President Nixon: Alone in the White House from Simon & Schuster

President Nixon: Alone in the White House from Simon & Schuster
President Nixon: Alone in the White House from Simon & Schuster (click images to enlarge)

President Nixon: Alone in the White House from Simon & Schuster

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Manufacturer Description

Who was Richard Nixon? The most amazing thing about the man was not what he did as president, but that he became president at all. Using thousands of new interviews and recently discovered or declassified documents and tapes, Richard Reeves's President Nixon offers a surprising portrait of a brilliant and contradictory man.
Even as he dreamed of presidential greatness, Nixon could trust no one. His closest aides spied on him as he spied on them, while cabinet members, generals, and admirals spied on all of them -- rifling briefcases and desks, tapping each other's phones in a house where no one knew what was true anymore. Reeves shows a presidency doomed from the start by paranoia and corruption, beginning with Nixon and Kissinger using the CIA to cover up a murder by American soldiers in Vietnam that led to the theft and publication of the Pentagon Papers, then to secret counterintelligence units within the White House itself, and finally to the burglaries and cover-up that came to be known as Watergate. President Nixon is the astonishing story of a complex political animal who was as praised as he was reviled and who remains a subject of controversy to this day.

Drawing on thousands of pages of archival material and on interviews with surviving associates, presidential biographer Reeves paints a complex, sometimes disturbing portrait of the man forever enshrined as Tricky Dick.

"I have decided my major role is moral leadership," Nixon wrote in 1972 in one of his myriad memos to himself. (As Reeves writes, "Whatever else he accomplished, Richard Nixon produced more paper and tape than any president before or since.") That resolution quickly collapsed; instead, as the Vietnam War shaded into defeat and protests at home mounted, Nixon sank into a siege mentality, seeing himself as a lone crusader at war with the rest of the world. Reeves examines the cat-and-mouse quality of Nixon's relations with his inner circle and family, as well as the excruciating collapse of national leadership in the wake of missteps, miscalculations, and sheer crimes. Rigorous and thoughtful, Reeves's book adds much to our understanding of Nixon's troubled presidency--and of his troubled soul. --Gregory McNamee

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