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Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full (2007)
by Conrad Black
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"Richard Milhous Nixon, one of the most accomplished yet controversial leaders of the twentieth century, occupies a unique place in American history. From the late 1940s to the mid-1970s, he was a polarizing figure, admired for his intelligence, savvy, and strategic skill, and reviled for his shady manner and cutthroat tactics. He has been such a contentious figure, despite many fine books about him, that he has been little understood as a political phenomenon - and rarely assessed without Vietnam, Watergate, and other intense issues over-shadowing him. Now, Conrad Black, whose epic biography Franklin Delano Roosevelt was widely acclaimed as a masterpiece, brings us the first full biography of Nixon in a generation, and provides insight into the life and politics of one of our country's most brilliant and complicated public figures." "Black traces Nixon's life in full, from his birth to Quaker parents in 1913 to his death in 1994. Drawing on newly available tapes and documents as well as numerous personal interviews with the major players in the Nixon administration, he charts Nixon's political career, assessing both his achievements and his liabilities as a leader, and tracing the evolution of popular and historical thinking about him since his death." "Nixon rose spectacularly from modest beginnings to become Dwight D. Eisenhower's vice president-elect in 1952 at the age of just 39. Defeated by John Kennedy in the presidential election of 1960, and humiliated in California elections two years later, his political career looked to be finished. But he returned from the wilderness to snatch victory in the presidential election of 1968, and in 1972 was re-elected in one of the biggest landslides in U.S. presidential history. Then came Watergate, his resignation, and the long road to redemption." "Though often an awkward man, Nixon led a vast following of ordinary Americans who identified more strongly with him than with glamorous personalities like John F. Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller, and even, for a time, Ronald Reagan. Nixon persevered for so long, he was the personification of the Cold War; the scourge of Alger Hiss and promoter of the Red Scare, the foe of Khrushchev, the inventor of Detente, and, finally, the friend of Gorbachev and Yeltsin. Few now remember that he was instrumental in taking the Republican Party away from the isolationists; in desegregating the schools without recourse to school busing; that he was an early champion of stimulative tax cuts, and welfare and campaign finance reform, or that he founded the Environmental Protection Agency." "Richard M. Nixon ultimately reveals a new side of Nixon: a man who didn't have the advantage of charisma but was surprisingly self-assured and effective; a man dogged by political scandal yet seemingly unstoppable."--BOOK JACKET.
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