Richard Nixon: The Life

Richard Nixon: The Life

by John A. Farrell

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Overview

From a prize-winning biographer comes the defining portrait of a man who led America in a time of turmoil and left us a darker age. We live today, John A. Farrell shows, in a world Richard Nixon made.
 
At the end of WWII, navy lieutenant “Nick” Nixon returned from the Pacific and set his cap at Congress, an idealistic dreamer seeking to build a better world. Yet amid the turns of that now-legendary 1946 campaign, Nixon’s finer attributes gave way to unapologetic ruthlessness. The story of that transformation is the stunning overture to John A. Farrell’s magisterial biography of the president who came to embody postwar American resentment and division.
     Within four years of his first victory, Nixon was a U.S. senator; in six, the vice president of the United States of America. “Few came so far, so fast, and so alone,” Farrell writes. Nixon’s sins as a candidate were legion; and in one unlawful secret plot, as Farrell reveals here, Nixon acted to prolong the Vietnam War for his own political purposes. Finally elected president in 1969, Nixon packed his staff with bright young men who devised forward-thinking reforms addressing health care, welfare, civil rights, and protection of the environment. It was a fine legacy, but Nixon cared little for it. He aspired to make his mark on the world stage instead, and his 1972 opening to China was the first great crack in the Cold War.
     Nixon had another legacy, too: an America divided and polarized. He was elected to end the war in Vietnam, but his bombing of Cambodia and Laos enraged the antiwar movement. It was Nixon who launched the McCarthy era, who played white against black with a “southern strategy,” and spurred the Silent Majority to despise and distrust the country’s elites. Ever insecure and increasingly paranoid, he persuaded Americans to gnaw, as he did, on grievances—and to look at one another as enemies. Finally, in August 1974, after two years of the mesmerizing intrigue and scandal of Watergate, Nixon became the only president to resign in disgrace.
     Richard Nixon is a gripping and unsparing portrayal of our darkest president. Meticulously researched, brilliantly crafted, and offering fresh revelations, it will be hailed as a master work.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385537353
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/28/2017
Pages: 752
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 8.80(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

JOHN A. FARRELL is the author of Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography, and Tip O'Neill and the Democratic Century. A longtime journalist, he worked at The Denver Post and at The Boston Globe, where he served as White House correspondent and on the vaunted Spotlight team.

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Table of Contents

1 The Dragon Slayer 1

2 "I Had to Win" 18

3 As American as Thanksgiving 42

4 Death, God, Love, and War 65

5 A Kind of Man the Country Needs 80

6 HUAC 93

7 A Tragedy of History 104

8 The Pink Lady 129

9 The Great Train Robbery 158

10 Checkers 177

11 A Candidate for the Little Man 198

12 McCarthy 210

13 The New Nixon 235

14 The Desolate Night of Man's Inhumanity 247

15 The Field of Pending Battle 260

16 Nixon vs. Kennedy 276

17 Wilderness 294

18 The Greatest Comeback 312

19 Nixon's War 347

20 Not Fish nor Fowl 371

21 Drawing the Sword 397

22 The Road to Watergate 416

23 The Week That Changed the World 435

24 A Third-Rate Burglary 465

25 A Fairly Reasonable Interval 485

26 Cancer on the Presidency 503

27 The Final Days 517

28 Exile 534

Acknowledgments 559

Notes 565

Bibliography 689

Illustration Credits 701

Index 703

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