told story, it is also engrossing and one can spend an evening by the fire reading the history of our most ambiguous and profound relationship in political history. That between John Kennedy and Nixon. Both as the book points out were formed by their shared World War II experiences or as one Kennedy friend called it 'greatest campaign manager.' The two have much more in common than at first thought, despite their different backgrounds and their styles. Kennedy, as the book calls him was the Mozart- the natural in the political game who could make people fall in love with him even he hated them. Nixon, as the book calls him was the Salieri- the talented hard working square that represented the working class's fight with the New Deal establishment. They were actually fairly common in their beliefs and contempts. Both extolled a strong defense against Communism, a middle of the road political agenda, and a deep-seated contempt for the Democratic left of Stevenson and Eleanor Roosevelt. Both were revealed in the book to be very ruthless in destroying their enemies (Kennedy only did it with a smile) and a tenuous relationship that bordered on deep friendship in the early 50's to the incredibly hostile late 50's where Kennedy proved as every bit tough and ruthless as 'Tricky Dick.' The book does an incredible at explaining the impetus for the Watergate scandal, as it also underscores Nixon's paranoia towards his enemies. This book gave a new appreciated understanding of the human Nixon and the often tougher than his Camelot image-John Kennedy. Proves the adage: Appearances are deceiving.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Starting off as friends, Kennedy and Nixon entered congress in the freshman class of 1946 with an eventual goal of the presidency. The bond was strong between this democrat and republican until the presidential election of 1960. These friends turned to foes when running head to head for the ultimate goal of the presidency. Matthews showed the wide contrast in character between the suave Kennedy and the Orthogonian Nixon. Living in Kennedy's shadow, Nixion would one day strive for the mass appeal of JFK. With moderate knowledge on this topic, I enjoyed discovering about the ever changing relationship between the most loved and despised presidents of the 20th century. This book brings to light the friendships politics create and how they can quickly be torn apart by politics as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A book has finally been written to factually bring to life both Kennedy and Nixon and how each had an enormous impact on shaping our country into what it is today. It reveals to us the friendship that both men shared for each other, the staunch cold warriors they really were before the term was even coined and the paths both took to the most powerful position in the world is glowingly portrayed in page after page of what I suspect was painstaking research for Mr. Matthews in order to get all the facts objectively and straight. This great read is not only for political maniacs as myself, but also for those who want to learn more about these two great Presidents of our wonderful nation. A book noteworthy of more than five stars!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kennedy and Nixon is a great book about JFK'S and Richard Nixon's life; political and private. It also tells about their friendly relationship that the public never knew. Chris Matthews wrote an excellent book. I highly recommend it for anybody, even if you're not into politics.