Many writers who know their subjects so well might be tempted to take shortcuts in the archives. Not Black. He's researched everything and read everything, and delights in pulling up amazing let-Nixon-be-Nixon and let-Henry-be-Henry nuggets…. The overwhelming impression one takes away of the narrator…is that of a man without guile. Black's two favorite adjectives are "distinguished" and "considerable." He is a straightforward admirer of the institutions of American government and the great men of his youth: not only Roosevelt and Nixon, but also Eisenhower and, preeminently, de Gaulle. In all the mass of this book, you will find not a whiff of that touch of evil on which Nixon prided himself….This is an impressive and profound book by a decent man, written under travail and adversity. One is left wishing that there will be many more like it from Conrad Black, and that a writer who, in his tycoon days, did so much to assist and support the work of others will at last be granted the tranquility to complete his own.
To read Black's book is to be treated like the guest at a lavish dinner party presided over by an opinionated, brilliant, mordantly amusing, powerful, and loquacious host.a `rocking, socking' (to borrow a term Nixon used to describe his more vigorous campaigns) yarn.
Recently convicted of mail fraud and obstruction of justice, former Hollinger International chairman and newspaper magnate Black (Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom) is better positioned than most men to chronicle the power and disgrace experienced by Richard Nixon. Black is a versatile and thorough biographer who brings not only sympathy but eloquent clarity to his task. The result is a vibrant narrative of personal and political accomplishment that, though great and heroically achieved, was often marred by self-inflicted wounds springing from personal paranoia. Black is at his best portraying the many contradictions in Nixon's personal makeup and political history. The Nixon who most fascinates Black is the firebrand cold warrior who (in partnership with Henry Kissinger) went on to invent the notion of detente and eventually opened relations with China. As Black shows, Nixon's duality followed him into his postpresidential years. The tireless son of Quakers methodically sought after Watergate to rebuild his reputation as a statesman by issuing carefully crafted publications and granting strategically timed interviews. Black's superb volume, incorporating much new research, is an important and worthy addition to the literature. 16 pages of b&w photos. (Nov.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information